Symptom as Symbol: A Transpersonal Language

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A Transpersonal Language

Authors: Barbara Somers and Ian Gordon-Brown

Series Editor: Hazel Marshall

Paintings: Pamela Allsop, creative, artist and Transpersonal Psychotherapist .
Illustrations: Ian Thorp. publisher and Transpersonal Psychotherapist.

Barbara Somers reminds us that from the beginning of time people have been symbol creating creatures. It’s in our art, our poetry, painting, dance, literature, and in our dreams. She believes this wonderful symbolic language is also in our symptoms of illness. They may be early warning signals of an imbalance between who the person really is – or who they need to become – and their chosen lifestyle, or the environment in which they find themselves.

This book will be an invaluable aid and guide for all those interested in the Transpersonal approach to life and therapy.

It answers many questions about the meaning of symbology in our life, dreams and in clients’ stories. Full of practical advice, plus case examples, woven together with the eternal wisdom of the authors.


Introduction: The Psyche and the Symbol: The art of listening; accidents do happen
Recoiling the Better to Advance: Crises; the interface; psychosomatics; dreams.
Hysteric, Depressive and Schizoid Positions: Splits; separation anxiety; clinical-labelling; counselling with a Transpersonal orientation.
The Hysteric Personality: Acting and playacting; space and boundaries.
The Depressive Personality: Clinical depression; drugs; aggression and anger. The Schizoid Personality: subject or object? clinical schizo phrenia; severe trauma; fear of relationship.
The Obsessive/Compulsive Personality: Obsessive-compulsive disorder; sexuality and aggression; perfectionism; relationship and feeling.
The Phobic Personality: Various phobias; nightmares and big dreams; case studies.
The Anxious Personality: Anxiety neurosis; counselling people in anxiety states.
Adult Sexuality: Sexual maturity; sensuality and sexuality; the nursery; the growing child; adolescence; young adulthood.
Sexual Variation: How gender may begin; guilt; tied back to the parent.
The Meaning of Illness: Ageing; illness; the language of the symptom.
The Transcendent Function: Inner alchemy; using Gestalt.
Comprehensive index for easy reference.

  • 288 pages: numerous colour and b/w illustrations
  • Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 20 mm portrait
  • Total weight: 0.650 kg