Freddie Taborda | The Future of Jungian Analysis After Coronavirus

Several years ago, I arrived at a building, and I thought it was empty. To my surprise, I ran into a man from another country (Mexico). I asked him if he was by himself. He said, “No.” Then, he added, as a clarification, of who else was with him: “My soul and I.” 

I was struck by the beauty and the wisdom of his comment, and I found out, later on, that his response was a cultural and popular phrase from his native land. I believe his comment (“My soul and I”) is an archetypal experience that highlights the primary and fundamental direction that Jungian analysis needs to take during and after the time of Coronavirus.

Coronavirus has forced individuals to ‘stay home’; it has compelled people to distance themselves from others; governments from around the world have implemented “social distancing” measures in public places, and the streets of major cities from around the world are somewhat empty. During this pandemic, people are forced to spend more time alone, at home. Solitude has increased world-wide. Individuals are noticing they are forced to be by themselves, at home, unless they distract themselves with electronic gadgets. Silence is more noticeable as well as the absence of other people. Therefore, Coronavirus is leading us to a spatial, temporal, emotional, and spiritual space of “My soul and I.” It is a space of possibilities and terrors.  

I believe the archetypal sentence, “My soul and I”,  has laid out the path that Jungian analysis needs to primarily pursue during and after the time of Coronavirus: the exploration, cultivation, and the caring for the Ego-Self Axis or “the soul and I.” In a letter to P.W. Martin, Jung (1945) stated, “…the main interest of my work is…the approach to the numinous…[which] is the real therapy…[and] as you attain to the numinous experiences you are released from the curse of pathology.” Furthermore, Jung delineated the relationship between images, soul, and the Divine, and emphasized the centrality of the Divine through working with images from dreams, active imagination, and synchronicities. Therefore, in time of Coronavirus, it is important that both analysts and analysands focus, during analysis, on those images (Soul) for ‘releasing’ the individual from pathology.


Adina Davidson | Plague and Ego Relativization

This is part of a a continuing series of posts from conversations with Lisa Maechling Debbeler, JD, MA, LPCC about the nature of being a therapist/analyst in a time of quarantine. We began talking on Saturday March 21, 2020 at the beginning of the shut down and are continuing to talk weekly. We were both continuing to work and trying to see as many of our clients/analysands as possible through Zoom or other virtual methods. We were both finding this both unexpectedly and expectedly difficult and wanted to share our experiences with colleagues and friends that we respect.

From Lisa, citing an episode of the podcast This Jungian Life:

The Quarantine/Stay-at-Home order is like the beginning of an alchemical transformation of the ego being broken down. It’s the beginning of a process of relativizing all our usual ego activities to something greater, fearful and not-fully-knowable.

As Jungians we tend to take a very optimistic view of the relativization of ego. We see it as a step in the path toward wholeness. Ego needs to see its proper (small) place in psyche in order for our conscious self to relate to the Self. This process of understanding our egoic limits is put into the context of growth and development.

I see this growth-oriented relativization of ego happening at times in myself and with my analysands even in this moment of uncertainty, fear and loss. I can sense (and my analysands report) moments of spaciousness and a larger peace that seems more available in all the time and quiet we have during quarantine.  I feel the important and valuable things – such as family conversations, the friendship of my life-partner, religious and secular ritual, creative work – in my bones. They strike my more-than-usually-open and vulnerable heart and easily bring me to tears. This can be framed as a solutio (the alchemical stage of dissolving a material into its constituent parts) process. Some of the ego defenses have been dissolved by the time-honored methods of being quiet and alone, terror and sadness. This dissolving opens space for an awareness of the larger realities.


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