Labyrinth Research Bibliography

Bibliography of Studies Related to Labyrinth Research (.pdf 517K)

This downloadable Bibliography has all entries sorted by author. The entries in the bibliography have been categorized below by topic and also by type (doctoral dissertation, journal article etc.).

The myth of Theseus and individuation: An archetypal study of the labyrinthine psyche

Drapes, D. E.

Abstract:  In the archetypal literature of psychology there is limited reference to the Greek myth of Theseus. In this study the myth and the symbol most synonymous with Theseus, the labyrinth, are examined in-depth. The fields of mythology, art, anthropology, literature, and religious studies have been examined in order to achieve a comprehensive view of the Theseus myth. The significance of the myth and the symbol were applied to Jungian psychological constructs. Jung's concept of individuation was compared with both the myth and the symbol. The study showed how the myth encompassed and reflected all of the major constructs of Jungian psychology. The myth proved to be a fitting representation of individuation throughout the lifespan. The study followed the chronology of the life of Theseus and selected images of labyrinths.

Clinical case material was used to connect the story and image to the psychotherapy process. Suggestions were given for incorporating the myth and the individuation process into the dynamics of psychotherapy. The role of the psychotherapist was seen as an Ariadne's thread for the patient lost or dead-ended in the maze of life.  The path of the hero and the labyrinth as a container were used to suggest a new vision of the psyche. The vision imagined is both subjective and objective, labyrinthine and mandalic. This new vision was proposed as an aid for successful navigation of the labyrinthine path of life, especially when dealing with psychological dead-ends which can deflate the needed heroic ego. The dynamic aspect of the hero was viewed as a compliment to the static aspect of the labyrinth. Together the two compromise a wholistic, curative map of the transcendent function in which the unconscious becomes conscious and illuminates the way.

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