Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Narratives of Grace: Divine Recollection in the Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Leverett, Kim Rebecca, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2017, 339; 10599433
Abstract (Summary)

Childhood sexual assault impacts individuals in the most intimate of ways and is considered one of the most destructive forms of trauma an individual can endure. Clinicians and researchers alike have acknowledged a range of physical, psychobiological, and spiritual outcomes related to childhood sexual abuse. Spiritually, sexual abuse can be so annihilating it has been referred to as soul murder. Because the abuse assails the victim’s spirit, sense of self, and value, the healing process is essentially a spiritual one. This narrative, phenomenological study takes place where deeply painful experiences of childhood sexual abuse meet with profound spiritual experiences. Eight participants share their stories of this convergence in their lives and what it has come to mean for them. This research aspired to explore the phenomenon of affirmative religious/spiritual or grace-filled experiences through narratives of adults who suffered childhood sexual abuse. This research was guided by the following questions: How do moments of grace (spiritual/religious experiences) impact the healing of trauma for survivors of childhood sexual abuse? How is the impact of such trauma mediated or attenuated by these grace-filled experiences, both through human relational contact as horizontal grace, as well as that beyond the scope of humanity—vertical grace? Keywords: childhood sexual abuse, trauma, spirituality, grace, narrative, healing

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Corbett, Lionel
Commitee: Clayton, Da'Lynn, Lewis, Christine
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Childhood sexual abuse, Grace, Healing, Narrative, Spirituality, Trauma
Publication Number: 10599433
ISBN: 978-0-355-04949-7
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