• Jannik Unger
  • Benjamin Julius Rømer Christiansen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
The mental health in Denmark has been decreasing since 2010 for both men and women. In addition, it appears from the report, Den Nationale Sundhedsprofil 2021, that there is a strong correlation between people’s social relations and their mental and physical health. In this master’s thesis we have chosen to focus on preventive or mentally strengthening development under the term “personal development”. By extension, the ambition of this master’s thesis was to investigate and understand how it is possible to create personal development through communities, and therefore elaborate upon the characteristics of the facilitation of a community. The research question of this master’s thesis is: How can a community be facilitated so that it promotes personal development?
The interpretive scientific paradigm constitutes this case study. The study used semi-structured interviews and ethnographic fieldwork in collecting empirical knowledge to answer the research question. The project Sammen mod ensomhed constituted the case, where nine participants were followed through 14 sessions over nine months. Three participants and the two project facilitators were interviewed regarding their experience from Sammen mod ensomhed. The case study was conducted from a pragmatic scientific theoretical point of view meaning the method was inductive founded. A thematic analysis was used in working with the empirical material, and the analysis was made based on theoretical terms of Transformative Learning described by Jack Mezirow.
A total of four themes were developed to explain and understand the characteristics of how a community can be facilitated so that it promotes personal development. The themes deal with; 1) recognizable structure as a foundation for learning, 2) safe space for social and personal development, 3) the meaning of equality and to contribute to the community, and 3) tools for future use. The results from the analysis points out that the participants had experienced transformative learning rooted in their social participation. Furthermore, the framework and the structure of Sammen mod ensomhed makes the participants feel safe.
The findings of this master’s thesis correlates and supports findings from the existing research within the field of mental health and transformative learning. However, the finding pointing out the importance of a structure with safety, authenticity, and equality in personal development in communities has not been highlighted before.
This master’s thesis concludes that the participants have undergone a transformative learning experience stimulated by the participation in the community facilitated on the project Sammen mod ensomhed. Central factors for this experience are the authentic relations, the safe environment and the recognizable structure. The project can be understood as transformative education with differentiated intensity in the activities. The participants' outcome from the project and their transformative learning was better mental health.
Publication date26 May 2023
External collaboratorKonsulenthuset Helhjertet
Indehaver Jannie Lynge lynge.jannie@gmail.com
ID: 531671577