Oct 18, 2021

#19 The absent father: a conversation with Dr. Susan E. Schwartz

In this episode I speak with Jungian analyst Susan E. Schwartz about her latest book, The Absent Father Effect on Daughters, and how to heal the father wound.

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Begin Again is a newsletter about psychedelics, psychology, spirituality, philosophy and the process of retraining as a psychedelic guide and integration coach.
Episode details

This episode’s guest is Susan E. Schwartz, PhD: a writer, Jungian analyst trained in Zürich, Switzerland, and a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Show notes:

  • Why the father is culturally absent from literature.

  • What is the father archetype, and what are good and bad expressions of it.

  • The somatic imprint of growing up with an absent father.

  • What happens when a father is absent for most of a daughter’s life but returns later to pursue a relationship that’s based on his need for connection.

  • The evil of remaining unconscious.

  • The dead father effect and the impulse to rescue the father.

  • Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath’s relationships to their absent fathers.

  • The father’s gaze, and the link between the absent father wound and auto-immune disease.

  • The as-if personality, the puella archetype, narcissism.

  • Finding oneself through the absent father wound, bearing the pain, how to heal through relationships based on emotions and love, and how to fill the absence.

Dept of further investigation:

“There is a treachery, a secret psychic death that begins in childhood when a child is unloved and unseen, the ‘I’ unnoticed. A centre of gravity that should be internalised becomes loosened and damaged.”

-Susan E. Schwartz, The Absent Father Effect on Daughters

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