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If you know the bibliographic details of a journal article, use the Journal Section to find it quickly. First, find and click on the Journal where the article was published in the Journal tab on the home page. Then, click on the year of publication. Finally, look for the author’s name or the title of the article in the table of contents and click on it to see the article.

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Donmall, K. (2013). What it Means to Bleed: An Exploration of Young Women's Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(2):202-216.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(2):202-216

What it Means to Bleed: An Exploration of Young Women's Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation

Kate Donmall

As a topic of psychoanalytic inquiry, menstruation is surprisingly absent from psychoanalytic literature: menstruation as a part of female psychosexual development is in need of further empirical exploration. The research uses semi-structured interviews with six young women to explore individual experiences of the menarche and menstruation. The data is analysed using narrative and thematic analysis and interpretations, made within a (broadly classical) psychoanalytic frame, drive the results. In this condensed version of the research, three central findings will be discussed: (1) the role of mother in negotiating the menarche; (2) the difficulty of irregular periods and the fear that something internal has ‘gone wrong’; (3) the link to ideas of mess, dirt and shame, potentially reflective of feelings about sexuality. The research concludes that menstruation is an area worthy of careful psychoanalytic consideration in theory and in clinical practice.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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