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Ashley, A. (2008). Paris, Ginette. Wisdom of the Psyche: Depth Psychology after Neuroscience. London & New York: Routledge, 2007. Pp. xvi + 240. Pbk. £12.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 53(4):566-567.
   

(2008). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53(4):566-567

Paris, Ginette. Wisdom of the Psyche: Depth Psychology after Neuroscience. London & New York: Routledge, 2007. Pp. xvi + 240. Pbk. £12.99.

Review by:
Anne Ashley

Edited by:
Linda Carter and Marcus West

Numinous personal experience is frequently accompanied by an urge to communicate the experience, its effects and affects, but this is seldom successful unless mediated through art, which draws from the collective unconscious. Otherwise the description remains that of an individual event and the reader is invited to become interested in the personal psychology of the subject. This is what happened when I read Ginette Paris’ book but, perhaps, this is what she intended.

Despite its exciting title, which promises further exploration of the interaction between neuroscientific researches and archetypal psychology, this book is an account of a devastating and individuating experience suffered by the author, a practising therapist and lecturer. Lying in intensive care with a life threatening injury to her brain, kept alive by machines and efficient but detached nursing, she was comforted and soothed by the powerfully maternal care of a nursing aide, who held and sang to her. Her recovery was medically unexpected and she wrote this book to tell the story and to offer her hypothesis of the way in which the archetype of the Great Mother has been traduced and reduced within American culture and society, and, before Ms. Paris’ accident, within her own psyche.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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