DATE: Thursday, December 13, 2012
TIME: 11:30 a.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Roberta L. Jalbuena
DISSERTATION TITLE: "The Experience, Symbolic Images, and Language of Loss: Developing a Hermeneutic of Symptoms of the Infantile Trauma of Parental Loss: A Theoretical, Phenomenological Hermeneutic Study "
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-A; 2007
CHAIR: Dr. Paul Gabrinetti
READER: Dr. Christine Lewis
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Beth Kalish-Weiss
Jalbuena, R. (2012). The Experience, Symbolic Images, and Language of Loss: Developing a Hermeneutic of Symptoms of the Infantile Trauma of Parental Loss: A Theoretical, Phenomenological/Hermeneutic Study (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
The range of evidence supporting the symptoms of early traumatic loss is vast and impressive, with conceptions of theory starting a century ago. According to object relations and attachment theories, a most significant factor in the development of an individual starts in infancy with the precious relationship of mother and child. Specific developmental factors leading to the ability or inability for individuals to acquire meaning from their experiences have been identified.
This study presents object relations and attachment models in an effort to provide clarification of early separation in relation to adult patterns. This explanation is focused on the experiences of loss and separation, starting from infancy, and illustrates how one can be enabled to transform a traumatic event in infancy into positive, meaningful experiences as opposed to only self-destructive patterns known to be a repetition of that event. Although debatable differences exist between theories, the findings regarding the symptomology of infant loss were unwavering, building upon one another in an attempt to explore similar effects. Overall, the linkages between loss in infancy and loss in adulthood are strikingly compatible, as seen through many cases in the literature.
The very special mother-infant relationship is a highly significant factor in the development of the psyche and self of the child. Traumatic loss in infancy appears to also be linked to personality disorders and psychosomatic symptoms. Without a symbolic thought process and/or creative drive, recovery to the true self is limited, where the lack of differentiation from the internalized bad objects remains stagnant. Symbolism is healing, and symbolic representations such as dreams or art can be beneficial to a “working through” process of growth and change. Furthermore, the therapist can be an image of an object through which the patient has a new experience. Therapy, with its supportive attributes, can help one in the process of “working through” primitive matters, connecting associations to points of meaning through interpretation. Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.