Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well: My personal guiding myth of Christ conciousness in therapy
by Klasen, Jocelyne, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 267; 3519788
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this hermeneutic/heuristic study is to explore the image in the dialogue of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, and conjecture the alchemical transformation occurring in the transference/countertransference therapeutic container of that particular moment. The person of Jesus emanating a presence that embodies the feminine principle has much to offer to clinicians about the interactive field of the therapeutic encounter.

The setting takes place at Jacob's well, an allegorical image for the sacred center. It symbolically represents the axis mundi by which one can access the sacred center of the archetype of the Self and transform the profane consciousness into the holy. The subtle messages in the ancient text speak of soul needing to regain a voice to free the flow of spirit from matter and let the process of individuation take its natural course from the unconscious to consciousness through the rhythmic movement of soul in its approach to the numinous. Once animated, soul strives to restore wholeness and harmonious balance between the conscious and unconscious contents and follows its innate ability to engage in the individuation process.

The researcher gathered data on soul from the ancient shamanic wisdoms to the Gnostics texts of the early Christian sects and applied them to modern depth psychotherapy, emphasizing the presence and attitude of the therapist, which are the essential ingredients noted by Carl Gustav Jung for any alchemical transformation to take place. Wilfred Bion referred to the container-contained elements of therapy, in which the needed alpha function of the therapist is critical in the clinical situation to allow the patient process the raw beta elements into more manageable alpha elements and allow the patient to have a subjective experience of O by accepting the suffering he/she endures.

The image of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well is the living and guiding myth by which the researcher envisions the process of therapy as an emerging clinician. The study suggests the importance for the therapist to acquire a state of consciousness similar to Christ consciousness, in which projections are reduced to a minimum to avoid any contamination in the sacred container of therapy, and allow the therapeutic relationship to unfold at its best.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Panajian, Avedis
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Clinical psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Consciousness, Feminine, Individuation, Jesus Christ, Samaritan woman at the well, Shamanism, Therapy
Publication Number: 3519788
ISBN: 978-1-267-50688-7
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