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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Complicated Grief and Melancholia: Identity-Questioning Issues
by Hawkes, Percy, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 64; 10076222
Abstract (Summary)

Through hermeneutic and heuristic research this thesis looks at melancholia or complicated grief with the contributing factor of identity questioning. From a depth psychological perspective, normal grief is differentiated from melancholia or complicated grief, which involves the unconscious. This exploration employs the theory of Allan Hugh Cole Jr., whose work on melancholia draws on that of Donald Capps, Erik Erikson, and Sigmund Freud. A disposition to melancholia, particularly in men, comes from the first abandonment by a primary parent, resulting in identity loss and resistance to resolution of grief. Factors such as trauma, sexual orientation, religion, or marginalized race can have exacerbating effect on melancholia and were found to have treatment implications. Ritual, art, play, humor, and dreams can be identity-conferring and restorative resources. The author proposes that melancholia with identity issues should be understood as a psychological problem that is distinct from, although it can prolong and complicate, grief.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyd, Barbara
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: LGBTQ studies, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Complicated grief, Depth psychology, Grief, Identity, Melancholia, Sexual orientation, Sexuality
Publication Number: 10076222
ISBN: 978-1-339-58536-9
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