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Soulwork: What Makes Jungian Analysis Different

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30.03.2020

Recently, I heard a wonderful definition of resilience: resilience is the ability to respond to danger with wisdom. As the coronavirus continues to spread and endanger millions of lives, fear has colonized our hearts, limiting our capacity for imagining possibilities for a positive future.

One of Carl Jung’s great gifts to depth psychology was his recognition that mind and body are one and that our symptoms, psychological and physical, can be viewed as manifestations of some part of us that “wants to be known.” Jung came to this conclusion after years of working with his own inner world, undertaking the task of self-examination through a descent into his dreams, fantasies, and images. He came to see that even terrifying figures in dreams could be messengers and beneficial guides to psychological growth. Over and over, with diligent attention to material that came from his unconscious, Jung became convinced that more wisdom than our egos recognize abides within.

This is a moment in history and in our lives when we seek wisdom and guidance. We may look to authority figures to alleviate our fear and anxiety, but inspiration flows naturally from our own inner resources. We cheer the Italians on their balconies, serenading one another. We marvel as Yo-Yo Ma plays songs of comfort on Twitter. Even in the darkest moments, our joy and creativity assert themselves.

Please be encouraged to embrace your own creativity and wise self. A simple way to start is to sit quietly and focus your attention on your heart. When you feel you have made a connection with that loving space within, ask your heart for a word, image or idea that will help you find resilience during this crisis. Write down whatever comes, or if you prefer, draw, dance, compose or paint it.

In honor of Jung’s courage and pioneering path, and his astonishing legacy of work, I have invited esteemed Jungian analyst Kenneth James to talk about why someone might seek Jungian analysis, and why he considers this "soul work.”

Kenneth James is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University, and a Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Along with a background in mathematics, he trained as a music therapist and completed four years of post-doctoral study in theology and scripture at the Catholic Theological Union. He has also taken lay ordination as a Zen Buddhist under Roshi Richard Langlois and studied the Kabbalah with the Lubavitcher Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun. Dr. James holds the rank of professor........

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