Dissertation Title:

Crisis of Existence: An Archetypal Perspective on Suicidality


Viktoria Byczkiewicz

Date, Time & Place:

June 7, 2022 at 4:00 pm


This depth-psychological study examines suicide and suicidality from historical and various theoretical perspectives including the existential, interpersonal, and integrated psychodynamic to demonstrate the overall congruencies and relatedness in their understandings and their compatibility with an archetypal view of suicide. Two textual cases of suicidality in women pathologized for or by their sexuality from the text Girl, Interrupted are hermeneutically interpreted in relation to the views presented, then amplified in the ancient myths of Narcissus and Lucretia to the symbolic image of the sword as depicted in the minor arcana suit of the tarot. In unifying parallel insights drawn from different angles in psychology through a post-positivist and phenomenological-hermeneutical interpretation, an archetypal suicide complex is posited, highlighting the themes of ambivalence towards transformation, shame and narcissistic injury, bodily subjugation, impulsivity, and deprivation of power.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, A, 2014
  • Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Schewe
  • Reader: Dr. Jason Butler
  • External Reader: Dr. Stanton Marlan
  • Keywords: Suicide, Suicidality, Archetypes, Jungian Psychology, Lucretia, Women’s Sexuality, Self-injurious Behavior, Rape, Tarot, Symbol Of The Sword