March 4-5, 2011: John Van Eenwyck

The overall theme of the lecture and workshop this weekend will be the way in which the chaotic dynamics of the individuation process originate in the body. Chaos refers to those highly de-stabilizing disturbances in our lives that contribute to growth and stability. We’ll see how these disturbances resonate with the unconscious, operate throughout our lives, and express themselves symbolically. Recognizing and understanding their symbolic expressions allows us to move beyond those patterns that keep us stuck, freeing us to participate in the unconscious chaos at work in our lives.

Lecture: The Event Horizon of the Mind

Jung and Jungians have always been fascinated with that which exists beyond consciousness. What is the unconscious? How can we perceive and decipher its symbolism? How can ego and unconscious work together to further individuation?

We’re not the only ones interested in the unconscious, science is, too. Recent discoveries in genetics, microbiology and biochemistry have increased our understanding of the most basic dynamics of physical processes, especially those that influence how we perceive, process and respond to the world around us. Psycho-neuro-endocrinal-immunology, for example, studies how the nervous, endocrine and immune systems interact with psyche.

Jung referred to that part of the psyche where mind and body overlap as psychoid; In the psychoid realm of the psyche, mind and body influence and modify each other.

Tonight we’ll review how the smallest molecules have enormous effects on us. We’ll see how physical processes possess a consciousness greater than the ego’s. Finally, we’ll compare current research with that of the alchemists, particularly how the “organic alchemy” of today exactly parallels the inorganic alchemy of years past.

Workshop: Dancing With Liminality

We’ll begin our day with a review of chaos theory, and then look at how the unconscious deals with life’s challenges, both before consciousness forms and afterwards, in those instances when consciousness can neither understand nor cope with the chaos of life.

How do unconscious adaptations to previous problems influence our perceptions and behaviors today? By bringing consciousness to bear on our patterns of perception and behavior, we’ll identify unconscious adaptations that were once brilliant solutions to intractable problems but have since become problems themselves as our life situations have changed.

While all interactions with the unconscious involve pathos, this will not be a group therapy session. Rather, it will be a time filled with all the humor, fascination, fun, befuddlement, amazement, and mutual discovery of dealing with the unconscious, which always has the best of intentions, but not always the most flexible of approaches. That’s why it needs an ego to modify it.

In this workshop, we’ll fill that need.

John Van Eenwyck, PhD, is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. His teaching career began at Harvard University, where he was a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Social Relations. He has taught psychology at Northwestern University and at the C. G. Jung Institutes in Zurich and Chicago. Currently, he is a Clinical Instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a Senior Analyst at the Pacific Northwest Society of Jungian Analysts.


Dr. Van Eenwyk received his PhD in religion and psychological studies from the University of Chicago. A clinical psychologist, he maintains a private practice in Jungian Analysis in Olympia, Washington, where he is also the founder and Clinical Director of the International Trauma Treatment Program. Originally a co-founder of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, he treats torture and other complex trauma survivors from around the world, both in the United States and in countries that experience torture, war, and natural disasters. The author of Archetypes and Strange Attractors: The Chaotic World of Symbols, he lectures internationally* on Jungian psychology and the treatment of torture survivors.


*Bosnia, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, England, Gaza, India, The Netherlands, The Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zimbabwe


Psychoid: The Chatoic Dyanmics of Individuation