Dissertation Title:

Interpreting the Body in the Work of Marion Woodman


Daniel Siuba

Date, Time & Place:

May 20, 2022 at 1:00 pm


This hermeneutic study explored depictions of the body, subtle body, and matter in the work of Canadian Jungian analyst Marion Woodman (1928–2018) by interpreting five of Woodman’s books: The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter, Addiction to Perfection, The Pregnant Virgin, The Ravaged Bridegroom, and Leaving My Father’s House. The interpretation process yielded 46 significant themes and explicated several ideas embedded in Woodman’s work, including: the process of healing the split between body and soul; the communicative, purposive, and manifold nature of psychosomatic symptoms, bodily neuroses, and addictions; the destructive impact of patriarchy on the body; and the intergenerational transmission of attitudes toward matter and the body. The primary clinical implication derived from this study was Woodman’s suggestion that all aspects of being, such as ego, body, subtle body, soul, and spirit, must be acknowledged and included in the therapeutic or analytic process. The primary theoretical implication derived from this study was that the individuation process can result in the birth of a new consciousness capable of experiencing reality as a unified whole.


  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, A, 2016
  • Chair: Dr. Michael Sipiora
  • Reader: Dr. Jean Palmer-Daley
  • External Reader: Sil Reynolds
  • Keywords: Marion Woodman, Somatic Psychology, Jungian Psychology, Embodiment, Illness, Dream Work, Subtle Body