A Woman's Experience of Father Longing

Campbell, Nancy (2011) A Woman's Experience of Father Longing. Doctoral thesis, Meridian University.


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This clinical case study focuses on the father-daughter relationship. Research demonstrates that the impact that a father has on his daughter’s adult life is far reaching, significantly affecting her in such areas as romantic relationship, academics, and career. Included is a literature review of a woman’s experience of father longing that comprises biological, cognitive/behavioral, sociocultural, and psychodynamic perspectives, as well as imaginal approaches, which is a foundational component to the study. The sources included in the literature review provide the context for interpreting the therapy of a 31-year old woman through nine months of individual treatment, as she grieved the death of her father. Therapy progressed through stages of the client’s initial overwhelm and anguish, to an exploration of her dynamics with her father and the way that she experienced her world as a result of their relationship. Themes brought out in the therapy included issues of self-mastery, sexual agency with men, and triangulation issues within her interpersonal relationships. Her idealization of her father and his breach of interpersonal boundaries in their relationship were explored as therapy developed. The mythic dimensions of the father-daughter relationship are incorporated in this case study, with themes of a daughter’s self-sacrifice as demonstrated by the fairy tale, “The Handless Maiden.” A girl’s integration of the positive father archetype is vi highlighted by the story of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” A review of the imaginal structures brought out in the therapy reveal the archetypal patterns of the eternal girl, the favored daughter, and the father’s daughter. The Learnings of the Clinical Case Study point to the issues of projection and shadow. Triadic dynamics inherent to a woman’s experience of father longing were revealed as well, and indicate that these issues can be uncovered through engaged awareness of imaginal structures between client and therapist during the course of treatment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Critical Theory
Depositing User: Nancy Campbell
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 18:57
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2017 18:57
URI: http://scholarship.meridianuniversity.edu/id/eprint/129

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