November 6 and 7, 2009: Dyane Sherwood

Dyane SherwoodJung’s work is founded on a belief in the reality of the psyche rather than on a reductionist point-of-view. Yet we may also wonder how his theories about the nature of unconscious communication, self-regulation, and active imagination jibe with new and fascinating studies coming from the field of neurobiology.

Lecture: Alchemical Imagery and Unconscious Emotional Communication 

We will begin with images of the King and Queen from “Psychology of the Transference” and from the Splendor Solis, as examples of Jung’s use of imagery, which can communicate emotions and ideas that cannot be easily put into words.   We will then compare Jung’s method to Darwin’s early work on emotional communication through body language and facial expression and to contemporary research, which employs neuro-imagining techniques to study nonverbal cues that can trigger an emotional response in another person, both before and sometimes without any conscious awareness.   Participants can expect to come away with a basic understanding of nonverbal communication, which underlies much of what we talk about when we speak of unconscious-to-unconscious communication in psychotherapy and in everyday life.

Workshop: A Flowering Tree: Emotion, Imagination, and the Brain

Keeping the reality of the psyche as our touchstone, we will look at emotional experience and communication as fundamental to the lives of primates, as well as active imagination as a form of healing. We will begin with the basic organization of the brain, including Alan Schore’s work on hemispheric specialization, and then look at the ways the brain is designed to integrate functioning from the two hemispheres and specialized areas.  We will also discuss the latest research on two very interesting types of neurons, one type (“mirror neurons”) related to embodied communication of emotional states and imitative learning, and the other (von Economo neurons) potentially related to intuition.   Using the East Indian women’s folk tale of A Flowering Tree, we will also consider how experts in neurobiology and in Jungian psychology may arrive at conflicting conclusions as they interpret across disciplines.   No previous knowledge of neurobiology is required.

(Please note this workshop will have a half-hour lunch-break. Participants are encouraged to bring brown-bag lunches.)

Dyane N. Sherwood, Ph.D. is an Analyst Member and faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, where she is the Editor of Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche.  With the late Joseph L. Henderson, she co-authored the book  Tranformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis.  Recent books chapters include “Analysis in Training” (2009) in Jungian Psycholanalysis (Ed. Murray Stein) and “The traditional Plains Indian vision quest: Initiation and Individuation” (2007) in Initiation: The Living Reality of an Archetype.  Before becoming a clinician, she studied neurobiology at MIT, UC Berkeley (Ph.D.) and Stanford University (NIH post-doctoral scholar), where she taught a course on the “Neurobiology of Learning and Memory” in the human biology program.  Her research was published in the Journal of Experimental Zoology (Cambridge), Brain Research, and the Journal of Neurophysiology.  She has a private practice in Woodside, California where she works with adults and children and conducts private reading groups and seminars.  Her primary interests are in shamanism, alchemy, and the arts. 





The Embodied Psyche: Active Imagination and Implicit Communication