Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Yearning: A Jungian perspective on creativity
by Avery-Clark, Constance, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2014, 329; 3635005
Abstract (Summary)

Carl Jung suggested yearning is the psychological condition of all people. For what do we yearn? What are the resources we bring to bear on yearning? Can yearning be progressive and creative? The purposes of this dissertation are: (a) to explore Jung's perspectives on yearning; (b) to relate these perspectives to his views on regressive and repressive defensiveness as opposed to progressive creativity; (c) to compare and integrate these perspectives with the findings of contemporary psychologists who study creativity, particularly as they relate to eminent and everyday creativity; and (d) to illustrate the integrated perspectives as they manifest in examples of eminent and everyday creativity, focusing on two of the most important subjects Jung explores: the visual image (representing eminent creativity through photography), and sexuality (representing everyday creativity through sex therapy).

This dissertation is qualitative including hermeneutic, phenomenological, and composite case study approaches. Investigations into Jung's and contemporary psychologists' perspectives on creative yearning are archival and database. Eminent photography is examined through interviews, anecdotes, observation, archival research and operationalization through visual images and words. Everyday sexuality is explored through observation of sex therapy clients together with database research.

The results emphasize the transformative and meaningful power of authentically creative yearning as Jung and contemporary psychologists present it. According to Jung, Jung differed from Freud by suggesting that while we desire regressive homecoming to the unconscious, archetypal Mother-Limerence, and while we long for repressive mastery through conscious, archetypal Father-Liveliness, that for which we ultimately yearn is original, resonant integration of both these energies in forms that assume what Jung defines as authentically creative, Self-Liberating meta-consciousness and purposiveness.

The discussion suggests the power of eminent photographs and everyday sexuality to represent yearning for: Mother-Limerence through visionary blending of visual dimensions, and through erotic tactile focus, respectively; archetypal Father-Liveliness via laws of aesthetic visual organization, and via logotic sensual knowledge, respectively; and, ultimately, Self-Liberation through the integrative STROBEnBLUR in photography and Sensate Focus in sex therapy. For Jung, authentic creativity is yearning for the felt oneness borne of differentiation, namely, immortality.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hollis, James
Commitee: Cowan, Lyn, Richards, Ruth
School: Saybrook University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Creativity, Jung, carl, Photography, Sex, Yearning
Publication Number: 3635005
ISBN: 9781321157772
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