Maryann Barone Chapman

Remembering Maryann Barone Chapman

Maryann, who died in November last year, was an esteemed member of A.J.A and I.A.A.P. as well as of the International Association of Jungian Studies, serving on its Executive committee. She was active in participating in Jungian conferences in Europe, the U.S. and the U.K., always curious to interrogate new ideas and engage in lively debate which could further analytic insight and theoretical understanding.

She played a valued part in the life of A.J.A. after she was offered membership in 2011 and built a full and successful analytic practice, as well as offering supervision. She remained an active member of the Association right up to 2020 when she was elected to the Ethics Committee and attended the first meeting after the AGM.

It is a privilege to write an appreciation of her and particularly of the valuable work she did around the psychic influences on women in later life who have, or wish to have, children, writing about this first in her 2011 chapter: ‘Pregnant Pause: Procreative Desire, Reproductive Technology and Narrative Shifts at Midlife’. This formed the focus for her PhD which I examined with Lucy Huskinson at the University of Cardiff in 2017. We were both very impressed with the originality of her thinking as well as the erudite nature of her approach to this topic. It was fascinating to see how she applied Jung’s word association tests to interviews with women as a successful way of eliciting themes and insights into unconscious influences around the question of ‘why late motherhood?’

Through careful exploration of the responses which she received from those she interviewed, as well as a deeply grounded exploration of relevant Jungian, psychoanalytic and other literature, Maryann elicited valuable insights into the roots of later motherhood. In turn, her research and thinking found its proper place in post-Jungian literature with publication of her book: Personal and Cultural Shadows of Late Motherhood: Jungian Psychoanalytic Views (Routledge, 2020).

I will let her have her voice here in explaining some of her findings. First in respect to a consistent core theme around complexes, arising from her research:

‘We may consider an affect to be in place when a woman allows her relationship to her body and its procreative capacity to slip away from consciousness, only to awaken at a point when redeeming her past choices becomes a hunger.’ (Barone-Chapman, 2020, front piece).

And second, her skilful utilisation of a familiar phrase ‘pregnant pause’ to poignantly describe where the wish to be a mother is delayed by the impact of earlier trauma but then flowers in mid-life.

‘The pregnant pause brings into awareness unconscious processes asking for a narrative shift in midlife as part of a reparative motif….’ (Barone-Chapman, 2020, p.123)

The narrative explanation of her discoveries were well-honed, shaped into a coherent theoretical whole, which highlighted factors such as the impact of the advancement of biotechnology to enable later conception, as well as her proposal there may be a healthy collective or cultural influence at work which resists the formula that woman = mother. These illustrate her innovative thinking and insight in this under-researched area. I have been pleased to share this research and the approach Maryann took to it with postgraduate students at the University of Warwick, who were very interested. Her work will remain relevant and engaging for students of depth psychology, practitioners and researchers in analytic and wider therapeutic circles, and researchers looking at underlying dynamics of late motherhood, for years to come.

It was great to celebrate the impending publication of her book at a lunch with others including Dale and Julie from AJA as well as John, her husband. Maryann was on great form and her generosity in picking up the tab for an expensive meal for all of us was matched by her abiding and incisive wit. My last contact with Maryann was her making sure I had a sizable portion of cake to take with me on the train back home.

John Beebe who was a consultant to Maryann and her writing, commented in his appreciation of her that: ‘Maryann’s greatest gift as a psychotherapist was for sensing how others typically hold back on hearing and being heard’. This chimes with my experience of working and talking with her – she liked conversation which was alive and challenging; she would make sure she did all she could to ensure both she and the other would be heard without avoidance of the more difficult edges of dialogue. While Maryann could sometimes be outspoken, she infused her views with her New Yorker sense of humour, generous spirit and courage.

Maryann is greatly missed but we have much to remember and be thankful for from her valuable work and contribution to AJA and the wider Jungian community.

Phil Goss

Maryann Barone Chapman Publications and Conference Presentations

Personal and Cultural Shadows of Late Motherhood Jungian Psychoanalytic Views
publication date
Dec 13, 2019, Routledge

Book Review: The Quotable Jung, collected and edited by Judith Harris with collaboration of Tony Wolfson
publication date Dec 2016 Quadrant: The Journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation

“Trickster, Trauma and Transformation” in Elizabeth Brodersen (ed) Phoenix Rising: Jungian Perspectives on Rebirth and Renewal.
publication date Nov 2016, Routledge

“Sulphur Rises Through The Blackened Body” in Dale Mathers (ed) Alchemy and Psychotherapy Post Jungian Perspectives
publication date Mar 10, 2014, publication description Routledge

Gender Legacies of Jung and Freud as Epistemology in Emergent Feminist Research on Late Motherhood
publication date Jan 8, 2014, Behavioural Science

Book Review: Maithree Wickramasinghe, Feminist Research Methodology: Making Meanings of Meaning Making
publication date May 2013 Feminism & Psychology

‘Dreaming The Dream On’
Jan 8, 2013, Personality Type In Depth
Archetype, Type, John Beebe’s 8 Function Model, Mother Complex, Type Falsification, Dreams

“Pregnant Pause: procreative desire, reproductive technology and narrative shifts at midlife” in Raya Jones (ed) Body, Mind and Healing After Jung A space of questions
publication date 2011 Routledge

“The Hunger To Fill An Empty Space. An investigation of primordial affects and meaning-making in the drive to conceive through repeated use of ART”
publication date Sep 2007 Journal of Analytical Psychology

Conference Presentation and Award

‘Disenchantment with The Union of Opposites’
IAJS Enchantment & Disenchantment Conference on the Psyche in Transformation, July 2011

Honor & Award
First Prize – Unpublished Research,
Jul 2005 Joint Conference of the IAAP & IAJS, Texas

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