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Episode 160 - The Dark Side of Mothering

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 04/22/2021

Episode 185 - Assessing Our Psychic Inheritance show art Episode 185 - Assessing Our Psychic Inheritance

This Jungian Life

Jung said of the parent-child relationship: “Nothing exerts a stronger psychic effect upon the human environment, and especially upon children, than the life which the parents have not lived.” Jung understood that parents can unconsciously compel children to fulfill parental dreams or compensate for disappointments.

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Episode 184 - Does Analysis Work? A Conversation with Jonathan Shedler, PhD show art Episode 184 - Does Analysis Work? A Conversation with Jonathan Shedler, PhD

This Jungian Life

“Talk is powerful medicine.” Renowned researcher and clinician Jonathan Shedler, PhD joins us to discuss the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy. While so-called evidence-based therapies—brief treatments conducted by instruction manuals—offer benefit for some, their status as the “gold standard” of treatment for mental distress is undeserved.

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Episode 183 - JUSTICE: The Struggle for Balance show art Episode 183 - JUSTICE: The Struggle for Balance

This Jungian Life

Principles of fairness and justice have deep roots in the human psyche: we want to receive our fair share and a fair shake. When man injures man we may protest, strive for redress, and measure wrong with morality—but what about godly misfortunes? Life, myth and religion are rich with issues of injustice. Whether individual injury, social inequality, or divine mystery, over-insistence on fairness can lead to depression, resentment, and fixation.

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Episode 182 - Confronting Shadow: The Work of Self-Discovery show art Episode 182 - Confronting Shadow: The Work of Self-Discovery

This Jungian Life

Psychotherapy is essentially the work making shadow conscious—all that we have not discerned, disown, or project onto others. We seldom welcome shadow, for it is marked by emotions and motivations that deflate, disturb, and dethrone ego. From family scuffles to political hostilities and outright war, we most often meet our shadow in others. Its presence is signaled by a strong urge to take action, with feelings ranging from judgment to antagonism, from pity to self-sacrifice, and from obsession to disgust

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Episode 181 - Self-Reflection: What Was I Thinking? show art Episode 181 - Self-Reflection: What Was I Thinking?

This Jungian Life

Jung says, “There is another instinct, different from the drive to activity and so far as we know specifically human, which might be called the reflective instinct.” Self-reflection is correlated with consciousness, and is arguably humankind’s unique and essential competency: a meta-cognitive capacity that is aware of its own awareness.

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Episode 180 - INFLUENCE: Connection or Contagion? show art Episode 180 - INFLUENCE: Connection or Contagion?

This Jungian Life

We have always been subject to the influence of others—it’s how we learn language, become socialized, cooperate and collaborate. It’s also how we exclude, denigrate, and assault others. Today, we are subject to unprecedented social influences. Multiplicities of media shape our ideas, identities, beliefs and values--and foster connections and communities around the world.

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SHADOWLAND: Prostitution - the story of Kay show art SHADOWLAND: Prostitution - the story of Kay

This Jungian Life

Today we walk with Kay, a 21-year-old single mother who works throughout the American southwest as a self-described prostitute. We explore how she found her way to that life, what she aspires to, and how she holds the complicated tensions between herself, her clients, and the current culture. We shared this interview with composer Wells Hanley from I Wrote This Song For You podcast, who was moved to create a song for Kay. We hope you’ll be as touched by her story as we were.

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SHADOWLAND: a new podcast experience – September 9 on TJL show art SHADOWLAND: a new podcast experience – September 9 on TJL

This Jungian Life

On September 9th, This Jungian Life will launch a new podcast experience - SHADOWLAND. In this series, we meet soulfully with people who live and work in the hidden places of our culture.

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Episode 179 - The Archetype of WAR show art Episode 179 - The Archetype of WAR

This Jungian Life

Recent events in Afghanistan have again put war in the forefront of collective consciousness. War’s destruction belongs to the mythic realm. Mars, the Roman god of war, was a primordial force whose altars were placed outside city gates. Although acknowledged, he was not accepted. His paramour, Venus, is warfare’s seductress, offering spectacle, pageantry, and glory.

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Episode 178 - The Music of Metaphor: Healing in Therapy & Life show art Episode 178 - The Music of Metaphor: Healing in Therapy & Life

This Jungian Life

Guest Mark Winborn is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst who teaches in the U.S. and internationally. Author of three books and numerous articles, Mark is an active member of the IRSJA and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich/Kusnacht. Psychotherapy is talk therapy—but what kind of talk are we talking about? The most fundamental medium of our knowing is language, and metaphor imbues language with music.

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Our colleague Puddi Kullberg, author of The Bad Mother, joins us to acknowledge motherhood’s shadow. A link to her paper is below. Our culture idealizes motherhood, but mothers everywhere have experienced themselves as bad in varying ways and to various degrees.

Jung suggests that even truly harmful mothers can expiate their actions by becoming conscious of what they have done. If we can face even grievous mistakes, we can deepen into our ordinary, sometimes dark humanity. Confrontation with our negative mothering leads to experiencing emotions that were previously unrecognized or denied. We can mitigate isolation by getting help. We can be known, our experience is understandable, and we can choose the life that lies before us now. We may also discover new capacity for compassion and presence—and moments of genuine joy. 

Here's the dream we analyze:

“I climb a gigantic rock. In the carrier on my belly, I carry my son. I am trying to reach the tree that stands solely on top of the rock, which feels like the ceiling of the world. The tree is bigger than any tree I have ever seen. It is, in fact, so big I feel it to be the world tree. I am desperate to reach it, for I feel I need to be there; it is essential. The tree is wildly moving its gigantic trunk from left to right all around its circumference. There is no wind, so I feel it must be moving from itself. Its crown is damaged by what seems to have been lightning. It feels overwhelming how big the tree is. I know that I have to reach the base of the tree when it is moving its trunk into the other direction. Although there is a risk of its branches hitting me and my baby, I know there is a certain time span for me to quickly reach its base before the trunk will change direction again. Suddenly there is a figure that attacks me as I climb upwards. He hits and tries to throw me off the mountain. It feels like he is from space, for he has a strange appearance, metallic-like. I know I will have to fight him; it is too important to reach the tree. I feel a sense of overcoming this figure, but there is no real image of that. I am very aware of my baby on my belly during the fight.”

 REFERENCES

Lisa Marchiano. Motherhood: Facing & Finding Yourself https://www.amazon.com/dp/1683646665/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_14TP3MBSAKD72A2JSV36

Puddi Kullberg. The Bad Mother: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00332925.2019.1564512

Daniela Sieff. The Death Mother as Nature’s Shadow: Infanticide, Abandonment, and the Collective Unconscious: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00332925.2019.1564513

RESOURCES

Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/