Lecture: The Spiritual Dimensions of Alcoholism
Alcoholism, like any other disease, has four major aspects: the physical, the psychological, the sociological, and the spiritual. This lecture will address these four pillars upon which the disease of alcoholism rests, emphasizing alcoholism as a disease of the spirit, and will discuss Jung’s understanding of this aspect of the disease. Bill Wilson, the co-founder of AA, considered Jung to be a major guiding influence in the foundation of the AA fellowship. Their correspondence and ist significance for the future of AA will be discussed. We will ask the question: What role does religious experience play in the recovering process of the alcoholic?
Workshop: The Alcoholic Seen Through the Prism of the Eternal Adolescent Complex
It has been proven clinically that most alcoholics have what C.G. Jung called the Eternal Adolescent or Puer Aeturnus complex. This workshop will begin by reviewing Jung’s complex theory, and how it relates to the natural history of alcoholism. The Puer Aeternus complex will be explained as a means to a deeper understanding of the psychological causes and patterns of alcoholism. Finally, the positive use of the Puer Aeternus complex will be viewed as a major path to recovery.
Flying High Again: Steps to Remaining a Grateful Recovering Alcoholic
It is not enough for the alcoholic to just stop drinking. The alcoholic, like Dionysios, Icarus, and Hermes, has a moral obligation to get high again, to get his/her spirit back, to become in-spired, and to celebrate what it means to be free of chemical dependency and its negative psychological consequences. This lecture will concentrate on some of the insights from Jung’s complex psychology which can help the alcoholic develop a more positive Self-Image. The same Puer complex which was a mill-stone for the drinking alcoholic can become a stepping stone for the recovering alcoholic. Jung’s typology will be shown to be a means of understanding the “dry drunk” and getting beyond it. Finally, we will clown around with laughter and meditate on gratitude, the two essential compaions on the road to recovery.
Thomas Patrick Lavin, Ph.D. holds three awards from the United States Army for his work in drug and rehabilitation in Germany and in this country. In addition to his Ph.D. degrees in both Clinical Psychology and in Moral Theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, he is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich. A Senior Analyst and Faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute, Chicago, Dr. Lavin is in private practice in Wilmette, Illinois.