An Exploration of the Unconscious through the writing of a Play
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The Study of Creativity and the Unconscious has its roots in many disciplines, from Education, Spirituality, to Psychology. 'Imagination is now recognised as an indispensible resource in human life' (Shorr, 1983). Jung also regarded image as the language of the unconscious ... and if one is to work with the unconscious one needs to learn this language' (Dolan 2003). The exploration of the unconscious through song, dance, poem, and play to name a few creative art forms, are variably used by psychotherapists. Being a final year psychotherapist myself in training, I was drawn to this approach. Since a child I loved creating songs and playing make believe with my friends. What child doesn't, I suppose! However, growing older, retreating into this world of creativity worked for me when coping with daily stresses. So, it made sense to me to delve a little deeper into this, in some shape or form, when asked to write a research hypothesis. This Play is in 4 parts (which can be found at the back of this thesis), where we get a glimpse inside the thoughts, feelings, intentions and subsequent behaviours of the coming of age young woman, on her life journey. This Play in progress is about the life and times of an Irish historical figure, called Granuaile, otherwise known as Grace 0' Malley or Baldy, as she is referred to in the Play. This study availed of a qualitative approach using the author's play, and a semi-structured interview with one male trainee psychotherapist who participated in this study, whom we'll refer to as participant X. The main findings of this study confirm previous research that there is a link between creative writing and psychotherapy. This study identified the prevalence of many themes in reference to ((An exploration of the unconscious through the writing of a play")) Psychotherapy, of which include attachment (emeshed), anger, hiding, abandonment, resistance, and so on. The findings of this study also reveal how the discovery of such themes via the dramatis personae of 'Baldy' have parallels in the lives of the writer of the play, her clients, and participant X .It also highlights how this has already been experienced, in the evidence and works of Jung, Yeat's and many other theorists and writers. This study concludes that in fact the writing of a play is and exploration of the unconscious of the writer.