Title: Working with emotions in complementary medicine: the case of aromatherapy practitioners

Authors: Geraldine Lee-Treweek

Addresses: Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University (Cheshire), Crewe Green Road, Crewe CW1 5DU, UK

Abstract: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly popular in the UK (Cant 2004:173). Along with distinct therapeutics, these emerging occupations often allege that they use different notions of the emotions (Campbell, 2002). But without conventional practitioner/patient roles, how do aromatherapists negotiate and manage emotional boundaries? This paper discusses an interview based study with aromatherapists that focused upon how the aromatherapists constructed and worked with emotion at work. Whilst not suggesting that the same issues are important in all forms of complementary medicine, the paper argues that more research is needed to uncover the emotional landscape of CAM practice.

Keywords: complementary medicine; complementary and alternative medicine; CAM; health; wellbeing; aromatherapy; emotional boundaries; therapeutic relationships; gift relationship; emotion; work organisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2006.011875

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2006 Vol.1 No.4, pp.336 - 351

Published online: 29 Dec 2006 *

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