Kali, Shiva, and Psychotherapy: a Hermeneutic Literature Review

Mahantesh, Vijay Gurumurthy
Woodard, Wiremu
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Master of Psychotherapy
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Auckland University of Technology

Myths are widely understood as having contributed significantly to the field of psychotherapy. This research examines psychoanalytic and other relevant literature that refers to the Vedic Hindu mythological couple, Kali and Shiva. A hermeneutic method of engaging with literature proved useful in reviewing myths about Kali and Shiva which are depicted in texts, artefacts and other media. Exploring psychoanalytic literature against the backdrop of mythological literature provided significant insights about psychotherapeutic engagement, and an updated and refreshed understanding of Kali and Shiva and their relationship. Themes that emerged span a wide range and speak of this mythological relationship being an integral part of human growth, both developmental and spiritual. Exploration of these themes in light of the clinical issues offers further insights about trauma, loss, enactments, and therapeutic transformation. New perspectives about psychodynamic formulation and treatment were gained and significant practice implications have been indentified, particularly in trauma therapy. It has also been highlighted that findings from this study may have applications for future research.

Kali , Shiva , Psychotherapy , Hindu , Vedic , Trauma , Enactment , Hermeneutics , Psychotherapeutic engagement , Archetypal , Loss , Formulation
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