Author: Laura K Kerr, PhD

Once upon a time…

Photo of a balloon with a picture of the fairy tale character Cinderella printed on the front wearing a blue evening gown.

The dark fairy tale, The Girl Without Hands, hauntingly relays feeling scapegoated, alone, and disempowered. Yet it also has a happy ending. Somehow the protagonist prevails. It’s this journey from Once Upon A Time to Happily Ever After that mirrors transformation after trauma. In Jungian psychology, the fairy tale is used to describe the process …

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Case Study: Brian the Bonobo and Sexual Abuse

Picture of a cat resting next to a Shinto shrine in Japan.

In earlier posts I described two archetypal reactions to sexual trauma: the wounded healer and the scapegoat. Which archetype is activated depends on societal conditions. In the presence of a supportive community, the archetype of the wounded healer is more likely initiated, leading to psychological and social integration. In oppressive and abusive conditions, the archetype …

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Having Faith in the Universal

Photo of a row of Buddhist statues in a suburb of Kyoto, Japan.

Centuries of social and environmental engineering have created confusion about what it means to be human. The idea of human nature has become distorted, if not meaningless, from being continually redefined to fit shifting ideologies and economies. Resuscitating ideas like the collective unconscious and archetypes not only supports recovery from sexual trauma, but can also …

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The Collective Unconscious

Photo of American Indian rock art.

Sexual trauma is never the victim’s fault. Nevertheless, the majority of survivors are ashamed and avoid parts of themselves that hold memories of what happened. Feelings of low self-worth lead some to self-isolate, and many never are truly open about who they are or their histories of abuse. These reactions to sexual trauma are the …

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