Images of the Dead in Grief Dreams: A Jungian View of Mourning
While in training at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich in 1988, Susan Olson suffered the loss of her daughter in an auto accident. In this intimate and unique exploration, Olson uses C. G. Jung's psychological framework to describe her journey through tragedy, guided by a series of vivid dreams.
In Images of the Dead in Grief Dreams: A Jungian View of Mourning , Jung's definition of the dream as a "harbinger of fate, a portent and comforter, a messenger of the gods" evolves from theory into embodied insight as Olson describes her encounter with the transforming power of grief. Drawing from personal experience as well as theoretical and clinical material, Olson presents premonitory dreams, which occur before the loss of a loved one, and grief dreams, which follow a loved one's death, and analyzes both according to Jung's method of dream interpretation. Sharing her own dreams as well as those of other mourners, Olson asserts that such dreams play a crucial role in the dreamer's emotional recovery and psychological development, otherwise known as the process of individuation. She sensitively offers an assessment of the stages of grief and draws on the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, Jung's memoirs, and other literature to amplify her experience of mourning. In this rare combination of grief theory and dream work, Images of the Dead in Grief Dreams is both a grief memoir and an extensive study of C. G. Jung's view of the mourning process.
This fully updated revised edition will be of immense interest to Jungian analysts and trainees, academics, psychologists, students of Jungian dream analysis, and to all who have suffered loss.
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