Dangerous Connections: Maternal Ambivalence in Psychotherapy Between Women

Dangerous Connections: Maternal Ambivalence in Psychotherapy Between Women

Dangerous Connections: Maternal Ambivalence in Psychotherapy Between Women

Dangerous Connections: Maternal Ambivalence in Psychotherapy Between Womens

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Référence bibliographique [3350]

Wexler, Sharon A. 2005. «Dangerous Connections: Maternal Ambivalence in Psychotherapy Between Women». Thèse, Montreal, Université McGill, École de travail social.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
«This two-year qualitative clinical study investigates the intea-psychic (within a person) and inter-relational (between people) effect of maternal ambivalence in female psychotherapy relationships.» (p. ii)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
«The participants are five, low-income single mothers, and I am the therapist researcher.» (p. ii)

Instruments :
Guide d’entretien

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

«Ambivalence describes the co-existence of loving and hating feelings. In traditional psychoanalytic theory, ambivalence originates in the developing infant’s relationship to the mother and forms the basis of all adult relationships. A mother’s experience of ambivalence is viewed as a regressive return to an earlier emotional experience with her mother. Maternal ambivalence is a feminist psychoanalytic concept developed by Parker (1995, 1997). Parker expands the Freudian and post-Freudian object relations concept of ambivalence using the perspective of the adult mother. In Parker’s conceptualization of maternal ambivalence, a mother experiences feelings of ambivalence towards her infant and child that are not simply regressive, but are part of her normal adult development as a mother. Each mother’s experiences and expressions of maternal ambivalence are affected by her social and cultural context of mothering. Each woman is consciously and unconsciously affected by her psychosocial constructions of maternal ambivalence and brings her beliefs and experiences into the clinical relationship. Through highlighting the narratives and interpreting the transference and counter-transference material, this study shows the impact of maternal ambivalence on the therapeutic alliance of women working with women in clinical social work. The therapeutic alliance refers to the quality of the relational bond between the therapist and client. This population of mothers was selected because they represent a significant group of clients seen in various clinical social work Dangerous Connections settings, such as youth protection, non-profit counselling agencies, and community centers. In this manuscript-based thesis, I present two of my participants’ cases as an indepth exploration of my research process, its analysis, and the applicable theories I used. This research process indicates that in seeking to develop a more culturally and gender sensitive clinical practice and therapeutic connections, social workers may benefit from reflectively challenging their internalized psychosocial idealizations and denigrations of motherhood.» (p. ii-iii)