1st Edition

In Depth Sport Psychology Reclaiming the Lost Soul of the Athlete

By David Huw Burston Copyright 2019
    220 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In Depth Sport Psychology: Reclaiming the Lost Soul of the Athlete is a unique exploration of the vital archetypal elements and themes that emerge when considering elite sportssport psychology through a depth psychological lens. It provides athletes, young people, coaches and clinicians with ways to harness the self, placing athletes on a path towards personal growth and sporting excellence by reconnecting their spirit to their sport.

    Burston’s multidisciplinary and inclusive approach details the importance of spirituality and other unmeasurable factors, such as emotional recovery, when investigating sporting potential. Incorporating research from classic mythology and the Greek sports academies, he traces sport back to humanity’s animalistic and traumatic origins, explores the rise of the Olympic movement, and compares archetypal identities that are shared with athletes today. Relating this to today’s financially driven and technological sporting climate, he considers the roots of play, examines the difference in the psyche of team sports and individual players, discusses the crucial, clinical welfare of young people, and dedicates a section to sportswomen. In Depth Sport Psychology emphasises how awakening an athlete’s unconscious spirit can positively improve their performance, and offers an applicable methodology for athletes and teachers to use to better understand themselves and achieve brilliance.

    Uniquely exploring the connection between Jungian depth psychology and sports, the accessible tone of In Depth Sport Psychology will be key reading for analytical and depth psychologists in practice and in training, sports psychologists and other professionals working with athletes. It will also appeal to athletes and sportspeople interested in exploring a new perspective on sporting excellence.


    Before the Beginning, meet depth sport psychology

    The Beginning.

    Chapter 1. ‘The knowledge'; stone tools to video chat in 30,000 years

    • The ages of animism and scientism
    • Women are top cats
    • The new knowledge; the star
    • The new male gods of the sky
    • The first ever Brexit

    Chapter 2. The Greek legacy of Sport

    • The Axial Age and the birth of a sporting world
    • The birth of science as we know it
    • Harmonia the Olympic love child of the shotgun wedding
    • The Deal; Do the Gods or the gods will do you
    • The lost soul of the performer
    • Party animal part computer
    • Vive la France plus Coubertin

    Chapter 3. Sports here and now

    • The modern global plume of sports
    • Cultural pioneers or the road to perdition and abuse
    • Reconnecting with the soul of sports
    • Psychosocial Stages and thoughtful cultures in sports
    • Futures markets in sports

    Chapter 4. Don’t play at your peril

    • Play and Prayer are the same
    • Playing for Peace
    • Immersion and being in your body
    • Finding your senses
    • Does the music play us?

    Principles Important for Play

    Middle - Performance and dealing with opposition

    Chapter 5- Dealing with the opposition

    • The Shadow force of competitive edge
    • Meet your inferior relative
    • The golden positive path for our Shadow worker
    • Zeus energy
    • Post match interview and analysis

    Characteristics of the Shadow,

    How do we inspire our sporting Shadow?

    What does a Shadow feel like? - the embodiment of the Shadow

    Finishing off the shadow

    Chapter 6. Women’s sports

    Creating epoche

    • Lilly Par the woman history could not forget
    • The archetypal lineage of the female archers
    • The four trials of psyche
    • Katie Webb

    Chapter 7 - Numbers, Phases and Myths that speak to Sports

    • Mental fitness, archetypal phases, threats and opportunities
    • Lucky number 7 and sports
    • Myths that speak to sports


    Chapter 8. Repair, the return to Freud

    • Good stress or bad stress in the 21st century
    • Now the contest is over
    • The emerging voices from the depths of psychology
    • Freudian depth sport psychology Dr. Tom Ferraro


    • The soul of the athlete


    David Burston, PhD, M.F.T., is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, USA, spending part of his time working as a UK chartered clinical and sport psychologist consultant with a Premier League football club in London. Initially a professional actor, 15 years ago David began using his experience to help athletes, integrating those ideas with Jungian depth perspectives.