Dissertation Title:

Encountering the Minotaur: Archetypal Reflections from a Former Alternative High School Teacher


Encountering the Minotaur: Archetypal Reflections from a Former Alternative High School Teacher

Date, Time & Place:

July 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Studio, Lambert Road Campus


This inquiry follows several threads: Adolescence as an archeytpal complex; manifestations of trauma and countertransferential responses in the alternative high school classroom; and resistances to self-transformation, the hallmark of heuristic self-search inquiry. Guiding questions address the necessary, ethical, and compassionate practice of honoring a mythopoetic approach and the imaginal field in the alternative high school classroom. Using a heuristic self-search inquiry approach, research was conducted in four nonlinear and nonchronological phases: immersion, acquisition, realization, and synthesis. The inquiry can be viewed as a poetic reverie of the author’s transformative journey of healing from personal trauma by encountering and working through resistance. Alternately, the inquiry can also be viewed as an example and extended praxis of archetypal reflectivity, a professional development practice that fosters mythopoesis in education.
Held within the metaphoric framework of the myth of Dionysos, including motifs of Ariadne’s Thread, Duende, and the archetype of indestructible life, the research is presented as a journey through the Passages of the labyrinth to a final encounter with the Minotaur. The concluding chapter includes a psychoanalysis of the author’s journey, identifies unconscious countertransferential responses in the classroom which curtailed effective student progress, and argues that nuturing the archetypal Adolescent plays a vital role in our humanity.


All oral defense attendees must shuttle to the Lambert Road Campus from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria. Parking on campus is not available.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology, Track J, 2006
  • Chair: Dr. Alexandra Fidyk
  • Reader: Dr. Jennifer Freed
  • External Reader: Carl Leggo
  • Keywords: Adolescence, Dionysos, Trauma, Alternative Education, Mythopoesis, Archetypal Reflectivity