Author: Susan Gordon


Imagery and symbolism in the therapeutic process

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Symbols and imagery educed from the subconscious can be interpreted within the therapeutic process. Existential, humanistic, and phenomenological approaches focus on conceptual, emotional and verbal realities, while transpersonal approaches focus on spiritual longings and experiences as keys to self-actualization. The humanistic movement arose in the early 1960’s out of dissatisfactions with the natural science conception… Read more »

Eastern versus western psychology

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“Life ceases to be problematic when it is understood that the ego is a social fiction.” — Watts, 1961, pp. 95-96 Because the general orientation of Western psychology has been toward the observation, categorization, and alteration of observable behavior, this has led to a therapeutic attitude limited to the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology. The… Read more »

Gordon Allport’s narrative approach to personality

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Gordon Willard Allport combined methodological, theoretical, and pedagogical approaches: rigorous experimental and quantitative research and qualitative means of data collection and analysis. Allport’s interest in the entire life and the whole personality marked the historical emergence of the narrative approach in psychology (Allport, 1942). In his autobiography, Allport posed these three empirical questions for the… Read more »

Henry Murray’s personology

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Explorations in personality In Henry A. Murray’s Explorations in Personality (1938), dedicated to Morton Prince, Sigmund Freud, Lawrence Henderson, Alfred N. Whitehead, and Carl G. Jung, he asked: What propels man? With what environmental objects and institutions does he interact and how? What occurrences in his body are most influentially involved? What mutually dependent processes… Read more »

Psychoneurointracrinology

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Illustration by Nevit Dilmen. Psychoneurointracrinology Defined Psychoneurointracrinology is the study of psychological, neurological, and intracrinological processes forming a mind-brain continuum within the person (Gordon, 2007, 2013, 2015, in press). Psycho (psychological) refers to constructs variously referred to as psyche, self, soul, mind, and consciousness. Neuro (neurological) refers to the composition and reactions within the nervous… Read more »

From Basic Human Tendencies to Personal Myth

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Knud Leem’s 1767 copper carving of a Shaman. Charlotte Bühler’s Theory of Development Charlotte Bühler, a pioneer in women’s adolescent psychology, emphasized the distinctions between humanistic psychology and the Freudian science that had dominated the discipline earlier in her career. She pointed out that development is synonymous with health and self-realization rather than the endpoint… Read more »

Karen Horneyês Perspective: The Emergence of Cultural Influences on the Female Psyche

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Courtesy of Renate Horney Patterson. The work of Karen Horney sheds light on the internal psychosexual conflicts and unspeakable experiences of women who remain subjugated by Middle Eastern and African cultures today. The writings of Horney give an informed understanding of much of the underlying dynamic. Horney’s psychoanalytic revisionism went through three phases. In the… Read more »

Depth Psychology of the Feminine

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An image of the goddess Kali. Existential-transpersonal interpretations of the midlife transition that have emerged in the literature in archetypal psychology (Achterberg, 1996; Andrews, 1993; Borysenko, 1996; Greer, 1991; Houston, 1996; Rogers, 1995) depict a non-medicalized view of a woman’s struggle through menopause; the harnessing of intentionality using personal myth; the psychological shift from an… Read more »

Where Autopoiesis Becomes Myth

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Photo by NASA. What is the relationship between the mind (subjectivity), the brain (neurochemistry), and the transcognitive (myth)? In other words, when do unconscious, autopoietic biochemical functions enter the subjective world of intentional meaning and become interpreted at the symbolic or mythic level of conscious experience? Where autopoiesis approaches myth at the moment of conception,… Read more »