Jody Gentian Bower knew at the age of 10 that her calling was to be a writer. But everyone told her that an English degree would get her nowhere, so she majored in psychobiology at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington instead, where she discovered the works of C.G. Jung, triggering a lifelong interest in depth psychology and dreamwork.
Jody went on to earn a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Washington in Seattle, intending to be a medical social worker. But fate intervened; when she took a job at Virginia Mason Medical Center, the physicians there quickly discovered her editing and writing skills and enlisted her to help them with their papers. This led to her being hired as the Managing Editor of the Mason Clinic Bulletin and the start of a three-decades-long career as a scientific writer and editor, working for organizations such as Microsoft and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. “My gift is being able to understand complex concepts and translate them into plain English for the general public,” she says.
An inveterate reader, Jody also participated in a book club for many years. Eventually she came to realize that many of the books they read that featured a female protagonist followed the same pattern. But when she looked for a book that discussed this pattern, she could not find one. A chance conversation with someone who worked in publishing gave her the incentive to return to school and earn a doctorate from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Mythological Studies with a Depth Psychology Emphasis. She wrote her dissertation on “Recurrent Motifs in Women’s Fiction,” which she defended in 2012. She then spent the next 18 months turning that work into her book Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story.
Dr. Bower now speaks and teaches classes on mythic and archetypal motifs in current cultural modalities such as film and popular fiction. She also calls on her scientific background to write and speak about the intersections between neuroscience, psychology, and spirituality. A trained mezzo-soprano, she sings with the RainShadow Chorale in Port Townsend, Washington, and enjoys hiking and snowshoeing in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.