Psychotherapy and Joseph Campbell

9 September 2016

The therapist needs to understand and accept and respect the client and be at the same time aware of alternative views and perceptions and their possible consequences. S/he is a temporary builder of conversations and stages for clients and their next ones so that they are better able to live, to breathe, to work, to talk and to enjoy each one and together, by overcoming the stressing modes that led them to suffering and considering therapy. S/he is flexible in creating and observes the effect of how s/he invites to create other perspectives.

It is here that I find the work of Campbell most attractive. In his work “ The hero with thousand faces”…. He actually weaves in parallels of the journey made, to the process of therapy, which itself is adventure. Like in therapy there is insight generation, and the client returns to day to day settings after therapy with the idea of applying the insights, the same corollary holds true in Campbell’s work. He bases his concepts on Freudian concepts but uses a lot of Jungian archetypes, he is a story teller taking from all major themes in world mythology.

Psychotherapy and Joseph Campbell Essay Example

If therapy is an art then we could compare therapists with artists, who draw attention to stories of our life, symbolism and narrative. I quote him(What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the ful? llment or the ? asco.

There’s always the possibility of a ? asco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss) Campbell works with the myths quite following the ideas of Otto Rank, an early disciple of Freud, who later parted ways and worked in the areas of existential, humanistic and transpersonal psychology. Quoting Otto Rank here[In the process of adaptation, man persistently separates from his old self, or at least from those segments off his old self that are now outlived. Like a child who has utgrown a toy, he discards the old parts of himself for which he has no further use …. The ego continually breaks away from its worn-out parts, which were of value in the past but have no value in the present. The neurotic [who cannot unlearn, and, therefore, lacks creativity] is unable to accomplish this normal detachment process … Owing to fear and guilt generated in the assertion of his own autonomy, he is unable to free himself, and instead remains suspended upon some primitive level of his evolution.

Unlearning necessarily involves separation from one’s self-concept, as it has been culturally conditioned to conform to familial, group, occupational or organizational allegiances. According to Rank , unlearning or breaking out of our shell from the inside is “a separation [that] is so hard, not only because it involves persons and ideas that one reveres, but because the victory is always, at bottom, and in some form, won over a part of one’s ego]….. most important in therapy! Joseph Campbell addresses unlearning in his works, also drawing on Upanishads at times.

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