Monday, January 26, 2015

Articles on Classical Adlerian Depth Psychology

All of the articles on Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy,
recently published in the Journal of Individual Psychology, may now be
accessed at no cost, directly from the web site at

Contents of the JIP Special Issue:
* "Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy: The Congruence of a
Theory," by Erik Mansager
* "Rediscovering Adler," by Henry Stein
* "Striving for Authenticity," by Sophia de Vries
* "A Narrative Survey of Classical Adlerian Psychotherapists," by Erik
* "Applying the Classical Adlerian Family Diagnostic Process,"by Jane
Pfefferle and Erik Mansager
* "Classical Adlerian Assessment of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic:
Queen of the Derelicts," by Dyanne Pienkowski
* "Examples and Explanations of the Socratic Method in CADP," by
Sophia de Vries and Henry Stein
* Review of Classical Adlerian Psychotherapy, Volume 1," by Dyanne
* "Classical Adlerian Publications"

Henry T. Stein, Ph.D., Director & Senior Training Analyst
Alfred Adler Institutes of San Francisco & Northwestern Washington
Distance Training in Classical Adlerian Depth Psychotherapy

Friday, January 23, 2015

John White: Toward a Phenomenology of Participation Mystique

Chapter excerpt from John White (2014). Toward a Phenomenology of Participation Mystique and a Reformulation of Jungian Philosophical Anthroplogy, Chapter 10 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.

Throughout his professional life, Carl Jung insisted that his theories were scientifically and empirically founded, based more or less exclusively on clinical observation and experience. While this claim rings largely true, we should not think of Jung as solely an inductive scientist of the psyche. For Jung offers many statements not only about what the psyche does – i.e. clinical observations – but also about what the psyche is, claims which therefore amount to speculative philosophical claims rather than empirical, scientific claims. That Jung made such claims is consistent with his research program, which included his efforts to establish analytical psychology’s superior understanding of the psyche over the views of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. But it is also this element of Jung’s thought which invites philosophical reflection on his theories and opens many of his claims to philosophical scrutiny and critique.

In the following chapter, I seek to outline Jung’s notion of participation mystique and consider it from a philosophical standpoint. My goal will be to articulate Jung’s idea of participation mystique in a way that I think better captures it philosophically than Jung is able to develop. I will begin with some discussion of problems associated with translating Jung, which in turn raise some central issues of a philosophy of human nature or “philosophical anthropology”. I will then outline features of Jung’s notion of participation mystique, including elements of his descriptions which might suggest other interpretations of the data than he assumes. Finally, I will offer a phenomenology of participation mystique, based on the philosophical anthropology that I have outlined. In the end, I hope not only to have clarified the notion of participation mystique philosophically, beyond what Jung was able to do, but also to offer a sounder understanding of human nature and human functioning than is generally available in Jung’s sometimes sketchy writings on these issues....

....The philosophical anthropology I have borrowed from Scheler suggests that the advantage of the spiritual approach to reality is that it allows differentiation and distinction, it gains objective knowledge about the constitution of the world, and it links experience to understanding, reason, and categorical types of thinking. But the psychic approach has its own strengths: imagination, energy, affective power, a sense for totalities, a synthesizing tendency, a richness of experience and life. Spiritual acts, no matter what their value, tend to literalize life and being, which is the cost of achieving its aims; psychic reality in contrast tends to images and values, to multiplicity and play. Psyche moves toward wonder rather than conceptual analysis and color rather than literalness. But psychic reality can also run amok without the cognitive understanding and volitional cultivation of its instinctive movements.

Order from Amazon or Fisher King Press

Full sample chapter available at the Fisher King Press link.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Francois Martin-Vallas: The Transferential Chimera and Neuroscience

Chapter excerpt from Francois Martin-Vallas  (2014). The Transferential Chimera and Neuroscience, Chapter 9 in Mark Winborn (Ed.). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press, 2014.

In this chapter, I will examine the question of the participation mystique in neuroscientific terms. Recent developments in neuroscience now enable us to start creating links between our clinical practice, especially the analysis of the transference, as Jung conceptualized it in The Psychology of the Transference and my concept of the transferential chimera.

In Greek mythology, the chimera is a composite beast, born of Echidna and Typhon, as was her sister, the Sphinx. With a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a snake’s tail, she is a devastating monster who spews out flames and devours any humans who fall in her path. In science, specifically in biology, the chimera is an entity or piece of tissue made up of two cell populations of distinct genotypes, arising from two distinct zygotes: thus within one individual here is the coexistence of cells with alien DNA baggage. In everyday language, be it in English or French, the word chimera denotes an illusion impossible to attain in reality. Finally, in the field of psychoanalysis, Michel de M’Uzan uses the word “chimera” to denote the inter-space of the transference as an autonomous dynamic born of the analytical encounter. It is in this last sense that I propose to use it in the field of analytical psychology, to emphasize the autonomous dynamics of the transference, as well as the fact the it emerges from the encounter of the analyst with the analysand as a new psychic reality. That is also why, in this text, I talk about it as a neo-reality or a neo-system. These points are developed in my 2006 and 2008 papers.

Jung’s original intuition about the analysis of the transference was to highlight the deep role the analyst plays in the treatment process. It was probably his misadventures with Sabina Spielrein which gave rise to his painful awareness of this, as witnessed in his correspondence with Sabina and with Freud. It caused him to ask Freud to include a period of personal analysis in psychoanalytic training, which was granted. At the root of the affair was obviously his realization that the transference not only unfolds in the patient but also in the analyst; hence, his use of the notion of participation mystique, a term coined by Lévy-Bruhl.

My argument for the concept of a transferential chimera was motivated by the perceived need to add a further dimension to Jung’s approach. It seems to me that the phenomenon of the transference is not only largely unconscious, but it is moreover, independent in part, both of the analysand and his analyst. It appears from my clinical experience, that the encounter between the analyst and the analysand may in fact be the basis of an emergent psychical neo-reality, with its own logic, its own evolution and its own way of functioning relatively independently of the two protagonists involved in the treatment. Put another way, if participation mystique is an essential part of the transference as Jung predicated, then it is likely to be the source of an emergent psychical dynamic which will have a considerable bearing on the direction that the relationship between the analyst and analysand might take.

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