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The Matrix and Meaning of Character: An Archetypal and Developmental Approach [Kindle Edition]

Nancy J. Dougherty , Jacqueline J. West
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Character structures underlie everyone’s personality. When rigidly defended, they limit us; yet as they become more flexible, they can reveal sources of animation, renewal and authenticity. 

The Matrix and Meaning of Character guides the reader into an awareness of the archetypal depths that underlie character structures, presenting an original developmental model in which current analytic theories are synthesised. The authors examine nine character structures, animating them with fairy tales, mythic images and case material, creating a bridge between the traditional language of psychopathology and the universal realm of image and symbol.

This book will appeal to all analytical psychologists, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists who want to strengthen their clinical expertise.  It will help clinicians to extend their clinical insights beyond a strictly behavioural, medical or cognitive approach, revealing the potential of the human spirit.

Product Description


"Finally, a Jungian book on character that links sensitive clinical insights to the mythopoetic imagination and to the developmental dynamism of the archetypal psyche. Nancy Dougherty and Jacqueline West have written an original and deeply significant book that brings together the best insights of contemporary analysis and is a virtual map of the soul. A must-read for clinicians and scholars of all persuasions, this is a book on character that has character, and one destined to become a classic in the field.'' - Stanton Marlan, Duquesne University, USA

"This book is one that could be consulted when challenging cases demand a different perspective. It would therefore be a valuable addition to the bookshelf of any experienced therapist." - Pam Marshall, Consultant Adult Psychotherapist, Eating Disorders Service, European Eating Disorders Review (16) 2008, UK

"Body psychotherapists will find the richness of [Dougherty and West's] treatment of each character a wonderful source to enlarge and deepen our perspective." - Jacqueline A. Carleton, PhD, Editor, Keeping in Touch the USABP Journal, Fall '08, Issue No. 35

About the Author

Nancy J. Dougherty is senior training analyst in the InterRegional Society of Jungian Analysts and the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago.  She is coordinator of training in the Florida Associaiton of Jungian Analysts Seminar and is in private practice in Naples, Florida, USA

Jacqueline J. West is President and Training Director of the C.G. Jung Institute of Santa Fe, a senior training analyst in the InterRegional Society of Jungian Analysts and Jung Institute in Santa Fe.  She is in private practice in Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 944 KB
  • Print Length: 312 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (2 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H1S1D9G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #857,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book does a wonderful job of clarifying the exact route(s) to retrieval of the origins of individual authenticity as cast through the prism of our character structure formed in the mother-child experience. It is back through these primal prisms of the book's all-inclusive and containing Matrix that we are able to go in order to access the meaningful landscapes of transformation. In this way we restore original relationship with the essence of our authenticity as expressed in the natural patterns of wholeness that result.

Dougherty and West weave a seamless, comprehensive and yet very accessible approach to diagnosis and treatment that flows through an effective and meaningful synthesis of contemporary understanding about transformation anchored in the relationship between ego and our original Self. This work is a foundational classic that rides the crest of the present wave of psychodynamic practice that is now bridging any gaps between the traditions of Freudian Psychoanalysis, Post Freudian Object Relations and Jungian Analysis. Fabulous!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 31 Dec. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent quality!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellant Guide for Therapists 6 Oct. 2007
By Alan Friend - Published on
As a Jungian Analyst in private practice and working in a community mental health clinic, I have found Matrix and Meaning to be a great guide for untangling the knots of personality structure. I've used it to gain insight about difficult cases, as well as in the process of supervising other clinicians. Dougherty and West have done a valuable service by drawing together the threads of disparate schools in their discussion of one of the most challenging areas of psychopathology and therapy. As a Jungian, I appreciate their reflections on the archetypal background of character disorder. I also like their well researched presentation of knowledge from neurobiology, developmental psychology, object relations and other psychodynamic approaches. The case studies they provide flesh out the conundrums we so often encounter in disturbed patients and demonstrate how personality disorder can find healing and hopeful solutions. I recommend this book for broadening psychotherapeutic understanding and keep it on my desk as a ready reference. - Alan Friend, Nelson British Columbia
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only for professionals! 22 April 2008
By G. Fleming - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As soon as I began reading The Matrix and Meaning of Character, I could not put it down. Although the book seems obviously directed toward practicing therapists, I found it riveting, and experienced many "aha!" moments. I highly recommend The Matrix and Meaning of Character to anyone seeking illumination and revelations about the core of his or her own behavior.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of insight,scholarship and warmth 12 Jun. 2009
By Rick Overman - Published on
Review by Rick Overman, Psy. D.

Dr. Rick Overman is a psychologist and Jungian Analyst practicing in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton Florida. He is a senior training analyst for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and the President of the Florida Association of Jungian Analysts.

The Little Match Girl, Peter Pan, Blue Beard, Brer Rabbit--what do these timeless characters have to do with your garden variety narcissist, stalking psychopath or annoying passive-aggressive mother-in-law? Utilizing the enduring universal images of myth and fairy tale as guideposts, Jungian Analysts, Daugherty and West, lead us through the complex maze of character development and pathology. By deftly synthesizing Jungian archetypal depth psychology, object relations theory and psychoanalytic self psychology with contemporary neurodevelopmental science, Daugherty and West reveal the maze to be a meaningful matrix and character itself to be a source of healing and transformation.

While the Matrix and Meaning of Character is destined to become a standard text for psychotherapists and analytic training candidates on character from the Jungian point of view, it is written in such a warm, humorous and engaging style that it will likely appeal to the general reader as well. It is woven through with vivid case examples that help illustrate the authors' wise counsel on to how manage treatment difficulties, especially the transference and counter-transference issues that typically arise with the varying character structures.

Highly recommended!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book For Teaching 15 Aug. 2007
By Herbert Price - Published on
Dougherty and West write clearly and make psychodynamic theory understandable. I'm using it in a psychotherapy seminar with staff at a psychiatric hospital who have a wide range of backgrounds. We have found that the fairy tales along with clinical case examples ground the theoretical discussions and help integrate the material. Looking at character through both developmental and archetypal lenses gives a deeper understanding and is refreshing to those who work day to day with DSM IV and cognitive behavioral therapy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview 8 Sept. 2007
By Miriam Goldberg - Published on
This is an important book in providing a way of viewing a variety of behaviors and their underlying dynamics. Although I am not a Jungian and do clinical work with diverse populations and problems, I find the principles outlined in this book to be most helpful in organzing my thinking and reactions to the people I encounter professionally. The case histories, stories, and myths lend content and interest, resulting in a sense of increased awareness about the issues and characteristics discussed. In summary, I would describe this book as "illuminating" in terms of giving the clinician insights into him/herself and into the inner workings of the people who are seeking clearer understanding of their own functioning.
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