1st Edition

A Jungian Exploration of the Puella Archetype Girl Unfolding

By Susan E. Schwartz Copyright 2025
    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    This fascinating new book explores the puella as an archetypal, symbolic, and personality figure reaching into the classical foundations of Jungian analytical psychology, focusing on the modern conflicts reverberating personally and culturally to remove the obstacles for accessing our more complete selves.

    Puella is youthful, charming, seductive and unfolds the creative, unusual wisdom of the feminine. Postmodern fluidity presents other realities, rethinking and reenacting the truth to oneself. If denigrated, psyche is halted from development, until addressed. The author employs a cross-disciplinary approach and clinical vignettes from narratives of real people from diverse backgrounds reflecting Jungian thought and treatment, along with other psychoanalytical perspectives for the unfolding of puella.

    Examining the puella as a key figure in psychological development within a diverse world, this book will be appeal to Jungian analysts, and also to mental health professionals of various paradigms interested in Jungian analytical and philosophical thought.

    1. Introduction  2. Archetypal girl/woman  3. Puella’s shadow  4. Where is mother?  5. The bones of the father  6. The empty chair  7. The diachrony of dreams  8. Beauty – inside the mask  9. Performativity  10. Bluebeard fairy tale  11. Puer quandary  12. Unreal to oneself  13. Into the void – loss of the symbolic  14. A fascist state of mind – the complex  15. End notes – gaining joy


    Susan E. Schwartz is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist in Arizona, USA. She has presented at conferences in the USA and worldwide. She has published books with Routledge: The Absent Father Effect on Daughters: Father Desire, Father Wounds' (2020) and Imposter Syndrome and The ‘As-If’ Personality in Analytical Psychology: The Fragility of Self (2023). Her website is www.susanschwartzphd.com.

    Susan Schwartz offers a long-awaited creative incentive to delve into the intricate layers of the puella archetype. What makes this book particularly compelling is its thought-provoking examination of the puella’s role in our culture and a re-evaluation of her previous demeaning portrayals. Through a nuanced analysis that draws from diverse disciplines, the author provides a multifaceted view that enriches our understanding of this complex archetype. By intertwining theory with clinical examples and dreams, the author brings the puella archetype to life, making it accessible and relevant to a wide range of readers. The book is an important contribution to the field and a must-read for anyone interested in the complexities of the human psyche.’

    Ursula WirtzJungian analyst, Zürich, Switzerland

    ‘A study on Puella manifestation in contemporary times, coupled with consideration of its cultural context, is essential for integrating the dualities within the psyche. These dualities include the balancing of feminine and masculine energies, independence and connectedness, vulnerability and strength. The book on Puella is relevant for a deeper understanding of a woman’s maturation process and transitions, for revealing sources of feminine potential and creativity.’

    Professor Gražina GudaitėVice President of IAAP

    ‘In her latest book, Girl Unfolding – Puella’s Emergence: A Jungian Exploration, Susan Schwartz provides the reader with an astute reappraisal of the puella archetype. Schwartz carefully reveals the positive, creative potential of the puella that has been obscured or lost in traditional interpretations of the puella personality. Weaving together rich clinical vignettes with elements of poetry, philosophy and psychoanalytic thought, Schwartz masterfully creates a much-needed contemporary counterpoint to the familiar, but one-sided conventional interpretations of the puella experience.’

    Mark Winborn, PhD, Jungian psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist. His books include Interpretation in Jungian Analysis: Art and Technique and Jungian Psychoanalysis: A Contemporary Introduction

    ‘Susan Schwartz shares her unique perspective as both a clinical psychologist and a Zürich-trained Jungian analyst as she peels back the layers of the psyche to expose the eternal girl energy in all of us. In this pioneering exploration of the neglected puella archetype, she challenges the notion of preserving youth at all costs, guiding readers to embrace their capacity for symbolisation and trust in the surrender to the as-yet-unknown. By confronting our identification with the father and reclaiming the disregarded and wounded feminine, we can embark on a transformative journey towards a more complete personality.’

    Laura Londoncreator of Speaking of Jung podcast