Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Manifestations of the dead mother complex in chaplains
by Wright, Hillary Suzanne, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 216; 3567654
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the manifestations of the dead mother complex in chaplains. Dead mother complex is a phrase coined by Andre Green (2005) to describe the internal psychodynamic process of a person, who, during his or her formative years, experienced psychic absence from a primary caregiver. The research focused on hospital and hospice chaplains because of their possible affinity to the complex. The research questions for this dissertation were: What are chaplains' experiences of the dead mother complex (a) in their early formation, (b) in their significant relationships, (c) in their work as chaplains, and (d) in their relationship with God? This research sought to utilize reproducible methods of data collection regarding the dead mother complex. The phenomenological format and active imagination were used to procure data. Phenomenological methods of analyzing data resulted in a description of manifestations of dead mother complex experienced by chaplains. The findings provide new specific examples of the chaplains' lived experiences useful for psychologists and psychoanalysts who have patients with the dead mother complex. The importance of the role of presence is uncovered. This research also offers insights for chaplains regarding how their inner worlds relate to their vocations. Some pertinent myths and symbols are reviewed as they relate to the complex. .

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Panajian, Avedis
Commitee: Harvey, Puanani, Lewis, Christine
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Active imagination, Chaplains, Dead mother complex, Object relations, Psychoanalysis
Publication Number: 3567654
ISBN: 978-1-303-19527-3
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