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A Story of Becoming: From Miserable Offender to God's Work of Art Open Access


Other title
Jungian theory
inner child
Ignatian spirituality
Childhood wounds
mid-life individuation process
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Barbara Anne Baillie
Supervisor and department
Dr. Karen Evers Fahey
Examining committee member and department
John Hoedl
Dr. Fran Hare
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling (Art Therapy Specialization)
Degree level
In my introduction, I describe a spontaneous vision where an image of my inner child ran out from the adult me, crying into the arms of Jesus. My research focus was to discover the significance of this child image and her role in my midlife individuation process. I was interested in this because I was seeing clients at this midlife transition point coming with “inner child” issues. Using the lenses of Jungian psychology and Christian theology, I describe and analyze this individuation and healing process. Through references to my personal journals, essays, and art works, I describe the healing of self-esteem issues, of my image of God, of relationships, and of my negative view of sexuality. The appearance of the child in my vision signified three things: wounds from childhood which were affecting present day functioning; an imbalance in my life with too much work and little fun or playfulness; and the creative child archetype. To tell my story, I employed an autoethnographic methodology because it promised to allow for my blossoming creativity and flexibility—the fruit of my individuation journey. The healing of childhood wounds and negative inner messages was accomplished through scriptural prayer and coming to know my beloved-ness in God. Healing also came through the unconditional acceptance and compassion of numerous spiritual directors and counselors. Finally, I have described the emergence of the creative in my life through imagery and art making. Art making has functioned as a liberating activity and has provided a maternal matrix which can receive and contain my feelings and issues.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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