Saturday, September 24, 2011

Edward Whitmont - Personal and Archetypal Processes

"Does the concern with archetypal elements as transpersonal factors sidetrack the dreamer and allow him or her to avoid dealing with affect and interpersonal relationships and therefore make it advisable to disregard them and deal with personal feelings and relationships only? Or are archetypes genuine healing factors, thus perhaps making it unnecessary to concern oneself with personal reduction?

The thesis I propose to explore is that transformation and healing is brought about by being moved and touched by, and by striving to" actualize - that is, to personalize - the significance of the transpersonal or archetypal elements that arise from the Guidance Self. Expressed symbolically, healing comes about through meeting or envisioning one's God or daimon. However, for such an encounter to be effective it must be approached and experienced in personal terms, by means of working through personal symptoms, affects, and relationships as well as by reductive understanding and by reliving the effects of past traumatisms.

As a means of unifying personal and transpersonal, archetypal dimensions I propose an overall view of life in terms of a dramatic story or myth that 'stages' psychic evolution in alternating phases of dynamic quantum leaps of creation and breakdown: birth, death, and rebirth."
(p. 4)

Stewart Whitmont (1987) Archetypal and Personal Interaction in the Clinical Process, pp. 1-25, in Nathan Schwartz-Salant and Murry Stein (Eds.) - 'Archetypal Processes in Psychotherapy: The Chiron Clinical Series.' Wilmette, Illinois: Chiron Publications.

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