The Mythopoesis of Psychotherapy


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Abstract

Twenty people who had spent time in psychotherapy wrote narratives describing their experiences. These accounts yielded one hundred instances of archetypal themes, most typically the quest, wisdom, acceptance, nurturance, and intimacy. The concept of “ontic myth” was used to identify participants basic beliefs about their reality. The four directions of the psychotherapeutic experience that emerged were love, redemption, identity, and acceptance. The most predominant narrative theme was identified as romance, and the most frequent fragment was the Hero's Journey. This study has several implications for psychotherapists, among them the need to recognize their role as interpreters of narrative accounts.

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