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Defensive processes and deception: an analysis of the response of the institutional church to disclosures of child sexual abuse

Gardner, F (2012) 'Defensive processes and deception: an analysis of the response of the institutional church to disclosures of child sexual abuse.' British Journal of Psychotherapy, 28 (1). pp. 98-109. ISSN 1752-0118

Abstract

Disclosures about the extent of sexual abuse within the church context and the gradual revealing of the way that the institution has responded in the past indicate underlying anxiety and associated defensive processes. It is suggested in this paper that these processes have led to secrecy and deception. Similarities between the behaviour of perpetrators and the response by the church are explored alongside current preoccupations within the church. Psychoanalytic ideas and theories of organizational dynamics are used to explore and reflect on the fantasies and explicit and implicit assumptions within the institution. It is suggested that the church has displayed institutional narcissism in its response to disclosures. Ideas are illustrated by generic situations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2013 13:12
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014 19:49
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/1603
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