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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tending the fire: The alchemy of psychotherapy
by Cesarotti, William A., M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 112; 1492828
Abstract (Summary)

Carl Jung and other depth psychologists have written much about the application of alchemical imagery and metaphors to psychology; however, those images and metaphors were created not through discussion but by alchemists working in laboratories. This study documents the author’s investigation of the psychological meaning of alchemical images and metaphors through his attempt to recreate traditional alchemical laboratory experiences.

The research approach was a combination of Clark Moustakas’s heuristic method and Robert Romanyshyn’s alchemical hermeneutic method. Dialog was created between the author’s experiences in the laboratory, insights gained from active imagination, readings from ancient alchemists and modern psychologists, and clinical experiences and is analyzed from a depth psychological orientation.

Insights into the alchemical operations of mortificatio and solutio and the regulation of heat as metaphors for psychotherapy are presented along with clinical implications regarding the therapeutic alliance, initial stages of the therapeutic process, and the qualities of an effective therapist.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fontelieu, Sukey
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology
Publication Number: 1492828
ISBN: 978-1-124-56719-8
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