New Book Offers a Field Guide to the Human Psyche


Contact: Kim Corbin, New World Library

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New Book Offers a Field Guide to the Human Psyche

Depth psychologist Bill Plotkin describes himself as a “psychologist gone wild.” As a cultural visionary, author, and wilderness guide, he’s been blazing new trails for decades. His ecocentric re-visioning of psychology invites us into a conscious and embodied relationship with the natural world.

In the enclosed advance reading copy of his upcoming new book Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (New World Library, April 15, 2013) Plotkin uses the template of the four directions to describe the four facets of the Self (our innate human wholeness) and also four sets of fragmented or wounded subpersonalities to which we are all prone.

  • North — The north facet of the Self is the Nurturing Generative Adult, whereas a wounded north can take the form of an inner critic, codependent, or immature pseudo-warrior.
  • South — The south facet is the Wild Indigenous One, the sensuous, emotive, erotic, and instinctive aspect of ourselves, while a wounded south might be a wounded child, victim, conformist, or rebel.
  • East —The east facet of the Self is the Innocent/Sage (or Trickster or Sacred Fool), while a wounded east can manifest as an addict or an escapist.
  • West— The west facet of the Self is the Muse, Inner Beloved, or Guide to Soul, whereas the wounded west takes the form of the Shadow or a variety of Shadow selves such as a drunk or a counterfeit guru.

Rather than proposing ways to eliminate subpersonalities (which is not possible), Wild Mind shows readers how to cultivate wholeness, heal woundedness (using the resources of the Self), and discover the gifts of the subpersonalities. Plotkin also reveals how cultivating the fourfold Self provides essential resources for the encounter with soul, a necessary threshold crossing for all visionary artisans of cultural renaissance.

“It’s time to redraw our map of the human psyche, a revision germinated not in notions of symptoms and illness but in our innate wholeness and our foundational and organic embedment in the natural world,” writes Plotkin. “Toward these ends, this book introduces a holistic and integral ecology of the human psyche that encompasses the best insights of existing Western psychologies but also stretches far beyond them, extending our appreciation of the psyche’s untapped potentials and its inner diversity, intricacy, and structural elegance.”

About the Author

Bill Plotkin is the author of Soulcraft, Nature and the Human Soul, and Wild Mind.  He founded Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute more than thirty years ago and has guided thousands through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary adaptation of the pan-cultural vision fast. Visit him online at http://www.animas.org or http://www.wildmindbook.com.


April 15, 2013 • Psychology/Nature • Paperback • 320 pages

Price: $17.95 • ISBN 978-1-60868-178-5

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