With these "two worlds" in focus, Kalsched explores a variety of themes as he builds, chapter by chapter, an integrated psycho-spiritual approach to trauma and its treatment including:
- images of the lost soul-child in dreams and how this "child" represents an essential core of aliveness that is both protected and persecuted by the psyche’s defenses;
- Dante’s guided descent into the Inferno of Hell as a paradigm for the psychotherapy process and its inevitable struggle with self-destructive energies;
- childhood innocence and its central role in a person’s spiritual life seen through the story of St. Exupéry’s The Little Prince;
- how clinical attention to implicit processes in the relational field, as well as discoveries in body-based affective neuroscience are making trauma treatment more effective;
- the life of C.G. Jung as it portrays his early trauma, his soul’s retreat into an inner sanctuary, and his gradual recovery of wholeness through the integration of his divided self.
Donald Kalsched is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a training analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He is the author of numerous articles in analytical psychology, and lectures widely on the subject of early trauma and its treatment. His books include The Inner World of Trauma (1996).