Ep. #74 Love and Soul-Making w/ Stacey Shelby, Ph.D.  

Stacey Shelby, Ph.D.

Stacey Shelby, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, educator, and depth psychotherapist. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in BC, Canada, a certified clinical dream tender, and she has studied in folk medicines and yoga traditions. She is adjunct faculty teaching the psychology of romantic love at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. She holds a masters and Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with a specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.

Dr. Shelby is the founder of the Squamish Counselling Clinic (an in-person clinic in Squamish, BC) and also Dr. Stacey Shelby and Associates, (a video-based team of depth-oriented therapist). She has her own thriving therapy practice working over Zoom, where she works with adults in various stages of personal transformation. She is gifted at working with the symbolic language of the soul and she is dedicated to honoring the soul as it presents in the lived experience of daily life.

She is the author of two depth psychology books: Tracking the Wild Woman Archetype: A guide to Becoming a Whole In-Divisible Woman (2018); and Love and Soul-Making: Searching the Depths of Romantic Love (2022), both published by Chiron Publications.

Episode Description

In this episode, Stacey and Shane discuss the psychology of love, relationships, suffering, flourishing, and divinity. Using the myth of Eros (love) and Psyche (soul), we explore the transcendental, archetypal energies of love as the central power of life that inspires creativity, meaning, growth, and connection. 

The book Love and Soul-Making explores various relationship themes and dynamics, including love, passion, desire, beauty, sex, marriage, and the union of outer and inner reality. People in relationships are often confronted with challenges and hardships. If we willingly engage with and surrender to these hardships, we may find a roadmap to a life of authenticity, creativity, meaning and purpose. Ultimately, love and relationships are a calling from your soul to live an inspired life that is aligned with the great power/soul of the universe. 

Love and Soul-Making: Searching the Depths of Romantic Love

Love and Soul-Making brings awareness to both the patriarchal origins of romance and the unarguably magical, archetypal experience of love. Relationships can serve as an alchemical vessel for the development of the soul as part of the individuation process. The struggles of relationships, whether one is partnered or not, can allow us to engage more deeply with the psyche and can guide us further into her territory.

For those experiencing romantic difficulties, the myth of Psyche and Eros can serve as a guide to the stages involved in soul-making and how that is enacted in human relationships. This book encourages contemplating relationships both literally and metaphorically. With metaphorical vision, we create possibility for the alchemical transmutation process and the development of the soul. This book provides context to the soul-making process, and it can help to re-animate your creativity and vitality. Soul (Psyche) follows what she loves (Eros).

Tracking the Wild Woman Archetype: A Guide to Becoming a Whole, In-divisible Woman

Who is a woman before socialization? Why do we struggle in relationships? Why do we suffer? How can we find abiding peace?

By midlife, a woman may become conscious of some of the ways culture has overdomesticated her, and she may have become aware of her own wild, instinctual animal nature. The wild woman archetype within a woman’s psyche is an expression of her innate, soulful essence. Many women within patriarchy become socialized in a way that leads them to be overly “civilized” or overly “domesticated” almost from birth and that domestication affects how they express their sexuality and conduct relationships. When a woman becomes conscious of the wild woman archetype, she then becomes free to explore sexuality and relationships on her own terms. Paradoxically, the struggles experienced in relationships and with sexuality may be the catalysts that bring her into deeper engagement with psyche and into the realm of the wild woman archetype. This is explored as a process of psychological development that occurs at midlife in relation to Carl Jung’s notion of individuation. The psyche has an impetus towards unification and wholeness—towards becoming an in-divisible whole.

Relationships can serve as the alchemical vessels of a woman’s psychological transformation. Tracking the Wild Woman Archetype finds that the paradoxes and impossibilities of love serve to create a more profound woman who is more conscious of the manifold world of unconscious archetypes. It tracks the process of individuation and alchemical transformation through the study of texts, the author’s lived experience, and imaginal ways of knowing, such as dreams, synchronicities, and active imaginations.

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