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

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 10/14/2021

Episode 190 - Falling in Love: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered show art Episode 190 - Falling in Love: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

This Jungian Life

Jung says, “Love is a power of destiny, whose force reaches from heaven to hell.” Falling in love in an initiation into the divine—light and dark—as personal and archetypal forces combine and combust. In thrall to the magical other through whom we experience newfound parts of ourselves, we fall into a reality that transcends and possesses us.

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Episode 189 - A Well-Aligned Mind: How to Be Alive show art Episode 189 - A Well-Aligned Mind: How to Be Alive

This Jungian Life

Guest Iain McGilchrist is a renowned psychiatrist, researcher and author. His 2009 book, The Master and His Emissary, gained worldwide fame for showing how differences between brain hemispheres affect our perceptions--and guide our lives. Each hemisphere has a radically different ‘take’ on the world: the left sees what is in the theater spotlight, whereas the right hemisphere understands the whole play.

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Episode 188 - Humanizing the Hero show art Episode 188 - Humanizing the Hero

This Jungian Life

Mythological heroes defend, protect and quest. They range from warriors, adventurers, and saviors to magicians, loners, and rebels, but one way or another, they battle bad for the sake of good. They have courage, skill and strength, but never a troubling moment. Although we still delight in heroes with might and shine, modern times have given rise to a new ideal: the everyday hero.

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Episode 187 - The Fiery Furnace of Ambition show art Episode 187 - The Fiery Furnace of Ambition

This Jungian Life

Ambition is a fire whose flames first rise in the first half of life, when hopes and dreams are fueled by possibilities in the external world. It takes creative audacity to seize a dream, develop a talent, or commit to a calling. Ambition can also be fueled by narcissism, power seeking, or striving to overcome inadequacy.

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Episode 186 - The Archetype of the Witch: Dangerous, Denied & Dishonored show art Episode 186 - The Archetype of the Witch: Dangerous, Denied & Dishonored

This Jungian Life

It’s witching season, the time when women of all ages embrace a mythical image of unfettered feminine power. The witch may cast spells, seek vengeance, or wreak creative havoc—as she pleases. Flying the night skies of psyche, the witch brings primordial realities into culture’s brittle convictions.

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

Dr. Shedler’s 2010 paper, “The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy,” is the most widely read psychoanalytic paper of our time. It’s been downloaded more than a quarter of a million times and has been cited by thousands. He discusses this influential work with us, including the finding that those who engage in psychodynamic psychotherapy not only improve by the end of treatment but continue to make gains even years after therapy is finished. According to Shedler, “psychodynamic therapy sets in motion psychological processes that lead to ongoing change, even after therapy has ended.” Jung tells us that we don’t solve our problems so much as grow larger than them. There is good empirical evidence that psychodynamic psychotherapy does indeed help us to grow. 

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I am in a snowy place with my mom. We are leaving one chalet to go to a different one to meet up with other family members. While packing up to leave, I am preoccupied with a lost sweater. My mom is angry at me for wasting time. I love the sweater; it’s beautiful, and I wanted it for a long time before I got it. I gradually accept that the sweater is now gone, but I’m really sad about it. Then we get into the car. We are both in the back seat of the car talking to each other, and it takes a few minutes before we realize that the car is driving itself. I am not bothered by this; I seem to intuit that the car will take us to the right place, or at least that it knows where it’s going. But my mom is once again angry at me for not driving it. I cannot drive it because my leg is injured. It is this anger--as she realizes that I’m not driving the car--that seems to make the car stop, and then we are stranded in the middle of the road.”

RESOURCES:

Dr. Shedler’s website

Seven Principles of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (video)

That was then, this is now: An introduction to contemporary psychodynamic therapy

The tyranny of time: How long does effective therapy really take? 

The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Follow Dr. Shedler on Twitter

Learn to analyze your dreams at Dream School