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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The ring of fire: The psychological purpose of pain in childbirth
by Barnes, Hayden Hubbard, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2010, 91; 1486934
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis is an invitation for women to consider a radical shift in perspective of the pain in childbirth. By actively and consciously experiencing the pain of childbirth, rather than medicating and obliterating the pain, a woman is presented with the means for emotional, spiritual, and psychological growth. This is possible if a woman can experience her pain as legitimate pain with a specific purpose—as authentic suffering—rather than as neurotic suffering, which does not lead to transformation.

This invitation asks a woman to become more aware of her body and her psyche, to develop a greater understanding of the subtle nuances of the body-mind connection, and to notice, often for the first time, the consequences of denying one's pain or one's body. If a woman can accept this invitation, she may already have taken the first step of the Heroine's Journey, or a woman's search for her Self.

The stories of three generations of birthing women bring a personal voice to the historical discussion of pregnancy and childbirth in the United States in the last 60 years. By using a heuristic methodological approach (Moustakas, 1990) in the process of birthing this thesis, the author completes the heuristic quest by using the stages of natural childbirth as a guide for all psycho-spiritual growth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ferrari, Diana
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Individual & family studies, Physiological psychology
Publication Number: 1486934
ISBN: 978-1-124-30267-6
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