Bereavement of a miscarriage is complex because of factors that are unique to this loss. There is no visible child to mourn for, no memories or shared life experiences. The death is sudden and there usually a lack of recognition of the significance of such a loss by society. In addition, women who miscarry are often in need of the absent social and emotional support that is provided with other types of bereavement. The suppression of appropriate mourning due to society’s inhibitions may cause further stress and long-term emotional consequences. Prenatal loss is unique in the sense that the parents do not know the object of loss as it would be with the death of a loved one who has been part of their lives and social structure. The anticipated child is both a fantasy child and an internal entity within a woman’s body. The loss of a baby is also the loss of part of a women’s self. The researcher is of the opinion that a miscarriage is a traumatic experience which, if not thoroughly dealt with, can cause great damage to a sufferer’s life. According to her, projective techniques in the form of play therapy can encourage women to talk about their miscarriage in order to deal with suppressed emotions. The purpose of this research was to determine to what extent projective techniques could be used in respect of a mother’s emotional experience of a miscarriage. For this study the qualitative research approach was used. The participants were selected by making use of purposive sampling as a form of non-probability sampling. During the empiric research two respondents attended eight in-depth interviewes with a therapeutic component. The first interview comprised a semi-structured interview schedule. Six interviews followed where projective play therapeutic techniques were used. The empirical data was obtained from the interview schedule and the researcher was the primer instrument of gathering information. The value of meaning that the participants attached to the subject was of great importance. The empirical data showed that the two participants were better enabled to deal with their miscarriages after the interviews. Thus, regarding the experience of the two paricipants, it was possible to answer the research question positively. It seems as if projective techniques can indeed be used in respect of a mother’s emotional experience of a miscarriage.
Dissertation (MA (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2005.