We have seen that, from the viewpoint of depth psychology, women have just as much part as men in the archetype of priest and healer. These tendencies have always been brought to bear in the caring professions as they are in maternal care. No one would contest the fact that it is precisely in our own time, with its one-sided rationalistic, cost-effect thinking and mania for pragmatism and its consequent social, economic, and ecological problems, that a specifically feminine contribution (represented both by women and men) is urgently needed.
The term depth psychology is the container for a number of psychologies that concern themselves with the unconscious. Though its existence was known and utilized by mesmerists and hypnotists (Meissner, 2000; Robertson, 1995), the unconscious gained its first scientific foothold in modern times with Freud. However, the psyche recovered its greater depths in Jungian psychology, Hillman's (1975) archetypal psychology, Sardello's (1996) spiritual psychology, and Roszak's ( 1992) ecopsychology. In all, the rational, intentional human mind, waking consciousness, or gift of reason, is only one player in a much larger field of consciousness.
Psychoanalysis is a depth psychology that originated from the study of sexually tinged fantasy. A problem present in the field from its inception, however, has been the lack of a definition of erotic fantasy or even a general sense of agreement about its specific attributes. One reason for this may be that Freud blurred the distinction between the sexual and that which nonpsychoanalytically oriented laypersons might consider nonsexual.
Mr Waterfield's long book traces the history of hypnosis from its discovery by Franz Anton Mesmer, the Viennese doctor who moved to France, to the present day. Mesmer himself was an interesting figure, who has been both derided as a self-seeking charlatan and praised as the forerunner of depth psychology. He believed that hypnosis was produced as a result of a physical force, animal magnetism, that emanated from the hypnotist.
Historians of depth psychology have investigated the area as part of the history of psychiatry, but cleaved most closely to the versions presented by early psychoanalysts-turned-historians, who have consistently portrayed Freud as the only legitimate history of the period, thus marking the territory of the late 19th century as inherently Freudo-centric. More recently a new line of historiography emanating from the work of the late Henri Ellenberger has launched a post-Freudian perspective in which the classical depth psychologies of Freud, Jung, and Adler may now be understood in a wider and deeper historical context defined by the development of a so-called French, Swiss, English, and American psychotherapeutic axis between 1881 and 1918, before the advent of psychoanalysis.
Freud based his depth psychology on a theoretical model of psychosexual development. This was immediately criticized by Karen Horney (Horney, 1924), and much later by Paul Chodoff, a founding member of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. So universally accepted was Freud's psychosexual developmental paradigm that articles written by scholars who did not accept its validity were not accepted for publication by official psychoanalytic journals.
The unique contribution of Wilhelm Reich to the unfolding of depth psychology can be pictured as in Figure 1. Reich maintained that people are manifest in the world in two dimensions, the body and the mind. He further suggested that these two are intimately connected. We do not have a body and a mind. We have a body-mind. Each dynamically interacts with, supports and also mirrors the other.
Since its inception, depth psychology has been a psychology of soul. By soul we mean, as Hillman (1975, p. 34) said, "poetic basis of mind," the imaginative capacity of our being. Depth psychology flows from the Platonic root that runs through Western culture. In this tradition, the foundations of consciousness are symbolic images, themselves rooted in an unconsciousness of varying depths. Whether they are Freudian complexes, Jungian archetypes, Hillman's gods, Sardello's Sophia, or Roszak's Gaia, the daytime mind is only one player in a much larger drama of consciousness.
Depth psychology methods go beneath the surface and help you to understand about yourself what may have remained hidden and buried for many years. Depth psychology methods include personal processes and structures. And they also include the larger transpersonal, collective, universal aspects of the depths of your mind. Thus dreams become communications from within. Nightmares become signposts for what problems to take on.
Depth Psychology refers to approaches to therapy that are open to the exploration of the subtle, unconscious, and transpersonal aspects of human experience. A depth approach may include therapeutic traditions that explores the unconscious and involves the study and exploration of dreams, complexes, and archetypes. Depth psychology is non-pathologizing and strength affirming.