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“Hi Liz! So glad we’re meeting this morning. Do come in.” So welcomed Ellen Sheire standing in her doorway, her brown eyes shimmering with light, her amber bangles and earrings complementing her shirtwaist dress. It was March 1988, a humid morning that would launch decades of dream analysis with my new helper, a Jungian-trained analyst. I had nowhere else to go, racked, as I was, by terrifying dreams imaging physical and psychic disorders.

Denial screened the enormity of this undertaking: the complete gut job of my psyche, given its mishmash of others’ values ill-suited to my individuation. With no sense of who I was, with no voice, I was slowly dying.

What was obvious to Ellen those first weeks of dream analysis was my disease of alcoholism. However, denial thwarted entering12-Step recovery and the brownstone across the street until 1991. There, I learned about letting go and letting God, a process that continues into the present.

Interesting that Ellen never sought to fix me, rather midwifed me toward the God-given riches buried within my unconscious. Her tactics were simple: recommended Jungian authors who amplified the elucidation of my dreams each week; travel with Jungian study groups to Sacred sites of the Feminine in western Europe; active imagination with spirit guide Michael for, ten years; memoir writing, once retired; and monthly meetings of the local C. J. Jung Society. Thirty-three loose-leaf binders evidenced the fruitfulness of our relationship.

A woman of selfless joy, Ellen Sheire drew me to her study those Friday mornings from which I emerged with renewed hope, even laughter, to continue this arduous work. My gratitude is boundless.

From this vantage point, I’m deeply content to return this gift of life, with her finger prints, to Creator-God, whenever, however…



For Immediate Release                  Contact Information – Mary Elizabeth Moloney                                                                                    314.962-0390

March 10, 2012                                      

In her memoir, Elizabeth – learning to dress myself from the inside out, St. Louis writer, Mary Elizabeth Moloney, narrates her arduous path of individuation that lessened the effects of a negative mother complex.


St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Carl G. Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology in the last century, first explored complexes, emotionally explosive contents in the unconscious that thwart psychosocial and spiritual development. One of these is the mother complex, an enmeshment with her offspring that renders them incapable of separating from her, of developing psychic strength to forge their own life paths. If unrecognized, multiple disorders occur in the offspring: no organized sense of self, depression, low self esteem, free-floating anxiety, distortions in perception, inability to learn and make decisions, insomnia, even physical problems.

Such disorders compelled Mary Elizabeth Moloney to enter Jungian analysis in 1988. No longer could she endure her shadow existence under her mother’s dominance. Years of dream study evolved into the practice of active imagination and her eventual transcendence from this complex through the Transcendent function. This memoir narrates this process.

Each chapter contains a vignette of an outfit, bought by Mary’s mother for a significant occasion, beginning with her First Holy Communion dress. Through this device used in subsequent chapters, the reader experiences the crippling mother-daughter relationship over the years, culminating in the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in Mary. Paradoxically, chronic pain, multiple knee surgeries, and ineffective drugs prodded the search for her true self. Significant dreams, included in the memoir, led to separations from her Mother and family of origin, her years in the convent, her marriage, and her church. Uncovering her addictive personality also led to 12-Step living supported by the fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon. Through them, she continues to learn how to dress herself from the inside out, together with the gift of daily dreams, challenging her to an even deeper honesty and humility with her God.

Mary retired from hospice work in 2001 to begin this arduous memoir. She urges her readers to make peace with their pasts before transitioning to the next life. She also welcomes opportunities to share this remarkable story.

Elizabeth – learning to dress myself from the inside out. ISBN: 978-0-9848097-0-7. Available online at


Available on Amazon

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