Writings and Philosophies of

Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

An Exploration of
Anima and Animus in Jungian Theory:

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

The primary aim of this paper is to conduct a psychological inquiry into the archetypes of anima and animus---the contrasexual aspects of the psyche---within the dynamics of a heterosexual relationship when the male has an undeveloped anima and the female has an undeveloped animus. Jung (1951/1979) defines anima as the feminine aspect in the male psyche and animus as the masculine aspect in the female psyche. The words “anima” and “animus” derive from the Latin word animare (Sanford, 1980) which means to bring to life. Anima/animus serve as a bridge between consciousness and the unconscious and as a guide and mediator between the ego and the self, the archetype of wholeness. The author utilizes her own personal experience of an intimate heterosexual relationship to assist in giving the reader a phenomenological understanding of anima/animus. At the end, a discussion will be included regarding some contemporary understandings of anima/animus. The intention throughout the paper, however, is to remain intimate with Jung’s original thoughts on anima and animus.

Read More

Alcoholism is Not a Disease:

Challenging Mainstream Andro-Centric Science
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

Recently a very competent, seasoned mental health professional referred to alcoholism as a “disease.” I did say that I disagreed which elicited a response from the person that she could show me “a lot of research” to support the claim. When I rebounded with a resounding answer stating that it didn’t matter how much research she provided, I still would not believe that alcoholism is a “disease,” she retorted defensively asking if I believed alcoholism was a “moral weakness.” I said I did not. She then quickly dismissed me. Such verbal exchanges are common in the mental health field which is rife with different and competing theoretical models and assumptions. Let me outline my arguments as to why I oppose the mainstream belief that alcoholism is a “disease.”

Read More

Understanding The Psychology of War

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

All wars, bar none, are, at their root, psychological. At the manifest level, war appears to be a horizontal war meaning that it appears that one group is engaged in conflict with another group diametrically opposed to them such as Americans against Germans or Christians against non-Christians. This is merely an illusion that hides the vertical or hierarchical aspect of the psychology behind a war for all wars, essentially, are the result of the psychological undertow between beliefs in the superiority of one group versus the inferiority of the other. It is about who is more and less deserving than the other. It is about entitlement, omnipotence, and grandiosity leading to the desire of one person or party to have control and power over “other,” in other words, to dominate. This type of cognitive schema is best represented within the pathologically masculine spectrum of narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy and, its severest form, psychopathy.

Read More

Ethics I

A Brief Self-Assessment: My Ethical Views
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

What I value above all else is “the Good” in a Platonic sense. I value what is the Highest Good for both self and other, for “the All.” I place value on virtues: truth, love, goodwill, knowledge, creativity, beauty, wisdom, patience, kindness, love, tolerance, freedom from want, generosity, courage. Unfortunately, life is full of various vices which emanate from ignorance of the Ultimate Truth. The systems which have been built are led and powered by individuals who, for the most part, have narcissistic needs. Because systems simply mirror the virtues or vices of the people who power and maintain them, we have situations where people are constantly required to compromise their values. It is not whether or not values are compromised, rather, until every person on the planet comes to understand Ultimate Reality and until all world systems function under this understanding, it will always be a matter of how often and to what degree.

Read More      View as PDF

Ethics II

What is the “Highest Good”
in Platonic, Aristotelian and Stoic thinking?
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

For Plato, the Highest Good is the knowledge of the Form of the Good. When this is known, an individual will know good from bad, right from wrong. The Forms are known through the Divine Nous and they alone are real, eternal and immutable. They are archetypes in the realm of the gods, hence, every person has the potential to access them although, according to Plato, it is rare for humans to reach this transcendent epistemological consciousness. This transcendent consciousness of the gods is where “souls are rich in nature” (Edel, Flower & O’Connor, 1989). Since the divine consciousness level transcends the lower soul level of the appetites, only these people are fit to rule the masses. In Platonic thought, only these philosopher kings, who know and love wisdom, who know the Form of the Good which alone is real, should govern. According to Plato, as voiced through Socrates, “to know the Good is to do the Good”, thus, only those who know the Forms will be compelled to be moral and ethical for the individual, society and the body politic. In Plato’s Symposium (Plato, 1990), the Highest Good that the soul desires is to Love the Good forever. To love the Good is ontological transcendence, thus, Platonic theory is, essentially, a treatise of the transcendent Psyche where epistemology implies ontological transcendence.

Read More      View as PDF

Ethics III

To what degree are contemporary American social values compatible with “universal” human rights and with my own ethical principles?
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

Since the question is not clear as to whether the comparison is between “actual” American social values or “ideal” social values, I will take the position of answering the question as though it were asking for the latter. How are the “ideal” American social values compatible with “universal” human rights and with my own ethical and moral principles?

Ideal American values are stipulated in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Broadly speaking, it can be said that America values, above all else, life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness and, further, that all human beings (although the Constitution only explicitly stipulated the male gender to have them) have an inalienable and inviolable right to live, to live as free persons and to live in such a manner as to pursue happiness, as long as these do not infringe upon the equal right of “others” to have these as well. This is understood to mean that I have these rights no more and no less than do other Americans such that we exercise these rights only to the extent that no harm is caused to another by doing so. American values are freedom of speech, religion, freedom to peaceful protest, freedom from warrantless searches of property and from arbitrary arrest or conviction, freedom from unwanted intrusion. Other rights are a fair judicial process such as a trial by jury when accused of wrongdoing and a trial by a jury of my peers. The law also grants me the right to an education and freedom from discrimination based upon gender, race, ethnicity, color or place of origin. While these are not exhaustive, they are the most salient ones guaranteed by our forefathers over 200 years ago.

Read More      View as PDF

A Comparative Analysis of Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta and Mainstream Western Concepts of Consciousness

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

Consciousness is understood as radically different in Advaita Vedanta from that in the West. Whereas most Eastern concepts of consciousness have posited for over three millennia a metaphysical basis, the discussion in the West has been fraught with schisms about the definition, origin and nature of consciousness between the disciplines of theology, philosophy, science and, most recently within the past century, psychology. This paper focuses on providing a beginning reader with salient differences and similarities between consciousness within Advaita Vedanta and traditional Western thought in the discipline of psychology. In-depth analyses would require copious and sophisticated discussion regarding various Western psychologists from the cognitive-behavioralists, humanistic-existentialists and transpersonalists, thus, it is outside the intent and limited scope of this essay.

View as PDF

Globalization and Power I

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

What do I think are the major problems facing the world?

Globalization is being defined in a myriad of different ways as different people view the construct through a different prism. Rodrik defines it primarily in economic terms as the “international integration of markets for goods, services and capital” (as cited in Anderson, in press, p. 1), whereas Friedman perceives it through a hologram of shifting lens, “the integration of capital, technology and information across national borders, in a way that is creating a single global market and, to some degree, a global village” (as cited in Anderson, in press, p. 2). Still others such as the sociologist Malcolm Waters perceives it as a “social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements receded and in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding” (as cited in Anderson, in press, p. 3). As a mental health professional who sees the world through the lens of the human psyche, I am particularly fond of sociologist’s Roland Robertson’s definition as “the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole” (as cited in Anderson, in press, p. 5). Anderson (in press) appropriately highlights the common and “widespread confusion about what globalization is” as people debate each other because they have such “profound different images of what’s happening” (p.1). Barnet and Cavanagh (1994), highlighting the multi-faceted and complex nature of globalization, compare it to the verbalizations of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland saying “it means precisely whatever the user says it means” (p. 14). Ursula Franklin (1996), in her 1995 Lois and John Dove Memorial Lecture in Toronto, refers to the “global commercial hegemony”, of the “struggle against the arrogance and ignorance of power, against impending destruction, occupation, and conquest” (p. 13). On the most basic level, she speaks of globalization as “a war against people” (p. 13) and “from a historical perspective, we are in the middle of a market-driven war on the common good” (p. 15). Whatever the definition, it has become glaringly obvious that multinationals, and the senior executives who manage them, are—by far---the clear winners (Barnet & Cavanagh, 1994; Henderson, 1991; Korten, 2001; Rifkin, 2004) holding a barrel full of carrots with egregiously excessive compensation packages that are in the multi-millions (sometimes hundreds of millions including stocks options), 20-30% average annual corporate boardroom wage increases (Toynbee, 2007), hidden “soft” benefits such as use of the corporate jets for personal matters and residential renovations costing tens of thousands of dollars and tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy. Meanwhile, this is juxtaposed against the middle and lower classes who are left holding several sticks. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization of those developed countries which espouses the principles of democracy and a capitalistic economy (hardly a liberal organization) recently stated that the rise in wage inequality is rising sharply in 18 of the 20 developed nations that it monitors (cited in Toynbee, 2007). The middle and lower classes in the U.S. are increasingly experiencing stagnant wages (annual average is 2%), unemployment from millions of U.S. jobs being shipped overseas where corporations are exploiting labor by paying substandard wages, underemployment due to being forced to accept jobs that are far below an individual’s education and skill level, and skyrocketing debt to pay for essential expenses such as healthcare. In other words, decreasing income and increasing expenses is the financial mantra by which the middle and lower class live. Egregious exploitation of 90% or more of the human species is fast becoming a global norm. The denial by some politicians that the middle class is slowly disappearing into the lower class ranks and the refusal of the mainstream media (which is owned by corporations) to inform the public on a mass scale as to the serious extent that this has been occurring make this all the more astounding and troubling. Only an informed citizenry can garner sufficient numbers to act in concert to change disturbing tides of corruption and deceit in the halls of corporate and political power.

      View as PDF

Globalization and Power II

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

How has centralization of unaccountable money or power in the global economy provided a special policy edge for special interests in US or international policy? What are the implications of this influence?

The centralization of power, as exists with monarchies and dictatorships, has a long history of concentrating money in the hands of a few privileged elite. Today, with power becoming more concentrated in the hands of multinational corporations, the senior executives who run them, and the major investors who are majority stock owners in these corporations, the pillars of democracy are under assault. With trade agreements which have diluted governmental power, the monopolistic ownership of media outlets by corporations, the lowering of employees’ wages and increased personal debt, massive unemployment and underemployment, the growing schism between the few privileged who are amassing obscene wealth versus the growing masses of people whose purchasing power is steadily decreasing, all societies across the globe are under threat of a complete “world order” which dominates and oppresses through massive concentrations of wealth in the hands of the few who wield corporate power. Ten thousand years ago, primitive man faced peril from the harsh and brutal forces of nature—the forces of Mother Nature and the animal kingdom. Today, the greatest threat to humankind is not nature, rather it is himself. Stated more succinctly, avarice is the enemy from within. In psychological terms, narcissistic personality disorder---the psyche that is obsessed with control and power, a fear of dependence, and the externalization of blame---will be our complete undoing. It is a pandemic in masculine leadership the world over.

Read More      View as PDF

Globalization and Power III

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

What is globalization doing to the world of work, both domestically and internationally? How does my own work reflect the forces of the global economy? What is an evaluation and description of one organized effort to address problems of the workplace?

The global economy is impacting the workplace both in terms of the types of jobs that are being created versus those that are disappearing and also in terms of the work environment, wages and benefits. Pilisuk (1998) refers to the hidden nature of structural, cultural and direct violence as it pertains to the manifest ways that violence, particularly against females and children, surfaces albeit not in ways which allow people to see that it is a symptom of the globalized economy. Pilisuk (1998) defines the global economy as “a system of exchange in which all goods, services, and information and the resources to produce or distribute them are available for purchase in a single marketplace” (p. 200). In this global market, multinational corporations are able to wrestle control away from local businesses and societies and to concentrate wealth in the hands of those few who have large investments in corporations. As a result, people and governments lose power and control, and the people become vulnerable to the whims of a global power structure which can wield enormous control of natural resources (land, timber, minerals, water, etc), as well as people’s compensation and health and welfare benefits. With insufficient legal structures to force corporations to comply ecological and social conscience in the way they conduct business, corporations are able to become the 21st century dictatorships much like Stalin, Lenin and Hitler whereby civil liberties such as free speech and freedom of religion are seriously suppressed, but also through the manipulation of wages, increasing poverty surfaces. With poverty, of course, comes increased crime and poor health (Pilisuk, 1998; Comas-Diaz & Jansen, 1995). The invisible structural causes of violence, according to Pilisuk, must be exposed and transformed.

Read More      View as PDF

Globalization and Power IV

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

What change is needed to provide for human rights, global security and environmental sustainability?

It would be difficult to overstate the dire conditions which face humankind on a global scale today. The complexity and interrelated facet of the problems assailing our planet are, to be sure, so great in number and scope that no one country, or even a handful countries, can tackle and resolve them. The situation is demanding, nay requiring, that virtually the entire legion of political, legal and social forces on the globe collaborate since all countries, to greater and lesser degrees, are directly contributing to the causes, or minimally, are receiving the most deleterious impact of the troubles.

Read More      View as PDF

Humanistic-Existential Theory

A Group Theory Paper
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

What is psychotherapy and its goal? For a humanistic psychotherapist, psychotherapy is a qualitative, phenomenological relationship between therapist and client in which the goal of therapy is to provide the appropriate milieu in which the client can activate the self-actualizing tendency. For a humanistic therapist, the quality of the client-therapist relationship is paramount in the facilitation of client growth. Indeed, Rogers (1961) no longer asks the question “How can I treat or cure this person?”, rather now asks the question: “How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?” . Rogers (1961) believes that “change comes about through experience in a relationship,” therefore, humanistic-existential therapy focuses on the process of the therapeutic relationship and, ultimately, the client’s phenomenological and ontological process. The three primary therapist ingredients in the therapeutic relationship which fosters growth in a person are empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence although Rogers broadened his hypothesis to include these ingredients as necessary for growth in any relationship. When the therapist provides this type of relationship for the client, Rogers believes that “change and constructive personal development will invariably occur” (Rogers, 1961). According to Rogers, psychotherapy should emphasize three aspects of the therapists’ role: 1) the importance of responding to expressed feelings rather than content, 2) the acceptance of the client’s feelings by the therapist, and 3) the clarification of the client’s expressed feelings (Bozarth, Zimring & Tausch, in Cain, 2002). Once change begins, the client will get “behind the mask” and “become more and more himself” (Rogers, 1961). The client will experience feeling more and discover the “unknown elements of self” (Rogers, 1961). Rogers referred to several dynamics which take place as a person changes and moves closer to a fully functioning person. The person will move away from facades, from “oughts,” away from meeting others’ expectations and pleasing others. The person will be open to experiences, trust self more, be more accepting of others, develop an internal locus of control and become more open to the process of becoming rather than the content of what that means (Rogers, 1961). Rogers referred to this therapeutic process as “person-centered” therapy (Rogers, 1980) and, unlike his predecessors, believed that the therapist’s attitude, not techniques, was central to successful therapy and the client, not the therapist, is the agent for self-change (Bozarth, Zimring & Tausch, in Cain, 2002). According to Maslow, “counseling is not concerned with training or with molding or with teaching in the ordinary sense of telling people what to do and how to do it. It is a Taoist uncovering and then helping. Taoistic means the non-interfering, the ‘letting be’” (Maslow, 1971). Maslow believed the therapist was there to assist the client in being more fully human, in recovering himself, getting to know himself, respecting his inner nature, the being, his essence (Maslow, 1962, 1971). For any humanistic-existentialist therapist, psychotherapy must ultimately be a process whereby the client is facilitated in discovering, uncovering and awakening to their innate potential and moving toward becoming an authentic, fully functioning person. Additionally, unlike cognitive-behavioral therapies which focus primarily on cognition, humanistic-existential therapies emphasize emotions (Cain, 2002).

Read More      View as PDF

What is the relationship between creativity and spirituality?

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

How do we discuss a relationship between two words whose sources and very definitions are, ultimately, an unsolvable mystery? How do you “know” that which is inherently mysterious?

Science and academia have a penchant for wanting to define that which is inexplicable, quantify that which is unquantifiable, and predict that which is eternally beginningless and spontaneous. Alas, science and academia can only be what they are, yes? After all, the entire human race can share one thing in common: we all seek to know the truth. I suspect it must be that the source of these two words---creativity and spirituality----wherever that source may be, is continually smiling at the thought that man, after so many thousands of years, is still unable to leave mystery alone and simply allow her to be. But for the moment, we suspend that desirable permission, even if only in our illusory minds, and jump head long into a discourse on both.

Read More      View as PDF

Peace Studies II

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

Question #1: To what extent, if any, are war and violence “in our genes” and/or “hardwired” into our brains & physiology? Even if war is not “innate” to humans, does not the continuation and intensification of destructive conflicts in the 20th century confirm the ethological/socio-biological approach, or a Hobbesian view of homo sapiens as a species of killer?

Question #2: Is there any evidence for a disinclination to kill other humans? If people are “naturally” inclined to be “peaceful,” why have wars been so numerous and vicious? Is the hope to “end war” unrealistic and doomed to failure?

Beginning in the late 1800s, a number of biological based scientific and psychological theories fostering the concept of a biological derivative of aggress have been posited and widely accepted. These theoretical models validate and affirm masculine superiority and dominance over females, and further embedded androcentric beliefs into the collective psyche. Challenges to these theories have arisen over the past several decades mostly by social and peace psychologists whose research suggests that socio-economic factors are related to war and violence. Both sides of the camps have persuasive arguments.

Read More      View as PDF

Peace Studies III

How do war and peace look under this scenario?
Is peace possible?
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

While many have correctly noted that wars fought in the name of God have killed more people than any other kind of war, at root, any and all war is an effort to exert total control and power over “other” and to force the opposing side, or “enemy,” to change and act on behalf of the victor. There is no act committed by a human being in which the human psyche and human consciousness were not involved. While external forces are influential, it is the human psyche which is the principle cause of all aggression, violence, and wars. Until the human psyche matures on a collective level, wars will be fought. Every external circumstance and event is a direct mirror of the level of human consciousness at which humankind is currently functioning. The heightened awareness and internalization of this psychological truth on a global scale is, in my opinion, the single most important factor to the contribution of harmony, peace, and reconciliation on both a short term and long term basis. Thus, in the near term and the long term, the field of psychology should place this as a top educative priority: psychological maturity is the core force behind positive peace.

Read More      View as PDF

Interview of Two Refugees: 2007

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

My original interview intent was to speak with two refugees; one 26 year old male from Southern Sudan and one 37 year old female from Sierra Leone. I will refer to each as R and H, respectively. When I interviewed the female, her boyfriend who is also from Sierra Leone, was visiting so I was able to obtain information from both since they each had experienced the impact of war torn Sierra Leone during its ten year period. I will refer to the boyfriend as P.

Each refugee was referred to me through a neighbor. I had inquired about locating a refugee who had fled their country due to violence. The neighbor then made contacts in her social network and located both of these refugees who voluntarily agreed to be interviewed with the understanding that the purpose was to gather information for a class assignment. Thus, I had no prior contact with either of these individuals. Upon contacting them, I gave them the option of where to meet and each preferred to meet in their residence. R lives in a lower middle class section of his town with three other roommates with whom he shares expenses. H lives alone in a lower middle class part of her town. Even though I was required to interview only one refugee, I elected to interview both because of my interest in determining whether or not there were observable differences in the experiences between genders.

Read More      View as PDF

The Forces Shaping Refugees’ Experiences

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

There are 20.8 million refugees located throughout the world (UNHCR, 2007a), although the estimates vary widely, with The Solomon Asch Center for Ethnopolitical Conflict at University of Pennsylvania calculating up to a combined 40 million for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) globally (Solomon Asch Center, n.d.).

Article 1 of the 1951 United Nations (UN) Refugee Convention (UNHCR, 2002b) defines a refugee as:

a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.

While the definition of a refugee has legal status, that of IDP does not. Internally displaced persons are those who are forced to leave their residence for reasons such as religious, political or ethnic persecution, military or civil war, or natural disaster, but have not crossed over the border of their country. IDPs are displaced within their own country.

View as PDF

Transpersonal Psychology

By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

Abstract

Transpersonal psychology is considered the fourth force psychology with psychoanalytic, classic behavioral and humanistic psychologies comprising the first, second and third forces. Begun as a formal psychological modality by Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli, in the 1960s, one might say that transpersonal roots began with William James, Carl Jung and Abraham Maslow. Not recognized today by mainstream psychology, transpersonalism goes beyond the other three models and considers the evolutionary nature of consciousness with its innate striving toward self-transcendence. Without rejecting the other three models, transpersonal psychology embraces them as part of the unfolding and development of human consciousness.

Read More      View as PDF