Dissertation Title:

Wholeness and Holiness in Marriage: The Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony as a Container for Individuation


Veronica Leandra Marchese

Date, Time & Place:

February 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm
Room A, Ladera Lane campus


The process of becoming holy within marriage generates psychological deaths and rebirths, much like the transformational process of individuation conceptualized by Carl G. Jung. This hermeneutic study explores how a distinctively Jungian approach to clinical practice with couples can assist in developing a marital bond that can become a strong container for the spouses’ individuation. A depth psychological perspective in premarital and marital counseling offers spouses the possibility of containing the opposing forces that emerge in their relationship without destroying the union. The connection between becoming holy through the sacramental marital relationship and Jung’s concept of becoming whole through individuation has received little attention in research. This study adds a dynamic aspect to Jungian studies by arguing for a new understanding of the sacrament of Matrimony as a container for psychological rebirth and transformation through individuation. In this effort, four factors that impact marriage are explored: vocation, theology of the sacrament of Matrimony, society and culture, and the body. Current clinical applications of an integrated approach are discussed demonstrating how the findings might be implemented in existing premarital and marital education and counseling programs for Catholic couples.


Parking is available on the Ladera Lane campus, therefore shuttle service is not available.

Thank you for your kind consideration

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization in Somatic Studies, Track S, 2010
  • Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Nelson
  • Reader: Dr. Lisa Sloan
  • External Reader: Dr. Wilkie Au
  • Keywords: Marriage, Premarital, Catholic, Sacrament, Individuation, Container, Couples Counseling