Posted: March 18th, 2023
James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology
Hillman’s “poetic basis of mind” is comprised of all aspects of work — theorizing, analyzing culture, and practicing therapy (Moore 1989). Hillman’s archetypal psychology and his “poetic basis of mind” takes root in aesthetics and imagination as opposed to science. “By taking everything as poetry, Hillman frees consciousness from its thin, hard crust of literalism to reveal the depth of experience” (1989). Hillman has, in fact, adopted a very critical nature of psychologies such as biological psychology, behaviorism, and cognitive psychology. These psychologies have a scientific philosophy and practice. One of the main critiques is that they are too literal; fundamentally stated, they are psychologies that lack the very essence of psychology: soul. Hillman’s initiative is to bring the soul back to the world of psychology — where it should be. For Hillman, the soul works in places like imagination and fantasy, myth and metaphor. Hillman says:
Here I am working toward a psychology of soul that is based in psychology of image. Here I am suggesting both a poetic basis of mind and a psychology that starts neither in the physiology of the brain, the structure of language, the organization of society, nor the analysis of behavior, but in the processes of imagination (Hillman 1976).
It is important when trying to understand archetypal psychology to know that it is not simply about the psychology of archetypes; the purpose of it is not to find themes in mythology and art and try to find those same themes in life (Moore 1989). “Rather, the idea is to see every fragment of life and every dream as myth and poetry” (1989). Hillman (1976) believes that archetypal psychology sees the image as the iconoclast, challenging “allegorical meanings” and “releasing startling new insights” (1976). He clams that it is the most unsettling or disturbing images in dreams and/or fantasies that we try not to discuss because of the fact that they are quite unsettling; however, these are exactly the images that we must be paying attention to because they are the ones that “break the allegorical frame of what we think we about this person or that, this trait of ourselves or that” (1976). Therefore, Hillman suggests that it is the ugliest images that are the best ones, “for they are the ones that restore a figure to its pristine power as a numinous person at work in the soul” (1976). In therapy, a psychologist may be working with a person whom exhibits great paranoia. While psychoanalysts might see that paranoia as externalized destructiveness, archetypal psychologists would look at what the myths say and then recognize the myth as a depository of the circumstances.
Depth psychology has been around, Hillman (1976) suggests since Heraclitus said: “You could not discover the limits of the soul (psyche), even if you traveled every road to do so; such is the depth (bathum) of its meaning (logos)” (1976). While depth psychology is considered to be a somewhat modern field of psychology, there is reason to believe that with this association of depth and soul by Heraclitus, the soul has long been considered something that has depth rather than breadth or height (1976). Looking at the soul as something that is so deep, it is only logical to think that at the depths of the soul lurks a calling out for something, a fantasy or an idea.
Depth refers to what is below the surface of types of psychic manifestations such as behaviors, dreams, conflicts and relationships. The “what” that is below the surface is some deep down fantasy or image system that cannot be reached by purely literal means. Depth psychology tries to find what is hidden deep down — or repressed — to the boundaries of society and consciousness. To take a literal approach to images and myths in fantasy and dreams is counterintuitive. A person, even if they were able to access the depths all on their own, would have not way of verbalizing or understanding the images.
One of the main principles of depth psychology is that, central to healing, is the person’s personal encounter with the unconscious mind. The psychologist’s role, therefore, is to be a sort of guide through the unconscious mind. While the depths of the unconscious mind may seem inaccessible to people alone, the psychologist can learn to understand images, myths and other symbols in order to help the person get in touch with their “inner selves.”
The collective unconscious is another important aspect of depth psychology. This concept possesses elements of Freud’s psychoanalysis as well as some theories of Adler and Rank. Together, these all form the basis of depth psychology’s focus on exploring a person’s psyche — not just to correct any dysfunctions in thoughts and behaviors, but also in helping a person find their purpose and passion in their life’s journey.
Most importantly, depth psychologists see the connection between the conscious and the unconscious, two distinct parts of an individual’s psyche, as very healing. While all of depth psychology associates with the aforementioned goal, not every approach is the same as many psychologists have different ideas about what defines the unconscious.
Archetypal psychology, Jungian psychology and analytical psychology are some examples of depth psychologies. All of these types of psychology are based on fundamental Jungian theories of the unconscious.
Hillman (1996) seems to suggest that other forms of psychology and therapy make people out to be victims of their own lives. He posits that when we reduce our lives down to something in our chromosomes, the “sense of calling” that each of us has in our hearts or in the depths of our souls is ignored. He claims that academic and scientific psychology does just that. He states: “The more my life is accounted for by what already occurred in my chromosomes, by what my parents did or didn’t do, and by my early years now long past, the more my biography is the story of a victim” (1996). It comes down to discovering what is wrong with people — their alcoholic father, the violence in the household, the certain unappealing personality characteristic. All of these examples can be blamed on something and thus the patient says “Oh, this is why I am the way I am — because all of these things were done to me.” It makes people victims of their own existences and thus helpless in the world. Hillman’s approach is more about one finding his or her true calling — or their “fate” — as well as about finding out their true character or “innate image” (1996). Together, all of these parts make up Hillman’s “acorn theory” (1996).
In terms of putting Hillman’s theories into practice in therapy, it makes sense that looking at one’s life as an example of a calling, or the destiny as a manifestation of a daimon, as well as looking at one’s live with “imaginative sensitivity we give fictions, we might put a stop to the worry, the fever, and the fret of searching out causes” (1996).
Hillman (1996) states that out of all of psychologies sins, “the most mortal is its neglect of beauty” of the human life. He posits that discernment comes from a neglect of the “deeper soul,” which has needs that are more aesthetic — aside from any kind of physical satisfaction (Hillman 1999). “The soul shrivels without images and sensations of beauty” (1999). Without beauty, Hillman (1976) argues, there is no nature or fantasy.
The price that individuals pay for their obsession with time is quite extreme: the neglect of beauty. Hillman (1976) would argue that love makes time stand still in a way. It makes it into something of beauty and thus it has some sort of “eternal” element to it. Hillman (1976) argues that the biggest fault of modern psychology is the neglect of beauty. Hillman (1996) claims that psychology fails what it studies. “Neither social psychology, experimental psychology, nor therapeutic psychology find a place for the aesthetic appreciation of a life story” (1996).
Every life and every twist in life will have its own beauty (Hillman 1996). The “mortal” sin that Hillman (1996) talks about is the deadening feeling he claims that modern psychology gives to its followers and patients. Hillman (1996) suggests that “neglect of beauty neglects the Goddess, who then has to steal back into the departments as sexual harassment, into the laboratories as ‘research’ experiments with sex and gender, and into the consulting rooms as seductive assignations” (1996). He believes that psychology is then boiled down to publishing and position; in essence, it becomes a victim of its own cognitive structures (1996).
Beauty has almost become taboo in our culture. To recognize something as beautiful is dangerous. Beauty can get people into a lot of trouble. Why has beauty become so controversial? When we neglect beauty as an overall statement, we are neglecting one of the most wonderful aspects of life. The difficulty with beauty in today’s culture is that it is almost always associated with sex or sexuality. To recognize something as beautiful can be deemed as dirty. If every life and every twist in life has its own beauty, why is there such judgment that comes with each of those lives or twists in lives?
It has been believed that beauty has had to be neglected because it was regressive (i.e., considering the Oedipal model). To see something as beautiful can be viewed as base. Beauty has become something that can only be mentioned in certain situations — at the right place, at the right time because of what we associate beauty with.
Beauty has often been symbolic of the solely aesthetic approach, which produces some sort of embellishment rather than any kind of sincere meaning. By developing the soul — or the psyche, we discover the beauty of ourselves. When a beauty of the soul is cultivated, it will be far more beautiful than any kind of aesthetic beauty. The soul will give form to what it holds within itself.
Beauty can be found in numerous places besides the aesthetic. It can be found in nature, community, and religion (Hillman 1976). Beauty, Hillman (1976) explains, is an archetypal category. Beauty is important to the soul and the world soul because it is what animates them both. If one wanted to heal the soul of his or herself or of the world, beauty has to be released from the temporary jails from the places where it is held. Just like a piece of art is removed from a museum or an art store. Beauty can be found everywhere and in everything.
Hillman (1976) believed that a person does not have to go searching for beauty. One does not have to go to a museum or to the finest stores or even into nature to find beauty. Beauty can be everywhere. It can live in everything we see and in everything that we touch. It can live in a coffee shop, in the subway, in a cafe, or in a store. Where people go wrong is thinking that beauty can only live in certain places because that’s where we were told that it should live. It limits the human experience and cuts us off from seeing beauty even in the simplest of places.
Archetypal psychology is much different from other areas of psychology like behaviorism, cognitive psychology or other. What is unique about archetypal psychology is that it allows room for people to be their fullest selves — to not be victims of their own lives, to not blame outside factors for the course of their lives.
To be an archetypal psychologist means to delve deeper into the soul of the client (which is what many fields of psychology leaves out — the soul). Archetypal psychology is important for finding the themes in a person’s life, looking at those themes in regards to images and fantasies and finding ways for that person to better understand who she or he is. Archetypal psychology is much more than looking at genetic facts or looking at external reasons for why a man or woman (or child) acts they way he or she does.
What has often been discredited as strange or bizarre (dreams or fantasies) are taken very seriously in archetypal psychology. “If we pursue this difference between usual psychology and mythology, we see clearly how mythology saves the phenomena of psychopathology” (1976).
Hillman, J. (1999). The force of character and the lasting life. NY: Ballantine Books.
Hillman, J. (1996). The soul’s code: In search of character and calling. NY. Warner
Hillman J. (1992). The thought of the heart and the soul of the world. Dallas: Spring
Hillman J. (1976). Re-visioning psychology. NY: Harper and Row.
Moore, T. ED. (1989). A Blue Fire: Selected writings by James Hillman. NY: Harper
Hillman, J. (1983). Archetypal psychology. Dallas: Spring Publications, Inc.
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.