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Eckardt, M. (2006). Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul through Creativity. By David Rosen, Nicholas Hays, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 302 pp., $19.95.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(2):388-391.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(2):388-391

Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul through Creativity. By David Rosen, Nicholas Hays, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 302 pp., $19.95.

Review by:
Marianne Eckardt, M.D.

This book by David Rosen, a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst, professor in Jungian psychology and behavioral sciences at Texas A & M University, as well as professor of humanities in medicine, is not only of interest to students of Jung but also to therapists who wish to expose themselves to alternate therapeutic ventures.. His writing is clear and well organized. The Introduction tells you how he came to be interested in depression and suicidal ideation as harboring the potential for therapeutic transformation of the personality. Theorists, he writes, belong to two categories: they are either “lumpers,” trying to place phenomena under one umbrella, or “splitters,” who find significant differences in varying forms of depression. While acknowledging his commitment to a holistic approach, he definitely is a lumper and favors conceptual terminology, classifications, and stages. He honors respectfully many effective approaches to depression but wishes to present in this book a novel approach to treating depressed patients who want to kill themselves. This approach emphasizes the elimination or “killing” of the negative self-destructive aspects of the ego, a procedure he calls ‘egocide’ and aims at the emergence of a more integrated self through transcendence and transformation. His most important therapeutic tool is the use of partly guided active imagination and creative expression in a medita-tive-like state which plumbs deeper layers of our psyche. He embraces Jung's concepts of archetypes and Jung's belief in the transcendental healing power of images like mandalas seen as metaphors of wholeness that encompass the many paradoxical layers of our psyche.

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