Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The other woman: Explored through 100 years of film, the psychic landscape of dreams, and the lived experiences of Anaïs Nin and Sabina Spielrein
by Swanson, Ginger, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014, 289; 3687860
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this organic inquiry and alchemical hermeneutic study was to explore the nature, essence, and archetype of the other woman with the goal of understanding how and why women become involved in triadic relationships. The study seeks to comprehend the lived experience of the other woman, including her history, character, behavior, ideologies, and desires. This study explored how and why other women are othered (i.e., cast out or rejected) in society, and the resultant effects upon them. A further goal of the work was to understand the dynamics of the triadic relationship from the other woman's point of view and to find ways to ease the pain experienced by all parties involved in and affected by these often complex and problematic relationships, which can lead to severe suffering, alienation, heartbreak, and in extreme cases, even murder or suicide.

Although she has been with us for eons, the other woman's true identity has been all but erased from existence. She has been buried in the shadows of society's taboos, relegated to the role of the scapegoat, and burdened with carrying negative projections of an ill-begotten stereotype. Using Carl Jung's theories of the archetypes and complexes and James Hillman and Pat Berry's archetypal psychology, the researcher explored and contrasted the lived experiences of the other woman stereotype and the other woman archetype portrayed in film over the last hundred years, as well as women in history, including pioneering feminist, Anaïs Nin, and the mother of depth psychology, Sabina Spielrein. The other woman archetype proved to be elusive because her identity has been mostly usurped by negative stereotypes. Further, the problems resulting from othering the other woman do not rest in the dyad or in the triadic relationship, but originate with the problem of the imbalance of masculine and feminine energy on the planet.

The researcher concludes with the hope that the other woman can be re-visioned as just "another woman," on an individuation journey towards the Whole Woman archetype. Keywords: Affairs, Betrayal, Feminism, Film, Individuation, Infidelity, Othering, Whole Woman Archetype

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Corbett, Lionel
Commitee: Ohler, Jason, Stevens, Maurice
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Womens studies, Clinical psychology, Film studies
Keywords: Affairs, Betrayal, Film and feminism, Infidelity, Nin, anaïs, Spielrein, sabina, The other woman, The whole woman archetype
Publication Number: 3687860
ISBN: 978-1-321-65815-6
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