Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Busy Fingers, Wordless Thoughts: Entering the Knot of Compulsive Hair Twisting
by Daum, Melissa A., M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 80; 1507847
Abstract (Summary)

Compulsive habits are symptoms of an underlying conflict. Because habits are usually benign, they are easily disregarded as merely symptoms of nervous tension. Habits are often directed toward the body and referred to as body-focused repetitive behaviors. Rooted in the author’s own experience as a compulsive hair twister, this thesis utilizes hermeneutic and heuristic methodologies to examine the behavioral and psychological specifics that constitute the hair twisting habit. However, the habitual behavior is only half of the symptom. In hair twisting, the rhythmic twisting and knotting of the hair is always accompanied by a brooding, pensive reverie and a vacuous gaze. This gesture is a recurring image that appears throughout artwork and mythology, providing the archetypal backdrop that perpetuates the hair twisting habit. Thus when looked at more aesthetically, habits and their heavy mood reflect an internal drama within which the afflicted is unconsciously playing a part.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Taylor, C.D., Altman, Avrom
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology
Publication Number: 1507847
ISBN: 978-1-267-21346-4
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