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The Matrix and Meaning of Character


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 Details

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction, the Matrix From Which Character Emerges. Part II: Schizoid Character Structure, "Encapsulated in Ice." Counter-dependent Narcissistic Character Structure, "Independence in a Glass Coffin." Obsessive-Compulsive Character Structure; for the Perfectly Tidy, the Wolf Stands Hungry at the Door. Borderline Character Structure, "Agony and Ecstasy." The Dependent Narcissistic Character Structure, "Dependence in the Service of Connection." Hysteria, "The Golden Promise." Psychopathic Character Structure, "Culling the Herd: Dominance, Control, Predation." Alpha Narcissistic Character Structure, "On Top Yet Always Under Siege." Passive-aggressive Character Structure: "The Tar-Baby Beckons." Part III: Conclusion.

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


"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

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