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Dissertation Title:

Standing Elk: Soul of the Ancient Healing Circle

Candidate:

Valerie Marvin

Date, Time & Place:

April 11, 2022 at 3:00 pm
Virtual


Abstract

The psychological wounds correlated to childhood sexual assault for the woman survivor are often delineated by unspeakable terror when initiating the journey toward wellness. The process of reintegrating the split-off aspects of the Self to re-establish a cohesively functioning ego may respond to a psychodynamic approach that amplifies salient imagery as representational patterns of behavior. This study aims to identify commonality between the traditional healing practices found in a number of North American Indigenous communities and depth psychology. Utilizing a hermeneutic method of inquiry supported by an Indigenous perspective and an imaginal perspective, the research examines a Sundance ceremony and Sandpainting ritual as possible healing events to produce pathways to metaphoric representations. Immersing into the methodology of both healing rituals, resulted in a comprehensive narrative that chronicles a centuries-long trajectory of egregious government policies that have deeply impacted North America’s diverse Indigenous communities. The results of the study suggest that while both a Sundance ceremony and Sandpainting ritual are likely to produce salient imagery, without a foundation clarifying the context of colonization practices that non-dominant societies have endured for centuries, then an attempt to facilitate a cross-culture dialogue falls short of its expectation to demonstrate cohesion between respective belief structures.

Details
  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology Psychotherapy, T, 2014
  • Chair: Dr. Mark Montijo
  • Reader: Dr. Elizabeth Perluss
  • External Reader: Dr. Joseph Dunn
  • Keywords: North American Indigenous Healing Traditions, Sundance Ceremony, Sandpainting Ritual, Hermeneutics, Indigenous Perspective, Imaginal Perspective, Depth Psychology, Women Survivors, Childhood Sexual Assault