Current Events

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.


Stefano Carpani | Past Plagues, Present Psyche: Finding Resilience, Creativity, and Joy in the Time of Coronavirus with Susan Rowland

This video is part of the series “Psychosocial Wednesdays”, an initiative by: Paul Attinello, Stefano Carpani and Bernhard von Guretzky.

Susan Rowland, PhD is associate Chair of two hybrid programs at Pacifica Graduate Institute: MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life MA. Author of seven books on Jung, literary theory, gender and ecology, her latest work is The Ecocritical Psyche (Routledge 2012), which argues for a symbol embodying a reciprocal relationship with non-human nature. Previously Professor of Jungian Studies at the University of Greenwich, London, she was founding Chair of the International Association of Jungian Studies 2003-6.

Stefano’s YouTube Channel | Stefano’s Website | Susan Rownland’s page and recorded lectures on the C. G, Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Susan Rowland’s Website | All COVID-19 related posts

CIIS | Richard Tarnas: What’s Happening in the Stars Right Now

In this video by the California Institute for Integral Studies, cultural historian Richard Tarnas shared his thoughts about the synchronicity of what is happening in the heavens with what is happening now on our planet with COVID-19.  He offered an astrological perspective as to what was happening that seems to be affecting our planet, among such things as climate change and this pandemic. Tarnas offers a wider view of the history of the conjunctions of Pluto-Jupiter and Saturn which also coincided with other records of historical events.

Links: Richard Tarnas’s Website | California Institute for Integral Studies | ArchetypalView YouTube Channel

Enemies Podcast | Opposites/Contraries During the COVID-19 Crisis

In the podcast Enemies: From War to Wisdom, Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD and Eleanor Johnson “analyze human hostilities from the most mundane to the most sophisticated as we apply psychology, psychoanalysis, art, spirituality, and relational theory in conversations about belonging in our relationships and ideologies”. From the episode description:

At this crucial juncture when we are beginning to contemplate our return to “life outside,” when the lock-down is over, we especially need to be reflective, thoughtful, and open-minded. The famous poet and artist William Blake wrote “Without Contraries, No Progress” in his famous poem “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” In this episode, we will talk about the importance of all sides of the conversation being included in our coming to terms with what is next, regarding this virus, our economy, and other future pandemics. How do we work with our communities, ourselves, and our bodies in order to stay healthy and aware? How does our human relationship with nature evolve now that we have seen the imbalances of human greed and wealth openly revealed? Without getting into politics, we will touch on topics such as 5G, vaccines, our human and civil rights, and what kinds of issues we need to open our eyes and ears to in these coming weeks, months, and years.

Listen On:

Links: Enemies: From War to Wisdom Podcast | Polly Young-Eisendrath’s Website | Polly Young-Eisendraths‘s page and recorded lectures on the C. G, Jung Institute of Chicago Website | All COVID-19 related posts

Stefano Carpani | C.G. Jung, Death & Covid-19 as the Teacher: Conversation with Polly Young-Eisendrath

Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD is a Jungian analyst, psychologist, teacher and author. She is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont and in private practice in central Vermont. Polly is the originator of Dialogue Therapy, which is designed to help couples and others (for example, parents and grown children) to transform chronic conflict into greater closeness and development.

Links: Stefano’s YouTube Channel | Stefano’s Website | Polly Young-Eisendraths‘s page and recorded lectures on the C. G, Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Polly Young-Eisendrath’s Website | All COVID-19 related posts

Vladislav Šolc | Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: A God’s or Devil’s gift?

This interview originally appeared in Vesmír Magazine. It was translated from Czech to English by Vladislav Šolc.

I must emphasize, however, that the grand plan on which the unconscious life of the psyche is constructed is so inaccessible to our understanding that we can never know what evil may not be necessary in order to produce good by enantiodromia, and what good may very possibly lead to evil. Sometimes the probate spiritus recommended by John cannot, with the best will in the world, be anything other than a cautious and patient waiting to see how things will finally turn out.

C. G. Jung, CW9, Part 1

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world. And it has caught humanity unprepared despite all past experiences. What is happening to society, to everyone at this special time? “Big questions come from a small virus,” says Vladislav Šolc, a Jungian Analyst living and practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Eva Bobůrková Interviewed Vlado Šolc.

What are we experiencing today, can you describe it?

About 100 years have passed since the last major pandemic of the so-called Spanish Flu, which broke out in 1918 and claimed 50 million victims worldwide. Despite its disastrous impact, it took the WHO 30 years after that pandemic to establish a coordinated system of prevention and detection of global epidemics. Early intervention apparently prevented major spread of later respiratory epidemics such as Singapore (1957), Hong Kong Flu (1968) and later H1N1 (2009). Coordinated cooperation between governments and non-government organizations has been able to prevent the spread of Ebola, and to significantly mitigate the effects of classic influenza, malaria, or the Zika virus. However, the COVID-19 epidemic shows that mankind is not prepared for a virus that has a relatively long incubation time (5 days – 2 weeks), is highly infectious and shows a low symptom rate of the infected (95%). Again, nature has shown that even a virus whose mortality is – compared to the Black Death plague (1347-1351) which exterminated more than half of Europe’s then population) – is relatively low, yet it can disrupt even stable economies. Only with a few exceptions in the Pacific (Taiwan, New Zealand, or South Korea) the highly developed countries that boast of their advancement of science and technology have been surprised, or we should say humbled. This crisis has shown the importance of preparing for a possible global pandemic and how dangerous it is when science is not taken seriously!  All of a sudden we woke up from big “Hollywood” fantasies of our readiness for biological warfare or alien invasions. Pandemic COVID-19 has brought about an inevitable confrontation with reality.

How do you see this confrontation as a Jungian Analyst?


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.


Speaking of Jung Podcast | COVID-19: Interview with Dennis Merritt

Speaking of Jung, a podcast by Laura London, is a wonderful series of interviews with Jungian Analysts. In a recent episode, she interviewed Dennis Merritt, member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, about his recent blog post, “Covid-19: Inflection Point in the Anthropocene Era and the Paradigm Shift of Jung’s New Age“. More information about the episode is available HERE.

Dennis Merritt, Ph.D., LCSW has an MA in Humanistic Psychology, a PhD in Insect Pathology from UC-Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Zurich Jung Institute.  He practices as a Jungian analyst, sandplay therapist, and ecopsychologist in Madison and Milwaukee, WI. He authored four volumes of The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe – Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology. His influences include D. W. Winnicott, complexity theory, the I Ching, and Native American ceremonies, in which he has participated for over 30 years.

Speaking of Jung is available through a variety of podcasting platforms and apps, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. Just search for “Speaking of Jung” in your favorite podcasts app to subscribe on your mobile device. You can also listen on YouTube.

Links: The Speaking of Jung Podcast Website | This Episode of Speaking of Jung | The Speaking of Jung YouTube ChannelDennis Merritt’s Website | Dennis Merritt’s Page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website

Stefano Carpani | Covid-19 & the Suspension of Certainties: Conversation with Susan Rowland

In this interview, Susan Rowland and Stefano Carpani look at Susan’s peculiar approach to C.G. Jung, at her attitude toward “translation” and “meaning”, as well as at her latest research interests (art-based research) and at Covid-19.

Susan Rowland, PhD is associate Chair of two hybrid programs at Pacifica Graduate Institute: MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life MA. Author of seven books on Jung, literary theory, gender and ecology, her latest work is The Ecocritical Psyche (Routledge 2012), which argues for a symbol embodying a reciprocal relationship with non-human nature. Previously Professor of Jungian Studies at the University of Greenwich, London, she was founding Chair of the International Association of Jungian Studies 2003-6.

Links: Stefano’s YouTube Channel | Stefano’s Website | Susan Rownland’s page and recorded lectures on the C. G, Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Susan Rowland’s Website | All COVID-19 related posts

Stefano Carpani | Covid-19: Psychosocial Perspectives: Conversation with Andrew Samuels

Making no claim for psychology as a solution to anything, Prof. Andrew Samuels and Stefano Carpani discussed a wide range of psychosocial (and more personal) questions. They spoke about the struggle that is to come when some of us refuse to countenance a return to normality. The grim possibility was raised that many people are attracted to apocalypse – and that there can be little hope without acceptance and embrace of risk.

Andrew Samuels is a Jungian analyst, university professor, author, activist and political consultant. He is well known for his work at the interface of psychotherapy and politics. His work on sexuality, relationships, spirituality, men and fathers has been widely appreciated. He is a former Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, co-founder of Psychotherapists and Counselors for Social Responsibility and of the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy. His many books have been translated into 19 languages.

Links: Stefano’s YouTube Channel | Stefano’s Website | Andrew Samuels’s page and recorded lectures on the C. G, Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Andrew Samuels’s Website | All COVID-19 related posts

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