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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Alchemical hermeneutics of the Vesica Piscis: Symbol of depth psychology
by O'Dell, Linda Kay, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 257; 3531920
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the Vesica Piscis as the symbolic frame for depth psychology and the therapeutic relationship. The method of inquiry was hermeneutics and alchemical hermeneutics, informed theoretically by depth psychology. A theoretical description of the nature of the Vesica Piscis as a dynamic template and symbol for depth psychology and the therapeutic relationship resulted. Gathering the components of the therapeutic relationship into the shape of the Vesica Piscis, gave opportunity to explore what might be happening while treatment is taking place: somatically, psychologically, and emotionally.

An investigation into the study of Soul placed the work of psychology within the central, innermost sacred space between—known symbolically as the Vesica Piscis. Imbued with a connectedness and relational welcoming, this symbol images the Greek goddess Hekate (Soul), as mediatrix between mind and matter. Psyche (soul), namesake of "psychology," continues her journey of finding meaning making, restitution, and solace in the therapeutic space as imaged by the Vesica Piscis. Her journey, moving through the generations, becomes the journey of the therapeutic process—one that finds resolution in relationship. Psyche is sought out in the macrocosmic archetypal realm of pure energy, the prima material that forms and coalesces both in response and likewise, creates a response through symbols, images, and imagination.

The field was explored from the depth psychological perspective as: the unconscious, consciousness, and archetypal, and in physics as: the quantum field, morphic resonance, and the holographic field. Gaining an understanding of the underlying qualities of the field placed the symbol in its embedded context, allowing for further definition as to how the symbol potentially was either an extension of the field, or served as a constellating factor. Depth psychology, as a scientific discipline, is in need of a symbol that can serve as a portal, one that has the propensity to deepen the understanding of the therapeutic relationship and the space held by both participants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lewis, Christine
Commitee: Peat, F. David, Sloan, Lisa
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physics, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Jesus symbol, Quantum field, Therapeutic relationship, Transference, Vesica Piscis, Yoni
Publication Number: 3531920
ISBN: 978-1-267-74293-3
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