Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Toward an Unseen Shore: Imaginative Thinking in Childhood Grief
by Herkert, Hannah L., M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 62; 1692047
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the function of the imagination as a natural healing instinct in childhood grief. Hermenuetic and heuristic methodologies are combined with research from the areas of pediatric cognitive development and pediatric grief therapy to examine the child’s experience of loss and grief. These theories are then viewed through the lenses of depth psychology, play therapy, and diverse literature on the imagination and its functions and roles. This thesis is developed on the foundation of the American culture’s experience of grief and the often conflicting definitions of what is normal in grief versus what is abnormal; the term magical thinking is a particular focus. The findings of this thesis suggest that the process of children’s natural tendency toward imaginitive thinking in their grief is a healthy process to be nurtured by adult guides and caretakers. In its completion, this thesis suggests facilitating imagination as a psychotherapeutic intervention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miller, Kathee
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Childhood grief, Grief and bereavement, Grief counseling, Imagination, Imaginative thinking, Magical thinking
Publication Number: 1692047
ISBN: 978-1-321-67658-7
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