Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Early Praise for Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond


Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond, edited by Mark Winborn and published by Fisher King Press, brings together Jungian analysts and psychoanalysts from across the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Jung’s concept of participation mystique is used as a starting point for an in depth exploration of ‘shared realities’ in the analytic setting and beyond. The clinical, narrative, and theoretical discussions move through such related areas as: projective identification, negative coniunctio, reverie, intersubjectivity, the interactive field, phenomenology, neuroscience, the transferential chimera, shamanism, shared reality of place, borderland consciousness, and mystical participation. This unique collection of essays bridges theoretical orientations and includes some of the most original analytic writers of our time (approximately 270 pages). Available June 1st.

"Jung's use of the concept participation mystique has always struck me as among his most original ideas and I could vaguely intuit its relevance to many contemporary developments in psychoanalysis, from projective identification to intersubjectivity to the mysteries of transitional space.  Now, thanks to the extraordinary essays in this book, one no longer has to "intuit" this relevance.  It is spelled out in beautiful detail by writers with expertise in many facets of our field.  The breadth of these essays is truly extraordinary.  Reading them has enriched both my personal and professional life.  I highly recommend this book."

Donald Kalsched, Ph.D. author of  The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit (Routledge, 1996) and Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption (Routledge, 2013).

"The concept of 'participation mystique' is one that is often considered a somewhat arcane notion disparagingly equated with an unconscious, undifferentiated or 'primitive' dynamic.   This collection of outstanding articles from Jungian analysts of different theoretical perspectives and analysts from different schools of depth psychology redeems this concept and locates it as central to depth work, regardless of one’s theoretical orientation.   What may seem like an ethereal notion becomes grounded when explored from the perspective of the clinical, the experiential and the theoretical.   Linking participation mystique to the more clinical concepts of projective identification, unitary reality, empathy, the intersubjective field and the neurosciences and locating this dynamic in the field of the transference and counter-transference, brings this concept to life in a refreshingly clear and related manner.   In addition, each author does so in a very personal manner.

This book provides the reader with a wonderful example of amplification of participation mystique, linking many diverse threads and fibers to form an image, which, while it reveals its depth and usefulness, nevertheless maintains its sense of mystery.  This book is a true delight for anyone intrigued by those “moments of meeting”, moments of awe, when the ineffable becomes manifest, when we feel the shiver down our spine, be it in our work or in a moment of grace as we sit quietly in nature. Shared Realities offers nourishment for the clinician, for the intellect and, most importantly, for the soul.  I highly recommend it!" 


Tom Kelly - President, International Association for Analytical Psychology and Past-President, Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts

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