ERIC Number: ED218555
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Psychological Separation and the Sexual Abuse Victim: A Theoretical Model.
Wooley, Marilyn; Vigilanti, Mary Ann
This paper hypothesizes about the occurrence of double-binds in incestuous families and proposes a method of treatment which attempts to help adult women who were sexually abused as children cope with the double-bind and achieve separation-individuation. The double-bind is defined as a no-win situation in which the abuse victim received conflictual messages from the family. Separation-individuation is defined as a process by which the individual forms a sense of self, differentiated from that of the parents. The double-bind pattern in families is described as involving a perpetrator, a recipient of sexual advances, and other family members who collude in the event. The process of psychotherapy presented in this paper includes: (1) definition of the problem; (2) education about family dynamics; (3) externalization of emotions; (4) encouragement for the grieving process; (5) building of trust; and (6) coping with ambiguous relationships. The materials also report on the findings of a study in which the psychotherapy process was tested with a group of clients at a mental health clinic and the results revealed that most were able to conquer the separation-individuation issue. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Double Bind Hypothesis; Incest
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).