Idiographic Approach to Health

Edited by:
Raffaele De Luca Picione, University of Naples Federico II
Jensine Nedergaard, Aalborg University
Maria Francesca Freda, University of Naples Federico II
Sergio Salvatore, University of Salento

A volume in the series: Yearbook of Idiographic Science. Editor(s): Sergio Salvatore, University of Salento. Jaan Valsiner, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University.

Published 2018

The concept of health is a challenge of great complexity in terms of theoretical, methodological and intervention within the idiographic frame.

Health cannot be considered an abstract condition, but a means, a resource aimed at achieving objectives that relate to the ability of people to lead their lives in a productive way - individually, socially, and economically. Health is a process that is not based on the definition of standards and categories on the basis of which typifying the states of health. Rather, it has to be considered a process, on a large scale and on many entangled levels, aimed at generating a culture of the health as a resource for individuals and communities and to promote skills needed to transform these resources into developmental goals.

The notion of health, indeed, defined and interpreted in terms of "state" and not of process, meets the immediate paradox of being an indicator of normativity by reason of which we risk a proliferation of new and potentially infinite forms of "deviation". The approach of the idiographic sciences (see previous volumes of the Yearbook Idiographic Science Series, by same publisher IAP) considers that every psychological process (but in general every process, from organic to the social and cultural ones) is characterized by a contextual, situated and contingent dynamics. That dynamics is always characterized by a never-ending opening of its cycles and great variability. Conditions of stagnation and hypostatization are characteristic of all forms of disease (physical, mental and social) that sclerotize relational links between people and their environments. Health is therefore a process that presents oscillation in the same way of any developmental process that has moments of crisis and rupture in order to re-organize new forms of relationship with the social and cultural environment.

This book represent a fruitful way to deep many cogent issues and to dialogue with an idiographic perspective in order to discuss the concept of health, to define its cultural meanings and possible polysemy (e.g., wellness, care, hygiene, quality of life, resilience, prevention, healing, deviation/normality, subjective potentiality for development, etc.), its areas of pertinence and intervention (somatic, psychological, social) trying to offer possible alternatives to the "normalization" of health and creating new incentives for the reflection.

Series Editor’s Preface: Health: The General in the Unique, Jaan Valsiner. Health: A Current Challenge for the Idiographic Sciences, Maria Francesca Freda, Raffaele De Luca Picione, Jensine. Nedergaard, and Sergio Salvatore. SECTION 1: THE DYNAMIC CONSTRUCTION OF BORDERS BETWEEN HEALTH AND ILLNESS SECTION 1.1: CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HEALTH NOTION. AN IDIOGRAPHIC LENS ON THE TOPIC. DIFFERENT PATHS BETWEEN GENERALIZATION AND IDIOGRAPHY. Five Inconsistencies in Scientific Discourse, Sven Hroar Klempe. The Enigmatic Soul of Health: From Balance to Inscape, Robert E. Innis. Values and the Singular Aims of Idiographic Inquiry, Tim Thornton. Psychopathology: Mental Illness and Relationship Between Idiography and Health: The Case of Transsexuals’ Experience, Roberto Vitelli. SECTION 1.2: HEALTHCARE RELATIONSHIP AND POSSIBLE FUNCTIONS OF IDIOGRAPHIC APPROACHES. Crisis of Medical Institution: An Idiographic Approach, Annalisa Venezia and Chiara Marangio. From Medicalizing Discourse to Situated Practices. From Reification to Semiotization of Processes of Sensemaking: The Function of Psychological Scaffolding in the Experience of the Disease Within the Healthcare Relationship, Raffaele De Luca Picione, Francesca Dicé, and Maria Francesca Freda. Communicative Partnership Between More Than Two: When a Child Becomes a Patient, Jensine Ingerslev Nedergaard and Elise Snitker Jensen. SECTION 1.3: THE CARE OF SOCIAL CONTEXT. THE EXTENSION OF IDIOGRAPHY TO WIDER FRAMES. Growing up in the Suburbs: Stories of Adolescents at Risk and of Their “Maestri di Strada”, Santa Parrello. The Generational Shift in the Family Business: Defining the Condition to Plan the Intervention, Barbara Cordella and Assunta Capasso. SECTION 2: NARRATIONS OF HEALTH AND ILLNESS SECTION 2.1: THE NARRATION OF THE UNSPEAKABLE. HEALTH AND ILLNESS IN ONE’S OWN EXPERIENCE. Disquieting Experiences, Borders, and Healthcare Processes, Lívia Mathias Simão and Giuseppina Marsico. “I Get Along Without You...”: On Billie Holiday, Clichés and Psychological Truth, Yair Neuman. Lessons of Pathosophy—And Implications for Medical Care, Elin Håkonsen Martinsen. SECTION 2.2: THE MODELLING OF NARRATIVES PROCESSES IN THE CLINICAL CONTEXT. Narrative Functions to Support the Meaning-Making Process During Cancer Traumatic Experience in Pediatric Oncology, Maria Luisa Martino and Maria Francesca Freda. The Power of Self-Narratives in Health, João Tiago Oliveira, Miguel M. Gonçalves, João Batista, and Adrián Montesano. Commentary: The Enchantment of Stories, Luca Tateo. SECTION 2.3: THE IDIOGRAPHIC CHALLENGE OF NARRATIONS IN THE RESEARCH PROCESSES. The Idiographic Science Perspective Applied to the Treatment of Younger Women with BRCA Mutation, Emanuela Saita, Sara Molgora, and Chiara Acquati. Risk and Prevention: Women’s Experiences of Barriers to Cancer Screening, Daniela Lemmo and Adele Nunziante Cesàro. The Role of Narrative in Promoting Changes in Illness Transitions of the Life-Span: An Idiographic Approach, Andrea Smorti and Chiara Fioretti. Author Biosketches.