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The Hero’s Journey: A Narrative Model For the Treatment of PTSD

Author: William Jamaal Fort

“A Hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." —Joseph Campbell

As a professor in comparative mythology and comparative religion at Sarah Lawrence College, Joseph Campbell involved his students in the rigorous exploration of historical myths. Campbell had spent years plumbing the depths of mythological stories, and in those years he discovered the common threads that created the intricate tapestry of world culture.

His holistic view of mythology allowed him to reveal the very real connections between resurrection stories, stories of virgin births, and stories of great heroes from around the globe. Every type of mythical story from Arthurian myths to “Star Wars” were examined in great detail and all were perfectly illuminated by Campbell with his great wisdom, warmth and authority.

I first encountered Campbell’s work in 1988 on the PBS series, “The Power of Myth” hosted by Bill Moyers. As soon as Campbell spoke, I was completely mesmerized. By the end of the series, I was convinced that I had been given a completely new understanding of life. I no longer viewed these historical myths and legends as mere fairy tales from antiquity; I now perceived them as powerful tools for shaping cultures, nations, and people. I carried these new understa