The Hero’s Journey

Once upon a time, a youth, headed to the city to seek their fortune.  However, they stepped off the main road and curiously, took the footpath that leads them into the woods.  The cool, shade of the forest envelops them as they walk further.  The youth left the heat and dust of the more open, higher trafficked road behind.  And thus, the adventure begins.

The story above describes the beginning of the hero’s journey, or the individuation process.  This journey is archetypal and ancient, however it was fully developed as a cycle and made popular by Joseph Campbell.  I also really like the work of Maureen Murdock, who does a develops a complimentary archetypal and mythological journey for feminine people and women in the heroine’s journey.  

Your journey, just like you, is unique.

How Long Term, Depth Work is Different

This is the huge difference between short-term, program-oriented therapy and depth work.  Most research is done with replicable programs that can prove short-term growth.  Furthermore, scientific studies aim to generalize.  This shows that the same results with a larger amount of people in society.  However, because individuation is particular to the individual, it is less able to be standardized in scientific experiments.

This is one of the strengths and values that you get working with me in therapy.  I listen to your stories and work with your personal symbol set, together we uncover hints and deeper meaning that helps you understand where your psyche is leading you.

The Unfolding of a Life

The individuation process, like I said in last week’s blog is an unfolding, on a spiralic path.  Over time, like a footpath through the woods, the client encounters winding turns, and an unknown outcome.  I don’t know where your destiny is leading you.  Together though, in the support of the therapeutic relationship, you can explore your fantasies, your fears, and your dreams, and your relationships as you build your future.

When Does This Turn Inward Start?

Jung said that, “life begins at forty.  Until then it’s just research.”  However, Jolande Jacobi also stated that some of the introspective, spiritual questioning also starts sooner for many people, especially the introverted ones.  A person on an individuation journey responds to the deep inklings of the inner voice of the Self, your Psyche, and thus heeding the call of your inner Genius in an effort to fulfill your destiny.

Final Thoughts on Following Your Path

You may make changes by listening to intuition whether it be in a dream, a gut feeling, a synchronistic event, or a burst of inspirational insight. In therapy I help my clients decode the messages in their dream and their artwork so they can understand what that inner calling may be.  I help people see patterns of behavior that are keeping them stuck.  Together we listen to the story that dreams and artwork are telling us about what a person is called to do, be, or become.

About the Author
Maggi Art Therapist in Columbus OH

Maggi Colwell

Maggi is a registered art therapist at Columbus Art Therapy who assists their clients to discover more of themselves through dream interpretation, art therapy, and depth psychotherapy. They specialize in working with grief and loss as well as gender exploration. Click the button below to get connected.