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 www.DepthPsychologyAlliance.com
Curated by Bonnie Bright
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Loss and Redemption

Loss and Redemption | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
Is there redemption in suffering? Can we move through loss and trauma to make it a meaningful experience?

 

Jung speaks of the numinous experience. This is the experience that puts us in touch with the transpersonal aspect of ourselves, the divine within, the Self Archetype. One can say that this is what happened to my mom. For a moment, she connected with her Self Archetype and knew that she needed to live. Perhaps she is not done here yet.

 

Now, three weeks later, has this numinous experience changed her? Has she realized that she has had a profoundly potentially transformative experience? I am sure she will never be the same again, but has she been able to extract meaning and will she be able to move forward with a new intention? Or will she slip into a depression and then from there move back into her normal way of being?

 

We all have these numinous experiences during our lives. Moments of resolve that we feel connected to something deep within us, but.... (click title for more)

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Why Jung Is Important

Why Jung Is Important | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

More than anyone else in the 20th century, the psychologist is responsible for our wide interest in what we can call "inner directed spirituality." He saw the unconscious mind as a hidden treasure, not a basement or cellar where we hide away everything about ourselves we'd rather not face. For Jung, the unconscious was a positive, life-giving part of our psyche and we ignored it at our peril.


Jung's conviction about the creative role of the unconscious came to him during a traumatic psychic upheaval that followed his break with Freud. Jung charted the course of this "creative illness" in his legendary Red Book, a mysterious tome filled with fantastic watercolor paintings and intricate calligraphy, that Jung kept secret for many years, and which was published for the first time only in...(click title to keep reading)

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Skip_Conover's curator insight, May 20, 2013 6:27 PM

by Bonnie Bright

Dawn Stary's curator insight, October 9, 2014 7:24 PM

Carl Jung is still relevant today because our search for meaning is still relevant.  #Spirituality and #religion comes up quite often in my work with clients.  Both have helped them in their journey towards healing.  They have faced terrible things but they find comfort and calm in their spiritual lives and for many their prayer lives too. 

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Jung, Synchronicity, And Human Destiny

Jung, Synchronicity, And Human Destiny | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Synchronicity refers to the underlying cosmic intelligence that synchronizes people, places and events into a meaningful order. We experience synchronicity when an outer event corresponds to our inner thoughts, perceptions or feelings. - Law of Time

 

Carl Jung is the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist that founded “analytical psychology,” as well as the extravert and introvert psychological types.

 

Analytical psychology focuses on the whole of the human being, believing that the unconscious mind is the primary source for healing and is vital to the development of an individual’s soul. Unlike many psychologists and scientists, Jung believed the world of dreams, myth, and folklore, should be...(click title for more)

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Skip_Conover's curator insight, May 20, 2013 6:28 PM

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Therapy as an Alchemical Process: A Short Introduction

Therapy as an Alchemical Process: A Short Introduction | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Carl Gustav Jung’s persistence in deciphering the cryptic, convoluted, and exasperating imagery presented in many ancient, medieval and Renaissance alchemical manuscripts was instrumental in eliciting a renewed twentieth century interest in alchemy as a corroborating aspect of depth psychotherapy. In the last few centuries preceding this phenomenon alchemy had fallen into disrepute as a rudimentary protochemistry superseded by the manifold developments of Enlightenment science, a discipline of no practicable use except to the quacks of Victorian occultism who still ambled about in garage laboratories trying to transmute lead into gold and perfecting methods of pseudo-transmutation by which select credulous members of the general public might be duped.


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Rereading/misreading Jung: post-Jungian theory

This review of Susan Rowland's Jung: A Feminist Revision and George H. Jensen's Identities Across Texts proceeds from an assumption that the varieties of poststructuralist and social-constructionist thought have, by now, largely completed themselves and, having taught us what they can, stand themselves in need of correction, qualification, and critique: such is the way of all mature theory.

 

Questioning what lies beyond, scholars have begun to ask what social-constructionism has forgotten, ignored, or gotten wrong. Into this new, post-poststructuralist intellectual environment, the individual has reentered discussion: not as the solitary, Romantic consciousness once theorized by liberal humanism, but as situated in gender, race, and culture. Returning to explore questions of psychology, "personal agency," and self-identity, we might find it timely to reconsider C. G. Jung, one of the psyche's first great explorers. But we cannot return to the same, "high-structuralist" Jung who once loomed over criticism. We are left, rather, to reread Jungian concepts through lenses provided by... (click title for more)

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The Myths of Mary Magdalene: An Interview with Kayleen Asbo & Bonnie Bright for Depth Insights™

The Myths of Mary Magdalene: An Interview with Kayleen Asbo & Bonnie Bright for Depth Insights™ | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In this written interview, Depth Insights host Bonnie Bright interviews Kayleen Asbo, cultural historian, musician, writer, and teacher on the topic of “The Myths of Mary Magdalene,” also the title of her upcoming webinar series. The first of that series, “The Many Faces of Mary Magdalene” is free to the public (must register to join) and takes place May 1, 2013, at 7pm PT. 

 

BB: How did you get interested in Mary Magadelene, and where did you begin your research?

 

KA: My first memory of Mary Magdalene is as a five year old little girl, crying at the song "I Don't Know How to Love Him" in a movie theatre when I saw Jesus Christ Superstar, The song haunted me and a few years later, when my first piano was delivered, I spent the first few days trying to pick it out by ear. About ten years ago, I had a very powerful dream in which Mary Magdalene appeared and said if I wanted to find the real Christianity, I should follow the trail from France to Wales. I took the dream seriously, and have been researching early Christianity and its manifestations in France and the British Isles every since. I don't know if it is "real" Christianity, but I have discovered an amazing set of stories and myths and had incredible adventures along the way.

 

BB: That speaks so strongly to the power and influence of the unconscious on our lives—both through music and through dreams. When the dream said...(click title for more)

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The Power of Story and Place among the Navajo in Canyon de Chelly

The Power of Story and Place among the Navajo in Canyon de Chelly | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Hózhó. Under a turquoise sky dotted with cotton clouds, Pat, the patchwork mustang I ride feels his tentative way between large boulders and slippery sand. It has rained hard the night before, leaving everything bright and fresh, but the horses are paying for it with the sudden and drastic loss of the topsoil that normally cushions the trail.

 

As we make our way past a final patch of juniper trees and crest a rise in the rich red earth, Canyon de Chelly, the sacred home of the Navajo for hundreds of years, suddenly reveals itself in all its stunning beauty. For the first time, I think perhaps I catch a glimpse of the meaning of the word the Navajo (Diné) use to describe a state of beauty and order, of being in harmony with the universe (Sandner, 1991).

 

The Navajo call themselves “Diné” meaning “The People.” They are cultural and linguistic relatives of the Athapascans who inhabit Canada and the American Northwest, having migrated across the Bering Strait in ancient times and.. (click title for more)

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A Psyche the Size of Earth ~ James Hillman

A Psyche the Size of Earth ~ James Hillman | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

There is only one core issue for all of psychology. Where is the "me"? Where does the "me" begin? Where does the "me" stop? Where does the "other" begin? For most of its history, psychology took for granted an intentional subject: the biographical "me" that was the agent and sufferer of all "doings". For most of its history, psychology located this "me" within human persons defined by their physical skin and their immediate behaviour. The subject was simply "me in my body and in my relations with other subjects". The familiar term that covered this entire philosophical system was "ego", and what the ego registered were called "experiences".

Over the past three decades, all this has been scrutinized, dismantled and even junked. Postmodernism has deconstructed continuity, self, intention, identity, centrality, gender, individuality. The integrity of memory for establishing biographical continuity has been challenged. The unity of the self has fallen before the onslaught of multiple personalities.... (click title for more)

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Dreamer at the Garden ~ by Silvia Behrend, Ph.D.

Dreamer at the Garden ~  by Silvia Behrend, Ph.D. | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

I am a member of a collective garden, where about 20 of us work together to grow food, educate ourselves on sustainability, practice organic farming methods and generally have a good time. We have weekly work parties and also opportunities for solitary work. I have spent many hours observing nature and what she has to teach me about archetypal patterns. I have learned to look through the eyes of a pattern analyst.

At an early spring work party I saw one of our members broadcasting seeds over a bed and thought that this was the expression of the archetypal field of cultivation. This was the expression of the development of consciousness, no longer reliant on mere opportunism for gathering food, cultivating requires conscious engagement and knowledge of the processes of growth, maturation and harvest to ensure survival.

Except I was wrong. This person had used all the seeds for the entire season on one half bed. What would grow in this spot would be... (click title for more)

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Healing Our Divides by Tending Our Creative Fire -- by Jean Benedict Raffa Ed.D.

Healing Our Divides by Tending Our Creative Fire -- by Jean Benedict Raffa Ed.D. | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

When I started my first psychological book in the fall of 1989, I was near the end of a time of intense struggle with some painful inner conflicts. I had recently discovered Jungian psychology, and with it, my passions for writing and self-discovery. Thrilled to have an outlet for my uncomfortable inner life at last, I began writing a series of memoir-type essays in which I searched for meaning in some of my most puzzling experiences.

 

Essentially, I was re-mything my life from a Jungian perspective.

I’d been working on my dreams for over a year, so I was delighted when they began providing material that often inspired the next day's work.  Then one morning six months into this project I was sitting in front of my make-up mirror when a fairy tale wove its way into my awareness in a spontaneous session of active imagination. (I love the symbolism of the mirror which prompts reflection!) With a sudden insight I realized this story provided the plot, theme, and guiding metaphors for... (Click title for more)

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Jerusalem Stone: A Confession of Faith in Stone -- Aviva Lev-David

Jerusalem Stone: A Confession of Faith in Stone --  Aviva Lev-David | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Jung began to build his house in Bollingen, Switzerland, in 1923, at the age of forty-eight. He continued building this solitary retreat well into his old age. What was the impulse behind this significant endeavor? What inspired Jung to invest this much time and energy in building the tower, as he called it? “Words and paper did not seem real enough to me” he says in his autobiography. He clarifies,

 

To put my fantasies on solid footing something more was needed. I had to achieve a kind of representation in stone of my innermost thoughts and of the knowledge I had acquired. Put another way, I had to make a confession of faith in stone. That was the beginning of the tower, the house I built for myself at Bollingen. (1963, p. 212, my emphasis)

 

At first glance, Jung’s drive to build the tower, as described above, appears to be centered on his desire to sculpt psyche into matter; to place his developing knowledge on solid ground; to root the ineffable reality of psyche in the permanence... (click title for more)

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Depth Insights » Bricolage: Psyche’s Eco-Healing Agent by April Heaslip

Depth Insights » Bricolage: Psyche’s Eco-Healing Agent by April Heaslip | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Bricolage is a sophisticated form of art that can be found across mediums and genres. Quilting, mosaics, collage, and jazz are all examples of this elegant, organic design, examples of how resurrection is possible through the art of re/membering.  In bricolage a whole is created from disparate parts; some form of glue—connective tissue—is required. Then something new emerges. Re/creation presupposes collapse, disintegration, disuse; something old has outworn its usefulness. This destruction produces the rich compost—gardener’s gold—out of which life emerges anew.

 

Famously discussed by Claude Lévi–Strauss in The Savage Mind in the 1960’s, bricolage has since been applied to many disciplines and conversations. I suggest it offers an inherently sustainable tool for depth psychologists and mythologists exploring healing though individuation, especially how to navigate resurrection and what Joseph Campbell defined as the Return... (click title to continue)

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The Bride and the Coniunctio: An Archetypal Image of Love and Union | Dr. Jeff Howlin

The Bride and the Coniunctio: An Archetypal Image of Love and Union | Dr. Jeff Howlin | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The wedding and specifically the bride just might be one of the grandest of all archetypal images. We commonly associate weddings with the bride and the groom, but I’m going to make a case for the bride alone as a prime archetypal image and symbol for transpersonal love and union–the alchemical phase of the coniunctio.

 

But before I talk about archetypes, unions and the coniunctio, I feel a need to mention a qualifier. This post is personal for me.  I was married several months ago, and I still retain the feelings and keen memories of the experience and what it felt like to be swept away by love.

 

While reflecting upon standing at the alter while waiting for and watching the bride walking down the aisle, I realized two things. One was this: ”we” (bride and groom) and “I,” were a part of something much larger. And two: the bride and her image, carried the wedding.  Even the behavior of those attending spoke to this, as people and the ceremony itself pivoted around the bride. And this is how it should be, because the image of the bride is so much more than a woman getting married to a man.

 

Since this article also talks about the often misunderstood Jungian concept of the archetype, I’m going to use a metaphor by Jung himself ... (click title for more)

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Making a Masterpiece of Your Life: Ideas from Author Thomas Moore

Making a Masterpiece of Your Life: Ideas from Author Thomas Moore | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Recently I had the chance to tune into a free teleseminar with author, religious scholar, professor and lecturer Thomas Moore of the book, Care of the Soul, fame. The teleseminar focused on how to make a masterpiece of your life.

 

According to Moore, the word “masterpiece” harkens back to Renaissance, which he’s been studying for thirty years or so. It offers up beauty like painting, architecture, and is such a rich source of pleasure and psychological and spiritual insight. Moore points out that the word “masterpiece” can be sometimes be overused to mean perfect or refer to something too sentimental. For him, the first thing that occurs is “making an art of your life.”

 

Beauty is even more important for the soul and spirit than physical health, Moore insisted. When it comes to soul and spirit, we might not think of health, but rather what it takes to make a beautiful life. How might people look at life and find pleasure in it, rather than being so concerned about being right, correct, or even healthy.

Back in the third century, it was Plotinus who said we should “sculpt” our soul and chip away anything that doesn’t quite fit in order to reveal a beautiful life...(click title for more)

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Active Imagination (Analytical Psychology)

Active Imagination (Analytical Psychology) | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Active imagination in Carl Jung's analytical method of psychotherapy involves opening oneself to the unconscious and giving free rein to fantasy, while at the same time maintaining an active, attentive, conscious point of view. The process leads to a synthesis that contains both perspectives, but in a new and surprising way.

 

"The Transcendent Function" (1916b [1958]) is Jung's first paper about the method he later came to call active imagination. It has two parts or stages: Letting the unconscious come up andComing to terms with the unconscious. He describes its starting points (mainly moods, images, bodily sensations); and some of its many expressive forms (painting, sculpting, drawing, writing, dancing, weaving, dramatic enactment, inner visions, inner dialogues). In this early essay he links his method to work with dreams and...

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Eva Rider MA's curator insight, May 23, 2013 6:39 PM

In Depth psychotherapy, The Transcendent function is an integral part of the process in making the "magic" of change happen.  Jung sometimes referred to the Archetypal witness that bridges the subject (therapy client) and the reflecton (Therapist)  as the "third" or transcendent funtion. This function can emerge as insight, the creative muse, or even appear as the trickster god, Hermes. Its function is resolve an inner conflict by moving the perspective to a new level of awareness. In symbolic language, one could imagine a triangle with the conflict represented by the oppostie poles and the solution could be seen at the apex of the triangle.

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Remything Our Lives With Our Own Symbols

Remything Our Lives With Our Own Symbols | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
The symbols and themes of dreams, legends, fairy tales and myths address realities that the soul understands, even if the conscious mind does not. For example, the legend of King Arthur features a walled city.
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Carl Jung: the goal of individuation is the synthesis of the self

Carl Jung: the goal of individuation is the synthesis of the self | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
"I have called this wholeness that transcends consciousness the 'self.' The goal of the individuation process is the synthesis of the self. ...the symbols of wholeness frequently occur at the begin...

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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 | Scoop.it
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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Personal Branding and the Jungian Persona

Personal Branding and the Jungian Persona | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
The persona is simply your public personality. The better developed your persona is the better you will get on in the world.

 

Jung identified the persona as the bridge between the ego and the external world; in just the same way as the anima forms the bridge to the inner world. The persona is simply your public personality, the face you show the world. The better developed your persona is the better you will get on in the world.

 

This is a generalisation and suffers the limitations of any generalisation. Naturally some people get on pretty well with a very poorly developed persona, but these are the exceptions not the rule and then almost undoubtedly their progress in the world would have been enhanced had they a better, more cultivated, persona.

 

Bottom line, the persona is an invaluable tool in public life and social interaction. It plays an important role even in private life, your interaction with intimate friends and... (click title for more)

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The Role and Value of Dreams in a Post-Apocalyptic Future -- by Paco Mitchell

The Role and Value of Dreams in a Post-Apocalyptic Future -- by Paco Mitchell | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

We are living in an age widely regarded as “apocalyptic,” though many of us steadfastly try to keep the lid on our share of apocalyptic awareness. But, in the end, it is better to lift the lid and peer into the cauldron. Every therapist understands this, and every patient should as well. And the most direct way of seeing into the living darkness that surrounds us is through our dreams.

 

My approach to depth psychology has been conditioned by one particular passage from Jung, the first example of his writing I had ever seen. When I first read this quote, in 1972, the words burned into my imagination like tongues of flame:

 

Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart through the world. There, in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and... (click title for more)

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Working with Dreams: Depth Psychology Techniques of Carl Gustav Jung and James Hillman

Working with Dreams: Depth Psychology Techniques of Carl Gustav Jung and James Hillman | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Dream work is ancient, it’s long tradition evidenced in the temples of Asclepius in Greece where individuals went to be healed through their dreams. Dreams have been an important aspect of many spiritual traditions, and even Freud considered the study of dreams to be his most important work.

 

There are many methods of dream analysis. When working with dreams, it can be helpful to intentionally assess them from various aspects, including mythical, archetypal, alchemical, and collective, and to pay attention to which resonate most strongly emotionally and elicit even a physical response in order to begin to understand what insights are being gifted through your unconscious.

 

In The Dream and the Underworld, James Hillman prefers to allow the dream and dream symbols to remain what they are, and not to analyze and interpret them but to simply interact with them and see what comes about. However, Hillman’s method of seeing focuses far more on an artistic view than from a therapeutic or results-oriented standpoint. As such, when it comes to dreams and symbols, he stays with the process and activity itself instead of seeking an outcome or solution. He values the description over...(click title for more)

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The Archetypal Field of Leadership by Silvia Behrend

The Archetypal Field of Leadership by Silvia Behrend | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The Pacific Northwest is frequently cold and gray both in the spring and summer. However, the weather does not essentially change the natural patterns of bird migration. Thus, I was surprised to hear the honking of a lone goose flying through the early spring air as the migration had not yet begun. Why was it flying alone?

 

I followed the goose as long as possible and imagined different things: the goose was lost, it was re-joining its mate or its flock, it was flying reconnaissance. Whatever the reality of that one goose, I was moved in a powerful and non-rational way. I experienced a flash of intuitive knowing that the archetypal field of leadership is one of service to the mandates of the Self, predicated upon a conscious ego-Self relationship. In this paper, Self specifically refers to the ordering principle of the Psyche, which is understood to be the totality of all psychic processes. The Self is that which brings the ego into conscious relationship with the psyche, and may be called... (click title for more)

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Martin Shaw on why we can't just throw out the old stories while searching for the new

Martin Shaw on why we can't just throw out the old stories while searching for the new | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

My first posts on this blog at the beginning of last year related to my concerns about increasing numbers of calls by various groups and individuals around the world for 'new stories'. Don't misunderstand. those calls for new stories sprang from an important place: the notion that the stories which we tell ourselves about our current ways of living need to be replaced with something more authentic, wild and free.

 

It is hard for us to imagine the time when human language was primarily just a sound in a wider polyphony of earthy expression – the splashing brook, the patterning of bird song. Hard for us to hear human sound without drawing on the resource of visualizing letters if needed. The inside of our heads has changed dramatically in this regard. This apparent sophistication has crafted a speech that can seem to sit uneasily in the panorama of the wild, with its burbles, chirrups and thunder.

 

Human language can seem like the voice of a guardian or overlord, rather than the confirming murmurs of a being placed absolutely within this textured web... (click title for more)

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Dream Remedies: Music and Psyche -Travis Wernet

Dream Remedies: Music and Psyche -Travis Wernet | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

There may be more of a connection between music and the depths of our being than we previously realized. Jung made an interesting comment in support of this notion when Meg Tilly invited him to listen to her piano playing and witness her approach to music therapy.

 

Tilly apparently felt that incorporation of music into Analytical Psychology would be of benefit, and sought to influence Jung on this matter. She was invited to Küsnacht after contacting Jung to share her method with him. In regards to the experience, he remarked, “Music is dealing with such deep archetypal material and those who play don’t realize this. Yet, used therapeutically from this level, music should be an essential part of every analysis. [It] expresses in sounds what fantasies and visions express in visual images … music represents movement, development and transformation of motifs of the collective unconscious.”

 

From a depth view of psyche, we know that dreams, too, present a reliable touchstone for accessing the unconscious. To invite the energies of the soul to speak to us through dreaming, we may yearn to cultivate ways of bringing our...

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Maintaining Mental Health In The Age Of Madness, By Carolyn Baker

Maintaining Mental Health In The Age Of Madness, By Carolyn Baker | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” A state of well-being is obviously more than just the absence of disease. It assumes that a human being is reasonably functional mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Similarly, this definition can be applied to healthy communities with the addition of social functionality as another aspect of well-being.

 

However, most readers are aware of the decline in mental health treatment within the past three decades. Whereas thirty years ago many working people had insurance benefits for outpatient psychotherapy as well as in-patient treatment, not only have the benefits dramatically decreased, but massive unemployment makes it virtually impossible for.. (click title for more)

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