Depth Psych
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Depth Psych
Pioneered by William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Gustav Jung, Depth Psychology is the study of how we dialogue with the Unconscious via symbols, dreams, myth, art, nature. By paying attention to the messages that show up from beyond our conscious egos, we can be guided to greater understanding, transformation, and integration with the world around us, inner and outer. Join the conversation in community at
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Getting the Conscious and Unconscious Mind Working Together

Getting the Conscious and Unconscious Mind Working Together | Depth Psych |
We are meant to be in relationship with the unconscious, not allow it to run the show while we strip our conscious minds of the faculties that we were gifted with. This is the secret to creativity.


We need to get the conscious and unconscious mind to work together in a natural sort of give-and-take. Imagination can be our great ally in this pursuit, as any good teacher of creative visualization would maintain. Most everything that we achieve is preceded by imagination on the conscious level: If we can’t “see ourselves” doing something then it becomes exceedingly difficult to actually do it.... (Click title for more)

Via Zeteticus, Eva Rider
Eva Rider's curator insight, June 19, 2015 3:32 AM

finding our roots and growing up. Developing a dialogue with the unconscious.

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The unconscious arises ~ C. G. Jung

The unconscious arises ~ C. G. Jung | Depth Psych |

"Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious,
new contents, which have never yet been conscious, can arise from it."
~ C.G. Jung, Man and His Symbols  

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A Brief Introduction to C. G. Jung and Analytical Psychology

A Brief Introduction to C. G. Jung and Analytical Psychology | Depth Psych |

Carl Gustav Jung was the best known member of the group that formed the core of the early psychoanalytic movement—followers and students of Sigmund Freud. After completing his medical studies, Jung obtained a position at the Burghoelzli Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. There he worked with patients suffering from schizophrenia, while also conducting word association research.

In 1904 Jung corresponded with Freud about this latter work and also began to use Freud's psychoanalytic treatment with his patients. In 1906 Freud invited Jung to Vienna, and they began a professional relationship. Freud soon began to favor Jung as his successor in the new and growing psychoanalytic movement.

Through Freud's efforts, Jung was appointed Permanent President of the Association of Psycho-Analysis at its Second Congress in 1910. Jung and Freud held in common an understanding of the profound role of the unconscious. Their understanding of the nature of the unconscious, however, began to diverge. This led to a painful break between the two men... (Click title for more)

Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:02 AM

Interesting introduction to Jung's work. For facilitators perhaps best known for developing archetypes that underpin facilitation tools such as Heroes' Journey (my preference to Hero's)

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Carl Jung & Astrology: The Freud/Jung Letters

In May of 1911 Dr. Carl G Jung (1875-1961) wrote his (at that time) mentor Sigmund Freud saying: "Occultism is another field we shall have to conquer - with the aid of the libido theory, it seems to me. At the moment I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness."


Jung, then, cautiously added: "Please don't worry about my wanderings in these infinitudes. I shall return laden with rich booty for our knowledge of the human psyche.... For a while longer I must intoxicate myself on magic perfumes in order to fathom the secrets that lie hidden in the abysses of the unconscious..." (Click title for more)

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ARE WE POSSESSED? | Depth Psych |

C. G. Jung, the great doctor of the soul and one of the most inspired psychologists of the twentieth century, had incredible insight into what is currently playing out, both individually and collectively, in our modern-day world. He writes, “If, for a moment, we look at mankind as one individual, we see that it is like a man carried away by unconscious powers.” We are a species carried away — “possessed” by — and acting out, the unconscious. (Image from Lantern Hollow Press)


Jung elaborates, “Possession, though old-fashioned, has by no means become obsolete; only the name has changed. Formerly they spoke of ‘evil spirits,’ now we call them ‘neurosis’ or ‘unconscious complexes.’” To condescendingly think that we, as modern-day, rational people, are too sophisticated to believe in something as primitive as demons is to have fallen under the spell of the very evil spirits we are imagining are nonexistent. What the ancients call demons are a psychic phenomena which compel us to act out behaviors contrary to our best intentions...

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Eva Rider's curator insight, March 20, 2014 1:28 AM

Are we possessed? Addiction is possession. How do we awaken and break the spell?

Laura M. Smith's curator insight, March 20, 2014 11:31 AM

An extremely long and interesting article about how we become a slave to our false perceptions of who we are and of who we think others are...In Archetypal Dreamwork, we refer to pathology as the "demon" that gets in and takes over, driving us to act or believe in ways that are not true to our soul. As a colleague stated recently, pathology is a force that moves us further from God, or said differently, further from our soul. Mr. Levy speaks, as did Jung, about the "mass possession" in which a whole group or society suffers from and acts out the neurosis. Perhaps our continual pursuit of the proverbial "more" is and example of this and the devastation to our planet is the consequence.

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Inner Depths: The Purpose of Psychological Symptoms

Inner Depths: The Purpose of Psychological Symptoms | Depth Psych |

Symptoms tell us that we can never take back into our ownership the events caused by the little people of the psyche. —James Hillman


Depth psychology recognizes two qualities of psychological symptoms. First, symptoms are autonomous; they show up not through any decision by the conscious ego but by way of unconscious forces deep within psyche. Symptoms present of their own accord, and, when the conscious ego becomes aware of them, the ego formulates the question, "What's wrong?"—thereby beginning what is hoped to be a long and fruitful dialogue with the unconscious.

Second, psychological symptoms have a purposive nature: they reveal the unconscious's drive toward some end, some purpose, that may not be immediately apparent to the conscious mind. As June Singer (1994) wrote:

Looking at a symptom in this way corresponds to Jung's "purposive view" of... (Click title for more)

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Myth and Meaning

Myth and Meaning | Depth Psych | - This page describes a way of understanding Myths as interpreted from the work of Joseph Campbell.


There are three concepts that are important in understanding Joseph Campbell's work with mythology. The first two are from Carl Jung, a Swiss psychoanalyst (1875-1961). These are the related concepts of thecollective unconscious and archetypes.

The collective unconscious is the term that Jung used to describe humankind's inborn predisposition to certain feelings, perceptions, and behaviors. It is not dependent on the experiences of the individual, but is instead something that we inherit, and perhaps share, as a kind of genetic memory. We react to certain instances in the same way that our human and even pre-human ancestors did because we carry the same potentialities for reaction that they did. They are "engraved" on our minds. For example, the newborn relates to the mother, because he or she...(click title for more)

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Depth Insights - What is Depth Psychology?

Depth Insights - What is Depth Psychology? | Depth Psych |
Depth psychology, a term first coined by Swiss psychiatrist, Eugene Bleuler, around the end of the 1800’s, has its beginnings in the work of Sigmund Freud and another Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung, along with Pierre Janet and William James. Depth Psychology, which encompasses the field of Jungian Psychology, explores the hidden or deeper parts of human experience by seeing things in depth rather than taking them apart.

The self we think we know is only a tiny portion of the self that really exists. The ego self, the self we are aware of and can observe, is just the tip of an iceberg in a vast ocean of unconsciousness. Since what is unconscious is not known, our known version of our self is limited and confined. We are vastly influenced by the immense hidden aspects of the greater self that surrounds us, which is mostly out of sight or understanding.

Depth Psychology seeks to uncover or reveal repressed or hidden aspects of our self, rather like opening a window from inside the limited (click title to continue reading)...
Jane Brody's curator insight, January 1, 2013 3:58 PM

I have been working using these concepts as an acting teacher, with no name for my practice.  I am grateful to have come upon this concept which is completely related to the work of Sanford Meisner and other great acting theoreticians.

Eva Rider's curator insight, October 5, 2014 3:25 PM

more on defining the depth of Depth Psychology by Bonnie Bright , Founder of Depth Psychology Alliance.

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10 Ways to Help Understand your Dreams—and Why Its Important

10 Ways to Help Understand your Dreams—and Why Its Important | Depth Psych |

Jungian Analysis is about much more than just dream interpretation. Yet dreams can be a useful way to gain understanding about what is going on in our lives.  Dreams offer insight into ourselves that we may otherwise be unaware of, or not have in a clear or correct perspective.

Dreams typically are expressed in the mytho-poetic language of the psyche. We can say that dreams are symbolic expressions of the deep meaning, needs, and desires of the Self.


These 10 steps provide a framework that will allow you to better understand your dreams and thereby, better interpret the meaning of your dreams... (Click here for full article)

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Carl Jung on How Symbols Arise in Dreams to Explain the Unconscious

Carl Jung on How Symbols Arise in Dreams to Explain the Unconscious | Depth Psych |

"Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, new contents, which have never yet been conscious, can arise from it," wrote Carl Gustav Jung, pointing to the critical importance of translating the symbols which show up in our lives through dreams, art, mythology, film, literature and dozens of other sources.


In Man and His Symbols, Jung spoke eloquently about the way symbols communicate the contents of the unconscious to us, saying...


"Because there are innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one reason why all religions employ symbolic language or images . But this conscious use of symbols is only one aspect of a psychological fact of great importance: Man also produces symbols unconsciously and spontaneously, in the form of dreams.... (Click title for more)

Viviana Puebla's curator insight, October 16, 2014 9:14 PM

Is  important to pay attention to symbolic language of the dreams, even if it displeases us like the nightmares we may have from time to time. They can teach us ways to understand better how we came to be and why we  choose to walk like this in the path of conscious life.


In the middle of the night ,covered by the protection of the dream world,  we tend to re-live those feeling who never acquire the proper wording so they never came to be in the light of the concious world.


Sometimes because they were dismissed , others, because we forget about what we don´t like  to disturb us  in the speedways of our existence.

But they are not forgotten by our inner self so they must acquire a voice of their own to be Heard by us in our life.



The painful feelings of loss and betrayal  re-lived in our dreams can affect our moods and preconceptions of our daily conscious life.


And by these the veils of the uncertainty of what is was and what is real now.

We start to re-enact those feelings searching for the clues of how they came to be unespected as we think they are, unwanted as they start to overthrow our world of day light : We become suspicious, sadder and angrier lossing ourselves in the mistranslations of the deeper meaning of this sensations. Affecting our relationships and our ability to function in life


Paying attention to the languaging of our dreams, tending the dreamworld means to start to understand this feelings and sensations in the ligth of the inner reaches of our unconcious , turning inwards to the symbolic, not outwards searching  scaping goats of our past experiencies.


Keeping us from the shadows of others but taking the toll of a live half lived. Until we decide to look and face this uncertainties as ours and because of that , looking for the way to make the sound of this symbolic language our way to converse and reach out the deeper meaning of our existence


Nightmares can effectively gallop wildly,  trembling the path of our existence, or if we learn to listen with attention and care to their symbolic languaging,  become our best friends and wise counsellors in the dawn of  our waking life


Dreams and symbols became the treasure map to our inner Gold.

Working towards a soul full life is an unexpected  and extraordinary journey. 


In order to Achieve complete fulfillment in life we must Become whole  again , to be able to recapture the discarded parts of ourselves entails the wisdom of hearing  the sounds and whispers of the language of  the life of the symbols in dreams  that give us the ability to Voice our Soul.


maria taveras's curator insight, September 14, 2015 10:30 PM

The C.G. Jung Center is pleased to announce "Snakes, Dragons and Other Scaly Creatures " a conference and exhibition of C.G.Jung Red Book on March 5th, 2016 in New York City. For info. go to http://snakesanddragonsnyc.eventbrite 

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Can the Gods Be Revived?

Can the Gods Be Revived? | Depth Psych |

In October 1913, psychiatrist CG Jung was riding a train in Western Europe. Suddenly, he was caught by an urgent inner vision of floods inundating the continent but sparing Switzerland. On the way back another vision rolled in, this time of seawater turned to blood.

Worried that he was losing his grip, Jung began what he called a "confrontation with the unconscious": a deliberate plunge into upwelling emotions and fantasies long held at bay. Not until a year later did he realize that the images assailing him on the train had signaled the coming outbreak of World War I.


Imagistic events that felt personal, Jung realized, could be triggered by collective occurrences. The individual was not psychologically separate from the time, then. "Because I carried the war in me," he wrote in his Red Book, "I foresaw it." By realizing this Jung placed himself beyond psychologies that limited themselves to the personal: my self, my family, my work, my relationships. "We make our era."


While teaching himself to use active imagination--basically a conscious daydream state--to dialogue with various figures of the imaginal psyche, Jung...(Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, May 13, 2014 5:39 PM

Can the gods be revived in our time? Will imagination be the key to reawakening the gods and ensouling our radically change world?

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Jung’s model of the psyche - Ann Hopwood

Jung’s model of the psyche - Ann Hopwood | Depth Psych |

Jung writes: ‘By psyche I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious’, (CW6 para 797) so we use the term ‘psyche’ rather than ‘mind’, since mind is used in common parlance to refer to the aspects of mental functioning which are conscious. Jung maintained that the psyche is a self-regulating system (like the body).


The psyche strives to maintain a balance between opposing qualities while at the same time actively seeking its own development or as he called it, individuation. For Jung, the psyche is inherently separable into component parts with complexes and archetypal contents personified and functioning autonomously as complete secondary selves, not just as drives and processes. It is important to think of Jung’s model as a metaphor... (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, April 10, 2014 1:40 AM

A little more on  Jung's model of "Psyche"  ]

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Depth Insights » A Spoonful of Depth Brings the Soul to Life: The Psychology of Mary Poppins by Stacey Jill Zackin

Depth Insights » A Spoonful of Depth Brings the Soul to Life: The Psychology of Mary Poppins by Stacey Jill Zackin | Depth Psych |

We cannot have the extraordinary without the ordinary. Just as the supernatural is hidden in the natural. In order to fly, you need something solid to take off from. It’s not the sky that interests me but the ground. . . . When I was in Hollywood the [script] writers said, surely Mary Poppins symbolizes the magic that lies behind everyday life. I said no, of course not, she is everyday life, which is composed of the concrete and the magic.

—P. L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins (in Lawson, 1999, p. 161)


Clearly, there is something special about Mary Poppins that captures the collective imagination, yet the goal of this essay is not to apply the analytic lens to better understand the character of Mary Poppins, but to utilize Mary Poppins as an analogical tool to better understand the character of depth psychologists.


Depth psychologists believe that within our unconscious lies a wealth of material that expands our capacity to understand, accept, release, and repair aspects of ourselves, that can lead to a more developed sense of wholeness and connection. Such information reveals itself through symbols, metaphors, dreams, imagery, intuition, synchronicity...


Belkacem Nabout's curator insight, December 11, 2013 2:07 PM

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Depth Psychology and Giftedness: Bringing Soul to the Field of Talent Development and Giftedness

Depth Psychology and Giftedness: Bringing Soul to the Field of Talent Development and Giftedness | Depth Psych |

When we as educators seek to educate with soul in mind, a radical spark is struck. Hillman (1983) pointed out “by definition, education must lead out” (p. 179). He suggested that educators lead the child out by leading the child in, by focusing on the imagination in the child’s fantasies. He urges the education of the imagination.

Hillman (1975), in Re-visioning Psychology, was most pointed and succinct in his description of soul. He asks psychology to return to the deepest root of its own meaning, the psyche of psychology. As educators, the depths bring us to reconsider the deepest root of the meaning of teaching, our own educare, in the Platonic sense. As noted above, to lead out from makes the most sense when we speak of it with soul in mind.

From soul’s perspective, the individual comes with the task of perceiving and bringing into the world that which only he or she can bring, even unto what the Greeks called mediation, in the sense of embodying prophetic capacity. Joan of Arc, Ghandi, Krishnamurti, those who Simonton (1995) called the eminent, who Nietzsche (Heidegger, 1990) calls the great man, have a place in soul’s classroom. The cosmos can be known as the immensely creative, ongoing work of art that it is. With soul comes a realization that creating, directing, and maintaining programs of talent development... (Click title for more)

Michael Goodman's comment, August 7, 2013 12:04 PM
Thank you Bonnie for the wonderful pieces you cultivate and share.
Scott Harris's curator insight, August 10, 2013 10:41 PM

For all you Platonists out there.  Hillman is the best on Daimon [Gk. - demigod] translated to [L.] "genius."  Hillman:


All the names given to the quality of Genius over the years, indicate an “other,” who is the protector of our reason for being. It is this Thorn, this Mad Spot, which can be best understood when seen archetypally. The word gift also means poison. Where the poison is, you will also find the Genius. .... Where the Daimon/Genius/Thorn/Mad Spot intervenes is where education, being led out, is being requested. Those who worked best with her honored the pain of her question and worked with her to help her find her way through. Those who made light of her suffering, pointing to underachievement, were bent to remove the problem. They only found more trouble."

Susan Scott's comment, August 28, 2013 8:12 AM
Thank you Bonnie.
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Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious (NYT 2009)

Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious  (NYT 2009) | Depth Psych |
What the unearthing of Carl Jung’s Red book is doing to the Jungs and the Jungians (and maybe your dreams).


This is a story about a nearly 100-year-old book, bound in red leather, which has spent the last quarter century secreted away in a bank vault in Switzerland. The book is big and heavy and its spine is etched with gold letters that say “Liber Novus,” which is Latin for “New Book.” Its pages are made from thick cream-colored parchment and filled with paintings of otherworldly creatures and handwritten dialogues with gods and devils. If you didn’t know the book’s vintage, you might confuse it for a lost medieval tome.


But between the book’s heavy covers, a very modern story unfolds. It goes as follows: Man skids into midlife and loses his soul. Man goes looking for soul. After a lot of instructive hardship and adventure...
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