Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Laurie Ivey

Second Advisor

Laura Meyer

Third Advisor

Jason Whitehead


Jung, Trinity, Quaternity, Queer Christian, Differentiation


This paper is an exploration of C.G. Jung’s essay, A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity, and how he inadvertently provides a relational psychodynamic lens for working with queer Christian clients who are differentiating from their harmful, embedded theologies. Jung hypothesizes that the Christian Trinity archetype – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, cannot exist without a fourth member, the Devil, who holds an essential role in the successful differentiation of the Trinity. The relational therapist is called to act as the Devil when working with queer Christian clients - inviting in seemingly mischievous and dangerous thoughts that give opportunities for clients to consider themselves fully and experience how the mischievous self is not nearly as pathological as it once seemed. When a therapist successfully plays the part of the Devil, the clinical benefits for the client can include the development of positive coping strategies, the formation of healthy relationships, and the achieving of appropriate levels of independence and dependence. This exploration also demonstrates how the client’s relationship to their theologies parallels the psychologist’s relationship to the science of psychology and how both the client and clinician can benefit from the Fourth.

Publication Statement

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44 pgs