Opening Space for Alternative Images and Narratives of Midlife Women

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Using a narrative, social constructivist perspective, qualitative findings from a research project on women's midlife experience are reported and the culturally dominant discourse of a woman's midlife experience is discussed. The research indicates that the self-narratives of women who are satisfied with their lives at midlife deviate significantly from the culturally dominant narrative of midlife. The alternative, more individuated self-narratives of five women who reported the highest degree of midlife satisfaction for seventeen major areas of their lives are presented. A clinical case is then discussed which examines therapy with a midlife client which was guided, in part, by the research findings.

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