Motherhood and loss – an explorative study

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Hanney, Katherine
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This paper will seek to explore how a psychoanalytic understanding of motherhood and loss can inform our response to women experiencing infertility. The first objective is to examine the understanding of motherhood in the psychoanalytic environment. The focus will be on Freud’s lecture on Femininity (1933) and it will explore penis envy and the oedipal complex. Freud’s paper Mourning and Melancholia (1917) will be explored to introduce the topic of loss. The paper is grounded in psychoanalytic theory of motherhood and loss. The term mother is subjective. This study will be based on infertile women who cannot biologically have a baby.