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Dissertation Title:

Dream the Myth Onwards: The Typology of Imaginal Figures

Candidate:

Vicky Jo Varner

Date, Time & Place:

at 10:00 am
Studio, Lambert Road campus


Abstract

Jung’s theory of psychological types has often been marginalized by traditional Jungians for its complexity, misuse, opaqueness, and lack of depth. A proliferation of personality assessments exacerbates this shortcoming by operationalizing Jung’s theory through the introduction of quantitative measures. Scant attention has been paid to the relevance of psychological types with respect to unconscious aspects of the psyche, especially regarding the phenomenon of imaginal figures. This dissertation explores relationships between imaginal figures and psychological types through an extensive review of literature on these topics and via structured research interviews with participants whose imaginal repertoires were analyzed phenomenologically and amplified according to typological and archetypal characteristics as described by C.G. Jung and John Beebe. Thematic Content Analysis was employed to distill audio transcriptions of these interviews, alongside written descriptions and artistic images representing the imaginal figures that these participants produced. Additional findings emerged from the literature review culminating in discussions of contradictory references by Jung regarding function definitions, type’s mutability, and incompatible “function arrays” delineated by Jung and other authors. The participant analysis results provided support for a hypothesis that imaginal figures exhibit identifiable typological characteristics, and subsequent exploration of these imaginal figures using Beebe’s eight-function/eight-archetype model identified significant archetypal correlations, thereby offering confirming evidence for Beebe’s scheme. These findings indicate that Jung’s theory of psychological types is suitably positioned within the pantheon of depth psychology.

Note

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Details
  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian & Archetypal Studies, Track Z, 2010
  • Chair: Dr. Carole M. Shumate
  • Reader: Dr. Joel Bell
  • External Reader: Dr. Murray Stein
  • Keywords: Jung, Beebe, MBTI, Psychological Types, Typology, Imaginal Figures, Archetypes, Personification