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Greenfield psychologist pens introduction to archetypes

  • “Journeying with Your Archetypes”

  • CANTOR YALOWITZ

  • WEISBLAT



For the Recorder
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I have long believed that we live our lives through storytelling — that is, our lives are given shape and meaning by the ways in which we think and talk about them as stories.

Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, a psychologist, teacher and workshop leader who lives in Greenfield, takes a similar approach to life in his new book, “Journeying with Your Archetypes” (Booksmyth Press, 260 pages, $18).

The book is a non-technical introduction to some of the psychological concepts developed originally by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. In particular, it concentrates on archetypes, societal and individual figures that help an individual negotiate his or her place in the world.

“Journeying with Your Archetypes” argues that each human lifespan is a journey, both literal and figurative — that is, we move through both space and time.

The book uses Jung’s ideas, along with clarifying illustrations from history and popular culture, to help the reader make sense of his or her journey through the cosmos.

“The idea behind writing this book was to try to make (ideas) accessible to people who have a college education but perhaps no training in Jung or psychology … to try to find a way to equalize the common denominators of people’s experience,” he said.

Cantor Yalowitz started planning the book about 15 years ago, but finally found the time to write it in 2017. He took a month’s sabbatical at his second home in Wellfleet to put together a first draft, then took the next year to edit and polish the book.

Cantor Yalowitz’s own life’s journey involves being born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the late 1950s and moving with his family to Manhattan in 1962. His parents both performed mental health and social work; his 82-year-old mother is a therapist to this day.

“I grew up in the ’60s and the early ’70s in New York City,” he recalled. “Back in the day, it was a fabulous learning laboratory in terms of cultural and ethnic introspection.”

Cantor Yalowitz developed a passion for photography in his youth. He relates that love to storytelling.

“As a budding photographer, I have a strong passion to see things, and share them, both for what they are and for the story/stories they tell,” he said.

“A photograph is, for me, a visual narrative,” he continued. “How and what we see in a photograph depends largely on our cultural context.”

He also developed an early love of travel. Throughout his varied career — which has included working in community mental health, teaching and college administration — he has frequently taken time to journey throughout the world. When we spoke, he had just returned from leading a workshop in China.

His travels and his observations of other cultures have helped him understand how people straddle the continuum of “universal to unique,” he said. He expressed the hope that his book will help lay readers make sense of their own lives.

“I offer myself as a teacher, facilitator, cheerleader … maybe as a mentor in some ways,” he said. He hopes the book conveys that “out of my 88 countries in 60 years, here are some interesting things, and if you want to come along for the ride, here are some things to think about. ...

“The book is for people who are tired of only reading what’s on top of what actually happens, or who might be interested in what’s underneath,” he continued. “Where is their common ground, and where is their diversity and uniqueness?”

Cantor Yalowitz will talk about the book in the Greenfield Room at the Greenfield Public Library on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. as part of the library’s local author series. His appearance will launch “Journeying with Your Archetypes,” which he hopes to take to a variety of schools, bookstores and libraries.

The book is also available on Amazon. For more information about Daniel Cantor Yalowitz and “Journeying with Your Archetypes,” call the author at 781-962-4777 or email him at danielcyalowitz@gmail.com.

Tinky Weisblat is the author of “The Pudding Hollow Cookbook,” “Pulling Taffy,” and “Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb.” Visit her website, TinkyCooks.com.