Jungian Crime Scene Analysis: An Imaginal Investigation

Author(s) : Aaron B. Daniels

Jungian Crime Scene Analysis: An Imaginal Investigation

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : February 2014
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 352
  • Category :
    Forensic
  • Category 2 :
    Jung and Analytical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 33975
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782200062
  • ISBN 10 : 1782200061
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This book presents the serial killer as having 'imagopathy' – that is, a disorder of the imagination – manifested through such deficiencies as failure of empathy, rigid fantasies, and unresolved projections. The author argues that this disorder is a form of failed alchemy. His study challenges long-held assumptions that the Jungian concept of individuation is a purely healthful drive. Serial killers are unable to form insight after projecting untenable material onto their victims. Criminal profilers must therefore effect that insight informed by their own reactions to violent crime scene imagery, using what the author asserts is a form of Jung’s 'active imagination'. This book posits sexual homicides as irrational shadow images in our rationalistic modern culture. Consequently, profilers bridge conscious and unconscious for the inexorably splintered killer as well as the culture at large.

After establishing the dark fictional and non-fictional landscape of criminal profiling, Jungian Crime Scene Analysis examines how two experts, John Douglas and Robert Ressler, tacitly apply imaginal techniques in order to gather evidence about their quarries. Jungian approaches to active imagination and countertransference help to define this forensic project, grounded in the archetypal psychology concept of image.

Reviews and Endorsements

'In the sense that each neurosis involves a crime perpetrated against the psyche, each psychotherapist may have to become a crime scene analyst. Aaron Daniels, who has immersed himself in the existential-phenomenological and Jungian depth psychological literatures, gives a good account of their approaches to understanding here. He finds striking analogies between the methods of the contemporary Jungian therapist, bent on understanding the unconscious, and the way present-day profilers of the criminal mind must rely upon imagination. Daniels reflects brilliantly on our culture’s fascination with depth psychological detection. With telling originality, he reveals the surprising agency that can emerge when a psyche engages the complexity of the shadow that has driven it to compromise its own integrity.'
– John Beebe, past president of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.

About the Author(s)

Aaron B. Daniels teaches psychology in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds degrees from: Baldwin Wallace College (BA); Duquesne University (MA), where he studied existential phenomenology; and Pacifica Graduate Institute (PhD), where his degree emphasized the depth tradition. After working for a decade in private and public practice, he transitioned into academia. His previous two works, Imaginal Reality, Volume One: Journey to the Voids and Imaginal Reality, Volume Two: Voidcraft were both published in 2011. Written with Laura M. Daniels, they are syntheses of imaginal psychology with existential principles.

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