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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Psychological abuse : the stories of women in heterosexual relationships Baker, Andrea


Women in abusive relationships typically tell their stories many times before being truly heard by others. This is especially true of women in relationships characterized by psychological abuse. The purpose of the current study was to provide a more in-depth picture of psychological abuse within heterosexual relationships than that which had been captured by previous research. The narrative design resulted in a series of stories in which five women provided accounts of their lived experiences with psychological abuse. In addition to attending to the particulars of each narrative, a between-story analysis was conducted to facilitate the interpretive process and enrich the meta-narrative. The unique contribution made by the current study is that it established the impact of individual meaning on the experience of psychological abuse. The study successfully expanded upon the conceptualization of psychological abuse, enlightened counselling practice, and provided future researchers with a more accurate foundation from which to begin their exploration of this phenomenon.

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