Käti & Graham

Käti's MSc

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A Model of Depth Psychology and its Implications
for the Theory of Occupational Therapy

Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of 

MSc in Occupational Therapy, University of Wales College of Medicine, 1999


Occupational Therapy claims to be of an holistic nature and aims to encompass matters of the body and the soul. The Canadian Model of Occupational Performance reflects this approach and places spirituality at the centre. However there is little theoretical foundation on which to base practice. This study aims to contribute towards theory-building in this area.

The study collects information from contemporary concepts of the unconscious, investigates a model based on the theory of depth psychology and draws conclusions for the understanding of occupational therapy practice. Special consideration is given to holism, spirituality and meaning, the therapeutic relationship and intuition.

The nature of the project is literature-based. The findings of German and English texts on the topic are interrelated from different points of view.



The study summarises the development of the concept of the ‘Unconscious’ and establishes links to modern sciences. A model, developed from Jung's theory, explains the organisation of the human psyche, demonstrates the relationship of its structures and explains interaction within the system as well as communication with other systems.

The study applies the model to case material for insight. Communication between therapist and client is shown to take place at two levels. Adopting an attitude of trust and careful consideration of both levels, spirituality and meaning are manifested. Intuition and images arising spontaneously are seen to convey deep meaning. The study concludes that an approach based on the Model of Human Information Processing fits into the philosophy and values of the profession and has potential to explain the pathways of spirituality and meaning as well as to guide therapy. It highlights the need for further studies to explore the use of the model in various practice settings.


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