Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Archetypal Reality in the Experience of Hallucinations across Cultures
by Holderle, Debbie A., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 148; 10837529
Abstract (Summary)

The phenomenon of hearing voices has been associated primarily with schizophrenia in Western cultures. Although auditory verbal hallucinations are considered debilitating symptoms of a mental illness, they appear to deserve serious attention only when they pose a threat to self or others. When not a threat, no one pays real attention except the individual living with the voices. This study was a depth psychological attempt to explore and understand the phenomenology of auditory hallucinations and the lived experiences of people who hear voices as well as an examination of the core beliefs and universal and archetypal themes in the content of hallucinations experienced by individuals across cultures. Eight individuals from different cultures were asked to describe and share their experiences with auditory hallucinations using Moustakas’s descriptive phenomenological method. These experiences were compared in order to search for universal themes and archetypal contents. This study may contribute to mental health providers’ understanding of the phenomenon of hallucinations, promote a more open discussion and honest approach to hallucinations without fear of the exacerbation of symptoms, and increase our overall understanding of archetypal reality within the experience of hallucinations across cultures. More importantly, this study was aimed to remind clinicians and the therapeutic community of the value of listening to the stories of our patients with love and compassion, and not with a preconceived notion of illness and pathology.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Corbett, Lionel
Commitee: Oishi, Sabine, Saks, Elyn
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Archetypes, Hallucinations, Psychosis, Schizophrenia
Publication Number: 10837529
ISBN: 978-0-438-12298-7
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