Dyane Sherwood’s interest in Coyote stories began in the mid 1990s during the final phase of her analytic training, when Trickster came into her consulting room and coyotes literally began showing up for the first time in the rugged terrain around her home in northern California. She turned to Native American Coyote stories to help her recognize the maneuvers of a very difficult patient and to process her intense reactions to his trickery.
She discovered the Native American genius of using humor to teach about the Trickster, who indulges his greedy and lascivious nature with disregard for cultural norms and the personal dignity and integrity of others. Stories of Coyote’s misadventures are full of outrageous, transgressive humor, teaching us about the Coyote in ourselves and warning us about the Coyote in others. This way of dealing with the darker side of human beings and bringing it into the open contrasts with a rigid, judgmental approach to good and evil. In fact, Coyote is not considered to be entirely evil, since at times the Trickster may be of benefit to human beings. Dr. Sherwood will weave Coyote stories with examples from clinical work.
Each participant will have the opportunity to use paper, clay, paint, and other art supplies to make a Coyote figure and to write a story about the (mis)adventures of their own Coyote. Because participants will be working with plaster and paints, please dress accordingly.
- Name three features of the therapeutic “frame” or boundaries.
- Give one example of the trickster archetype in a therapeutic setting.
- Describe something you learned about your own trickster qualities that will help you in your work with patients, including the reactions you may have.
Dr. Sherwood suggested reading for those who want more on the topic:
Niehardt, J.G. and Deloria, P.J. Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition (2014 Reprint Edition), Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. This is a book that can change your life.
Henderson, J.L. Thresholds of Initiation (1967, new edition 2005) Chiron. During his analysis with Jung in the 1930s, Henderson attended Jung’s English Seminars. When the students took topics for research, the young Joe Henderson chose initiation. Many years later, after becoming a psychiatrist, analyst, and founding member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, he used the paradigm of initiation to describe developmental stages in his work with men. I recommend reading a chapter a month so you can take your time to digest its food for your soul.
Rutter, V.B. (1994) Woman Changing Woman. New York: Harper Collins. This work is a gem. The late Virginia Beane Rutter, who did her analysis with Joseph Henderson, describes the Navajo puberty rite for girls, the Kinaalda. She identifies the stages of initiation contained in the ritual and applies them as a framework for moving descriptions of her deep work with women patients.
Kirsch, T., Rutter, V.B., and Singer, T., Eds (2007) Initiation: The Living Reality of an Archetype. (Hove and New York: Routledge. The contributors to this volume are analysts who were students or analysands of Joseph Henderson and continued to develop the paradigm of initiation in their own work. Some of the material in the Friday evening lecture is included in my chapter: “The traditional Plains Indian vision quest: initiation and individuation.”
Sandner, D. Navajo Symbols of Healing. The late Donald Sandner was an important mentor for many of us who trained at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco; he had a profound sense of the shamanic quality of Jungian work, and he spent 10 summers on the Navajo reservation working with a “medicine man,” Natani Tso. This is a beautiful book, to which he brings not only research but his own lived experience.
Dyane Sherwood, Ph.D., received her B.A. with High Honors from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She did her analytic training at the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, where she was certified both as an adult and as a child and adolescent analyst. She is also is a Teaching Member of the Sandplay Therapists of America/International Society for Sandplay Therapy.
Dr. Sherwood is the author of journal articles and book chapters, as well as one book, co-authored with Joseph Henderson: Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis (Routledge, 2003). For 10 years she was the Editor of The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, which under her editorship was transformed into Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche.
In 2010, Dyane moved from the San Francisco area to Oberlin, Ohio, where she has a private practice. Following her move, she became a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, where she has served on the Board and is currently Chair of the Candidacy Committee. She has recently started a small press, Analytical Psychology Press, with two additional imprints, Sandplay Editions and Dancing Raven Press.