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Clark, G. (1983). Berry, P. Echo's Subtle Body. Dallas, Spring Publications, 1982. pp. 198. N.p.. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(4):392-395.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(4):392-395

Berry, P. Echo's Subtle Body. Dallas, Spring Publications, 1982. pp. 198. N.p.

Review by:
Giles Clark

Edited by:
Corinna Peterson

This book has a secondary title, ‘Contributions to an Archetypal Psychology’, and Patricia Berry is one of the main proponents of this style of psychotherapy (with Hillman, Lopez, Miller et al.); I imagine that initial reactions to Berry's book may depend to a considerable extent upon the reader's familiarity with this idiosyncratic neo-Jungian approach. The author has divided her eleven papers (all but three previously published separately) under four thematic headings: woman, dream, poetics and shadow; but there are many overlaps and repetitions, a condition often found when an individual's papers are collected, and probably here compounded by the didactic nature of this school with its poetic and rhetorical style. I would imagine, however, that Berry herself might argue that repetition gives healthy place to Echo and to alchemical iteratio (p. 118) which she sees as essential qualities of psyche and analytical communication, stemming from longings for Narcissus, for self-reflections(p. 119).

The motto of the archetypal psychologists would seem to be Rafael Lopez-Pedraza's dictum, ‘We must stick to the Image’, where image = psychic image = psyche, and where these images/psyche are to be seen as mythic or mythopoeic. Neurotic traits, drives, conflicts, defences etc. are approached via a mythical character, relationship or story. It seems to me that Berry works them with myth as the a priori: by amplifying a myth she begins to reveal to us something about infra-psychic dynamics; or is it that she talks about myths in an imaginal language that we can hear psychologically? Whatever archetypal psychology is setting out to do it would of course be useless if it did not tell us something new about psyche which is also right and useful in practice.

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