Movies and the Mythic Imagination: Film as Dreamscape


March 7, 2015 at the University of Philosophical Research 

3910 Los Feliz Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA 90027


Also Available as a Webinar for Those Residing Outside Los Angeles!



The seminar explores uses of movies to increase understanding of emotional life. The day includes how to detect psychological themes in stories as presented on screen – and how to use examples from movies in discussions of personal issues. Examples illustrate the value of modeling actions on those of significant fictional characters such as heroes, mentors and allies. We do not watch films, but will discuss key scenes from To Kill A Mockingbird to study idealism and consider several productions of the Snow White story to reflect onthe rewards of the spiritual path. Exploring very different genres allows us to demonstrate the wide range of drawing insights from cinema.  Films provide windows to our inner mysteries. Seeing movies as dreams can help us take ownership of unclaimed resources within.



Learning Objectives

  •  Identify how plot stages mirror key development tasks.
  • Demonstrate how scenes from movies can be used to clarify specific life challenges.
  • Explain the use of dream analysis methods to draw insights from favorite films.



Schedule of the Day

9:30 am Check-in begins in the bookstore.

10:00 am   Introduction to archetypal symbolism in films

~ The cinema narrative as window to the unconscious

~ Gaining distance to reflect on pressing problems

 11:15 am  Break (approximate time)

 11:30 am  The quest story as developmental journey

~ Tapping resilience by identification with characters

12:30 pm   Lunch Break

1:30 pm Story and symbol in cinematic narratives

~ Mythological understanding of the main genres of movies

2:30 pm   Break (approximate time)

2:40 pm  Unconscious dynamics and the mythic imagination

~ Using films like dreams – as mirrors of adult issues

3:50 pm  Break (approximate time)

4:00 pm  Deepening the therapeutic relationship

~ Selecting appropriate DVDs for homework

 5:00 pm   Course concludes – Total 6 hours (RNs 7 hours)



young_and_roslynJonathan Young, PhD, PSY10231, is a psychologist storyteller, and writer on mythic stories. He assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell at seminars and was the Founding Curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library. His books and articles focus on personal mythology. Dr. Young is on the faculty of the University of Philosophical Research




Anne Bach, M.S., MFT 38891 is a specialist in uses of writing in psychotherapy. She gives presentations on creativity as inner work at major conferences, and lectures widely on psychological dimensions of expressive writing. Her clinical background includes poetry therapy with seriously mentally ill patients.


CE Credit Information

Continuing Education hours are available for psychologists, marriage & family therapists, social workers, nurses, and other mental health professionals. The course meets CE requirements in most states. The certificate of completion will be provided by the Center for Story and Symbol.

Non-credit: Those not needing verification of attendance, such as teachers, writers, clergy, and artists – are welcome as non-credit attendees. Spouses, friends, students, and others not needing verification of attendance can also choose the lower non-credit tuition.

CE Hours: Psychology, MFT, LCSW, LPCC, Ed Psych, NBCC: 6 CE hours   –   Nursing : 7 hours


Psychology ~ The Center for Story and Symbol is approved by the American Psychology Association to sponsor continuing education hours for psychologists. The Center maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents. CE hours are accepted by the California MCEP program. Full attendance is required for psychologists – No partial credit. The level is introductory for psychologists.

MFT, LCSW, LPCC ~ California BBS Provider Number PCE 3903

RN ~ Provider approved by the Calif. Board of Registered Nursing, BRN Provider Number CEP 12477

Teachers ~ Continuing Education courses are customarily approved by immediate supervisors. It is usually sufficient to attend on a non-credit (auditing) basis and present a receipt for the course.


Open to everyone. The course is not just for psychotherapists. It is open to all those interested in archetypal perspectives. The lectures are presented at the introductory level and require no background in mythology, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology.


In person: $140 with CEU, $95, non-credit
Webinar: $95 with CEU, $45. non-credit