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Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy (Reality of the Psyche)

4.48  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"Edinger has greatly enriched my understanding of psychology through the avenue of alchemy. No other contribution has been as helpful as this for revealing, in a word, the anatomy of the psyche and how it applies to where one is in his or her process. This is a significant amplification and extension of Jung's work. Two hundred years from now, it will still be a useful han ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published February 19th 1991 by Open Court Publishing Company (first published February 19th 1985)
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My therapist, a Jungian analyst, recommended this book to me when I started referring to alchemical concepts in the therapy room. I told her that my dreams, and other upwellings from my unconscious, reminded me of the alchemical concepts of "nigredo" and "albedo," even though I hadn't studied or read about these concepts, or alchemy in general, for years. This triggered a renewed interest in the subject, and my cursory review of material about alchemy on the Internet gave me some basic ideas to ...more
Aug 21, 2015 loudermilk rated it it was amazing
a dream can only swim in sleep, so here is the latest gasping mermaid. (my niece called me the best man ever, when I ball her up in my arms her little body sings to me and I press her tightly to my ear.) that wasn't the dream. I killed ogres in another girl's dream last night, she had to tell me because dreams are a shameless kind of truth, or even an update. the world that my niece lives in. in my dream I'm solid, unfound, running out of fuel, feeling dark, numb to dread.

(the old problem of mi
Abner Rosenweig
Feb 09, 2015 Abner Rosenweig rated it really liked it
Edinger is a titan in depth psychology. Consequently I had great expectations for this book and was a bit disappointed. The research and scholarship are first rate, and the illustrations from classic alchemical texts are fantastic. However, even though Edinger expresses up front that alchemical processes in psychology have no single linear progression and must be addressed through an examination of its various operations, the book places too much emphasis on the parts rather than the whole and, ...more
Jan 18, 2013 David rated it really liked it
A very good introduction into alchemy as a language describing the psyche and the process of Individuation. I especially liked the last two chapters on Separatio and Coniunctio. Separatio, the division into two, distinguishing of opposites, the creating a space through differentiation for the conscious ego to exist. The Coniuctio, the Individuation, the bringing together of the opposites, the awareness by the conscious (ego) of the unconscious, bringing about a reciprocal reaction from the uncon ...more
Kate Knowles
Dec 17, 2007 Kate Knowles rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was very transformative for me. You can transform in your own life if you pick a personal issue (prima materia) in your life, choose an artistic medium to work with, and take your art through the various alchemical processes. Working with the material facilitates psychic transformation and openings in your life. Having a support group to support you as you go through the process is recommended. Alchemy is a beautiful tool and this book is brilliant. You learn about and work wit ...more
Feb 06, 2011 Kenzie rated it really liked it
Shelves: depth-psychology
The subject matter is so vast that books on the subject of alchemy inevitably feel disorganized, but Edinger nonetheless supplies much to reflect on.

I had trouble with the section on Separatio, which seemed to endorse a dualism that doesn't really fit with how I experience mind/body. And as with many Jungian books, I felt like the psychology of women gets short shrift.

Besides these complaints, I really enjoyed how Edinger connected a variety of symbols to the development of the psyche. I have
Sep 18, 2012 Wctiii rated it really liked it
Cracks away at alchemy from a Jungian perspective in a well organized way, not skipping over the basics and not quite dumming it down either.
Jul 31, 2008 Rikki rated it really liked it
This book is wonderful. Stages of alchemy as they relate to jungian psychology. Lots of dream images as examples- very cool insights. ah-huh.
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Dr. Edward F. Edinger, M.D., was a leading Jungian psychoanalyst and a founding member of the C.G. Jung Foundation, in Manhattan, as well as the C.G. Jung Institute of New York. He was the institute's president from 1968 to 1979, when he moved to Los Angeles, where continued his practice for 19 years and became a senior analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. He previously served as a m ...more
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