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Exploring the Utility and Personal Relevance of Co-produced Multiplicity Resources with Young People

Parry, Sarah and Eve, zarah and Myers, Gemma (2021) Exploring the Utility and Personal Relevance of Co-produced Multiplicity Resources with Young People. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. ISSN 1936-1521 (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose Multiplicity, the experience of more than one self in the body, is an under-researched area of young people’s mental health. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of experts-by-experience within a community sample regarding two specific resources: a co-produced self-help guide about multiplicity for adolescents, and a set of guidelines for supporting someone who identifies as ‘multiple’. Methods 34 participants (Mage= 22.06, 2.26 SD; 15F, 1M, 18NBG) completed an online survey consisting of open-ended and Likert scale questions to assess the language, utility, transferability and therapeutic impact of the materials. Descriptive statistics and a Foucauldian-informed Narrative Analysis were employed to analyse responses, producing a summary of utility and two narrative chapters. Results The emergent chapters, ‘Breaking the Stigma’ and ‘Recognising the Many’, highlight the need for greater understanding and awareness of multiplicity, with psychoeducation materials viewed as helpful. Inclusive language can reduce stigma and normalise multiplicity as a response to trauma. With greater understanding, practitioners and researchers can collaborate with young people through trauma wise care, providing multiplicity sensitive language and support. Conclusions Overall, the term ‘parts’ was viewed as problematic by the participants as it could imply the plural system is not coexisting as a whole. Additionally, opinions varied as to how much diagnostic language could and should be used to describe multiplicity; linguistically and conceptually. Importantly, compassion was seen as particularly essential for younger selves within the system; older in their years and presence, but often more vulnerable within the societies in which the system resides.

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