Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times

A Powerful Vision of the Human Future!

A review by Douglas M. Gillette, MARS, M-Div

In his brilliant and urgently prophetic new book, Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times, Steven Herrmann, using extraordinarily acute literary critical techniques along with powerfully insightful depth psychological tools, plumbs the depths and scales the heights of yet another great 19th Century American author. Herrmann’s deep dive into what can be recovered as well as surmised about the inner life of Emily Dickinson reveals a complex “volcanic” and at the same time perhaps painfully introverted “medicine woman,” or shaman, on a mission to reveal not only to her fellow-Americans but also to the entire world her vision of what authentic human wholeness entails. In Herrmann’s interpretation, that includes what he terms a “bi-erotic” and “spiritually democratic” embracing of one’s own post-religious, post-gender conflicted “cosmic” core, which ultimately and immediately both resonates with and finally is identical not only to the totality of humankind in its fullness, but also the entirely of what is. Herrmann’s optimism that a new era of bi-erotic spiritual democracy is on the verge of becoming abundantly manifest within all human societies throughout the world is contagious!

TITLE: Emily Dickinson: A Medicine Woman for Our Times
AUTHOR: Steven Herrmann
PUBLISHER: Fisher King Press
ISBN: 9781771690416

Toni Wolff & C.G. Jung: A Collaboration

Jung in Larger Context

Review by Joey Madia

In the interest of Disclosure, I served as the editor for this book. That said, and keeping in mind the relationship of editors like Maxwell Perkins with their writers (in his case, no less than Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and, somewhat synchronistically—to use Jung’s term—Thomas Wolfe), this should not preclude a fair review. Indeed, editors are reviewing books all the time. The difference is, they have the opportunity to provide different eyes to the author’s work before the fact, as opposed to reviewers, who do so after the fact (although I have done a number of pre-publication reviews that precipitated changes before publication).

But enough of that. I agreed to the editing contract for the same reason that I am now reviewing Toni Wolff & C.G. Jung—Nan Savage Healy’s detailed and insightful exploration of Jung’s unsung and nearly obliterated collaborator shines a powerful light on Jung, whom I, like others, practically deified as I have made my own journey through Jungian staples such as Archetypes, Dreams, the Shadow, and Myths.

I have reviewed many books by Jungian psychologists (e.g., Lawrence Staples and Erel Shalit) and have read many of Jung’s books. His work is an essential part of my own in Storytelling and I put him right up there with Joseph Campbell as one of the giants whose shoulders I stand upon. Continue reading

Improving Mental Health

‘We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.’ Anaïs Nin

Review by Grady Harp

New York’s Chief Psychiatrist Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the nation’s largest state mental health system, an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health, and has been Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, a Harvard teaching hospital, and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association. His contributions to his field and to the community at large have been rewarded by the American Psychiatric Association (Psychiatric Administrator of the Year), Scholar-in-Residence grant by the Rockefeller Foundation and an Exemplary Psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He has published books for both professional and lay audiences in addition to many articles in medical journals and non-medical publications like TheAtlantic.com, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Commonweal Magazine, and Psychology Today. He is Medical Editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post and Contributing Writer to US News & World Report. Continue reading

War of the Ancient Dragon

“A testament to the healing capacities of the imagination, the humble “star in man” that connects us to the unconscious: to unknown and unexpected developments in ourselves.” says Literary Aficionado

New Title Press Release
Just Published by Fisher King Press:

War of the Ancient Dragon: Transformation of Violence in Sandplay
by Laurel A. Howe

Six-year-old Randy conducts bloody wars in the sandtray, calling them “World War One,” “World War Two,” and “The War of the Ancient Dragon.” He burns fires and bombs helpless victims, killing some and saving others. What could possibly be going on in his imagination?

The contents of his imagination—what the alchemists call the “realm of subtle bodies”—are revealed in his sandplay from one session to the next, and there we see the raw, autonomous dynamism that motivates Randy, already branded a bully and nearly expelled from first grade. We see fiery, destructive conflict, part his, part his culture’s, part lived, part projected, a conflict of archetypal opposites that engulf Randy’s personality and fuel his violent behavior.

But also from Randy’s imaginal world, out of the very war between opposites that drives him, the unknown third possibility unfolds. Continue reading

Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul

‘inside and outside, the psyche and the world’ – The legacy of Carl Jung

Review by Grady Harp

Claire Dunne has produced what many of us will consider the definitive biography of the great Carl Jung. Yes, we all studied Jungian thought in college and many books have been written about the influence of Carl Jung on our psyches and our world vision, but few take us through this important man’s life and contributions accompanied by art on every page that makes Jung’s though lines visual. Paintings by diverse artists, famous and legendary and unknown and anonymous, allow a different entry in to the wonders of Jung’s contributions.

Why no one has thought of this technique of communication before now seems strange, so powerful is the combination of Claire’s writing coupled with the painting and woodblocks and drawings and symbols she has elected to illustrate her points. This is a book to treasure and one to offer young students curious about the development of psychology and worldview in the early years of their education. Simply put, this book is an award worthy volume that deserves a very large audience who are curious about the impact of one of the greatest minds of our culture. Highly Recommended on every level. Grady Harp, November 15

TITLE: Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul
AUTHOR: Claire Dunne
PUBLISHER: Watkins
ISBN: 978-1-78028-831-4
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