Dissertation Title:

From Stories of Home to Stories of Homecoming: A Depth Psychological Inquiry Into Narratives of Relationship to Habitat


James Liter

Date, Time & Place:

September 29, 2021 at 9:00 am


The ecological unconscious was articulated as primary to ecopsychology originally by Theodore Roszak; yet understanding how its contents and psychodynamics inform human approaches of relating to habitat has not been a central concern within the field. Confronting this complexity of ecopsychology, this study is an inquiry into a diverse selection of written texts that express approaches to that relationship. Specifically, this study identifies and names two primary yet distinct and seemingly opposing approaches that arise out of different affective attitudes. Exploring the lacuna between these approaches—named by the author as terracentric, marked by fear, anger, and shame, and geocosmological, marked by a sense of celebratory awe—this study asks how Jungian psychology might grant insight into their archetypal patterning and thereby inform depth psychological ecotherapy. Through hermeneutical processes, this study finds that the terracentric can be understood as rational, objective interest, represented by the concept of logos, and the geocosmological as psychological relatedness, represented by eros. These approaches are found to interact consciously and unconsciously with a process of ecopsychological development similar to the process of individuation as described by Jung. Finally, historical prefiguration of these findings is established through amplification of a selection of Irish myths, providing a fuller understanding of the ecological unconscious informing the approaches, and outlines contours of a depth psychological ecotherapy.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology Jungian Archetypal Studies, N, 2014
  • Chair: Dr. Keiron Le Grice
  • Reader: Dr. Craig Chalquist
  • External Reader: Dr. Sophia Reinders
  • Keywords: Archetypes, Cosmology, Ecopsychology, Ecotherapy, Jung, Logos, Eros, Individuation, Irish Mythology, Unconscious