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Developing self, women's process in ending an abusive relationship

by Carlin, Roma

Abstract (Summary)
Five women who had recently ended an abusive relationship with a male partner collaborated with the researcher in an exploration of the psychological and emotional process involved in that experience. The study's purpose was to increase knowledge and understanding of significant dimensions facilitating these women in moving toward, and ultimately ending the relationship. Hearing the perspectives of women who have ended abusive relationships offers an opportunity for others to learn from their experienced knowledge and understandings. As the research approach was heuristic in nature, the researcher's experience and intuitive knowledge guided the exploration and analysis of the women's process. Three semi-stnictured, open-ended interviews were carried out with each CO-researcher. Using a collaborative research approach provided CO-researchers, who had recently emerged hm disempowenng relationships, with a relational experience that valued their unique contributions to current knowledge. A key element in this methodology was CO-researchers' involvement in reading interview transcripts and engaging with the researcher in reflective analysis of their experiences. Co-researchers experienced the research process itself as meaningful and influentid in facilitating their self-development. This outcome indicates an integration of research and clinical realms in important ways. Two levels of analysis and synthesis of interview data employed rigorous procedures, and resulted in the presentation of findings in two formats. Individual narratives in CO-researchers' own words, present holistic and moving accounts of their experiences. The interpretive and conceptuai representations of CO-researchers'experiences identiQ significant themes and dimensions, as well as provide a unique conceptualization of the women's ending process within a developmental frarnework. Representation of CO-researchers' experience in aitemate formats allows for the reader to know, understand, and comect with the women's experiences in different ways. Important concepts employed in this conceptualization include: rekonnection with self, connection with others, empowerment to act for self, and, the relationship-with-self. The developing relationship-with-self is viewed as fiindamental and pivotal in the women's process of ending the relationship. In offering an altemate way of conceptualizing and understanding women's process in ending an abusive relationship, these findings have implications in clinical and theoretical realms.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1997

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