Dissertation Title:

Image and the Lived Body


Leyla Salmassian Bell

Date, Time & Place:

August 14, 2023 at 10:00 am


Depth psychology holds that the individual’s inner images are potent mediums of knowing and experiencing. Manifest with their own spontaneity, affective qualities, and temporality, inner images bridge the connection between the internal and external worlds of experiencing and being. Explored papers in depth psychology, somatics, phenomenology, and expressive arts therapy, reflect the interrelationship and interconnection between inner images and the body. This qualitative study, grounded on existential phenomenological methodology, aimed to further investigate the relationship between the lived body and meaningful inner images and to reveal the latent intentionality, motivations, and essence of the lived experience. The study uncovered multidimensional psychological themes illuminating that underlying the interconnection of image and body is the psyche’s movement toward a re-connection to the self. The archetypal theme of death-and-rebirth reveals a connection to rhythms of being and the intentional movements of the psyche toward transformation. The coming together of the body (instinct) and the image (archetype represented in form) forms the multiple places of experiencing, knowing, and being. The essence of the experience revealed what Carl G. Jung calls the journey of individuation.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies, S, 2017
  • Chair: Dr. Lionel Corbett, M.D.
  • Reader: Dr. Elizabeth Fergus-Jean, Ph.D
  • External Reader: Sondra Fraleigh, M.A., E-R.Y.T., R.S.M.T.
  • Keywords: Image, Body, Depth Psychology, Numinous, Existential Phenomenology