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From Bewitchment to Enchantment: Transformational Process in the Psychoanalysis of Early Trauma

September 18, 1999 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Patients who have suffered severe early trauma often find themselves bewitched by dark tyrannical voices assaulting them from within, leading to intense anxiety and depression. In dream work with such patients, the dark inner voices reveal themselves as both archaic and typical – hence archetypal – personifications whose inner purpose seems to be the defense of a vulnerable core of selfhood to make sure it is never violated again. However, in defending the true self against further trauma, the archetypal defenses also persecute and demoralize it, cutting off all hope for life-in-relationship to others. Therefore the positive side of the Self cannot constellate and the individuation process cannot get started. In successful depth psychotherapy these archetypal defenses slowly lose their power as their bewitching energy slowly becomes humanized in the transference and is transmuted into a mature capacity for love and creative living (enchantment). In this workshop, clinical material as well as the Grimm’s fairy tale Fitcher’s Bird (sometimes called Fitcher’s Vogel) will be utilized to illustrate this process. Attendees are asked to read the tale before the workshop. Versions of the story can be found online at:

Translation by D. L. Ashliman
All Family Resources Collection

You might also be interested in:

Cindy Sherman Photographs from her book Fitcher’s Bird
Reed College Student Susan Reagel’s Thesis Artwork

Related Friday Talk: Early Trauma and Dreams: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit

Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist who practices in Santa Fe New Mexico. He is a member of the C. G. Jung Institute of Santa Fe, a senior faculty member and supervisor with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and lectures nationally and internationally on the subject of trauma and its treatment. His celebrated book The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit (Routledge 1996) explores the interface between contemporary psychoanalytic theory and Jungian thought as it relates to practical clinical work with the survivors of early childhood trauma. His new book, Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption (Routledge, 2013) explores the “spiritual” dimensions of clinical work with trauma-survivors. He and his wife Robin live in Santa Fe, during the winter, and summer in Newfoundland, Canada.

Purchase Workshops


September 18, 1999
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
We offer Continuing Education Credit through NASW. The fee for CEU credit is $5 for the lecture, $10 for the workshop, or $10 for both the lecture and workshop. To obtain credits, please sign up before each lecture or workshop at the CEU table in the lobby.

Bring a sack lunch for the 45 minute onsite lunch.


First United Methodist Church, Fireside Room
1838 SW Jefferson Street
Portland, United States
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Ample free parking in both church lots.