Event Andrews Conference Room, 2203 Social Sciences & Humanities

Cheryl Mattingly: Rambo Mom as Moral Tragedy – An African American Mother’s Struggle for Clinical Care
Professor of Anthropology and Occupational Science and Therapy, USC

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Cheryl Mattingly as part of our Poverty Research Seminar Series. Dr. Mattingly earned her doctoral degree in Anthropology and Urban Studies from MIT, and completed a post doctorate at the Harvard Medical School.

As an anthropologist, a major area of her work has been the study of stories in health care. Dr. Mattingly notes that stories can be especially relevant for occupational therapists because it is often through hearing stories that people learn what it is like for someone to live with disability. And the stories people tell also give many clues about what they care about, what matters most in their lives. She believes this is important because when occupational therapy is most effective, it connects treatment interventions to those areas of deep concern to clients.

A second area of her work has been the study of how clients, families, and clinicians work together – or run into problems trying to work together – in the practice of rehabilitation. She has been particularly interested with how collaboration occurs across large cultural divides, that is when clients and therapists come from very different cultural worlds but must find some kind of common ground in order to work together toward goals.

Dr. Mattingly has also written extensively about clinical reasoning in occupational therapy, especially the role of narrative in the thinking of occupational therapists, the kinds of stories they tell about their clients and the influence of stories in helping therapists devise treatment approaches tailored to individual clients and their particular needs and strengths.