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Dowd, A. (2010). Liota, Elena. On Soul and Earth: The Psychic Value of Place. London: Routledge, 2009. Pp. xii + 330. Pbk. £22.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 55(1):139-141.

(2010). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 55(1):139-141

Liota, Elena. On Soul and Earth: The Psychic Value of Place. London: Routledge, 2009. Pp. xii + 330. Pbk. £22.99.

Review by:
Amanda Dowd

Leon and Rebecca Grinberg, in Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Migration and Exile, write: ‘Each migration together with its “why” and “wherefore” is inscribed in the history of the family and the individual’ (p. ix). On Soul and Earth presents what Elena Liotta, a Jungian analyst who uses sandplay and whose theoretical orientation is archetypal, has made of that inscription.

This book is in two parts: an exploration of the twin themes of relationship to place and migration, based on the author's personal and professional experience, followed by a collection of related essays by nine fellow analysts, psychologists and psychotherapists alongside contributions from an architect, a theoretical physicist and art educator and a painter.

In Part 1, Liotta begins by identifying her preoccupation as a natural outcome of the ‘permanent mark’ left by the ‘irremediable breaks in the continuity of…life’ (p. 1) as a result of the family pattern of migration identifying herself with ‘a subgroup of persons rarely recognized as migrants’ because she suffered no long-term trauma as a result of her experiences. This telling statement establishes the sub-theme of Liotta's contribution: it is a meditation on the process of the recognition of what it means to be a migrant, and thereby the recognition of the fundamental significance of the relationship between self and place, between soul and earth. Liotta slips between these two themes but does not fully engage with either.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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