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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jungian Workshop with Marita Digney, DMin.

During the last few weeks, I have been familiarizing myself with Jungian concepts as part of my preparation for an upcoming dreamwork intensive with contemporary Jungian analyst, Robert Bosnak. When I trained as a psychoanalyst at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health (1996-2000), we studied everything from Freudian to contemporary/modern psychoanalysis, but we didn't study Jung.

Jungian Workshop With Marita Digney, DMin.
Learning about Carl Jung, his life, and how he developed Analytic Psychoanalysis has been a very enjoyable process for me. I've noticed that, lately, there has been a lot more dialogue among Jungian analysts, Freudians, neo-Freudians, and contemporary psychoanalysts which, in my opinion, is long overdue. As I acquaint myself with Jung, I see that many Object Relations and other contemporary non-Jungian psychoanalysts have been influenced by Jung.

I consider myself to be eclectic and an integrationist of many different ways of working. I often combine psychodynamic ways of working with EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, clinical hypnosis, and ego states work. No one way of working will be good for all clients, so I enjoy having many different ways and combinations that I can use to suit the particular client's needs.

During the last several years, I've become dissatisfied with the mainstream psychoanalytic concepts for dream analysis/dreamwork that I learned while I was in psychoanalytic training. As I mentioned in my January 30th blog post, when I saw Jungian analyst, Robert Bosnak, demonstrate his work at the annual NIP psychoanalytic dream conference in January of this year, I became excited about his method of dreamwork called Embodied Imagination (see my January 30, 2011 blog post: http://www.psychotherapist-nyc.blogspot.com/2011/01/dreams-and-embodied-imagination.html). Also see http://cyberdreamwork.com/ for more information about Embodied Imagination.

Embodied Imagination dreamwork fits in very well with my mind-body-oriented way of working in psychotherapy, especially when combined with clinical hypnosis and/or Somatic Experiencing (see http://traumahealing.com/ to find out more about Somatic Experiencing).

As part of my preparation for Robert Bosnak's dream intensive workshop, aside from reading books about Jungian theory, I attended a recent workshop at the Jung Foundation in NYC called "Original Harmony: Poetic Resonance in the I Ching and the Bible" presented by Marita Digney, DMin (http://www.cgjung.ny.org/). Dr. Digney is a licensed psychologist, a Jungian analyst trained at the C. G. Jung Institute Zurich. She is presently an intern chaplain at the University of Virginia CPE program. She has a private psychotherapy practice in the Blue Ridge Mountains in VA.

Dr. Digney's presentation focused on the symbolic parallels in the I Ching and the Bible as it relates to Jung's concept of individuation and the archetype of initiation. The first part of her presentation was a review of the various stages of initiation: separation ("the call"), ordeals, encounter with the divine, and return. She talked about male and female initiatory rites in various tribes as well as contemporary initiations in our own society.

As I've mentioned in a prior blog post, we often don't think of initiations as a concept in modernity. However, even though we might not think of them as initiations, as a modern society, we do engage in certain rites of passage in our everyday life that can be viewed as initiations: spiritual rites (baptism, communion, confirmation, Bar and Bas Mitzvah), Sweet 16, the high school prom, high school and college graduation ceremonies, fraternity and sorority initiations, and even gang initiations. All of these are examples of rites of passage in our culture.

In the afternoon, Dr. Digney had the audience randomly break up into various groups for the experiential part of the workshop. There were three practice groups: "the anthropologists," "the analysts," and "the poets." I was grouped in with "the anthropologists."

Then, she provided a question that was posed in one of her groups from another workshop that could have been posed to the I Ching. "The anthropologists" had to come to a consensus as to which phase of initiation (separation "the call", ordeals, encounter with the divine, or return) this question represented. After "the anthropologists" decided on the phase of initiation, "the analysts" analyzed the stage of individuation. Following that, "the poets" selected which complementary passages from the Bible and the I Ching best represented that stage of individuation.

The question that Dr. Digney provided to us to analyze was: "What about my pursuing my psychoanalytic training this year?" The query was made from a former group participant who was contemplating starting analytic training that year and was consulting with the I Ching for information on the advisability of starting this long process.

As you might expect, this question had elements of all four initiatory stages, and it was up to my group to come to a consensus on which stage we would choose.

A case could be made for it being part of the the separation ("the call") stage of initiation since contemplating this type of change (and similar changes) could represent "a calling" to do this type of work with people. In addition, while contemplating such a change and also while undergoing psychoanalytic training, there are separations to contend with regarding time away from loved ones to devote to study, conducting psychoanalytic sessions with clients, one's own psychoanalysis at least three times a week; and a "separation" from a good deal of money for the expense of the training and multiple sessions per week of personal analysis.

This question could also be looked at in terms of the ordeals that would be involved. Although psychoanalytic training is usually very stimulating and enjoyable on many levels, like any big change, it involves ordeals: financial, time, challenges to one's established views, the "fish bowl" effect of being viewed by psychoanalytic instructors and personal analysts in a consuming and intensive training where one is immersed on many levels.

For many people contemplating becoming a psychoanalyst, there is some form of soul searching about undertaking such a big commitment. This soul searching might involve an "encounter with the divine" (or not) as one questions whether or not to pursue this rigorous training.

Jungian Workshop with Marita Digney, DMin

The initiatory stage of returning (usually returning to the community to contribute in a worthwhile way) can also be viewed as a returning to oneself (to one's inner world), once again, as a soul searching for what's important to oneself.

With regard to the question that Dr. Digney presented to us to discuss, our group was divided between two stages: separation ("the call") and ordeals. After some discussion, we chose the initiatory stage of ordeals as being the best choice, but we also recognized the important aspect of feeling a "calling" (as part of the separation phase) to do this type of work.

"The analysts" group discussed our choice and decided that the ordeals relating to the original question about whether to pursue analytic training or not in the current year represents the archetype of the Self in terms of individuation.

"The poets" group found many relevant complementary passages in both the Bible and the I Ching. Never having compared the Bible and the I Ching, I was surprised at how many parallels could be found in both books. Many of them had beautiful poetic resonance.

Doing this group exercise was a form of experiential learning that was so much more meaningful than if the presentation had remained on a didactic, cerebral level.

Dr. Digney is in the process of writing a book about the poetic resonance in the Bible and the I Ching. If you're interested in finding our more about her, go to her site on Psychology Today: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/marita_digney_DMin_Charlottesville_Virginia_83197.

To find out more about Carl Gustave Jung, visit: http://www.cgjungny.org.

I am a licensed psychotherapist in NYC. I work with individuals and couples.

I provide contemporary psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing and EMDR therapy in my private practice in NYC.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Power of Creating Personal Rituals

In a prior blog post I discussed The Power of Rituals I'd like to continue the discussion in this blog post by discussing the Power of Creating Personal Rituals.

The Power of Creating Personal Rituals


What Do We Mean by Creating Personal Rituals?
As I discussed in my last blog post, we all have mundane personal rituals that we engage in, whether we're aware of it or not. For some people, it's having a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or reading the newspaper, listening to the weather report, or other similar rituals. Even these simple rituals can bring a certain amount of comfort and a sense of stability. The personal rituals that I'm referring to are rituals that we can create for ourselves that have special meaningful for us.

Examples of Personal Rituals:
Several years ago, a close friend's mother died. My friend, who was very close to her mother, arranged for a wake and a memorial service. She was very grateful for all the comfort that she received from relatives and friends during that time. But after it was over, she felt empty inside, as if she needed something more.

The Power of Creating Personal Rituals

When we talked about it, she told me what she missed the most was having her morning conversations with her mother. She talked about picking up the phone on many mornings to call her mother, after her mother died, and then suddenly remembering that her mother was gone. These moments filled her with so much sadness. And yet, she felt, on some level, that her mother was still alive in a way.

As we talked about it, it became clear that my friend's experience of feeling that her mother was still alive was her own internal experience of her mother, which was very strong. I suggested to her that, even though her mother was not alive any more, she could still "talk" to her mother in her mind through meditation or in a ritual that she created for herself to honor their relationship.

Since my friend had never done this before, she felt a little strange at first. But as she thought about how she wanted to do this, she began by setting a special place on her bedroom dresser where she placed a few pictures of her mother and herself at various ages, including pictures of her mother and her when my friend was a child, a teen, an adult, and more recent pictures of them before her mother died. These pictures represented the various stages in their relationship from a close relationship when she was a child to a rocky adolescence with her mother, and to a more stable period when my friend became an adult and she and her mother reconciled their relationship. After she arranged the pictures to her satisfaction, she decided to place her mother's favorite flowers, irises, in a beautiful vase near the pictures. Then, she added a candle in her mother's favorite color, pink.

As she was creating this special space for her mother, my friend told me how comforting it was for her to set up this area that was dedicated to the memory of her mother and their relationship. She said it was also very satisfying to be creative and have this space be exactly as she wanted it to be. Then, when she was ready, she sat in front of the pictures and the lit candle. She allowed herself to do whatever felt right on that particular day without worrying about what she "should" do or how it ought to be. On certain days, she meditated silently. On other days, she "talked" to her mother about how she felt or her cares, concerns, or positive things that were going on in her life. On other days, she cried. On other days, she told her mother about the funny and wonderful things that were going on in her life.

The Power of Creating Personal Rituals

After a few weeks, my friend felt that she was really connecting to her mother. She didn't make any judgments about what this meant, whether it was purely an internal experience or whether it was also a connection to her mother in the hereafter. She just allowed herself to have the experience and she knew that it was very comforting to her. After a couple of months, she no longer felt the need to do the ritual. By then, she was able to remember and experience her mother as being alive within herself without the ritual, and all she needed to do was think about her whenever she wanted. The ritual has served as a transitional time and space in her mourning.

During the next year or so, a couple of other friends lost their mothers. As we talked about these losses, we decided to get together and perform our own group ritual for the loved ones in our lives who had died. It was sort of a small, personal, memorial service. Each person brought pictures and a special memento that related to their loved one who had died. I brought pictures of my paternal grandfather, including a young, handsome picture of him in his Army uniform and more recent pictures of him before he died. Other friends brought pictures of their parents, siblings, friends, and pets.

We sat in a circle with candles lit on a low, small table and each one of us took turns "introducing" our loved one and saying something about him or her, whether it was a special memory, a story, or why this person was so special to us. In this way, we honored our deceased loved ones in this shared ritual.

Other personal rituals might include setting an intention for the day when you wake up, meditating at a time that feels right for you, praying, reading inspirational literature at a certain time of day, using visualizations, taking a special bath with herbs and candles, or whatever other rituals that would be meaningful to you.

The Power of Creating Personal Rituals

When people create their own rituals, they often experience it as liberating, creative, and emotionally satisfying, especially if they can give themselves permission to create the ritual in whatever way is most meaningful to them without judging themselves.

When we create meaningful rituals for ourselves, we often reach deep inside ourselves and connect to the core of our being. The symbolism of the rituals, including using particular pictures, colors, scents, music, and visualizations helps to deepen our experience, which is deeply satisfying on an emotional and psychological level.

Meaningful rituals often touch us in a deeper way that just using our logical, rational minds alone could ever do. And when we're immersed in a meaningful ritual, we often realize that, in our everyday busy lives, we've neglected that part of ourselves that needs to feel connected to deeper meaningful experiences.

Creating Your Own Meaningful Personal Ritual:
I've given you an example of how a friend created her own personal ritual, which helped her through a difficult time. You can create your own meaningful personal ritual and it can be to honor anything that you want including: a way to express gratitude for what you have in your life, a relaxing ritual at the end of the day to calm and soothe yourself (a bath with your favorite bath salts, oils, candles and incense can be very relaxing), a celebration of an accomplishment, and so on.

If you feel you would like to do this and you've never done it before, give yourself permission to be creative without judging yourself. No one needs to know about your personal ritual if you feel self conscious about it. Creating a personal ritual can get you in touch with that childlike, playful side of yourself. One of the keys to creating your own ritual is that it must feel meaningful and special to you, regardless of what you think others might think or what your own inner critical voice might be telling you.

Your Personal Ritual Can Include Movement

When you create your own ritual, you often enter into your inner world in a special, timeless, transitional space, especially if you allow yourself to become immersed in the experience. It might feel like a solemn place where you just want to be quiet, or it might feel like a light, uplifting experience where you feel like you want to dance or sing.

The great thing is that you have the freedom to create whatever you want and it be as spartan or as elaborate as you want it to be. You can use whatever symbols you need to help in deepening the experience for yourself. You have the freedom to do it for as long as it feels meaningful or to change it in whatever way that you want or stop whenever you want.

The Power of Creating Personal Rituals

Journaling about your experiences with personal rituals can also help to capture the feelings, thoughts, and ideas that you have while performing the ritual. By journaling, I don't mean keeping a diary where you feel obligated to write something everyday. By journaling, I mean writing whatever captures the experience. It could be one word. It could be a drawing. It could be pages long if you feel inspired to write. Journaling about your experiences with personal rituals helps you to dialogue with yourself, if you want to, about the experience. It also helps you to look back on these experiences and to remember them.

People who enjoy creating rituals often experience their personal rituals as a part of having a meaningful life that helps them to feel more emotionally and psychologically balanced, while also continuing to take care of the everyday things that need your attention.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, Somatic Experiencing therapist, and EMDR therapist. I work with both individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.





photo credit: Eddi van W. via photopin cc


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Exploring Synchronicities - Part II

In my prior blog post, Exploring Synchronicities - Part I, I discussed the nature of synchronicities and gave a brief summary of Carl Gustav Jung's theory (Exploring Synchronicities - Part I.) I also discussed how Jung's ideas on synchronicities and the occult was a contributing factor to the rift between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.


Carl Jung
Demystifying Synchronicities 
As I mentioned in the prior blog post, Jung's theory dominates the professional literature about synchronicities. However, there are other theories, which are psychodyamic explanations about the nature of synchronicities. One such theory is by Gibbs A. Williams, Ph.D. My intention today is to explore his concepts, which are detailed in his new book, Demystifying Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities) (2010).

I recently attended a professional talk with Dr. Williams in his West Village office, where he has been for the last 43 years. The talk was based on his research, which he writes about in his book. According to Dr. Williams, he has been exploring synchronicities for many years, including his own and his patients' synchronicities. Dr. Gibbs has recorded a fascinating collection of meaningful coincidences (or synchronicities) in his book.

Dr. Williams theory about synchronicities is in sharp contrast to Jung's concepts. As you may recall, Jung believed that when people have synchronicities, they are connecting to transcendent, spiritual experiences. Jung's theory is that synchronicities are connected to the collective unconscious and to spiritual archetypes. He also believed that these experiences could not be researched because they were acausal and unpredictable as to when they would occur. (For more on Carl Gustav Jung and his theories, go to the C.G. Jung Foundation in NYC website: (http://www.cgjungny.org).

Synchronicities as Naturalistic, Psychodynamic Experiences
Gibbs A. Williams' psychodynamic theory is that synchronistic experiences are not connected to any mystical or spiritual experiences, and they are not part of the collective unconscious. Dr. Williams' theory, as I understand it, is that synchronicities are naturalistic, psychodynamic, experiences. Rather than being part of the collective unconscious, synchronicities are part of the individuals' personal unconscious. As Dr. Williams explains it, these meaningful coincidences are a combination of 1) internal, creative processes and 2) an attunement with the environment. According to Dr. Willilams, the environment provides us with so much stimuli to choose from that, when we are having synchronistic experiences, we selectively attune to those that relate to our own internal creative process that we are undergoing at that point in time.

Synchronistic Experiences at "Stuck Points"
According to Dr. Williams, these synchronistic experiences tend to occur when people are either at emotional "stuck points" or impasses in their lives (the proverbial "fork in the road"), or if when these individuals are searchers or seekers of their own internal truth. He gave many interesting examples of his own and his patients' experiences with synchronicities. All of them are uncanny experiences. These and other experiences with meaningful coincidences are outlined in his book.

There are also other psychodynamic theories about synchronicities, including the theories of M.D. Faber in his seminal work, Synchronicity: C. G. Jung, Psychoanalysis and Religion. According to Faber, synchronicities are naturalistic, psychodynamic, regressive experiences. According to Dr. Wiliams, who takes Faber's concepts one step further, synchronicities are not only regressive experiences--they are also progressive experiences, providing opportunities for psychological synthesis and an internal cohesiveness for the individuals who have them.

Dr. Williams continues to do his research on synchronicities, and if you're interested in learning more about his theories or contributing your ideas and experiences, you can go to his website: http://www.gibbsonline.com.

Synchronistic Experiences and Intuitive Dreams
I've been interested in synchronicities for many years. My own experiences usually occur through intuitive dreams where I have a dream that something will occur and within a short time, it actually occurs. My experience has been that I tend to have synchronicities when I write down and focus on my dreams. Over the years, I've had many intuitive dreams, mostly about people in my life, but also about impersonal experiences. Some of them have been uncanny experiences.

The intuitive dream that stands out in my mind was when I had a dream that I was visiting a friend, L. We were standing in her living room, and she told me about a car accident that our mutual friend, R, was just in. When I woke up, I wrote down the dream, but I didn't think much of it since I had just seen both of my friends and they were both fine. However, about a week later, I was visiting L and we were standing in her living room in the same spot where we stood in the dream, and she told me that she had just heard that R was in a car accident. She described the accident in the same way that she described it in my dream. Fortunately, R was not seriously injured.

Needless to say, I was shocked. In the past, I had other synchronistic experiences, but nothing like this. For me, this was truly an uncanny, awe-inspiring, meaningful coincidence. L and I talked about my dream and how it related to what had just occurred. We both agreed that this was surprising. Neither of us had an explanation for it at the time.

As I explained to Dr. Williams when I met him, it seems that, as far as I can tell, my own experiences with synchronicities don't fall neatly into Jungian concepts or into Williams' or Faber's explanation of synchronicities. I didn't experience them as part of a collective unconscious or related to archetypes. They were neither regressive experiences nor did they occur during emotional impasses. You could say that they are intuitive experiences, but this doesn't seem to be the whole explanation. So, it seems that more research is needed.

On the day that I attended Dr. Williams' talk, one other psychoanalyst attended. Since there were only two of us, we had a chance to have a conversation with Dr. Williams about his experiences as well as our own synchronicities rather than it being a formal presentation.

There was also an interesting coincidence that day: The other psychoanalyst had an office in the same small West Village building where I have my own office; she has been there for about the same length of time as I have been there; we're both there on the same days and travel up to our offices on the only elevator in the building--and yet we've never seen each other before until we met at this talk about synchronicities.

If you're interested in exploring your own synchronicities, I recommend that you keep a journal with your dreams and synchronicities. Dr. Williams also recommends that you include the context of what is going on in your life at the time and compare your synchronicities to your life experiences to see how they might relate.

To find out more about synchronicities, you can explore the following resources:

Websites:
Gibbs A. Willilams, Ph.D. website: http://www.gibbsonline.com.

Carl G. Jung Foundation in NYC: (http://www.cgjungny.org

Books:
Memories, Dreams, and Reflections: Carl G. Jung

Man and His Symbols - Carl G. Jung

Demystifying Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities) Gibbs A. Williams, Ph.D.

Synchronicity: C.G. Jung, Psychoanalysis and Religion M.D. Faber

I am a NYC psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, hypnotherapist, Somatic Experiencing therapist, and EMDR therapist. I work with individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Exploring Synchronicities - Part I

What Are Synchronicities?
Have you ever had the uncanny experience of thinking or dreaming about a person, place or an event and then having your thoughts or dreams actually manifest in your life?

Exploring Synchronicities

For most people, when this occurs, especially if these experiences occur with any regularity, it can be an awe-inspiring event that seems mysterious and even perplexing. Some people attribute these uncanny experiences to a connection with the divine. Others believe they are intuitive experiences, and others aren't sure what to make of them. But, for the majority of people who experience these uncanny events, they feel meaningful, and in many cases, they can be life changing experiences. But how are we to understand these events?

Psychoanalytic Theories About Synchronicities:
There are many views about synchronicities and their origins. Most theorists agree that synchronicities are meaningful coincidences. They seem to occur out of the blue and from nowhere. Often, synchronicities are pleasurable experiences that leave people feeling more integrated and that they are part of something much larger than themselves, as if their internal experiences are, somehow, connecting to something external that is much larger than themselves.

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung:
Most of the literature on synchronicities is dominated by the writings of Carl Jung, who wrote about his experiences with synchronicities after he and Sigmund Freud had an irreparable falling out about the occult in the early 1900s.

Carl Jung

Sigmund Freud
Prior to their falling out, Freud, who was the father of psychoanalysis, viewed Jung as the "heir apparent" for psychoanalysis, the person who would carry on and continue to expound and develop Freud's views on psychoanalysis. Based on the literature and their letters to each other, it seems that Jung also saw himself in that role before their falling out. He used Freud's psychoanalytic theories with his own patients, but it seems that he felt that there was something missing in Freud's theories that he wanted to explore on his own.

Early on, Jung revered Freud. Jung was young enough to be Freud's son. Based on their correspondence to each other, Jung seemed to see Freud as his spiritual father. Jung's own father was, supposedly, very distant with Jung and his relationship with his mother was severed at a very early age due to her mental illness, so Jung grew up being a lonely child. So, his relationship with Freud was very meaningful to him, like the father that he never had. In their early correspondence to one another, there is a tone of father-son affection between them.

But for Jung, although he had great admiration, respect and reverence for Freud and he used Freud's psychoanalytic theory with patients with some success, he came to feel that there was something missing. He continued to explore psychoanalytic concepts on his own, and he came to the conclusion that Freud's psychoanalytic theory placed too much emphasis on sexuality and resolving the Oedipus Complex. Jung came to feel that Freud's psychoanalytic concepts were devoid of a much-needed sense of spirituality and were missing the importance of the pre-Oedipal period of infancy.

As you may know, Freud was essentially an atheist and a rationalist. Jung, on the other hand, had a strong sense of curiosity about all types of spirituality from different cultures and also about the occult. Freud was also curious about the occult, but only to a point. He was wary of what he came to see as Jung's obsession with the occult and this is what eventually lead to the break between them.

One fateful day, Jung and Freud were talking about psychoanalysis and the occult in Freud's study. Apparently, Freud warned Jung against getting too involved and obsessed with the occult. If we can imagine this scene: Here were two geniuses who, until then, liked and had a mutual affection for one another, who were beginning to clash over ideas that each of them held very dear. According to the story, Jung began to feel very angry, as if he was burning up inside. Then, suddenly, as if from nowhere, they were both startled by a loud noise from Freud's bookcase. It seemed to come from nowhere.

As the story goes, Jung told Freud that this noise was evidence of occult phenomenon. Freud was curious about what just happened, but he wasn't buying that this had anything to do with the occult, so he dismissed Jung's assertions, which angered Jung even more. So, Jung told Freud that he would prove to Freud that the noise was an occult manifestation and predicted that it would happen again. And, sure enough, the loud noise occurred again and Freud was startled and amazed by this.

After this Freud and Jung each explored what this sudden noise might have been. Jung continued to attribute it to a mysterious occult manifestation. Initially, Freud was curious about this and he didn't completely dismiss it as out of hand, especially after Jung seemed able to predict that it would occur a second time. However, over time, Freud concluded that the noise occurred due to a change in temperature in the room and the bookcase, which was made of wood, creaking (although he seemed to have no explanation as to why it occurred a second time, as Jung predicted). After that, he dismissed Jung's ideas about the incident completely, which continued to infuriate Jung.

As previously mentioned, early on, Freud saw Jung as the "heir apparent" who would carry on his psychoanalytic theory and his legacy. But as Jung continued to explore the occult, Freud became concerned that Jung's ideas would be harmful for psychoanalysis. As the story goes, Freud feared that people would view Jung's ideas about psychoanalysis and the occult as outrageous and this would lead to the demise of the development of psychoanalysis. Freud had dedicated his life to developing his psychoanalytic theory, and he very much wanted to have a proponent of his ideas, his "heir apparent," to be taken seriously so that psychoanalysis would continue to grow and develop throughout the world.

After the incident in Freud's study, their relationship became more distant, which must have been painful for both of them, but it was especially painful for Jung. After the break in their friendship and professional relationship, Jung had what Jungians have come to describe as "a creative illness, " essentially a nervous breakdown. However, being the creative genius that he was, he was able to continue to see patients through this period and he also began writing about his own internal experiences in the Red Book, including his experiences with meaningful coincidences, also known as synchronicities.

Jung saw synchronicities as being inspired by the divine. In his view, which is the view that dominates in professional literature, when someone experiences a synchronicity (or a meaningful coincidence), he or she is getting in touch with the collective unconscious and archetypetal figures in the spiritual or occult realm. Jung felt that, because these uncanny experiences occurred suddenly and out of the blue, they could not be researched or explained in any other way.

Exploring Synchronicities - Part II:
Also, see my article: Exploring Synchronicities - Part II where I continue to explore the fascinating phenomenon of synchronicities and present an alternative, psychodynamic theory, based on the work of the NYC psychoanalyst, Gibbs A. Williams, Ph.D., that differs from Jung's archetypal/collective unconscious theory.

In the meantime, keeping a journal of your synchronicities can be a fascinating experience, especially if you include the context of what's going on in your life at the time.

I am licensed NYC psychotherapist, contemporary psychoanalyst, hypnotherapist, Somatic Experiencing therapist, and EMDR therapist.

I work with individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me: josephineolivia@aol.com.


photo credit: efigment via photopin cc
photo credit: wordscraft via photopin cc