Category: <span>Life Cycle</span>

The midlife period in most advanced countries worldwide today the average life expectancy for males extends to their mid- to late seventies and for women to their early to mid-eighties. Of course, this varies from place to place and depends very much on socio-economic factors that fluctuate broadly with world historical events such as revolutions, wars, economic depressions, and so forth. But on the whole and in average circumstances, the midway point of life for both sexes falls in the period between thirty-five and forty-five years of age. Why is this noteworthy, especially for psychotherapists?

Often midlife is a profoundly transformational period in personal identity for both women and men. Sometimes this takes the form of the famous “crisis,” but often it is not something quite so dramatic. I have come to think of it instead as a potential second birth of adult identity, the first having taken place between late adolescence and the thirtieth year. And birth is sometimes traumatic, and so one speaks of it as a “crisis” with justification. But even if not a fullblown crisis, it may signal a subtle transition in a person’s sense of self and identity.

About the timing of this transformation process, one cannot be quite so precisely mathematical. Some people seem to experience this on the early end of the midlife period, and many others on the other end and in their late forties. The timing is quite variable and depends on a number of factors coalescing that bring it to a point. What happened earlier in the person’s line of development out of childhood through adolescence and into adulthood is of importance in this. Generally speaking, the storms of life catch people by surprise, and the midlife tumult is no exception even if people are somewhat prepared to expect something big nowadays due to the extensive press coverage the midlife crisis has received in the decades of the late twentieth century.

It is also the case that some people do not undergo a midlife transformation at any time, any more than that everyone achieves a solid and meaningful adult identity. This is not a given. Some people show serious developmental arrest in early childhood attitudes or in adolescence, for example, and for such people there is no midlife transformation to speak of, but rather a continuous and prolonged identity as a partially adult person with striking childish or adolescent features remaining in place to the end of their lives. For these people, aging is real only in a physical sense but not psychologically, and even at the physical level it can staved off quite well and for a lengthy period of time given enough money for cosmetic surgery and other forms of anti-aging treatment. For people who make the transitions from childhood into adulthood successfully and more or less fully, however, aging is a psychological as well as a physical process. Psychologically, as one gets older one also becomes more complex and – dare we say it? – more mature and perhaps even attains to a level of wisdom in later years. Most importantly, one achieves a defined identity that extends beyond the early one of late adolescence and early adulthood. This later form of adult identity I call the personality’s “imago.” It takes form as the result of one or more transformations in and around the midlife period.

The Two Halves of Life – Achievement of Conventionality, Development of Individuality

The midlife phase of the lifelong psychological developmental process, which in Jungian circles we refer to as individuation, marks the turning point from the first half of life into the second. The lifespan as a whole can be divided into two more or less equal (in duration) parts, a first and a second half. This is an important image to keep in mind when considering the meaning of the midlife transition. Each half of life has its own proper projects, tasks, and challenges, and they are different. The tasks of the first half have to do with growing up physically and mentally and with attaining the social stature of an adult member of one’s community, willing and able to take responsibility for the tasks of adulthood – working, raising a family, paying taxes, preparing to take care of one’s aging parents and able to care for one’s growing children, and so forth. From the psychological perspective, this calls for personal (i.e., ego) development out of a primal state of attachment to mother and parentlike caretakers and and for growing out of a sense of dependency on them in order to gain a felt degree of independence, autonomous functioning, and the ability to contribute to others rather than only to absorb and consume. This has profound moral as well as psychological features.

Blog Posts Essays Individuation Life Cycle Stein, Murray Transformation

This episode is the first in a new series called Healing Cinema. Judith Cooper, PsyD, and Daniel Ross, PMHNP, members of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, discuss films from an Jungian point of view. These informal discussions will be released in parallel with our other episodes (lectures from our archives and interviews by Patricia Martin) and will not be on any particular schedule.

In this episode, Judith and Dan discuss the 1944 film Gaslight (Wikipedia). They mention the fairy tale “Fitcher’s Bird”, so if you want to learn more about that, you can read about it on Wikipedia. They also touch on the following:

  • Alchemy
  • Animus/Anima
  • Beebe, John
  • Blackbeard fairytale
  • Hillman, James
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Initiation
  • Kalsched, Donald
  • Numinous
  • Puella
  • Senex
  • Splendor Solis
  • Telos
  • Transcendent Function
  • Trauma
  • Trickster

Judith Cooper, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and diplomate Jungian Analyst in private practice in Chicago. She is a graduate and member of the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago. She was adjunct faculty at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology (1999-2000), teaching projective testing. She was clinical supervisor (1991-2002) and director of training (1998-2002) of an APA-accredited psychology internship program at a community mental health center in northwest Indiana. She has taught in the Analyst Training Program and lectured on the anima/animus, and the clinical use of film.

Daniel Ross, RN, PMHNP, MSN, MBA has been a nurse for 40 years and in hospice for over 30.  As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Jungian Analyst, he brings a medical, psychiatric, and analytical perspective to the field of end-of-life care.  He first completed the two-year Clinical Training Program (now the JPP/JSP) at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago then went on to complete the Analyst Training Program.  He is in private practice in the northwest suburbs working with adults seeking psychotherapy and continues to see hospice and palliative care patients at the end of life.  He is Co-Director of the Jungian Psychotherapy Program and Jungian Studies Program at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago.

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Links
Judith Cooper’s page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website
Daniel Ross’s page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website


This podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may share it, but please do not change it, sell it, or transcribe it.
Executive Producer: Ben Law
Host: Patricia Martin
Contributors: Judith Cooper & Daniel Ross
Music: Michael Chapman


Thank you to our 2020 donors who gave at the Contributing Member level and above: Barbara Annan, Usha and Ashok Bedi, Jackie Cabe Bryan, Eric Cooper and Judith Cooper, Kevin Davis, George J. Didier, Mary Dougherty, James Fidelibus, John Korolewski, Marty Manning, Dyane Sherwood, Deborah P. Stutsman, Debra Tobin, Alexander Wayne and Lynne Copp, Gerald Weiner, Karen West and James Taylor, and Ellen Young. If you would like to support this podcast, click here to join our community of supporters.

Alchemy Anima/Animus Archetypes Cooper, Judith Family and Intimate Relationships Film Gender & Sexuality Healing Cinema Individuation Jungianthology Podcast Life Cycle Myth/Fairytale Ritual & Initiation Ross, Dan Society & Culture Transformation Trauma

This episode I want to try something new. We see statistics that show how many people listen to this podcast, but that doesn’t show us who our listeners are. I’m curious about who listens to this podcast and I think some of you might be interested in what kind of community of listeners you’re a part of. I want to know where you are on your journey, how you found this podcast, and what you are looking for in life. If you’d like to share a little bit of that with us, click this link, and I’ll read your submission on the podcast! No need to share any identifying information. This information will not be used for any other purpose.

In this episode, Patricia Martins interviews Jungian Analyst Dan Ross, RN, PMHNP, about conscious individuation throughout life stages and why it makes for a better death.

Daniel Ross, RN, PMHNP, MSN, MBA has been a nurse for 40 years. He has worked extensively as Director of Clinical Services in the field of home health care and hospice. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, he brings both a medical and psychiatric experience to his work. He currently works part time in the field of Palliative Care and Hospice as a Nurse Practitioner, visiting patients in their home or nursing facility helping them in their transition to hospice. He is also a Jungian Analyst in private practice in downtown Chicago.

Patricia Martin is a noted cultural analyst, author, and consultant. She has published three books on cultural trends. As a consultant, Patricia has helped some of the world’s most respected organizations interpret social signals that have the power to shape the collective. She’s worked with teams at Discovery Communications, Dannon, Microsoft, Unisys, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the New York Philharmonic. Her work has been featured in the New York TimesHarvard Business ReviewUSA Today, and Advertising Age. She holds an M. A. in literature and cultural studies at the University College, Dublin (honors) and a B.A. in English from Michigan State University. In 2018, she completed the Jungian Studies Program at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago, where she is a Professional Affiliate. A scholar in residence at the Chicago Public Library, Patricia has devoted nearly a decade to studying the digital culture and its impact on individuation. She lectures around the world on topics related to the psyche and the digital age, the future of the collective, and the changing nature of individuation, all concepts discussed in her forthcoming book: Will the Future Like You?

Links
Dan Ross’s page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website
Dan Ross on Jungianthology
Dan Ross’s website
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This podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may share it, but please do not change it, sell it, or transcribe it.
Executive Producer: Ben Law
Producer: Patricia Martin
Music: Michael Chapman


Thank you to our 2020 donors who gave at the Contributing Member level and above: Barbara Annan, Usha and Ashok Bedi, Jackie Cabe Bryan, Eric Cooper and Judith Cooper, Kevin Davis, George J. Didier, James Fidelibus, John Korolewski, Marty Manning, Dyane Sherwood, Deborah P. Stutsman, Debra Tobin, Alexander Wayne and Lynne Copp, Gerald Weiner, Karen West and James Taylor, and Ellen Young. If you would like to support this podcast, click here to join our community of supporters.

Individuation Interviews Jung's Life Jungianthology Podcast Life Cycle Martin, Patricia Ross, Dan Shadow Society & Culture

In this video seminar, Daniel Ross shares some of his work from our podcast episode “Death Panels: Our Cultural Complex Around Death”. This event was hosted by the USA India Jung Foundation – a 501c(3) foundation that does charitable work in India and USA – and was presented at the Ahmedabad Jung Center, India an IAAP Developing group (uijf.org) and moderated by Ashok Bedi – the IAAP liaison person for the Ahmedabad Jung Center. Thank you to the USA India Jung Foundation for sharing this recording of a seminar we only have on audio.

Daniel Ross, RN, PMHNP, MSN, MBA has been a nurse for 40 years. He has worked extensively as Director of Clinical Services in the field of home health care and hospice. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, he brings both a medical and psychiatric experience to his work. He currently works part time in the field of Palliative Care and Hospice as a Nurse Practitioner, visiting patients in their home or nursing facility helping them in their transition to hospice. He is also a Jungian Analyst in private practice in downtown Chicago.

Links: Dan Ross’s Page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Dan Ross’s Website | The USA India Jung Foundation Website

Archetypes Bedi, Ashok Blog Posts Complexes Individuation Life Cycle Ross, Dan Seminars Shadow Society & Culture The Collective Unconscious

with Dan Ross, RN, PMHNP

In recognition of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis affecting our healthcare system, we are sharing a recent seminar by Dan Ross, “Death Panels: Our Cultural Complex around Death”, in its entirety. This seminar was part of our public program series this year, and was recorded on February 28th, 2020.

The Spirit of the Times shapes our heroic attitude toward disease and death. Instead of the initiatory experience that fear of death can provide, we are paralyzed in our fear and cling to images of immortality found in modern medical institutions. The Affordable Care Act’s provision of reimbursing medical practitioners for having end-of-life discussions with patients with life-limiting illnesses constellated a collective panic. The cultural complex distorted these simple end-of-life discussions (brilliantly discussed in the best-selling book by Atul Gawande, Being Mortal) into what were called “Death Panels.” The fear was that a group of professionals would sit around and decide whether we should live or die. What was behind this cultural complex?

When we are forced to engage with the healthcare industry through illness, we are carried along a hero’s journey to treat death as the ultimate evil, and, in the process, we miss the transformative opportunities an encounter with death can provide. How did modern medicine come to carry for us the image of immortality? In this program, we will use myth, literature, and film to explore the Spirit of the Depths to better understand the archetypal underpinnings of modern medicine’s relationship to death and immortality.

PowerPoint slides used in the talk are available HERE

Dan Ross, RN, PMHNP, MSN, MBA has been a nurse for 40 years. He has worked extensively as Director of Clinical Services in the field of home health care and hospice. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, he brings both a medical and psychiatric experience to his work. He currently works part time in the field of Palliative Care and Hospice as a Nurse Practitioner, visiting patients in their home or nursing facility helping them in their transition to hospice. He is also a Jungian Analyst in private practice in downtown Chicago.

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Thank you to our 2019 Supporter level donors: Bill Alexy, Usha and Ashok Bedi, Circle Center Yoga, Arlo and Rena Compaan, Eric Cooper and Judith Cooper, Lorna Crowl, D. Scott Dayton, George J. Didier, the Kuhl Family Foundation, Ramaa Krishnan & Full Bloomed Lotus, Suzanne G. Rosenthal, Deborah Stutsman, Debra Tobin, Alexander Wayne and Lynne Copp, Gerald Weiner.


© 2020 Dan Ross. This podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may share it, but please do not change it, sell it, or transcribe it.
Music by Michael Chapman
Edited and produced by Benjamin Law

Archetypes Complexes Individuation Jungianthology Podcast Life Cycle Ross, Dan Seminars Shadow Society & Culture The Collective Unconscious