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
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Review - Constructing The Self, Constructing America

Review - Constructing The Self, Constructing America | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Psychotherapist and historian Philip Cushman views person and culture abiding within one another in gradual, constant flux. In this "strange, unorthodox" and remarkable book, he relates the evolution of psychotherapy from Freud to the present in the context of social change from Victorian to post-modern culture. By the same token he portrays psychotherapy as simultaneously determined by, and influential in, the cultural milieu. This will annoy therapists who see themselves as occupying a scientific perch nicely insulated from social pressure, governed by universal, immutable truths about human nature.  It will also challenge historians who sniff at psychological theory without knowing how deeply it has affected their terrain.

 

Cushman writes about the "empty self," the self as commodity created and fulfilled by what he sees as a social milieu emphasizing individualism, consumption, political ignorance, advertising and marketing.

 

Psychotherapy--and its relationship to the United States--is anything but simple; it is one of the most complex, colorful, and strange artifacts of the modern era.  It is a social institution with many theoretical frameworks, ideologies, and guilds. It features some of the most varied and creative ideas of the last 150 years. Its practitioners have developed some of the most unusual... (Click title for more)

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The Perils of the Unlived Life

The Perils of the Unlived Life | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
The unlived life--those potentials not realized, those dreams not pursued--has a powerful negative impact. How can we find our way back to a life of meaning?

 

One of the most potent forces upon the psyche of the individual, according to C.G. Jung, is the unlived life of one’s parents. By this he means the potentials of the parents that have remained unrealized and the personal qualities that have never been developed or expressed. 

Jung, however, is not speaking of those things that have been attempted and missed, but rather those things that were never even chanced:

“that part of their lives which might have been lived had not certain threadbare excuses prevented the parents from ever doing so.”... (Click title for more)

Bonnie Bright's insight:

Excellent article on an important topic that affects all of us, whether we are living our vocation or not (yet).

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Eva Rider's curator insight, October 21, 2014 12:38 PM

finding meaning in our lives is a uniquely human mandate. If we ignore the call, we miss finding not only fulfillment but our very Selves.

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Finding deeper meanings in the language of mental health

Finding deeper meanings in the language of mental health | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

A word is like a promise; a failure to deliver a kind of betrayal.  What does the language of mental health promise?


PSYCHOLOGY “study of the soul” (ψυχή, psukhē, meaning “breath”, “spirit”, or “soul”); and (-λογία -logia, translated as “study of” or “research”)

 

An essential part of the “scientific” training for young psychology/psychiatry/counseling grad students is a total denial of the spiritual (implicitly or explicitly, the message is that a true scientist must, by definition, be an atheist, and that faith is a foolish and primitive superstition).  You’d be hard pressed to find a mainstream mental health professional willing to call himself a “soul healer” or a “student of the soul” in English, though in Greek the claim is proudly printed on their business cards. .. (Click title for more)

 

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Waking Up with the House on Fire: A conversation with psychologist James Hillman-- about kids, shrinks, mythology, and death

Waking Up with the House on Fire: A conversation with psychologist James Hillman-- about kids, shrinks, mythology, and death | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

(From 1996) --There's no easy way to sum up what Hillman, grounding himself in Jung, calls "archetypal psychology," but one can start by noting that nearly all the current interest in "soul" as an aspect of everyday life is influenced by Hillman; and Hillman's notion of soul is steeped in mythology and aesthetics and mysticism.

 

His psychology, as he puts it in The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World, requires "radical shifts of orientation, so that we can value soul before mind, image before feeling, each before all, aesthesis and imagining before logos and conceiving, noticing before knowing, rhetoric before truth, animal before human...(Click title for more)

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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.


Via 11th Dimension Team, FlossieBentonRogers, Eva Rider
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Shape-Shifting Through Darkness

Shape-Shifting Through Darkness | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Three separate clients came to me recently in very dark places. One had just lost her job and felt trapped--she described herself as being in a “coffin.” The second one was a single mother with a 2-month old baby who was living in a foreign country with no support system. I saw her life as she had known it disintegrating and an image appeared of her “melting” into the earth. And the image that showed up with the third client’s story was of being caught inside a black bag, desperately trying to get out. For all of them of course, the rational choice would be to get the heck out of that dark place, clawing oneself--by whatever means available--back into the “light.”

 

As humans, our normal mode is to be in the light--working, connecting, building things, and busily interacting with other humans. When life as we know it disintegrates, we may find ourselves being... (Click title to continue reading)

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Myth, Image and Depth-Oriented Psychotherapy

Myth, Image and Depth-Oriented Psychotherapy | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The study of mythology and mythic imagery has long been the province of comparative religion, anthropology, literature and art. In the early 20th century, the scholarly study of mythology was appropriated by psychology, specifically the depth psychology of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, to investigate the psychological and structural implications of myth. The study of myth and its relation to dreams and psychopathology has contributed to a paradigm shift in the field of psychology, in which the symbolic contents of the unconscious, as distinguished from the rational mind and the sensational body, suggest a third realm of human influence and experience.

 

The analysis of myth has been an integral part of some of depth psychology’s most significant theories. Modern depth psychology interprets myth as symbolizing an inner, psychological experience. Yet, while Freud’s development of the Oedipus Complex and Jung’s use of mythic symbolism in dream interpretation have been widely studied, and Joseph Campbell’s work in... (Click title to keep reading)

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Myth and Body: Pandora's Legacy in a Post-Modern World

Myth and Body: Pandora's Legacy in a Post-Modern World | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Being a Jungian analyst at this time in history is not particularly comfortable in most psychological or intellectual circles. Jungians are supposed to believe in universal human characteristics called "archetypes" and to support the theory that we all share a collective unconscious. Although Jung's work has some popular appeal, his ideas now seem antiquated in the light of current philosophical and scientific approaches. Mostly his work is not taught in college psychology departments, medical schools, or other places where it could have a broad impact on the way psychotherapy is practiced in the US today.

 

 Because Jung's psychology is grounded in a theory of universals, what all human beings have in common, it appears to be in conflict with many fashionable poll-modern theories. In the past two decades, any belief in universal truths or characteristics has come under close scrutiny and often been dismissed, at least in academic circles. Post-modernism is a broad cultural critique that has challenged theories of self, coherence, and almost all and any claims to truth. These are hard times for a Jungian who is supposed to believe in a universal Self, not only in characteristics that are shared among... (Click title to continue reading)

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Needing The Door To Be There For The Experience To Show Up~Kim Hermanson, PhD

Needing The Door To Be There For The Experience To Show Up~Kim Hermanson, PhD | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
A new client whom I’ll call Alice came to me recently in a desperate financial situation. The work she'd been doing as a book editor had dried up over the past year, and she needed to find some other work quickly. She had decided to apply for a position as Project Manager at a non-profit. Her decision made rational sense--as a book editor she was already doing project management work, and the non-profit happened to be in the same field as the books she had edited. Rationally, it was a good way to transfer her skills and content expertise into a paid position.

The rational mind acts like an efficient computer--it gathers all the facts and information that are in sight, piles them all together, and construes a solution from this information. Our rational minds make “binary” decisions. At a surface level they are logical and make sense. They are also simple--we can explain our reasoning to someone else or program into a computer. Ninety-five percent of career counselors would tell Alice she was making... (Click title to continue reading)
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Excellent example of how depth psychology works...

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What is Depth Psychology? - DepthList.com

What is Depth Psychology? - DepthList.com | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

“The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life,” writes Carl Jung who is widely known as the father of depth psychology. “Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance....In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted” (Jung, 1989, p. 325).

 

Depth psychology, narrowed down to its essential, asks simply: what is the nature of our dance with the Jung’s “infinite”--and what does it mean to us? The term "depth psychology," 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 explores the hidden or deeper parts of human experience by seeing things in...(click title to read more)

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Depth Insights » Traveling the Royal Road: A Personal Encounter With the Word Association Test By Drew H. Smith

Depth Insights » Traveling the Royal Road: A Personal Encounter With the Word Association Test By Drew H. Smith | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In his lectures at the Tavistock Clinic, C. G. Jung (1968) addressed an eager and engaged audience with his exciting application of word association tests. While explaining the simple procedure of speaking a word to a patient, recording their reply word, and timing the space that hangs in between the two, he says something quite profound. He talks of the original intent of this “test”—it was meant to study mental associations—and explained this proved to be too idealistic.


But what could be studied, however, were the mistakes. Jung said, “You ask a simple word that a child can answer, and a highly intelligent person cannot reply. Why? That word has hit on what I call a complex” (p. 53). Complexes, as defined by Jung...(Click title for more)

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Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga: Traditional Technologies of Tranformation

Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga: Traditional Technologies of Tranformation | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
From the most ancient times, human beings have practiced disciplines of psychospiritual transformation with devoted energy and intention. Modern systems of psychotherapy are the inheritors of three great traditions of transformation, in which the human is seen as engaged in purposive processes of exploration and integration in many realms of consciousness. In this essay I describe some of the common methods used, as well as the major metaphors for transformation.1

One possible definition of shamanism is that it is the disciplined approach to what has been variously called "non-ordinary reality", "the sacred", "the mystery", "the supernatural", "the inner world(s)", or "the otherworld".


Psychologically speaking, one could say these expressions refer to realms of consciousness that lie outside the boundaries of our usual and ordinary perception. The depth psychologies derived from psychoanalysis refer to such normally inaccessible realms as "the unconscious", or "the collective unconscious". This would, however, be too limiting a definition for shamanism, if "unconscious" is taken to refer to something within the individual, i.e. intrapsychic. Shamanic practice involves the exploration not only of unknown aspects of our own psyche, but also the unknown aspects of the world around us, - the external as well as internal mysteries.


There are three traditional systems of consciousness... (Click title for more)

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Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:04 AM

You don't usually get pscyhologists (or coaches and facilitators) admitting they draw on shamanism and alchemy, so this is refreshing reading.

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Exploring Depth Psychotherapy

Exploring Depth Psychotherapy | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Here’s a start to a few blog entries exploring important aspects of psychotherapy as practiced by depth psychologists of various stripes.


Let’s assume a basic working definition of depth psychotherapy. Let’s assume that it’s a form of therapy that goes out of its way to include the unconscious psyche in treatment. By unconscious psyche we mean at minimum certain dynamic patterns that are always at play beneath the surface of our awareness. Let’s assume that engaging the psyche stimulates growth and movement and often helps to ease problematic symptoms of emotional suffering.


So how does a therapist go about engaging the psyche? Truth is, there are lots of ways...(Click title to read full post)

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Inner Depths: The Purpose of Psychological Symptoms

Inner Depths: The Purpose of Psychological Symptoms | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

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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Men Are From Earth, And So Are Women: Marion Woodman: On The Inner Marriage Of The True Masculine And The True Feminine

Men Are From Earth, And So Are Women: Marion Woodman: On The Inner Marriage Of The True Masculine And The True Feminine | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

I’d never danced in church before I took a workshop with Marion Woodman. Being in the chapel of New York City’s Union Theological Seminary was a sort of homecoming for me: five years earlier I had stridden down the middle aisle of that chapel with a newly minted master of divinity degree in my hand.


Now a series of seemingly disconnected incidents had brought me back, as if by design, to attend Woodman’s workshop. The psychologist Carl Jung might have chalked it all up to “synchronicity” — a meaningful link between otherwise unrelated events. Woodman, a Jungian analyst herself, would no doubt... (click title to continue reading)

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Eva Rider's curator insight, November 18, 2014 1:15 AM

This is a wonderful article exemplifying the brilliance, wisdom and humour of Marion Woodman...

Michael Goodman's curator insight, November 18, 2014 11:58 AM

Thank you Bonnie for this piece on Marion Woodman. I had the opportunity to see her several years ago in Santa Barbara....she is a gift and her "body" of work is amazing.

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Our Modern Cultural Mindset and the Forward Thinking of Carl Jung

Our Modern Cultural Mindset and the Forward Thinking of Carl Jung | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

One of my favorite quotes is this from Carl Jung, which addresses the reality of nature and our loss of contact with it. It also identifies a deep and burgeoning issue for humankind:

 

“Man feels isolated in the cosmos. He is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional participation in natural events, which hitherto had symbolic meaning for him. Thunder is no longer the voice of a god, nor is lightning his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree makes a man's life, no snake is the embodiment of wisdom and no mountain still harbours a great demon. Neither do things speak to him nor can he speak to things, like stones, springs, plants and animals" (The Earth Has a Soul, Sabini, 2005, p. 79-80)

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The disconnect I experience between the ancient, primal knowing carried over from two million years of unity between spirit and matter, the concept that (Click title to continue reading)

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What Is Jungian Analysis?

What Is Jungian Analysis? | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

 Jungian analysis is the form of psychotherapy developed by Carl Gustav Jung, one of the leading pioneers of modern depth psychology.  From the Jungian viewpoint, analysis is essentially a dialogue between two people - the analyst and the analysand.  Its aim is to help the analysand get in touch with his/her own inner sources of healing and growth, and thus to arrive at individual answers and solutions.

        Because Jungian analysis is adapted to the needs and goals of the individual, it may in practice be any number of things: short-term counseling on a specific problem; sympathetic support through a difficult period; help in resolving conflicts and eliminating symptoms; guidance in developing creative potentials or discovering new life possibilities.

       Although Jung’s “analytical psychology” has its own distinctive viewpoint, it is, in the final analysis, less a school of psychology alongside others than a... (click title to continue reading)

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THE DEPTH OF THE SOUL: JAMES HILLMAN’S VISION OF PSYCHOLOGY

THE DEPTH OF THE SOUL: JAMES HILLMAN’S VISION OF PSYCHOLOGY | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
For the past quarter century James Hillman has been creating a new vision of psychology, one in which psychology becomes a "supreme discipline" concerned not only with the psyche of humanity but the "soul" which is at the heart of the world. Vilified by some, he has been called brilliant, explosive and poetic by others. His ideas, through their popularization in the writings of the best selling author, Thomas Moore (1992, 1994), have reached millions, yet he is unheard of by many professional psychologists.

While some psychologists have applauded Hillman's call for a return of the soul to a central place in psychology (Elkins, 1995), others have been put off by the fact that Hillman's own writings are critical of the humanist tradition, highly provocative and occasionally... (Click title to read more)
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Jane Brody's curator insight, January 1, 2013 4:03 PM

Absolutely unbelievably good response to Hillman.  By the way, I saw him tap dance at a conference, he was so full of joy and love, that he gave the dance to us all as a sort of kiss.

 

ProPastoralCounsel's curator insight, February 19, 2014 9:46 AM

The search for the soul is alive and well.

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Reconnecting with Wholeness with Depth Psychology -- DepthList Blog

Reconnecting with Wholeness with Depth Psychology -- DepthList Blog | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
The depth psychological view focuses on mystery and the creativity and potentiality that resides in the unknown. The mysteries of the unconscious manifest when they are ready. According to James Hillman, contemporary archetypal psychologist, each of us is pulled toward a telos, a whole and complete finished product, each unique, like an acorn that turns into a massive oak tree. This is also the call of the Self to which Jung refers.

Jungian thought identifies “health” as wholeness, and “pathology” or lack of health as lack of wholeness. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1964) asserted that current western cultures have lost a sense of the sacred, and in so doing have become dislocated and disoriented, losing meaning and vitality by losing contact with what he calls the regulating center of the soul. This condition of being out of balance is often...(Click title to continue)
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