Dissertation Title:

One Thousand Mountains Ten Thousand Rivers: Life Events as the Stories of the Soul


Akasa Tseng

Date, Time & Place:

September 15, 2023 at 10:00 am


This depth psychological exploration of life events as stories of the soul restores the soul‘s method of knowing and fosters a new relationship with the psyche. It utilizes a hybrid methodology combining hermeneutics and alchemical hermeneutics with autoethnography to explore the soul’s unfinished business in the personal, ancestral, and cultural psyche. The dissertation gathers multiple voices, including the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung and James Hillman, psychoanalytic theories, alchemy, post-structural discourse, and Indigenous perspectives, weaving them together with life events extracted from ancestral and childhood memories, dreams, transference dialogues, fantasy images, and clinical vignettes. Moreover, this study uses mythopoetic language to engage in an Orphic journey to the underworld to elucidate Jung’s understanding of the unconscious.

The core assumption shaping this work is that the unconscious, in its inexhaustible collaborations with psyche-soma, matter, and archetypal figures, reveals the soul’s multivalent, symptomatic, paradoxical, and imaginal languages. Voicing stories of personal, ancestral, and cultural psychic wounds embedded in life events creates changes in the self and its interconnected worlds. Through crossing boundaries between psychological and cultural terrains, and historical and archetypal dimensions, this dissertation explores a pedagogical relationship between lived experience and theory that revitalizes life events by writing the stories of the soul.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology, A, 2018
  • Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Nelson
  • Reader: Dr. Douglas Thomas
  • External Reader: Dr. Ursula Wirtz
  • Keywords: Imaginal, Paradoxical, Symptomatic, Multivalent Psyche, Soul, Life Events, Ancestral And Cultural Soul Wounds, Alchemical, Archetypal, Indigenous