Required Reading & Educational Resources

A NOTE: Many of the books listed below could fall into the categories of Men’s psychology and Women’s psychology. I’ve opted not to break them up in this way because I think it behooves us to be educated in both, considering that we are all made up of both masculine and feminine (or yin and yang) energies, qualities and potentials. For example, as I read King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, I look at it both as way of better understanding the men in my life and of assessing the current (and potential) developmental state of my Animus (inner masculine)… So, everything is listed in alphabetical order by author. If it would be helpful for you to have them categorized in a different way, let me know!

Also, many of the books listed are from a library of Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts. The complete catalog can be found at the publisher’s website, Inner City Books (Link).

Over time, I will be writing about my experience with, and deeper impressions of, most of these books. They will be posted under Readings.


* * * * * * * *

World Weary Woman: Her Wound and Transformation (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 96), Cara Baker. A World Weary Woman is one whose characteristic response to stress is to struggle to achieve. However, she feels little joy in the process, suffering a disconnection from her feminine body wisdom and her creativity. Her task is to find a way of living authentically that allows her to express what awakens her heart. The provisional life exhausts her and she knows it. Thus she must detach from who she has been, in order to discover who she is meant to be. The experience is one very often tied to internalized negative father, or a history of being a “father’s daughter”. (Link)

The  Fundamentals of Jungian Theory (PODCASTS) This is an incredible resource of lessons in Jungian psychology as taught by Jungian Analyst, John D. Betts. (Link)

A Little Book on the Human Shadow, Robert Bly. The renowned poet and author of the ground-breaking bestseller Iron John, mingles essay and verse to explore the Shadow — the dark side of the human personality — and the importance of confronting it. (Link)

Iron John: A Book About Men, Robert Bly. In this deeply learned book, poet and translator Robert Bly offers nothing less than a new vision of what it is to be a man.Bly’s vision is based on his ongoing work with men and reflections on his own life. He addresses the devastating effects of remote fathers and mourns the disappearance of male initiation rites in our culture. Finding rich meaning in ancient stories and legends, Bly uses the Grimm fairy tale “Iron John,” in which the narrator, or “Wild Man,” guides a young man through eight stages of male growth, to remind us of archetypes long forgotten-images of vigorous masculinity, both protective and emotionally centered.Simultaneously poetic and down-to-earth, combining the grandeur of myth with the practical and often painful lessons of our own histories, Iron John is a rare work that will continue to guide and inspire men-and women-for years to come. (Link)

Facing the Shadow in Men and Women (AUDIO), Marion Woodman & Robert Bly. This audio tape gives an excellent flavor of Woodman & Bly’s work together. They use the Russian fairy tale “The White Bear King Valemon” as the vehicle for exploring the shadow in men and women. Aside from the wonderful storytelling and soul-piercing poetry, the tape is full of marvelous insights. For example, Bly points out that we have talked about fathers’ incest, but not of the psychic incest of mothers. When men get in touch with this, there will be anger and rage. Marion observed that a woman’s uterus is an empty void. Tribal cultures honored this, for example by rubbing a woman’s stomach with corn starch for fertility and honoring the womb as the center of the earth. Modern day woman, however, experience this void as an emptiness in their body, which they might hopelessly try to fill with over-eating or a series of meaningless relationships. If you are interested in finding common ground between men and women this is a tape you should listen to. (Link)

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach. “Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork–all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s twenty years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students. (Link)

Knowing Woman, Irene Claremont de Castillejo. This is a brilliant book that deeply shifted my self awareness and psyche. Castillejo maps out the nuances of all stages of human development, with the focus primarily on women. Topics include the social responsibility of consciousness, a full exploration of Animus and Anima projection and possession in men and women, inner marriage, tension of opposites, creativity, Individuation, the stages of life and what it looks like when we either fight or embrace them. It should be required reading for all humans, male and female, who are actually interested in growing up. Absolute genius. (Link)

The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts), Nancy Qualls Corbet, forward by Marion Woodman. The disconnection between spirituality and passionate love leaves a broad sense of dissatisfaction and boredom in relationships. The author illustrates how our vitality and capacity for joy depend on restoring the soul of the sacred prostitute to its rightful place in consciousness.(Link)

Going All The Way, Marcia & Brian Gleason. An Exceptional Marriage creates space for partners to come truly and vitally alive. In this book, the Gleason’s encourage couples to claim their human potential by unlocking their full range of deep and transformative emotions. Going all The Way teaches couples how to use the power of commitment and intimacy to bring forth each partner’s highest qualities. By learning how to work with energy and emotions, couples open up their relationship to greater spontaneity, pleasure, and creativity. Going All The Way provides the tools to support this possibility. (Link)

Mothers, Sons, and Lovers: How a Man’s Relationship with His Mother Affects the Rest of His Life, Michael Gurian. This book shows how the challenges a man typically encounters in relationships–such as codependency, insecurity, and the need for control–most often have their origin in the way he learned to relate to his mother. This guided journey helps facilitate healing in the primal bond and other love relationships. The only shortcoming is the primary focus on smothering relationships with mother. There is not much illustration of how men are affected by mothers who are physically or emotionally absent. Unfortunately when dealing with a topic that is so innately confronting, it is too easy to dissociate from the basic message if one doesn’t find a literal parallel to their specific story. (Link)

Encounters With the Soul: Active Imagination As Developed by C.G. Jung, Barbara Hannah. Barbara Hannah, Jungian analyst and author, explores Jung’s method of “active imagination,” often considered the most powerful tool in analytical psychology for achieving direct contact with the unconscious and attaining greater inner awareness. Using historical and contemporary case studies, Hannah traces the human journey toward personal wholeness. This approach to confronting the unconscious is a healing process that applies to both men and women and deals in depth with the injured feminine as well as many powerful archetypal forces. This is a wild and fascinating read! (Link)

The Way Of All Women, Esther Harding. Acclaimed as one of the best works available on feminine psychology from the time it first appeared in 1933, The Way of All Women discusses topics such as work, marriage, motherhood, old age, and women’s relationships with family, friends, and lovers. Dr. Harding, who was best known for her work with women and families, stresses the need for a woman to work toward her own wholeness and develop the many sides of her nature, and emphasizes the importance of unconscious processes. (Link)

Getting The Love You Want, Harville Hendrix. Originally published in 1988, “Getting the Love You Want” has helped millions of couples attain more loving, supportive, and deeply satisfying relationships. The 20th anniversary edition contains extensive revisions to this groundbreaking book, with a new chapter, new exercises, and a foreword detailing Dr. Hendrix’s updated philosophy for eliminating all negativity from couples’ daily interactions, allowing readers of the 2008 edition to benefit from his ongoing discoveries during his last two decades of work. (Link)

Receiving Love, Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt. Many partners learn how to give love, but many more undermine their relationships by for-getting something that is equally important – learning to receive it. According to the authors, the root of the problem is the self-rejection that began in childhood, when our parents and caretakers unintentionally failed to nurture or directly rejected traits, characteristics, or impulses when we were children. We end up rejecting in ourselves whatever our caretakers ignored or rejected in the course of our childhoods. When we become adults, this makes it impossible to let in the love we want and need, even when our partners offer it. As a result, we dismiss compliments, minimize gestures of affection, and create obstacles to true intimacy. (Link)

Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters, Robert Augustus Masters. Spiritual bypassing—the use of spiritual beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs—is so pervasive that it goes largely unnoticed. The spiritual ideals of any tradition, whether Christian commandments or Buddhist precepts, can provide easy justification for practitioners to duck uncomfortable feelings in favor of more seemingly enlightened activity. When split off from fundamental psychological needs, such actions often do much more harm than good. Spiritual Bypassing provides an in-depth look at the unresolved or ignored psychological issues often masked as spirituality, including self-judgment, excessive niceness, and emotional dissociation. (Link)

Transformation Through Intimacy, Robert Augustus Masters. Intimate relationship has long been viewed and lived as a lesser alternative to spiritual life. More recently, the need to integrate our spiritual and intimate lives, rather than maintaining separate spheres and relationships on autopilot, has become increasingly apparent. Given the high rates of infidelity and divorce, it would seem that the possibilities of freedom through intimacy have not been explored in much depth. Too often we pull away when relationships become difficult, missing out on the rewards of connecting more profoundly. The passage from immature to mature monogamy is not only a journey of ripening intimacy with a partner, but also a journey into and through zones of ourselves that may be very difficult to accept and integrate with the rest of our being. Transformation through Intimacy explores intimate relationships through a four-stage lens: me-centered, we-centered codependent, we-centered coindependent, and being-centered. Masters shows readers not only how to navigate the thickets of reactivity, conflict, shame, anger, fear, and doubt, but how to understand them in a new light so that a deeper level of relating to oneself and one’s partner becomes possible, opening new levels of trust, commitment, and love. (Link)

Dark Hearts: The Unconscious Forces That Shape Men, Loren E. Pedersen, Ph.D. This book offers a fresh view of men’s behavior, attitudes, and relationships with women, children, and each other by exploring the development of the anima, C.G. Jung’s term for the inner feminine nature that exists in the masculine psyche. Dr. Pedersen shows how this hidden part of a man’s personality exerts a vital influence on his spiritual and emotional growth. (Link)

The Scapegoat Complex: Toward a Mythology of Shadow and Guilt (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts), Sylvia Brinton Perera. An in-depth study of the role of the victim, based on historical rituals, dreams, mythology, case material, and archetypal patterns. Shows that scapegoating is a way of denying one’s own dark side by projecting it onto others. Illustrates how this complex shows up in the individual and the collective on a global scale. (Link)

The Invisible Partners: How the Male and Female in Each of Us Affects Our RelationshipsJohn B. Sanford. A book about the masculine and feminine dimensions of the soul (the anima/animus in Jung) ; shows how the feminine part of a man and the masculine part of a woman are the invisible partners in any male-female relationship ; provides direction in understanding and dealing with projections which can damage and even present real relationship between a man and a woman ; for people who want to understand themselves and their relationships better. I think this book is absolutely brilliant and should be required reading for any couple! It is very clear and easy to read, unlike many other books that deal with Jungian concepts. (Link)

If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, Chuck Spezzano PhD. A simple life-transforming collection of 366 principles that help heal the problems and hurt in relationships, written by the co-founder of Psychology of Vision. Inspiring and full of heartfelt guidance and encouragement, this book will bring everyone the love and happiness they deserve. Examples of some of the principles explored: “What I think I need is what I am called to give.” “Depression is the fear that something new will leave me.” “When someone gets angry at me, there is a lesson for me to learn.” “Jealousy is a birthing place.” These principles show how to look afresh at one’s most important relationships, in a way that heals pain and brings love and forgiveness. After each principle, the author gives brief exercises that nudge readers further, prompting them to absorb the insights even more deeply. The lessons can be done chronologically or randomly/intuitively  (Link)

Heal Your Heartbreak: How to Live and Love Again, Chuck Spezzano PhD. Based on the author’s 28 years of counseling experience and 24 years of psychological research and seminar leadership, Heal Your Heartbreak is a book full of practical wisdom about getting over the disappointments and setbacks that come from a broken heart. Through more than 110 lessons organized into four accessible sections—on Healing Chronic Heartbreak, Things that Lead to Heartbreak, the Lessons of Heartbreak, and the Tools for Healing Heartbreak—Dr. Spezzano offers guidance to everyone who has been through the near-universal experience of heartbreak. Suggestions and exercises appear throughout, allowing readers to assess their own experience and to discover their own solutions to their situation. Heal Your Heartbreak shows us how to take back power over our life and heart, so that we can enjoy life and learn to love once again. (Link)

The Nature of Fear, Chuck Spezzano PhD. A wonderul article on the nature of fear by Chuck Spezzano. (Link)

Conscious Femininity: Interviews With Marion Woodman (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts), Marion Woodman. Candid and wide-ranging interviews dating from 1985 through 1992 with the best-selling author and Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman. Touches on sexuality, creativity, relationships, addictions, healing, rituals, and the environment. This is an excellent introduction to Marion Woodman’s brilliant thinking. (Link)

Dancing in the Flames, The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness, Marion Woodman & Elinor Dickson. Dark, earthy, and immensely powerful, the Black Goddess has been a key force in world history, manifesting in images as diverse as the Indian goddess Kali and the Black Madonnas of medieval Europe. She embodies the energy of chaos and creativity, creation and destruction, death and rebirth. Images of Her, however, have been conspicuously missing in the Western world for centuries-until now, when awareness of the Goddess is re-arising in many spheres, from the women’s movement to traditional religion, from the new discoveries of quantum physics to the dreams of ordinary men and women. Why now particularly? The answer provided by Marion Woodman and Elinor Dickson is bold and thrilling: the reemergence of the Divine Feminine in our time indicates our readiness to move to an entirely new level of consciousness. The reemerging Goddess calls for a shattering of rigid categories, a willingness to hold opposites without opposition. She calls us to marry reason and order to creativity, and to embrace the chaos that can ultimately lead to wisdom and transformation on personal and global levels. (Link)

The Pregnant Virgin; A Process of Psychological Transformation (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts), Marion Woodman. This book is about the struggle to become conscious. It is about overcoming addictions-to food, drugs, work, etc. It is about the wisdom of the body, initiation rituals, dreams. It is about relationship and the search for personal identity. It is a celebration of the feminine, both in men and in women. It is about becoming free. The Pregnant Virgin explores a process of change akin to the metamorphosis of caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. It describes periods in the chrysalis when life as we have known it is over and we are effectively alone. No longer who we were, we know not who we may become. At such times a thinking heart can bring us closer to our inner virgin, “one-in-herself,” forever open to new life, new possibilities-our own unique truth. (Link)


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