Speaking Topics and Objectives

Topic Examples

  • Nurse as Archetype
  • The Nurse-Patient Archetype
  • Dropping into the Deep: Finding Freedom within Chronic Issues
  • Nurse Image - From Stereotypes To A Living Archetype
  • The Nurse From Pre-historic to Post Modern Times
  • The Soul of the Nurse: A Cultural and Archetypal Look
  • The Inflamed Heart: An Aesthetic Exploration
  • The Big Open Heart: Personal Mythology as a Healing Modality
  • Modern Pathologies of the Broken Heart
  • Passion for Nursing: Emerging from Nurse Burn-Out 
  • Mythic Motifs as they Correspond to Specific Illnesses of the Body
  • Ancestral Symptoms Carried Through Generations
  • The Language of the Body - sensation, symptom, disease
  • Being Present with Suffering
  • Finding Freedom in Ailments
  • Suffering with Another 
  • Body as Pain - Body as Pleasure

Objective Examples for Nursing Profession Topics:

  • List two qualities required in a nurse necessary to ignite cultural change.
  • Describe how a depth psychological approach to the nurse may enhance job satisfaction.
  • Give two examples of mythological figures serving as metaphor to the nurse image.
  • Articulate the difference between a stereotype and an archetype and why it is important to know the  difference.
  • Re-member your calling to the nursing profession.
  • Describe three rituals you’ve been doing your entire career.
  • Define the role of the nurse and ways in which it seeps into personal life.
  • List two specific actions you can personally adopt to enhance the nurse image.
  •  Describe three stereotypes and where they are seen in culture.
  •  Identify two concepts that would provide perspective and empowerment within the nursing profession
  •  Describe three aspects of the nurse image traced back to Neolithic times.

Signature Topic: Mythology and Nursing

The nurse is central to healthcare and has always been the most prominent figure in times of vulnerability throughout the life cycle. Elizabeth, as mythologist and nurse, attempts to recover the complexity and wholeness of the nurse by tracing her origins as far back as Neolithic times. Ancient mythology, folklore, literature, art, and popular culture are explored to reveal the multifaceted characteristics of the nurse and specific images are expanded to deepen the understanding of the nurse archetype. The nurse image holds longing, ambivalence, fear, desire, and vulnerability. Mythology, metaphor, and symbol help to recover the soul of the nurse, revealing new insights, forgotten memories, and devalued capacities. Idealizing or demonizing the nurse is an attempt to break free of her power. The nurse is often portrayed as dangerous and mysterious because she is so close to the archetypal energies of death and eros. The nurse’s body cares for the bodies of others. Nurses are drawn to work that is messy, peculiar, and unpredictable, thus the work of the nurse is soul work. The soul longs for complexity. The nurse craves intensity, merging, and collaboration. Like Baubo, she affirms life while maintaining an understanding of the brutal frankness and wonder of the life cycle. Her true body consciousness is Dionysian. Over time the image of the nurse has been split into one-dimensional disguises ranging from the angelic heroine to the sex object. Without moralizing or dividing the good from the bad, Elizabeth investigates the dynamic energy of the nurse archetype and uncovers some of what has been lost through splits, repressions, and distortions. Her research reveals why the nurse captivates culture and maintains the status as the most trusted professional in society, questioning what it would take to re-member her comprehensive wholeness.