Seeking Interviewees for Playa Names Psychology Project

Got an interesting Playa name? I want to interview you about your Playa name for my Psychodynamics paper: Archetypal Imagery of Burning Man Participant names! (Names used at regional burns work, too.)If you know other Burners with interesting Playa names who should be interviewed for this project, please forward them this message.

Important: Participating in this project is not therapy. I am not a licensed therapist (yet). Interviews for this project will be interesting conversations about your Playa name that may turn up new perspectives on your life and history. It will be up to you to determine the significance and usefulness of those perspectives after our conversation.

This is not scientific, and it’s not meant to be. It’s just a deep way of thinking about yourself and your life.

If you’re super enthusiastic about whatever this mad project may be regardless of any further explanation, go ahead and sign up for time to chat with me about your Playa name here:

For those of you who’d like to know more before signing up:

Wtf is Archetypal Imagery?

Archetypes are a concept in Jungian psychoanalysis that can help you understand aspects of your psyche. A lot of talk therapy is helping people locate, define, and process their feelings and experiences, and associating a universal image with someone’s experience is one way to evocatively interface with their inner world. For instance, someone who experiences associations with images of the hero archetype might value helping others and solving problems while also being prideful or habitually take on too much responsibility for others.

An archetypal image is a specific representation of an archetype – for instance, one image of the warrior archetype could be Mars, the Roman god of war.

Archetypes do not need to be mythic or anthropomorphic – they can also be feelings or states of being, anything that is (reasonably) universal to the human experience, such as fear, childhood, or homelessness.

So how does one experience archetypal images? It’s not (often) something you hallucinate. It might be something that frequently shows up in your creative work or dreams or simply something that niggles at the back of your mind from time to time. It could be something only to be found by looking at your patterns of behavior.

Your Playa name can be a rich source of these associations with universal human experience which may point to aspects of your personality and existence that you may not have consciously thought about.

But wait, what if you have a silly Playa name? How will that lead to any part of your psyche? (It probably does, and if it doesn’t, wouldn’t it be interesting to discuss why you have a Playa name that has no connection to your core Self?)

For example, let’s have a little fun with my Playa name:

Groundscore – something useful, previously lost by someone else, found on the ground (usually psychoactive substances)

Archetypes: treasure, lostness, luck /chance, games

Images: plastic baggy on the ground, MOOP, quest item that unlocks another realm

Possible discussion: Clearly, this is a mixed bag of associations. Some are positive; some are neutral, and some are a bit dark. Things that have been found were necessarily once lost. Not everyone would accept a name that means “bag of drugs found on the ground,” so why did I? What was the role of “lostness” in my life when that name found me? Is there a dichotomy between being both “treasure” and “MOOP,” or have I somehow integrated those two ideas?

Some of what we might explore during your interview:
– Was your name given to or chosen by you?
– If it was bestowed because of an event /accident, was that event otherwise significant or metaphorical? Or even a synchronicity? Or did you just lose a battle with an inanimate object while your campmates were watching?
– Explore possible archetypal images that could be associated with your name.
– How does the name affect how you function in the community, in relationship to other Burners?
– How does the name influence how you see yourself?
– If you had a different Playa name in the past which has been replaced by a new name, how did the answers to the above questions change with the new name?
– Were alternative Playa names suggested to you that you rejected?

Are you in?
If you are on the West Coast, please consider taking one of the evening slots so that East Coast folks can take advantage of the few lunchtime slots. Remember that 7 pm in San Francisco is 10 pm in Boston. 🙂

Many thanks,
Integral Counseling Psychology Program
California Institute of Integral Studies

The event is finished.


Apr 03, 2021 - Apr 24, 2021

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Apr 03, 2021 - Apr 25, 2021
  • Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 am


Virtual Live Experience (other)