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What are the origins of shamanic journeying imagery? The modification of a hypnoanalytic technique to address an enduring methodological problem

journal contribution
posted on 2007-10-01, 00:00 authored by Adam Rock, P Baynes
Shamanic journeying imagery arguably transcends geographical space and historical time. However, to what extent is the content of the journeying imagery a construction of the shaman's cultural cosmology, belief systems, autobiographical memories, etc? It is suggested that attempts to answer this question are hampered by a fundamental methodological obstacle: how to detect contextual influences on imagery that the shaman cannot report on because they are outside his/her present awareness and memory. A partial solution is presented: Watkins' (1971) Affect Bridge, a hypnoanalytic technique used to uncover the origin of an affect. A nonhypnotic version of the technique developed for inquiry into shamanic journeying imagery is then explicated. Two recent empirical studies conducted by Rock (2006) and Rock, Casey and Baynes (2006), illustrating the utility of the Modified Affect Bridge with regards to investigating experimentally the origin of ostensibly shamanic journeying imagery reported by naive participants, are summarized. A tentative ostensibly shamanic journeying imagery origin typology is formulated and suggestions for future research are advanced.

History

Journal

Humanistic psychologist

Volume

35

Issue

4

Pagination

349 - 361

Publisher

Lawrence Eribaum Associates, Inc.

Location

United States

ISSN

0887-3267

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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