Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Imagining an archetypal approach to psychotherapy
by Butler, Jason A., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013, 227; 3560879
Abstract (Summary)

One of the primary pursuits of archetypal psychology has been to "unpack the backpack" of psychology—relying heavily on a methodological stance of via negativa, or description through negation, and deconstruction. This position has resulted in a wealth of critique that, while often controversial and even heretical, has had a significant impact on the field of psychology. It is important to note, however, that this deconstructive approach is also one fantasy amongst many. A move towards seeing through this methodology invokes an immediate encounter with the dismembering influence of Dionysus. It is the Dionysian presence that facilitates the radical re-visioning and tearing apart of stale, violently fixated, and dogmatic theory and practice. Through the work of archetypal psychology, Dionysus has presented as a dialectic partner to the abhorrent one-sidedness of Apollonian natural science psychology. As necessary as this deconstruction has been, James Hillman (2005) himself has noted, every archetypal image has its own excess and intensity. Without an explicitly constructive element, the clinical implications of archetypal psychology will remain largely dormant. Archetypal psychology has yet to produce a work that effectively encapsulates an archetypal approach to psychotherapy (Hillman, 2004). True to its Dionysian form, dismembered pieces of therapeutic method are strewn throughout the literature (Berry, 1982, 2008; Guggenbühl-Craig, 1971; Hartman, 1980; Hillman, 1972, 1975a, 1977a, 1978, 1979b, 1980b; Newman, 1980; Schenk, 2001a; Watkins, 1981, 1984). This study will attempt to gather the disparate pieces of archetypal method and weave them together with dreams, fantasy images, and clinical vignettes in an effort to depict the particular style taken up by archetypal psychotherapy. While respecting the importance of deconstruction and via negativa, the aim of this research is to re-construct and clearly describe the primary elements of a therapeutic method derived from the literature of archetypal psychology using a theoretical design complemented by the alchemical hermeneutic method resulting in a depiction of an archetypal approach to psychotherapy. The face of archetypal psychotherapy that has taken form throughout this study is one in which the phenomenal presentation of psychic image is given radical autonomy and privilege.

Keywords: Archetypal, Dream, Image, Myth, Psychotherapy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Romanyshyn, Robert
Commitee: Bleakley, Alan, Schenk, Ronald
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Archetypal, Dream, Images, Language, Myth, Psychotherapy
Publication Number: 3560879
ISBN: 9781303075285
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