Dissertation Title:

Awakening the Alienated Self: The Western World’s Separation from Self, Other, and the Natured World


Lynn M. Hynes

Date, Time & Place:

January 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Lecture Hall, Lambert Road campus


Separation from nature, in all of its forms, rests upon the illusion of self and the universe as separate and discrete subjects. This conception of self is deeply woven into contemporary Western culture. The research framework for this exploration utilizes heuristic inquiry. Depth psychological approaches supplement and support the understanding generated by heuristic inquiry and hermeneutics are utilized to interpret text. The theoretical framework is applied through the methodologies of intuitive inquiry, narrative inquiry, and visual method. This mixed method of inquiry serves as a tool in understanding lived experiences of separation and rejection. Five themes emerge through participant interviews and are as follows: Connectedness to nature is rooted in the place where one was raised; social and economic injustices are intertwined with the degradation of the planet; the environmental crisis causes great pain and suffering; the body de-natured; and experiences in nature mirror the interconnectedness of all things. Depth psychology has the potential to re-imagine conditions and communities that scaffold human and non-human dignity in an effort to reignite a meaningful dialog between all living things. This approach of relatedness and interdependence embraces an ethic of a growing number of people in grassroots psychologies emerging in the margins of Western psychology. Without embracing the self, others, and the natured world, the alienated, isolated, the separated individual is prone to disappear into mass conformity, meaninglessness, and destruction.



This is due to Pacifica’s conditional use permit, which restricts campus parking. Please call 896-1887 or 896-1888 for a shuttle pickup from the Best Western. A Pacifica shuttle driver will pick you up within 10 minutes or so and take you to the campus.

Thank you for your kind consideration

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology, Track J, 2008
  • Chair: Dr. Alan Kilpatrick
  • Reader: Dr. Elizabeth Perluss
  • External Reader: Dr. Frederick Gustafson
  • Keywords: Depth Psychology, Grassroots Psychologies, Alienation, Separation, Denial, Dissociation, Mass Conformity, Environmental Crisis, De-natured, Social Injustice