A psychotherapeutic exploration of the effects of absent fathers on children

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O'Dwyer, Dave
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The importance of a father in the lives of children is often underestimated, yet studies consistently show that fathers play a central role in many aspects of a child's development, including emotional well-being, educational achievement and social interactions. At the same time as fathers are assuming a more active role in child rearing, however, many children find themselves without a father present in their lives. This paper will study the importance of the father's role in a child's upbringing and the effects his absence has on them. Through semi-structured interviews with four psychotherapists and one counseling psychologist, all of whom work in the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy, the study will explore the effects of father-absence on children, the different ways both genders experience father absence, the differing impacts of father absence through death, divorce and work commitments, and the place of the father in contemporary society.