“We feel the same.” – Mutuality

Throughout the interviews, I started noticing that both survivors and ex-prisoners separately reported same experiences. For example I was interviewing Louise and she was explaining how working with Matabaro had been healing for her.

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In turn, I was interviewing Matabaro later to explore his experience. He also revealed that their work together had been healing for him.

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After he stated his experience, I informed him (upon the survivor’s permission) that Louise too experienced the healing. Matabaro expressed his being intrigued by the discovery of the shared experience of healing through collaborative work.

Dr. Minami:             It means that L (survivor) helps you to heal.

Matabaro:       She helps me to heal so much.

Dr. Minami:              She also said as you say.

Matabaro:       Did she say that? You understand that we feel the same. As when you ask her things in my absence and when I come you ask me the same things and we give the same answers, it is like that we have the same thoughts and it is how we both got healed and she feels that she sees herself in me when she sees me. 

Matabaro described his felt sense of unity, the togetherness or sameness, and of sharing the same healing experience with Louise. The photo below depicts a few of the moments of the pair experiencing healing together.

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Over the course of sessions, each reconciliation dyad developed and reported various shared experiences that met this mutuality in reporting. By mutuality, I mean a circumstance in which each of a dyad reported the same experience while being interviewed separate. I have noticed this mutuality phenomenon in reporting throughout the interviews and the mutuality gave birth to the emergence of various themes capturing ‘mutually shared experiences.’