Loving is an authentic psychological task. Falling in love is a creative act, an initiatory process, and an opportunity for psychological transformation. Adolescence is a phase of life when one lives on the border, no longer a child, not yet an adult. It is during this phase when psychic and cultural imbalances are most acutely felt, making heartbreak and loss particularly difficult. This dissertation asks: how does the loss of first love, leading to a journey of descent, transform an adolescent girl's identity? This study explores the view that when we begin to view loss not as a failure, but as a journey of discovery and meaning, the adolescent girl will be transformed in a positive way.
Review of the literature establishes the work in the overlap of four key areas of study: psychological perspectives on adolescence, images of ritual of initiation, experiences of grief and loss of love for adolescents, and popular culture studies featuring adolescence. The depth psychological perspective allows commonly held beliefs about romance and love to be held up to question, most explicitly the romantic notion of the Magical Other, the idea that another person is responsible for our happiness. Depression is an important part of the initiatory process if we are to raise consciousness and make space for a new way of being.
Utilizing interpretive phenomenological analysis as a research methodology, six women shared their stories of heartbreak in an interview format. Although each case is analyzed individually, in each account there are several overlapping themes, most notably around the shadow side of love. Some encountered suffering through the loss of the relationship, whereas others during the relationship. Each participant experienced love's pathos in relationship to power, emotions, culture, sexuality, and the media. The findings of this study suggest that if we can view heartbreak as an initiatory step towards wisdom, this may help teenage girls change their view of their darkest moments as opportunities toward a meaningful life.
Key words: adolescence, depth psychology, heartbreak, initiation, love, grief.
|Commitee:||Maheu, Gilles-Zenon, Pye, Lori|
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Adolescence, Depth psychology, Grief, Heartbreak, Initiation, Love|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be