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This Jungian Life

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United States

Language:

English

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Episodes

Episode 37 - Narcissism

12/13/2018
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The myth of Narcissus constitutes the archetypal root of the character structure of narcissism. Aspects of narcissism run from the healthy developmental narcissism of a child to the toxic narcissism of the psychopath, but all have in common a lack of empathy, whether momentary or chronic. We offer some thoughts on how to tell if you are in a relationship with a narcissist and what to do about it. The Dream: My ex-wife moves back in together, and then she starts belittling (me) like she...

Duration:01:07:44

Episode 36 - Adulting: Leaving the Parental Path

12/6/2018
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What does it mean to separate from one’s parents and parental complexes—the attitudes and values that have been deeply instilled since infancy? How do we discern when we are in a parental complex, whether we are aligned with it or rebelling against it? What can we do to resolve the hold these complexes can have over us and become more of our unique, individuated selves? The Dream: I was in front of a white house. I felt like it belonged to me. Some creatures attacked. I remember two of...

Duration:01:01:45

Episode 35 - Loneliness

11/29/2018
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Loneliness is a deeply human and universal experience. Lisa, Joseph and Deb examine it from multiple perspectives: as it may be experienced in young adulthood versus older years; as reflective of the need for attachment and relational security; as comparable to the alchemical metaphors of calcinatio and solutio; as a call to activation in outer and inner worlds; and as a psychologically toxic phenomenon. The dream: I dreamt I was haphazardly packing up my family’s things after a stay at...

Duration:01:14:14

Episode 34 - The Scapegoat

11/22/2018
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The archetype of the scapegoat goes back to the ancient Hebrew ritual of using two goats to expiate the sins of the tribe. Sin, blame, and wrongness are also often attributed to others, and this practice – scapegoating – is addressed as it occurs in current culture, in families, and in individual psychology. The Dream: I hiked to a “primitive” tribal village. I went there as a researcher, perhaps an anthropologist. As I was standing talking to one of the men, an angry woman with a crying...

Duration:01:13:21

Episode 33 - Archetypal Dynamics of Gender Transformation

11/15/2018
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Lisa, Joseph, and Deb circumambulate the difficult issue of gender reassignment. They discuss the significance of teen girls wishing to transition and the current tendency to foreclose the meaning of this and move rapidly into medical procedures, a process of concretization instead of curiosity and exploration. Lisa discusses previous examples of symptoms and their diagnoses in history, leading to an understanding of the influence of cultural factors on mental illnesses and diagnosis....

Duration:01:16:00

Episode 32 - Slobs

11/8/2018
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What happens when one is held captive by the mud of messiness? We try to understand sloppiness as a defense against overwhelming emotions, ongoing enmeshment in the primal maternal matrix, a regression to a younger and less differentiated self, and a tendency to overvalue objects as compensation for an inadequate ability to symbolize. The dream: I am swimming in an indoor public pool with others when waves begin to occur for no apparent or antecedent reason. I am in a pool that...

Duration:01:07:28

Episode 31 - Food Addiction

11/1/2018
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Compulsive eating is a complicated psychological and biological problem. Food addiction can be a way of defending against unmet needs by displacing emotional hunger onto food. We discuss how infant experiences with eating and soothing can shape one’s relationship to food in adulthood. Two fairy tales tell of parents with insatiably devouring babies and illustrate the consequences of failure to develop affect regulation and how that can lead to various vulnerabilities to addiction. The...

Duration:01:09:11

Episode 30 - Escaping Literalism

10/25/2018
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We consider literalism as a normal state in childhood; children’s literalism can be funny and charming. We grow first into the ability to understand metaphor and conceptualize symbols and levels of meaning. Literalism can then serve as a defense against uncertainty, as ego’s resistance to any threat to its power, and as a refusal to confront unwelcome truths from the unconscious. A symbolic attitude, however, opens the inner world to adventure, mystery and creativity. The dream: I had...

Duration:01:01:33

Episode 29 - ENVY & JEALOUSY: Hobgoblins in Relationships

10/18/2018
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This podcast relates envy and jealousy to early developmental dynamics, with envy related to the dyad of mother-and-baby and jealousy arriving a bit later, when the child realizes that sometimes he is left out of his parent’s relationship with one another. Envy is related to early narcissism, a sense of inferiority and primal emotions, often resulting in the urge to destroy the envied person or object. Jealousy, because it is related to longing, can motivate a person to strive for what is...

Duration:01:03:35

Episode 28 - Boredom

10/11/2018
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Boredom is not depression or dissociation, sadness or loneliness…but what is it? We consider boredom from various perspectives: lack of access to one’s inner world, a relational deficit, a defense against unwanted feelings, a byproduct of reliance on technology to command attention, and lack of access to enlivening transpersonal energies. We surmise that the antidote to boredom lies in the ability to pay attention, as this can generate connection and meaning. The dream: I had a rather...

Duration:00:55:08

Episode 27 - Dream Animals

10/4/2018
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In this podcast, we focus on animals as symbols of instincts that have often been repressed in order to conform to cultural norms. When some aspect of our instinctual nature returns to us as a dream animal we can find ourselves fleeing, fighting, denying, or befriending an aspect of ourselves represented by that animal. Because animals have objectively known characteristics, dream creatures can provide specific clues about lost aspects of ourselves that we may need to reclaim. Finding the...

Duration:01:09:10

Episode 26 - Betrayal

9/27/2018
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The experience of betrayal is painful, confusing, and damaging to one’s basic sense of self and reality. The betrayer is often seized by feelings that demand gratification and involve self-deceit, abandonment of responsibility and empathy for the other. Are there ever times when betrayal is necessary for growth, either as the betrayed or the betrayer? Can betrayal be used as a call to deepened feeling, increased consciousness and more creative self-expression? The Dream: I was in a house...

Duration:01:07:13

Episode 25 - The Psychology of Divination: a depth approach

9/20/2018
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Divinatory systems have been used for thousands of years as a source of help and direction to people wishing to resolve situations of personal uncertainty. Jung used the I Ching for 30 years before he met Richard Wilhelm and found confirmation of its usefulness in Wilhelm’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower. We explore the value of divination through the I Ching and the Tarot, and link this to the concept of a unified field that can facilitate a healing relationship with the...

Duration:00:56:15

Episode 24 - Motherhood as a Journey of Individuation

9/13/2018
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The experience of motherhood evokes powerful feelings, ranging from joy and bonding to anger and rejection. If we can develop a conscious relationship with these feelings, we meet both denied aspects of ourselves—our shadows—and experience the pleasures and enrichment of mothering that serve the individuation process. You can learn more about Lisa's work on motherhood here. The Dream: I was visiting the home of a friend who doesn’t exist in the real world. She lives with her mother in a...

Duration:00:54:37

Episode 23 - Indecision

9/6/2018
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Many people have difficulty making decisions, whether large or small. Among other factors, the psychology behind the fear of making a decision can be related to fear of making a mistake, lack of motivation, suppressed anger and aggression, and difficulty accepting the limitations and ordinariness of adulthood. The Dream: Last night I had what felt like an important dream. I was in a big new house. In one room I was just waking up with the cousin who is closest to me. The room was dark...

Duration:00:49:33

Episode 22 - Pressure to Conform and Differentiation

8/30/2018
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The pressure to conform to familial and cultural values provides guidelines for each new generation – and can also stifle the uniqueness necessary not only to the individual but to family and cultural health. How can we discern when differentiation from established norms is in the service of meaningful growth and soul versus avoidance of necessary developmental challenge? This podcast engages this issue as both interpersonal and intrapsychic conflict. The dream: A recurring dream I have...

Duration:00:52:59

Episode 21 -- Living with a Crazy Parent

8/23/2018
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Living with a parent who is seriously impaired can be traumatic and have lasting consequences. Fortunately, resources for healing and resilience are also available, and premature encounters with shadow can be a call to consciousness and yield gifts of effective and creative depth. The dream: My band mate and I are in an underground burial chamber which is dimly lit by torches. At some point we come across a large tomb/coffin. The coffin was black and was decorated with golden “stick...

Duration:00:55:06

Episode 20 -- Mother-in-Law

8/16/2018
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The mother-in-law is not only the subject of many a joke but the subject of fairy tale and myth. Conflict between the older and younger woman lies in the archetypal realm, as both struggle to come to terms with differences, age, and the power of both youth and age. The Dream: Somehow my baby’s right arm has come completely out of her socket and is completely detached. I try to put it back into her socket, hoping for a miracle (which doesn’t happen) so I put her back into her cot. Later, I...

Duration:00:55:50

Episode 19 -- Sin and Transgression

8/9/2018
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In archery, sin refers to missing the mark, whereas transgression involves violation of a cultural boundary. But missing the mark or crossing a line can have positive effects as well as negative consequences. The dream: I am outside, in the yard of an old, but well-maintained house. The house is off-white, but I couldn’t say if it was gray off-white or beige off-white. There are other people here but I don’t pay them much attention because I am looking at my left hand. It has been...

Duration:00:37:12

Episode 18 -- Creative Depression

8/2/2018
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Creative depression demands that we suffer a journey into the deep wells of the psyche in quest of new life. It differs from other kinds of depression in how it is imaged in dreams, its antecedents in the person’s life history, and in relationships. The Dream: I was gardening and all my seeds were failing. The plants they were producing looked old and withered as they broke the soil. I went to a water barrel to irrigate the sad plot and instead of water, there was a red liquid in the...

Duration:00:38:57