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Claiming Our Stories

The Gifts of Personal Mythology

A six-hour course with Jonathan Young and Anne Bach

Course Description

A sense of life-story can have a strong impact on our inner development. This course explores major themes in formative myths. We will look at how hidden motivations and expectations can shape the unfolding adventure. Such patterns influence perceptions, choices, and possibilities.

Maturation can be seen as a project of creating a satisfactory biography. It is crucial to cultivate a vision that nurtures our best qualities. Central tasks include finding authenticity, being loyal to cherished values, and having compassion towards oneself and others. Integration involves cultivating a radical sense of acceptance of our stories as they are.

Presentations examine how awareness of psychological narratives may reveal overlooked options and inner strengths. We will show how personal storylines are revised over time. Emphasis is on honoring the essential mystery of a calling to find a clear sense of purpose.

Learning Objectives

  • Discern the shaping influence of life stories.

  • Recognize how crises of faith, courage, and identity can be calls for renewal.

  • Establish how reflecting on personal storyline can aid in the integration of competing goals.

This seminar is taught at the introductory level and requires no advance preparation. However, participants are provided with a recommended reading list as part of their class materials.

CE Credit information

The material is presented at an introductory level, requiring no background in mythic studies, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology.

The following CE credits are available:

  • Psychology, MFT, LCSW, NBCC : 6 CE hours

  • Nursing : 7 hours

How to Register

  1. Select a seminar from the Current Course Dates and Locations

  2. Register online or call the Center at 805-687-7171

Instructor

Instructor: Jonathan Young, PhD is a psychologist (PSY10231) who consults with organizational leaders and creative artists, especially filmmakers. As a professor, he created and chaired the doctoral level department of mythological studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. His books and articles focus on personal mythology. His background includes assisting mythologist Joseph Campbell at seminars and serving as founding curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library.

Other presentations on Mythic Stories

Dr. Young also gives frequent media interviews, public talks, workshops, and in-service trainings throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Edmund Dulac, The Snow Queen flies through the winter night

Edmund Dulac, All the Newspapers in the World

Day Schedule

Checking-in begins at 9:30 a.m. - Seminar 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

9:30 Check-in begins.

10:00 Underlying Patterns in Life Stories

11:15 - Break (approximate time)

11:30 Underlying Patterns in Life Stories

12:30 - Lunch Break

- On your own, please return on time

1:30 Cultivating the Richness of Destiny

2:30 - Break (approximate time)

2:40 Harvesting the Layers of Emerging Narratives

3:50 - Break (approximate time)

4:00 Story Work in Helping People

5:00 Course concludes - Be sure to sign out

Selections from the Reading List

Aron, Elaine N. (1996) The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive when the World Overwhelms You. New York: Broadway Books

Campbell, Joseph (2013) Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) (Safron Elsabeth Rossi, Editor) Novato, CA: New World Library

Campbell, Joseph (1995) Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion. New York: Harper Collins

Estés, Clarissa Pinkola (1993) The Gift of Story: A Wise Tale About What is EnoughThe Gift of Story, (audiotape), Boulder, CO: Sounds True Recordings

Estés, Clarissa Pinkola (2013) Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother's Immaculate Love for the Wild SoulLouisville, CO: Sounds True Books

Feinstein, David and Krippner, Stanley (2009) Personal Mythology: Using Ritual, Dreams, and Imagination to Discover Your Inner Story. (Revised 3rd Edition) Santa Rosa, CA: Energy Psychology Press

Hillman, James (1998) Healing Fiction. Spring Publications

Hollis, James (1996) Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places. Toronto: Inner City Books

Johnson, Robert A. (1986) Inner Work. New York: HarperCollins

Keen, Sam and Valley-Fox, Anne (1989) YoYour Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling (Inner Work Book). New York: Inner Work Book

Larsen, Stephen (1990) The Mythic Imagination: The Quest for Meaning through Personal Mythology. Manchester, VT: Inner Traditions International

Le Grice, Keiron. (2013) The Rebirth of the Hero: Mythology as a Guide to Spiritual Transformation (Muswell Hill Press). Muswell Hill Press

Pearson, Carol S. (1991) Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World. New York: Harper San Fransisco

Whyte, David (2001) Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity New York: Doubleday

Whyte, David (2010) The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship. New York: Riverhead

Whyte, David (2002) The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. New York: Doubleday

Young, Jonathan (1996) Saga - Best New Writings on Mythology Vol. 1. Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press

Young, Jonathan (2000) Saga - Best New Writings on Mythology Vol. 2. Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press