The Absent Father Effect on Daughters: Father Desire, Father Wound

Susan E. Schwartz

The absent father effect is a love story, but an unrequited one. Harm is done due to the presence of the father’s absence, affecting a daughter—and the father–in body, mind, and soul. The father is an essential aspect of the psyche and significant for the daughter’s psychological and physical life, personally and culturally. Topics of the psyche affected by the absent father include the negative father complex, puella archetype and the concept of the animus. The Friday talk will focus on the daughter- father  relationship in order to shed light on its lack, symptoms and problems, as well as begin to address its repair. More details.

The workshop will illuminate through a fairy tale and discussion the ramifications of identification with or ignorance of the absent father. Because a daughter does not appear in his vision, she receives no reflection from him. She is left to wonder of her value and if she is worthy of loving herself and others. She retains a hole in her heart, the threads of her personality ruptured. His absence may lead him to question what he wishes for her, and how he has damaged and limited her growth. Participants will have experiential opportunities to explore ways to repair the missing pieces. Both lecture and workshop apply to everyone, as the aspects of fathers and daughters are internal figures, appear in dreams and in all relationships. Being trapped in a complex of absence and lack can sap energy and deplete the person and the culture. More details.

Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist graduated from the Jung Institute in Kusnacht and a member of the International Association of Analytical Psychology. She gives workshops and lectures in the U.S. and around the world. Susan has articles in various journals and chapters in several books on Jungian psychology. Her  book latest book – The Absent Father Effect on Daughters, Father Desire, Father Wounds – was published by Routledge in 2020. She has a private practice in Jungian Analytical Psychology in Paradise Valley, AZ. Her website is: