San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Free Research Seminar Series
The experience of fatherhood from the perspectives of men who were sexually abused in childhood - Dr Jean O'Brien, Counselling Psychologist, the Bessborough Centre, Cork.
Fatherhood is a time of immense life changes that may also be shaped at a profound level by reflecting on past childhood memories, including parental experiences. Fatherhood for a man who has been sexually abused in childhood may be an even more challenging time when faced with reflecting on childhood experiences. The importance of father-child relationships has been well documented in the literature, yet most of the research on CSA and later parenting has focused on motherhood, while literature on fatherhood has been largely absent.
This research study explores the experiences of fatherhood for eleven men who were sexually abused in childhood and how they perceived themselves in the fathering role. It was a qualitative study using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as the methodology and semi-structured interviews for data collection. Attachment theory served as the main theoretical framework from which to view the findings. The research was supervised by Prof. Mary Creaner, TCD and Prof. Elizabeth Nixon, TCD.
This seminar will present this research including - how the experience of fatherhood can force men to confront unintegrated aspects of their traumatic childhoods. It will explore how having children can offer fathers the opportunity to heal from childhood experiences of sexual abuse through connection in more supportive and compassionate relationships. The aim of the presentation is to inform practitioners of potential issues related to this population of men and how best to intervene to support them. This is important not only for fathers, but for the entire family system.
Dr Jean O'Brien is a counselling psychologist at the Bessborough Centre, Cork. She completed her doctorate in counselling psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She has over 10 years’ experience working with young people and parents. Her research on fatherhood stems from her experience working with parents and also in working with those who have experienced abuse in childhood.
Given the sensitive nature of the material being discussed, this will be a small facilitated space. Be sure to register early.
When & Where
Dr Jean O’Brien
Counselling Psychologist, the Bessborough Centre, Cork.