Jungian-based depth psychotherapy in Media, PA.


Marion Woodman

Marion Woodman

”Dreams are the language of the soul.”

Marion Woodman (1928-2018) was a Canadian mythopoetic author and women's movement figure. She was a Jungian analyst trained at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland, which was founded by Jung and where he served as a teacher offering seminars on various topics. She is one of the most widely read authors on feminine psychology, where she put particular emphasis on the dynamic interaction between psyche and soma. She was also an international lecturer and poet. Among her many collaborators were authors Thomas Moore, Jill Mellick, and Robert Bly.


She completed a degree in English literature at the University of Western Ontario. Suffering from anorexia, she took a sabbatical and traveled first to India and then to England, where she became interested in the theories of Carl Jung. Woodman taught high school English in Canada for more than twenty years. She then enrolled in the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, training to be an analyst.

In 1982, Woodman published her 2nd and probably best known book about analytic psychology, Addiction to Perfection. She subsequently published 9 additional books, 12 articles, 21 audio recordings, and 2 DVDs. Throughout her life Woodman continued to write on the subject of feminine psychology along with dreams, female development and the psychological significance of various stories and myths.

Woodman was listed in Watkins' Mind Body Spirit Magazine in 2012 as the 100th most spiritually influential living person.

Dramatic Structure & Jungian Dream Interpretation

Jung touched on the dramatic structure of dreams, but Marion Woodman made it her primary template for dream interpretation. Dramatic Structure (also called Freytag’s Pyramid) is the structure of a dramatic work such as a play or film. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his Poetics (c. 335 BCE).

Freytag's pyramid

Under Freytag's pyramid, the plot of a story consists of five parts:

  1. Exposition (originally called introduction)
  2. Rising action (rise)
  3. Climax
  4. Falling action (return or fall)
  5. Dénouement/resolution/revelation/catastrophe
  • Exposition. The storyteller sets the scene and the character’s background. There is also frequently an inciting incident where the central character reacts to something that has happened, and it starts a chain reaction of events.
  • Rising action in a plot is a series of relevant incidents that create suspense, interest, and tension in a narrative. In literary works, a rising action includes all decisions, characters' flaws, and background circumstances that together create turns and twists leading to a climax.
  • Climax - turning point - The story reaches the point of greatest tension between the protagonist and antagonist (or if there is only one main character, the darkness or lightness of that character appears to take control).
  • Falling action occurs right after the climax, when the main problem of the story resolves. Falling action wraps up the narrative, resolves its loose ends, and leads toward the closure.
  • Dénouement is French for “the ending.” The dénouement is often happy if the dramatic work is a comedy, and dark and sad if it’s a tragedy.