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Dissertation Title:

Unconscious Content, Symbol, and Tarot


Linda Schaefer

Date, Time & Place:

March 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm


Psychotherapists today practice a wide range of integrative clinical techniques to support the holistic well-being of individuals, families, and communities. From techniques of meditation, ego integration, dreamwork, expressive arts therapy, and story reframing, practitioners may draw from a variety of tools to facilitate their clients’ goals. Depth psychological perspectives of healing show an active interest in representation and its connection with meaning-making and the healing process. From a depth psychological perspective allowing unconscious content to reveal itself and be made known symbolically, reveres the synchronicity of Symbol and how it may “speak” to the client. According to psychoanalytic theorists, such as Melanie Klein and W. R. Bion, the ability to symbolize repressed unconscious content may lead to healthy ego functioning (Segal, 1957). Confronting unconscious blocks and allowing repressed unconscious content to be revealed symbolically will allow for self-awareness of an intrapsychic conflict of the client (Segal, 1957). The use of tarot practice in psychotherapy may aid in this therapeutic framework objectively, as tarot practice is nondogmatic and also a referent to archetypal imagery, which is universal and belongs to all collectively (Jung, 1954/1968; Rosengarten, 2000, 2018).

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, OP, 2016
  • Chair: Dr. Oksana Yakushko
  • Reader: Dr. Brenda Murrow
  • External Reader: Dr. Art Rosengarten
  • Keywords: Tarot, Unconscious, Symbol, Psychotherapy, Introspection, Repression, Shaman