Sunday, December 14, 2014

Journal of Analytical Psychology 60th Anniversary Conference/Celebration

The Journal of Analytical Psychology

XIIIth International Conference: 60th Anniversary Event (in conjuction with the SAP)

‘Reflections on Jungian Clinical Practice: From Then till Now’ (1955-2015)

13, 14, 15 March 2015: Arundel House, London WC2

To mark this 60th anniversary we will be holding a weekend event in London (Friday teatime to Sunday lunchtime). Our theme highlights the Journal’s abiding hallmark – its clinical orientation – and accordingly each speaker will draw for inspiration on a specific paper, originally published in the Journal, which still informs their current thinking and practice.

Don Kalsched – the most widely read and regarded of contemporary clinical Jungian authors – pays tribute to Michael Fordham’s ‘Defences of the Self’, perhaps the most influential of Journal papers. Murray Stein speaks from a Rosemary Gordon paper and our consultant editor, Warren Colman, considers the future direction of analytical psychology. We also have plenary contributions from Jan Wiener, Angela Connolly, Elizabeth Urban and Brian Feldman, in addition to the usual conference workshops, which include a critical discussion of the Editors' role from Andrew Samuels.

Details of the full programme, with profiles of the individual presenters and abstracts of the papers they will speak from, are available on our website

In the spirit of an anniversary celebration our chosen venue offers catering of high quality (the Friday evening reception and Saturday lunch are all included in the conference fee). We will be getting things underway with a tea party and a slice of Journal 60th birthday cake to greet you on arrival at registration. 

We anticipate this gathering of both established Journal followers, and those interested in exploring what the Journal has to offer, will be a memorable one-off event. Early booking (please see form on website) to secure a place and take advantage of the discounted ‘early bird’ rates is strongly recommended.

And as an optional extra we are also holding a Musical Soirée – lieder, jazz, blues & sea-shanties! – at Burgh House, Hampstead, on the Saturday evening.

To view the conference programme click here and to view the Musical Soiree  on the Saturday night of the conference (14th March) click here.


For full conference details and to register click here (

If you have further queries, please contact the Managing Editor, Jane Turney, at

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Art and Psyche in Sicily: Layers and Liminality - September 2-6, 2015

Please join us for a four-day conference to be held in the beautiful ancient Sicilian town of Siracusa. Sicily, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, is a crossroads between worlds and cultures where layers of civilizations, from Greek and Roman to Arab and Norman, contact and overlap one another at every turn. The city of Siracusa is a place where Plato stayed for a time and Freud visited in 1910. The stunning landscape, art, architecture, archeology, and colorful history will reveal itself as the conference unfolds. We trust that layers of psyche will also emerge through our interaction with the environment, the presentations, and the experience of a community made up of people who are passionate about art and depth psychology.

Home base for the conference will be a hotel located in Siracusa’s historic center with close proximity to archeological sites, museums, charming shops and restaurants. Selected plenaries will be held in the Paolo Orsi Archeological Museum, followed by a tour for participants, and in the nearby stunning Greek Theatre, followed by a visit to the Neapolis Archeological Area. And, as last time, we will offer a dream-over, this time in an ancient site. A half-day trip to another stellar archeological site outside the town will also be included. We encourage submissions from artists and therapists of all persuasions and anyone with an interest in depth psychology. We are looking for creative proposals that may range from ancient to contemporary subjects and from experiential workshops to formal papers. Our hope is that the overarching theme of layers and liminality will offer flexibility and open space for imaginative expression of mind, body and soul. Possible themes for exploration could include:

*The symbolic relevance of Sicily as a crossroads and container for multiple cultures and civilizations
*The importance of the transcendent function as a connecting principle between art and psyche
*Space and time “in between”
*The emergence of new life from ancient ruins
*The co-existence of art and psyche in a shared liminal space
*Artist/analyst as archeologist
*The relevance of myth for art and psyche
*Island as image and metaphor
*Mapping as physical artistic process and psychological experience

Allow your imagination to respond freely to the place, time and overarching theme of layers and liminality. Please send us your proposal of 500 words along with a brief autobiography and audiovisual needs by January 1, 2015. Let us know if you are interested in presenting a paper, a workshop or a brief “spark” of an idea that would last for 20 minutes followed by discussion. By request following our last conference, we will be sure to save time for audience response and interaction, so as to encourage the emergence of community spirit. Artists are encouraged to send slides of their work or website address.

We look forward to seeing those of you who have attended previous Art and Psyche conferences in San Francisco (2008) and New York (2012) and we welcome new presenters and participants. The continuation of an exciting dialogue between art and psychology embedded in a fascinating environment is the aim of this new conference. Please join us.

Proposals can be sent to by January 1, 2015.

Acceptances will be sent by March 15, 2015.

With all best wishes,
The Art and Psyche Working Group
Linda Carter, Diane Fremont, Melinda Haas, Ami Ronnberg, Ellen Scott, Caterina Vezzoli, Lino Ancona, Francesca Picone

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sebastian Zimmerman - Fifty Shrinks: Inside Psychoanalyst's Offices

New Book Release: "Fifty Shrinks" is a compendium of photographs and essays of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in the most sacred of spaces, the private offices where they see their patients. Sebastian Zimmermann, a practicing psychiatrist and award-winning photographer, includes a wide array of practitioners from a multitude of backgrounds, orientations and subspecialties. His intimate portraits introduce the leading luminaries in the field as well as newly minted professionals pointing the way for the next generation. Zimmermann captures how the creation of the therapeutic space mirrors the wide spectrum of philosophies, persuasions and techniques used by his peers. This unique book offers a glimpse into the private interiors of psychotherapists and the inner workings of those healers who inhabit them. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sebastian Zimmermann is a psychiatrist in private practice on Manhattan's Upper West Side and an award-winning photographer. His photographs have been featured in the New York Times, the Paris Review, L'Oeil de la Photographie and 20 minutos. Excerpts of this book have been serialized in the Psychiatric Times. Sebastian was the subject of a television documentary on New York photographers for public television in his native Germany. Sebastian studied at the International Center for Photography and privately with Arlene Collins.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Jung - Neumann Letters Conference - Israel - April 2015

Jerome Bernstein - Healing Our Split: Participation Mystique and C.G. Jung

Chapter excerpts from Jerome Bernstein  (2014). Healing Our Split: Participation Mystique and C.G. Jung, Chapter 8 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.
 It is important to remember that Jung was observing and trying to understand the ‘primitive mind’ through the lens of his ‘civilized’ mind. Projecting and fitting what he thought he was observing into categories understandable to him was unavoidable since he had no other frame of reference. Apparently it did not occur to him to try to go beyond "understanding" by putting himself into the psychic and spiritual frame of mind of these ‘primitives’ nor did he have the experience to do so. He observed and analyzed them, as well as their culture and spiritual practices, but did not share or participate in these aspects of their psychic life with them. Nor was he consciously aware that he was observing a highly complex cosmological psychic system that, from the perspective of the Native American, was less linear; reflecting a sense of a Great Round where time is more circular than linear. In such a system, there is no ‘beginning’ to the cosmological story as such; where ‘creation’ ‘happened’ (was told as Story) as opposed to being ordained by a "higher power" or resulted from thought as opposed to thinking; where Story and particularly story-telling itself is the sustaining power of life. He also was likely unaware of the profound differences in language structure between verb-based oral traditional language where words, according to Tewa Professor Dr. Gregory Cajete, "that describe the world emerge directly from actively perceived experience," and more noun-based Western Logos language which is more abstract and conceptual, i.e. more removed from the experience itself. And we now know that language, particularly language structure, has a profound adaptive and interactive relationship to and with culture and therein with the spiritual orientation of that culture...

Rather than being "supernatural" (or "transpersonal") the world – life -- is transrational as well as rational. This distinction is essential because of the confusion between the "supernatural" which trumps the rational (reason) and ‘makes no sense,’ and what I call the transrational,’ which transcends the binary Logos concept of rationality but poses no contradiction to the rational. It is a different experience and because it does not trump the rational, neither makes sense nor doesn’t make sense. It is what it is. From within this framework, science and its offspring, technology, take their rightful place in the evolution of consciousness. Segal asserts that science properly replaces myth – I prefer the word ‘story’ – as "the explanation of the world." It is this confusion around the "logical" and the "prelogical" that confounds and which in Jung’s thought is the cause of dissociation in the Western psyche and specifically its organ of consciousness, the Western ego construct. The problem was in labeling participation mystique as "prelogical" in order to make it fit into the Western Logos frame. The need was and remains to recognize that participation mystique was and is a different manifestation of the reality of the psyche...

We need a consciousness that can perceive and relate to the whole of psychic reality. Nature has its own set of rules, and we need to come to understand and respect those rules better than we do. What is urgent is to bring the psychodynamic of reciprocity into engagement with the psychodynamic of dominion and therein bring balance to our over-inflated self-annihilating Western ego.

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Full sample chapter available at the Fisher King Press link.




Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thomas Kirsch - A Jungian Life - New from Fisher King Press

A Jungian Life - Click Image to Close

From conception until the present, C.G. Jung, his ideas, and analytical psychology itself have been a central thread of Thomas B. Kirsch’s life. His parents, James and Hilde Kirsch, were in analysis with C.G, Jung when he was born, and he was imaged to be the product of a successful analysis. At an early age, Dr. Kirsch was introduced to many of the first-generation analysts who surrounded C.G. Jung, and over time became acquainted with them. Later, in his roles with the IAAP, he gained a broad knowledge of the developments in analytical psychology, and through both his early family history and in his later professional life, Dr. Kirsch worked closely with many analysts who were integral in forming the foundations of analytical psychology.
Thomas Kirsch graduated from Yale Medical School in 1961, did his residency in psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, and then spent two years with the National Institute of Mental Health in San Francisco. He completed his Jungian training at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco in 1968. In 1976 Dr. Kirsch became president of the Jung institute in San Francisco, and in 1977 he was elected second vice president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, or IAAP, the professional organization of Jungian analysts around the world. As vice president and then president of the IAAP for eighteen years, he traveled the world and was able to meet Jungian analysts from many different countries. This position allowed him to serve a missionary function of sorts in new areas like China, South Africa, Mexico, Russia, and other former Soviet Eastern Bloc countries. In A Jungian Life, Thomas Kirsch reflects upon his entire existence which has been intimately involved with C.G. Jung and analytical psychology.
Tom Kirsch’s unique life as a Jungian spans much of the history of analytical psychology which he both witnessed first hand and helped shape. His gifts of seasoned insight, finely tuned feeling and a keen eye for specific historic detail makes this volume a rare and significant contribution.
– Tom Singer, M.D., Jungian analyst, editor of ‚Psyche and the City’
Tom Kirsch is one of the core creators of the Jungian world as we find it today. His knowledge of the history, the issues and the personalities is second to none. We knew that Kirsch is kind, empathic, related – and responsible for a raft of interesting publications. Maybe we  – or some of us – did not know how frank, penetrating, controversial and insightful an observer of professional political process he is. At times, the book takes no prisoners. Every Jungian analyst, candidate and scholar simply must read this book. But the way in Kirsch situates his first-person narratives against the backdrop of world politics – in Russia, China, South Africa and Latin America, for example – makes this memoir worthy of serious attention from non-Jungian thinkers and practitioners.
– Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex
Fisher King Press

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Call for Participation: Psyche, Spirit, and Science Conference - July 9-12, 2015

Call for Participation

Psyche, Spirit, and Science: Negotiating Contemporary Social and Cultural Concerns

"The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not?"

(C. G. Jung, Memories Dreams, Reflections)

“No matter what the world thinks about religious experience, the one who has it possesses a great treasure, a thing that has become for him a source of life, meaning, and beauty, and that has given a new splendor to the world and to mankind.” (C. G. Jung “Psychology and Religion”, CW 11:167)

The Fourth Joint Conference of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) ( with the International Association for Jungian Studies  (IAJS) (

Co-Sponsored by the Yale Divinity School
 9th-12th July 2015 

Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
Please email your presentation proposal to both
Co-Chairs of the Program Committee by 15th December 2014
Donald Lawrence Fredericksen  and Joe Cambray 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Carol Tosone - Sandor Ferenczi and Short-Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Sandor Ferenczi, a psychoanalytic pioneer and practitioner, suggested changes in psychoanalytic technique which would shorten the length of psychoanalysis. His introduction of "active therapy" involved increased activity from both the patient and analyst as a means to facilitate the exploration of unconscious material. The psychoanalyst prescribed the performance or cessation of certain behaviors, thus instituting active measures which made the patient a full participant in the psychoanalytic process.

Interpretation, Ferenczi contended, was an active intervention which interrupted the patient's psychic activity, leading to the uncovering of repressed thoughts and ideas. In collaboration with Rank, Ferenczi underscored the importance of here-and-now transference interpretations and emphasized the emotional experiences of the patient in
the transference, rather than the sole intellectual recovery of memories. Ferenczi noted that intellectual discovery without affect can serve as resistance.

Ferenczi's central ideas on active psychoanalytic treatment and interpretation are the cornerstone of modem dynamic short-term treatment. His ideas have been lauded and incorporated into the works of modern short-term therapists, such as Davanloo, Mann, and Sifneos. Ferenczi's emphasis on the importance of present life events in psychoanalytic treatment is currently receiving much attention in the psychotherapeutic community. This can be seen in the emphasis on the treatment of Axis I disorders and symptomatology, as well as the process of maintaining a process in most models of short-term treatment.

Sandor Ferenczi's incessant drive to improve psychoanalytic methodology has provided inspiration to modem short-term therapists. While Davanloo and others have had the benefit of years of development in research, theory, and technique, it was Ferenczi who pioneered these efforts and who served as a role model. His courage and experimental spirit embody the essence of psychoanalytic inquiry, and have, in my estimation, earned him the title of "Forerunner of Modem Short-Term Psychotherapy."

Carol Tosone, Ph.D. (1997). Sándor Ferenczi: Forerunner of Modern Short-Term Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic Social Work, 4:23-41

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Psychoanalytic Muse Exceeds 100,000 hits!

The Psychoanalytic Muse has reached the 100,000 hits milestone since its inception March 10, 2011. Thanks to all the regular readers of the Muse as well as those who find the Muse through various search engines. The Psychoanalytic Muse seeks to bring excerpts from classic and contemporary articles focused on psychoanalysis, analytical psychology, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. New posts have been irregular over the past few months because of involvement with other projects but new material should be emerging consistently again soon.

Before the Split

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Discussing Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond on Shrink Rap Radio

Mark Winborn, PhD, editor of The Psychoanalytic Muse, is interviewed by Dr. David Van Nuys of Shrink Rap Radio. In this podcast, Dr. Van Nuys is interviewing Dr. Winborn about the release of the edited volume "Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond" by Fisher King Press which re-examines Carl Jung's concept of Participation Mystique and a variety of related concepts, such as projective identification. The subject is approached from a variety of clinical, theoretical, and experiential perspectives. Dr. Winborn's co-authors come from the depth psychological traditions of Analytical Psychology and Psychoanalysis and hail from across the United States, United Kingdom, and France. Shrink Rap Radio ( is an online podcast which interviews a wide variety of mental health professionals and others in the healing arts. The interview can be heard or downloaded at Shrink Rap Radio along with a huge library of previous interviews, including a 2013 interview with Dr. Winborn about his earlier book - "Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Deborah Bryon - Participation Mystique in Peruvian Shamanism

Chapter excerpt from Deborah Bryon (2014). Participation Mystique in Peruvian Shamanism, Chapter 7 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.

The psychological organization of the underlying "participation mystique dynamic that is most frequently manifested within the context the modern world is not the same as the experience in indigenous cultures, and therefore does not hold the same meaning. This is because the etiology of the phenomenon is dependent upon and a direct byproduct of the existing collective cultural experience.

In any culture, the information that we distill from our experience shapes the way we will perceive and interact with our environment, informing the assumptions we make, and ultimately creating the narrative we form about the world. Although the intrapsychic developmental process itself is the same during infancy, the content of our individual experience – largely dependent upon cultural context - creates a feedback loop that then forms the structure of our processing style in adulthood. In adulthood, we learn how to learn by creating a bidirectional exchange between method and content – what we learn determines how we will approach learning in the future.

For example, the approach I am taking in my explanation of this subject matter is very different from the tactic a Q’ero medicine person would most likely use. I am thinking, using a method of differentiation to form a conceptualization in an effort to try to understand the dissimilarities in how we process as a function of culture. A Q’ero medicine person would take in the experience phenomenologically, allowing it to stand on its own without interpretation. The difference wouldn’t matter because they would be focused on the experience of the connection itself.

The Q’ero grow up in a village community called an ayllu, and depend on their physical endurance and the support of their ayllu to survive. Living in close contact with the simplicity of nature is very different from spend days existing, in the comforts of modern living; a kind of virtual world comprised of automobiles, air conditioning, television, digital music, cell phones, and computers. While providing convenience and comfort, these modern accommodations insulate us from the natural rhythms of life associated with manual work, changes in weather patterns, communal gathering, and non-mechanized travel.

Peruvian medicine people, who refer to themselves as p’aqos, perceive and experience the world the world primarily through their senses using their bodies. P’aqos track everything going on around them – whether it is noticing the movement of Apucheen, a condor flying overhead as a manifestation from the spirit world, discovering a quiya, or sacred stone, laying in their path, or noticing a tingling sensation in their bodies when they are sitting on a waka, or power spot." (pp. 149-150)

Order from Amazon or Fisher King Press
Full sample chapter available at the Fisher King Press link.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Call for Papers - 3rd European Conference in Analytical Psychology


3rd European Conference in Analytical Psychology, Trieste, Italy
Thursday 27 August 2015 - Sunday 30 August 2015

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Michael Eigen - Variants of Mystical Participation

Chapter excerpt from Michael Eigen (2014). Variants of Mystical Participation, Chapter 5 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.

"Mystical participation - is it a state that underlies experience? Can we better say it is a dimension of experience or sets of dimensions, rather than situate it below-above or earlier-later? What you and I might mean by mystical or participation or related terms may not be the same. I am not sure what I mean but loosely refer to something sensed. It may occur in varied affective keys: dread, awe, love, heaven, hell, joy, ecstasy, horror, hope, hate. Yes there are hate frenzies, hate ecstasies, hate unions. Destructive as well as creative mystical participations.There are those who say that destructive union is part of creativeness.

Dimensions plural. Mystics speak of going through many doors, worlds, gates. Beatrice in Dante’s heaven goes from one heaven through another. Heaven keeps opening. Invagination is often an implied image. In my early twenties, after a physical intervention by a somatic therapist he asked how I felt and I spoke the truth: "I feel like a vagina." My whole body became vaginal. His paranoid aspect came to the fore and said, "How do you know how a vagina feels?" At that moment, in my experience, I was one.

A vaginal self - a vaginal body. A Lacanian might say imaginary vagina. One could give a gender analysis and rake me over the coals for my biases. What can I say? In my mind, my body vagina. Hallucination? Can the body hallucinate? Yes, it can. Was it hallucinating then? At the moment, I didn’t care. It was wonderful.

Winnicott speaks of positive aspects of illusion and puts in that category much art and religious experience. Beneficial, enriching illusions. Not at all divorced from truth. They enlarge the domain of emotional or perceptual truth. In my case, to experience my body that way stayed with me the rest of my life. More it opened a gate of experiencing that has grown since then. Once touched, such moments make you aware of possibilities that can undergo development." (pp. 130-131)

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Full sample chapter available at the Fisher King Press link.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Thomas Ogden - Fear of Breakdown and the Unlived Life

Abstract: Winnicott's Fear of breakdown is an unfinished work that requires that the reader be not only a reader, but also a writer of this work which often gestures toward meaning as opposed to presenting fully developed ideas. The author's understanding of the often confusing, sometimes opaque, argument of Winnicott's paper is as follows. In infancy there occurs a breakdown in the mother–infant tie that forces the infant to take on, by himself, emotional events that he is unable to manage. He short-circuits his experience of primitive agony by generating defense organizations that are psychotic in nature, i.e. they substitute self-created inner reality for external reality, thus foreclosing his actually experiencing critical life events. By not experiencing the breakdown of the mother–infant tie when it occurred in infancy, the individual creates a psychological state in which he lives in fear of a breakdown that has already happened, but which he did not experience. The author extends Winnicott's thinking by suggesting that the driving force of the patient's need to find the source of his fear is his feeling that parts of himself are missing and that he must find them if he is to become whole. What remains of his life feels to him like a life that is mostly an unlived life.

Thomas Ogden (2014). "Fear of Breakdown and the Unlived Life," International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Volume 95Issue 2pages 205–223.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dianne Braden - Participation Mystique as Bridge

Chapter excerpt from Dianne Braden (2014). Songs Never Heard Before: Listening and Living Differently in Shared RealitiesChapter 5 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.

"I’m left with the recognition that participation mystique represents, for me, a bridge between the world of the psyche and the world of my concrete body, the world of the other and the world I see as mine. These worlds are filled with perceptions, beliefs, sensibilities, fantasies and landscapes whose boundaries are more permeable than I’d ever thought possible, until I went to Kauai, on a writer’s retreat, to escape the participation mystique of another Ohio winter. The Self, in Jungian terms, is nothing if not ironic!

But these experiences point to more than a wry reflection based on the awareness that things didn’t go as I expected. It’s hard to miss the importance of these large gates one meets in a lifetime, gates whose opening changes our perceptions of what we see and hear. This experience certainly accomplished that for me, personally and professionally, and from such an unexpected teacher. Of course, I take Jung’s caution about the danger of the numinous to heart, and know that while participation mystique is an interesting and useful new tool, it is not the only or the best or the ultimate of analytic tools. Nor is it the wrong tool, if entered into unsuccessfully. But it deserves a place of recognition that I think it’s been deprived of for some time.

I have long believed there is an aesthetic of soul, discernible more easily in the dreams and fantasies I’m privileged to witness in the course of the analytic work I do. But I feel now like I’ve been given another dimension of psyche’s beauty, and I’ve tucked it away in the reference department of my consulting room attention. For the spirit of place discovered for me in Kauai, or in the story of Swift Gazelle, or in the wisdom and discipline demanded by the crazy woman of my dream, now adds a vitality and dimension to my work that I appreciate exponentially, as time goes on and my skill in accessing it increases. These are joined by the spirits of place invited into my sphere as I listen differently to the “songs never heard before” from my patients.

I agree with Jung when he says, “It was as though a breath of the great world of stars and endless space had touched me, or as if a spirit had invisibly entered the room."  I think this is exactly what happens when we are inducted into participation mystique with a place, a piece of music, or the psyche of another opening to us in analysis." (p. 128) 

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Full sample chapter available at the Fisher King Press link.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Judith Mitriani - The Greatest Obstacle to Good Analytic Work is the Desire to Do Good

"In concluding, I wish to express my belief that many of us are drawn to the work of analysis, at least in part, by the desire to do some good. However, paradoxically, this may be the greatest obstacle to actually doing ‘good analytic work’ and therefore the greatest barrier to truly helping the patient. If unbridled, it may prove to be the most obstructive ‘desire’—in Bion’s sense of the word—since our patients may actually need to transform us, in the safety of the transference relationship, into the ‘bad’ object that does harm. In terms of analytic technique, the analyst needs to be able to muster the wherewithal to see, hear, smell, feel and taste things from the vantage point of the patient. I have found it is of little use to give the patient the impression, in one way or another, that what he/she made of what I said or did was neither what I intended nor what I actually did or said. This tactic almost always misses the point andmay even reinforce the patient’s sense that his/her experiences are indeed unbearable.

Our analysands’ developmental need to house their ‘bad’ objects and unendurable experiences in us is primary. Within us, these objects and the experiences that have created them may find an opportunity for rehabilitation and transformation. For example, the experience of the ‘abandoning object’ that we become—during holidays, weekend breaks, silences and especially in the absence of our understanding in the analytic hour— may have the chance to become an experience of ‘an abandoning object who takes responsibility for having abandoned the patient’ and who, at the same time, is able to keep the patient in mind suf.ciently to be able to think about how he/she might feel about having been abandoned. Most importantly, that same object may also be experienced by the patient as able to bear being ‘bad’, which in itself is ‘good’! Furthermore, when reintrojected by the patient in this modified form, the ‘bad’ object is not so ‘bad’ at all: it is human, ordinary, with all the ordinary human frailties imaginable, but it is bearable. In this transformed state, the ‘bad’ object (which is now the contained) is enhanced with a ‘container’ (the analytic object), and the patient will be well on his way towards ‘being’ a thinking and feeling individual." (p. 1102)

Judith Mitriani (2001). Taking the Transference, International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Vol. 82, pp. 1085-1104.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Robert Waska - Klein's Projective Identification and Jung's Participation Mystique

"Contemporary Kleinian thinking includes the idea of projective identification as the core of all transference phenomena and most patients’ internal world of phantasy conflict. Klein’s discovery of the paranoid-schizoid position, the depressive position, and projective identification have set the stage for contemporary clinical understanding of our patients’ struggle with object relational issues.

Jung’s concept of participation mystique  involves a mystical connection, or identity, between subject and object in which the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to a partial identity. It is a transference relationship in which there is an influence directed at the person or thing. As a result, there is an identification with it. Participation mystique involves a non-differentiation of subject and object and hence a primitive unconscious state. This is also a characteristic of the mental state of early infancy and of the unconscious adult mind. Jung’s concept is very similar if not identical to the Kleinian notion of projective identification, especially in terms of the blurred reality between self and other, the influence upon object, and the subsequent identification that takes place. Modern Kleinian treatment utilizes the concept of projective identification as central to understanding human functioning and the moment to moment clinical situation. Steiner states:

[Klein introduced] the concept of projective identification (Klein, 1946), in which splitting is followed by projection of the split-off fragments, which are consequently disowned and attributed to someone else. The motive for projective identification can be so varied (Rosenfeld, 1971) that it is always necessary to specify in detail what the particular aim is at any time. The result, however, although varying in extent, is always a denial of separateness between self and the object, and a consequent depletion of personal resources, as well as a distortion of the object, which is experienced as if it contained the disowned attributes.

One of the most important consequences of the theory of projective identification is that it enables us to formulate the aim of psychoanalysis in new terms. According to this model, the aim of psychoanalysis is to help the patient to achieve an integration and to regain parts of himself that have become unavailable because they have been split off and projected.

Projective identification is not always pathological and with a suitably receptive object can serve as an important form of primitive communication (Bion, 1962). It is a vital part of all human interaction but serious and chronic pathology results if projections become irreversibly bound to the objects they enter and cannot readily be restored to the self.

Betty has elaborated the term by focusing on moment to moment subtle interaction between patient and analyst in which the patient manages to manipulate and shape the analyst into feeling and thinking in certain ways that are congruent with the patient’s phantasies about self and object. These are interpersonal patterns, particular ways of talking, and certain styles of relating that push and pull the analyst to adopt certain feelings, attitudes, and approaches that are enactments of the transference. This understanding of projective identification is very similar to Jung’s idea of the “influence” upon the object that creates certain identifications in the participation mystique dynamic." (pp. 97-98)

Chapter excerpt from Robert Waska (2014). Modern Kleinian Therapy, Jung's Participation Mystique, and the Projective Identification Process, Chapter 4 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.

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Full sample chapter available at the Fisher King Press link.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mark Winborn - Watching the Clouds: Analytic Reverie and Participation Mystique

Reverie is opening to one’s own internal stream of consciousness – to ideas, thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, images, urges, and fantasies. According to José Ortega y Gasset, "So many things fail to interest us, simply because they don’t find in us enough surfaces on which to live, and what we have to do then is to increase the number of planes in our mind, so that a much larger number of themes can find a place in it at the same time." In sympathy with Ortega y Gasset’s observation, reverie involves being receptive on many levels to the experience and communication, both explicit and implicit, of the other person’s presence in the room. It also includes a sensitivity to the emerging potentiality of the ‘analytic third’ - the mutually constellated but indeterminate creation of the analytic dyad which comprises 'something more’ than the combined individual contributions of the analytic partners. The potential range of reverie stretches from the ordinary to the transcendent. For example, Ogden describes reverie as, "an experience that takes the most mundane and yet most personal of shapes…They are our ruminations, daydreams, fantasies, bodily sensations, fleeting perceptions, images emerging from states of half-sleep, tunes, and phrases that run through our minds, and so on." Working from a different vantage point, Marilyn Mathew articulates the connection between reverie and soul: "Reverie is both a process and a state of mind…it is reverie that extends psyche’s vision beyond the door and windows of our minds into the cathedrals of our souls."

Reverie isn’t simply allowing oneself to daydream, where there isn’t an interaction with the flow of thoughts, ideas, and sensations. The stance adopted is similar to Jung’s active imagination191 in which a relationship or stance is established with the internal flow. Active imagination, which has been described as "dreaming with open eyes," is a technique developed by Jung to facilitate the engagement and assimilation of unconscious processes while in a relaxed but waking state. It is important to note, however, that Jung saw active imagination as an activity primarily engaged in by the analysand which, at times, might be facilitated by the analyst. While Jung did engage in the active imagination to facilitate his own process, as documented in The Red Book, it doesn’t appear that he saw active imagination as something that was engaged in with another person as it is typically conceptualized in the case of reverie.

Davidson offered Jungians an initial conceptual step towards reverie by proposing that the patient’s transference is a "lived through form of active imagination." Later, Schaverien built on Davidson’s offering by suggesting that active imagination is a method the analyst can use to understand some forms of countertransference. Schaverien proposes that active imagination can be thought of as nearly synonymous with reverie. However, I would argue that active imagination is a concept which has been predominately utilized and thought about from an intrapsychic or one person theoretical framework. Therefore, there are limitations and pitfalls, from an intersubjective perspective, with re-purposing active imagination as a dyadic (two person) or triadic (i.e. the addition of the analytic third to the dyadic perspective) concept, even if it is more familiar to Jungian readers. Attempting to use the concept of active imagination to discuss the two-fold and three-fold influences of the analytic encounter is rather like the biblical parable of putting new wine into old wineskins.

In contrast, analytic reverie, which has been a dyadic concept since inception, has been referred to by Gabbard and Ogden to as "a waking dream," but one which is dreamt with another person rather than alone. In this vein, Ogden sees reverie as both a personal/private event (i.e. intrapsychic) and an intersubjective one. To put it another way, he acknowledges the presence of two subjectivities that can experience their interaction as being both individual and collective (i.e. as an inter-connected and emergent entity). Ferro also highlights the reciprocal, dyadic nature of reverie:

There is, I believe, a constant baseline activity of reverie… which is the way the analyst constantly receives, metabolizes, and transforms whatever reaches him or her from the patient in the form of verbal, paraverbal, or nonverbal stimuli. The same activity of reverie is at work in the patient in response to every interpretive or noninterpretive stimulus from the analyst. The purpose of analysis is first and foremost to develop this capacity to weave images (which remain not directly knowable)…there is no communication that cannot be seen as having to do with and belonging to the field itself.(pp. 71-73)

Chapter excerpt from Mark Winborn (2014). Watching the Clouds: Analytic Reverie and Participation Mystique, Chapter 3 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Conference: Analysis and Activism, Dec 5-7, 2014, London

Analysis and Activism: Social and Political Contributions of Jungian Psychology
December 5-7, 2014 - London, UK
Registration and Further Information Here:
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

James Grotstein - The Overarching Role of Unconscious Phantasy

"In the Kleinian/Bionian way of thinking, all transactions that occur internally within the infant, between infant and mother, infant and world, and between objects in the world are represented as unconscious phantasies. All defense mechanisms themselves constitute unconscious phantasies about the interrelationship between internal objects and between them and the self. Unconscious phantasies constitute moving narrative images and arise during the prelexical hegemony of imagery (Shlain, 1998)....

Virtually everything that is mental can be thought of as related to an unconscious phantasy, e.g., body parts, the body itself, impulses, defense mechanisms, internal objects, even affects. Unconscious phantasy should be distinguished from conscious and preconscious fantasy. For instance, when an analysand, while sitting in the analyst’s waiting room just before a session, by chance overhears the analyst speaking on the phone, he or she may develop a fantasy that the analyst is trysting with his or her lover or spouse. The unconscious phantasy correlate would be that the analyst is clearly demonstrating that he or she prefers others to the analysand and is purposely humiliating the analysand by letting him or her know of the preferred presence of another person in the analyst’s life....

....Klein espoused that phantasies can either be phylogenetic or can form anew in the dynamic, repressed unconscious (by virtue of influences from the unrepressed unconscious; see above). All in all, the analysis of unconscious phantasy occupies the main portion of Kleinian/Bionian practice and thinking.

The concept of unconscious phantasy has played a central role in psychoanalytic thinking and practice almost from the beginning of psychoanalysis....Thus, he [Freud] conceived of unconscious phantasies as the mental representation of the irrupting instinctual drives, or, to put it more mystically, as the narrative incarnation of the drives.

Put succinctly, when a psychoanalyst speaks of phantasy, he or she is usually referring to unconscious phantasy. In the now famous "Controversial Discussions" in London in 1943, during the peak of the time of the troubles between Anna Freud and her followers and Melanie Klein and her followers, a gentlemen’s agreement was forged, initiated by Susan Isaacs (1952) in which she recommended that each side concurred that the term fantasy should apply to conscious or preconscious phenomena, and phantasy to strictly unconscious phenomena (King and Steiner, 1992). Kleinian analysts tend to use the concept of unconscious phantasy as the mainstay of their theory and technique, and consider it to be the sum and substance of the unconscious mental life of the internal world or of psychic reality. In other words, to them phantasy is psychic reality. Today’s ego psychologists, self psychologists, intersubjectivists, relationists, and interpersonalists, being more wedded to impinging and/or depriving reality traumas, both in the genetic past and in the current parallel process of the analysis, tend to pay less attention to unconscious phantasy. Freud (1900, p. 607) stated that dreams were the royal road to the unconscious. I believe that my Kleinian and Bionian colleagues would agree with me that dreams, i.e, phantasies, are the unconscious." (pp. 190-192)

James Grotstein (2008). The Overarching Role of Unconscious Phantasy, Psychoanalytic Inquiry, Vol. 28, pp. 190–205.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Marcus West - Participation Mystique and Trauma

"It is for this reason that the process of analysis with patients who have experienced early trauma is, on the deepest level, essentially one in which the analyst, through the process of participation mystique, slowly comes to experience an equivalent to the patient’s early trauma through the patient’s re-enactment of that trauma upon them.183 The analyst can then, and only then, ‘speak from experience’ and properly contain and help the patient to recognize the impact of the trauma and how this manifests in their fundamental, implicit ways of being with others. This is perhaps what Bion means by the patient communicating their uncontained beta elements to the analyst. This dis-identification from the patient is not, therefore, a simple matter.

Invaluable in this, is the historical, traumatic dimension, the recognition of which has allowed a subtle but profound shift in my analytic attitude. I have come to understand that the way a patient experiences me in the present relates very much to the way that past experiences became installed as their ‘ways of being with others’ at an implicit, procedural level. Furthermore, that every day, moment-by-moment interactions are laden with meaning through association with past experience and past traumas. This has allowed me to see that these experiences are at the same time about me and not about me - which is implicitly facilitates dis-identification - and to recognize and understand what they are about.

The analyst’s ‘accompanying, following, witnessing, and bearing with the patient’s experiences’ means, for me, being able to stay with the patient’s experiences as they actually are and were. The process of analysis (which I contrast in exactly this respect with ‘therapy’) is the slow development, between patient and analyst, of their individual and joint ability to achieve this and to resist the patient’s natural, inevitable and understandable pressure to move away from experiences which were previously unbearable." (pp. 65-66)

Excerpt from Marcus West (2014). Trauma, Participation Mystique, Projective Identification and Trauma, in Mark Winborn (Ed.), Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond, Fisher King Press.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Patricia Skar - Weaving Analytic Therapy and Music Therapy

"D. W. Winnicott (1971) pioneered the idea in psychoanalysis that play is important in the emotional development of the person, and that the psychotherapy process can also be seen as a playground in which to experience, in the present, that which was lost or missed out in the past. For this patient, and for others who have used the instruments in this way, the improvisations opened out the dimension of play in the analytic space in a real, physical way. Playing the instruments, like active imagination in general, could also be seen as a ‘waking dream’. The music produces the emotional dynamic stimulus that helps to unfold the situation which the unconscious wishes to reveal to the conscious mind. This frees the energy formerly bound up in the unconscious symbols and makes it available for conscious use. The process begins with the inner realization of the symbol and then is given the musical expression. After the feelings and physical sensations have been experienced through the music, words are often more readily accessible. I have found the instruments also quite useful in acting out situations from a dream, especially when the patient is split off from the emotional content, or from parts of the psyche inherent in the dream characters. Because emotions can be expressed directly through music without words, the analysand is freed from the guilt often associated with the use of words in, for example, expressing anger.

In looking at the difference between communicating in words and through music, we see that one of the main distinctions is that when we talk, we must take turns speaking. In music, there can be a more fluid, overlapping connection; we can hold or contain each other in the greater sound matrix. Words can conceal feelings and may also feel too explicit, pinning down an emotion into a narrow band of meaning. In music it is safe to let one's real feelings out; no specific content need be assigned to sound, and no one will be injured by the expression of an intense emotion. Finally, there is silence, before and after shared music, that is unlike the silence that surrounds a verbal interchange. The initial silence contains unconscious intuitions of the music to come and also holds the risk that both people feel of letting themselves go into spontaneous sound expression. When the musical dialogue is over, both again arrive at the silence of the beginning, but this time they have shared the ‘third thing’ - the archetypal dimension of the music. This shared bond is fruitful ground which gives much food for the work, and in my experience has also led to a deepening of trust between analyst and analysand.

An important point to mention here is that the analyst should have no goal or aim in the improvisational experience with a patient. This, of course, is crucial to the analytic process which Jung advocated:

Any interference on the part of the analyst, with the object of forcing the analysis to follow a systematic course, is a gross mistake in technique. (Jung 1916/1985, para. 625)

If I did not already know it from playing music myself, these experiences with my analysands have taught me the power of music to access the unconscious and put into accessible form, deep life experiences. (For more case examples, see Skar 1997.) The question remains whether the technique of using music within analysis is something which could be incorporated into analytic trainings, much like the use of sandplay and spontaneous drawing is currently taught in some courses. Would it be necessary for trainee analysts to have a musical background to consider adding this component to their analytic practice? My own feeling is that a musical background would be helpful, but not absolutely necessary, just as a background in art is not usually considered a requirement before using spontaneous drawing in one's work. The important thing in training would be the opportunity to experience the improvisational work oneself over a period of time with a trained music therapist, to evaluate whether one feels suited to the work or not. Here I would like to emphasize that the use of music within the analytic situation should never be seen as competing with a full music therapy experience, just as spontaneous drawing within analysis cannot be compared with art therapy. Each of these separate expressive therapies has its own parameters and is potentially just as facilitating - on its own - of the individuation process.

There is much need for discussion of this issue, and because of the power of music and sound, there will be controversy about the release of this dimension within the analytic container, just as there is controversy about the use of expressive therapy at all within the analytic experience. Ultimately, this controversy centres around the question: Should analysis remain exclusively a ‘talking cure’? This is one of the issues that has separated Jungian analysis from the psychoanalytic tradition, and is an ongoing problem in defining what it means to be Jungian. My opinion is that expressive therapy does have a place within analysis, but requires the analyst to have a firm grounding in adequate training and the sensitive application of its use. Expressive therapy, including improvisation with simple instruments as I have described, is definitely not for all patients and needs always to be understood within the ongoing and symbolic relationship (i.e., the transference and countertransference) between analyst and analysand. But when it is used appropriately, it can be a powerful form of communication, deepening the relationship between analyst and analysand and opening new pathways for the process of individuation within the analytic container." (pp. 635-636)
Patricia Skar (2002). The Goal as Process: Music and the Search for the Self. Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 47:629-638.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pamela Power - Negative Coniunctio, Envy, and Sadomasochism in Analysis

Jung wrote, "The coniunctio is an a priori image that occupies a prominent place in the history of man’s mental development." The coniunctio image is derived from alchemy, Christianity and pagan sources. It is used in analytical psychology to describe a process whereby two unlike substances are joined together; a related term is the complexio oppositorum, where many opposites are embodied in a single image. The coniunctio is the birth of something new; it is positive in the sense of growth, development, or individuation.

The central image of the coniunctio is a sacred marriage or sexual intercourse between two human figures. In the strictest sense, the coniunctio indicates the joining of two aspects within the unconscious. However, coniunctio is commonly used in other ways including the psychological process between conscious and unconscious, between analyst and analysand, between conscious standpoint of analyst and unconscious of analysand and the converse.

The coniunctio as a constellated archetype between two people becomes a highly charged energy field. This is where danger, as well as new possibilities, arises. When the coniunctio becomes enacted between analyst and analysand, technically it is ‘acting out.’ However, there are situations where this enactment, along with the danger it brings, is a necessary stage for any significant psychological development. Any negative coniunctio that becomes constellated between analyst and analysand is already occurring within the psyche of the analysand and to some extent within the analyst. When it becomes a dominant theme in the analysis between analyst and analysand, this indicates that analysis has become a necessary agent to modify the destructiveness and resistance that it indicates. This is no easy matter!

There are several forms of enactment that I designate as the ‘negative coniunctio’; among them are ‘envious pairing’ and sadomasochism. They are negative because the coniunctio does not produce positive development, and because it is a defense against growth and change. The negative coniunctio might as well be called anti-coniunctio; however, if the analysis can undergo a transformation, then negative can change to positive. The key to this shift is not altogether straightforward or easily understood. Diligent skill and consciousness on the part of the analyst as well as nearly surgical skill and intervention are essential. In alchemical terms, incubation, ‘marination’, and distillation, as autonomous activities of the psyche, also play a part. Certainly there is no ‘waiting around for the psyche to naturally unfold,’ no ‘making the unconscious conscious.’ Helpful here also are the words of Donald Meltzer who described some cases where the analysis is "a rescue operation and cannot be undertaken in safety."

The term coniunctio applies to these difficult cases because the powerful archetypal field that is constellated may have a numinous quality. Analyst and analysand get drawn into a primitive mystical connection (identity) with each other, something that Jung (drawing from the anthropologist Lévy-Bruhl) called participation mystique. It is a state in which the subject cannot distinguish himself from the object. This is to be differentiated from projective identification, a more actively defensive and communicative process, although there may be overlap between the two. The participation mystique that occurs in these cases, a mystical identity, is due to the activation of vital, primitive aspects of the psyche. The identity appears as an a priori condition, an initial identification that must undergo differentiation--as if for the first time. (pp. 34-35)

Passage from Pamela Power (2014). Negative Coniunctio: Envy and Sadomasochism in Analysis, in Mark Winborn (Ed.), Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond, Fisher King Press.

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