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Fairy-tales in psychotherapy

Fairy-tales in psychotherapy

Journal of Analytical Psychology 42(2): 253-268

Fairy-tales, like mythologies, can be found all over the world containing the same motif and chains of motifs. In this paper I have presented some theories on the occurrence of this archetypal phenomenon ranging from the old migration theory to Sheldrake's theory of morphogenetic fields. I have then tried to show how fairy-tale-motifs can appear in various ways in analytical therapy, often in hidden forms. We find them in patients' dreams as well as in their fantasies and associations. If the therapist is open to them they will also appear in his or her amplifications. He or she might then take note of the fairy-tale or point it out to the patient; in the latter case it might provide better access to the patient's problems and complexes as fairy-tales have an emotional completeness because of their pictorial character. Finally I have described the favourite fairy-tale of one of my patients and related it to his symptoms, his central complex and his personal ways of experiencing and behaving. This survey of how fairy-tales can be used in therapy with children and with adults far from exhaustive.

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Accession: 046071723

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9206723

DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-5922.1997.00253.x

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