Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Neurobiological dimensions of transference/countertransference interpreted through the lens of analytical psychology and modern physics
by Auger, Frederick V., Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2017, 178; 10254870
Abstract (Summary)

This theoretical dissertation utilizes alchemical hermeneutic methodology to identify, compare, and critique core assumptions in modern physics and the Freudian, Jungian, and neuroscience paradigms. Common ideas and parallels in modern physics and analytical psychology are outlined and offered as a way to deepen understanding of contemporary neuroscience research on transference/counter-transference in psychotherapy. From the perspective of Freudian theory, based on Western rationalism, humans are understood as objects among objects operating in a universe of linear causality; the unconscious is understood as an epiphenomenon of biological processes, limited to personal dimensions. Consequently, the analytic process focuses on intrapsychic experience and transference is treated reductively. Neuroscience implicitly shares this worldview.

Analytical psychology understands consciousness as a temporary state born from and subordinate to the unconscious, which is archetypal in nature. Focus is on ego and archetype operating within the context of a dialectic relationship, each being relatively autonomous, proportionate to its scope. Essentially, archetype is understood as psychophysical in nature, existing in a transcendent unitary reality beyond the apparent duality of psyche and matter, which exhibits acausal orderedness expressible in patterns of archetypal number. Archetypal patterns describing the relationship between ego/matter and archetype/spirit are discerned and shown to reflect a purposive course of psychic energy. These include: spirit/archetype moves towards matter/ego and vice versa, but only reluctantly. Transference, ultimately, could be understood as manifestation of spiritual instinct, consistent with the purposive course of energy, therefore, also expressible in terms of patterns of archetypal number. These same patterns are expressed in terms of analogies to ideas from modern physics.

Consistent with analytical psychology, neuroscience demonstrates that right-brain (unconscious) develops prior to left-brain (conscious); with brain development dependent upon quality of early attachment relationship, which is re-lived in transference. The double helix approach to therapy is a psychophysical phenomenon in transference/counter-transference that displays dialect between the two brain hemispheres and centers of the psyche (ego and unconscious), thus, demonstrating remarkable parallels to the above described archetypal patterns. These patterns are expressed in terms of archetypal number. This suggests neuroscience might be better served by adopting a worldview consistent with analytical psychology and modern physics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vaughan, Alan
Commitee: Hollis, James, Kremer, Jurgen
School: Saybrook University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy of Science, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Analytical psychology and modern physics, Archetypal number, Axiom of maria, Jung and the psychology of religion, Neuroscience of transference, Transference
Publication Number: 10254870
ISBN: 978-1-369-60271-5
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