DATE: Thursday, September 19, 2013
TIME: 11:00 a.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Yvonne Smith Klitsner
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Destined Meetings: Synchronicity, Intentionality, and Archetypal Meaning in the Initial Therapy Session"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-T; 2007
CHAIR: Dr. Lionel Corbett
READER: Dr. Jennifer Freed
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Claire Douglas
Klitsner, Y. (2013). Destined Meetings: Synchronicity, Intentionality, and Archetypal Meaning in the Initial Therapy Session (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013)
The relationship between therapist and patient, classically known as the transference, can evoke intense, deeply meaningful emotional experiences for both individuals. This connection is sometimes felt by the two participants to be so transformative that they share the sense of a larger intentionality at work, the two individuals brought together to evolve psychologically in ways unique to the particular pairing: The relationship is perceived as in some sense “meant to be.”
This dissertation traces the theory of the transference as it develops in psychoanalysis from Freud and Klein to the intersubjectivists; and in the Jungian lineage, from Jung’s alchemical view of the transference to the concept of the mutual field. The central thesis of this dissertation is that within the therapeutic relationship the frequently observed occurrence of striking biographical parallels and synchronistic events shared by the therapist and patient can represent a significant factor within the transferential field of the clinical pair. Such shared synchronicities and parallels can potentially generate greater depth of therapeutic connection, efficacy, growth, and healing for both members of the dyad.
This study used a two-part qualitative research approach. Through a questionnaire, case studies, and astrological analysis, a study was made of unexpected and potentially significant biographical, synchronistic, and archetypal connections linking the therapist and patient.
This dissertation suggests that discernment of and reflection upon such striking connections between therapist and patient, including astrological correlations with special focus upon the first session, can illuminate the specific archetypal dynamics informing the therapeutic relationship and task. In the cases under review, a profound sense of intentionality was felt to be at work in the therapy from the beginning, an intentionality deeper than merely that of the therapist’s or patient’s conscious therapeutic purposes, deeper even than those of the patient’s or therapist’s individual psyches. This greater intentionality was perceived to be at work in the dynamic mutual field of the clinical dyad itself, bringing these two human beings together to support the independent yet interconnected processes of both therapist and patient within the unique transformational crucible of the therapeutic relationship.Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.