Chapter 1 Bliss ( 1986) first applied the term mythopoetic to the spiritually oriented branch
of the burgeoning contemporary men's movement. The word comes from mythopoesis, which refers to remythologizing. Thus, the use of the mythopoetic approach "means revisioning masculinity for our time" ( Bliss, 1995, p. 293). The
term did not come to popular awareness until Bly Iron John was published in 1990 and topped the New York Times best-seller list for many months, though
the precursor to that was Keith Thompson's 1982 interview of Bly, "What Do
Men Really Want?"Mythopoetic men's work (MPMW) uses myths and poetry as vehicles for
accessing inner emotions, inner realities, and feelings. The accessing of these
feelings is part of the remythologizing of the man and his masculinity for this
time. These feelings are often deeply buried in men, who have been socialized
by North American culture and society to ignore or deny most feelings except
anger. By using the tools of myth, poetry, and experiential processes, men can
access these feelings and emotions to re-vision a form of masculinity that is
healthy for himself, his family or household, his relationships, his community,
and his planet.MPMW extensively borrows from Jungian psychology ( Schwalbe 1996) and
humanistic psychology. Hollis ( 1994), for example, lists and discusses the eight
secrets men carry within themselves:
Parallels Between Mythopoetic Men's
Work/Men's Peer Mutual Support Groups
and Selected Feminist Theories
Edward Read Barton
|1. ||Men's lives are as much governed by restrictive role expectations as are the lives of
|2. ||Men's lives are essentially governed by fear.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men's Healing Work:An Anthology for Therapists and Others.
Contributors: Edward Read Barton - Editor.
Publisher: Bergin & Garvey.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 2000.
Page number: 3.
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