Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Midlife Metamorphosis: Archetypal Imaginal Psychology in Midlife Rite of Passage
by Skutt, Sarah, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2017, 55; 10258965
Abstract (Summary)

A caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly provides a template for examining midlife as an archetype of initiation leading to rebirth of the soul. Psychological approaches that seek to eradicate midlife symptoms of depression and anxiety may hinder transformation. Employing traditional hermeneutics and heuristic methodology, this thesis explores how imaginal and archetypal psychology and the understanding of midlife as an archetypal rite of passage collaboratively use the material that has manifested as crisis to facilitate midlife metamorphosis. It examines the developmental and spiritual tasks inherent to each stage of the midlife rite of passage and demonstrates the ways in which myths, fairy tales, dreams, and tarot images arise in a person’s psyche to direct attention toward unconscious obstacles. A therapist honors the images as guideposts that lead the initiate through the stages of separation, liminality, death, and rebirth of the soul to commence a fulfilling and meaningful second half of life.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyd, Barbara
Commitee: Altman, Avrom, Elliot, Jemma
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Depth psychology, Dreams, Fairytales, Midlife, Mythology, Rite of passage
Publication Number: 10258965
ISBN: 9781369682335
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