'Le moment de la lune'. An auto-ethnographic tale of practice about menarche in a children's hospital.

Sally-Anne Denshire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: Auto-ethnographic accounts can highlight unsaid moments of professional practice. In this case, my auto-ethnographic tale 'Le moment de la lune' re-inscribes subjugated knowledge about menstruation and occupational therapy practice in the era before adolescent wards.Methods: This fictional tale is written in direct dialogue with an article that was published in this journal at a particular point in my own career as an occupational therapist. In the tale I am 'writing in' what was not written about in my article and in occupational therapy generally. This 'writing-in'/re-inscribing is the research method.Findings: My previous article 'Normal spaces' published in this journal in 1985, was organised around principles and generalities of youth-specific practice. The original article had little locating the personal or evoking the body and a heavy reliance on the literature. Issues of gender and culture were largely absent, or, perhaps, 'written out'. The corresponding tale of embodied sexuality, 'Le moment de la lune', articulates something of local complex practice and the particularity of individual therapeutic work to do with menstruation in self-care.Discussion: Points of tension in 'Normal spaces' are elaborated and I explain how 'Le moment de la lune' problematises supporting menarche in a children's hospital. Now practice has moved on with dedicated adolescent wards in all major children's hospitals. Nevertheless, occupational therapy practice around issues of menstrual self-management is still under-documented. Writing about unspoken moments of practice can have ethical implications for expanding the ways occupational therapy practice can be written and understood.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-275
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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