Re-Visioning the Depressive Imagination

Alvarado, Luis (2008) Re-Visioning the Depressive Imagination. Doctoral thesis, Meridian University.


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The topic of this Clinical Case Study is adult depression. Numerous studies have shown that depression is a fairly common occurrence within the general population and that untreated depression can have serious consequences for individuals, and for society as a whole. This case study documents the onset and resolution of a depression of a middle-aged man. The literature reviewed for this Clinical Case Study includes several different perspectives on adult depression: the biological perspective, the cognitive/behavioral perspective, the psychodynamic perspective, the sociocultural perspective, and imaginal approaches in relation to depression. The biological, the cognitive/behavioral, the psychodynamic, and the sociocultural perspectives on depression are presented as lenses through which depression is imagined. In the literature on depression, none of these four perspectives holds the ultimate truth about depression. The metaphor of lenses through which the soul imagines its own experience is a core tenet of Imaginal Psychology; the literature in general is silent on the imaginal approach to depression. The subject of this Clinical Case Study was engaged in a therapy journey that lasted 19 months, and the progression of the treatment is presented as he slowly regains vii his bearings and his depression is resolved. The progression of the treatment explores the major themes from the therapy journey, including the most significant interventions and turning points. Imaginal Psychology provided the overall contextual understanding of the therapeutic process. When the Learnings were reviewed, it became clear that the client’s therapy journey was reflective of mythic themes found in the stories of Demeter and Persephone, Cupid and Psyche, and the myth of Inanna. The notion of codependency and relational stress were evident in shaping the depression and resolution of the client, and the response of the therapist. The overall Learnings support an approach to treating depression that focuses on the soul and its mythic images. The conceptual structure presented in this Clinical Case Study is the notion of the depressive imagination, the re-visioning of depression as a necessary imaginal process for the soul. Three myths were utilized in this case study for an understanding of the depressive imagination. The approach to myth presented sees in the myth a ritual enactment that contextualizes suffering within the realm of the particular God or Goddess from whom the affliction proceeds.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Critical Theory
Depositing User: Luis Alvarado
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 21:49
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2017 21:49

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