It’s Not Just Me, It’s Us, Together: The Embodied of the Wounded Healer in the Role of Sex Trade Survival Mentors—A Critical Mentoring Perspective

Dodish Adi Kali, Menny Malka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mentoring is one of the unique forms of rehabilitation used to engage with women in the sex trade. The role creates personal and professional challenges; one concerns the mentors themselves dealing with a past in the sex trade, embodying within it a sign of social disgrace. Echoing the concept of the “wounded healer,” the present study examines how mentors who are sex trade survivors perceive their role in supporting the rehabilitation of women in the sex trade and the meanings that they give it. The research is based on a qualitative approach from a critical-feminist point of view. Eight female mentors and sex trade survivors, working in different settings, participated in the study. Data collection was conducted through semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Based on content analysis, the study points to four components of mentoring vis-à-vis the rehabilitation of women in the sex trade: (1) mutual identification and shared destiny; (2) corrective experience; (3) hope; and (4) saving lives. In addition, mentoring serves as a bridge for the mentors, eliciting opportunities for growth transforming out of their pain. The research findings are discussed in the context of the theoretical framework of critical mentoring, and how a relationship and a therapeutic alliance can turn mentoring into a critical healing practice, in relation to four principles: (1) equality; (2) critical empathy; (3) recognition; and (4) solidarity. The paper encourages the use of mentoring-based interventions in the process of rehabilitating women in the sex trade.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4089
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • critical mentoring
  • feminist research
  • rehabilitation
  • women in sex trade
  • wounded healer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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