This study utilizes interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and derives meaning from the lived experiences of 5 alcoholic women with over 20 years sober from alcohol and attending Alcoholics Anonymous. Semi-structured interview questions are coded to expose themes detailing early childhood experiences, consequences related to drinking, the sense of self, and the search for wholeness. A psychoanalytic perspective informs the underlying developmental aspects of alcoholism. The interviews reveal significant emotional, physical, and sexual trauma that produced a repetition compulsion and lack of groundedness within the self. The lack of an internal structure to modulate or process anxiety, frustration, and disappointment reinforces a false sense of self. This includes implosive and explosive primary and secondary defenses: childhood tantrums, thoughts of suicide, sexual promiscuity, compulsive lying, a lack of internal wholeness, eating disorders, impulsivity, and severe loneliness. Due to the lack of a healthy mother-infant unit, participants report an inability to internalize and create autonomy. Research indicates pervasive dependent personality problems, domestic violence, and socio-economic considerations affecting a women’s ability to seek treatment and remain sober. Language and gender biases in Alcoholics Anonymous and in treatment centers further hinders recovery. Research indicates that professionals working with alcoholic women need advanced training to best assist alcoholic women in creating wholeness. Research indicates the need for a recovery model that includes socioeconomic factors, cultural norms, trauma and women’s stories.
|Commitee:||Lewis, Christine, Rose, William|
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Alcoholism, Jungian, Object relations, Psychoanalysis, Recovery, Women|
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