Fall 2007 Season Program

Speaker: Julie Bondanza

Eros and Addiction

The power of Eros can take us to ecstatic heights, but also to the depths of despair. We experience this power whenever we fall in love or whenever longing for another overtakes us. As long as we remain unaware that the ideal image of the beloved is a projection of our own psychic content, and the more our longing for wholeness is confused with the external satisfaction of erotic fantasies, the more we can get lost in compulsive longing, destructive relationships and sexual addictions. Understanding the archetype of Eros can help us develop a sense of how Eros can become destructively connected with addiction. We will seek to understand the nature of Eros and erotic longing in both its sensual and spiritual aspects.

During the workshop on Saturday, we will amplify our exploration of these symbolic and analytic themes with revealing episodes taken from myth, fairy tale, literature and film that will allow participants to identify these patterns in their own experience and to understand their archetypal dynamics more clearly through guided exercises and group discussion.

Julie Bondanza, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in Washington, D.C. and Director of Training at the Philadelphia quarters of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and a board member of the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York. She was formerly the Director of Training at the New York Institute and Education Director in Washington, D.C. Her teaching focus has included such recent topics as: Noble Suffering-The Archetype of Tragedy; The Grail Legend-The Mystic Hero’s Journey; Sibling Mysteries; Art and Archetypes; Alchemy, Psychotherapy and Jung; The Archetype of the Masculine, and most recently Working with our Personal Mythologies.

Speaker: Stephen Aisenstat

Dream Tending

The “heartbeat” of DreamTending, Dr. Aizenstat’s orientation to dreams, is the recognition that dream images are alive. In his Friday night lecture, he will describe his unique approach to dream work and invite us to experience dream images as living, embodied beings — engaged in their activity, not ours alone. DreamTending will be introduced as a system of healing, useful in working with the afflictions of personal life as well as the conditions of the world soul, the anima mundi. Examples and elaborations will be offered.

In the Saturday workshop, Dr. Aizenstat will expand upon the concepts presented Friday night. He will further elaborate on the idea that images are alive and, at root, elemental – part of Nature’s Dreaming. Participants will learn methods of phenomenological dream animation and tools to work with the “indigenous image.” Attending to these potent “seed” images enhances psychological health and authentic being. This workshop combines DreamTending demonstrations by Dr. Aizenstat with experiential activities. Also, he will offer training in skills intended to help participants work with their own core images.

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founding president of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, which offers programs in psychology, mythological studies, and the humanities. As a licensed clinical psychologist and credentialed educator, his focus includes depth psychology, dream research, and imaginal and archetypal psychology. His original research centers on a psychodynamic process of "tending the living image," particularly in dreamwork about which he has conducted seminars for over twenty-five years throughout the world. DreamTending: Teachings for a Dream-centered Life, will be released this fall. Other publications include : "Dreams are Alive" in Depth Psychology: Meditations in the Field, edited by Slattery and Corbett, and "Jungian Psychology and the World Unconscious" in Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Earth, edited by Theodore Roszak, et al.

Speaker: David Rosen

The Healing Value of Personal Narrative: How Writing One’s Memoir Facilitates Individuation

It is well known that self-disclosure in journals and autobiography in general promotes emotional and physical health. On Friday evening, Dr. Rosen will illustrate the healing value of writing a personal narrative in the form of autobiography with a single case-study: himself. He will demonstrate the process of writing a memoir as a “haibun”-a combination of prose and haiku about his life-long pilgrimage to the center of profound mystery. His own autobiography (presented as an inner and outer journey based on his life-review, an analysis of interviews with family and friends, as well as dreams and experiences recorded in journals since his eighteenth year) emerged as a painful yet healing experience. When such a review is carried out in an honest and thorough way, one’s lost soul can find its way home. As the Zen writer Matsuo Basho revealed: “Each day is a journey and the journey itself home,” an insight echoed by Soen Nakagawa Roshi: “If you cannot return home, your self is not your true self.”

The Saturday workshop will involve both active imagination and writing personal narrative. This autobiographical exercise will explore one’s purpose and meaning, that is, one’s personal myth. This work will be shared with the group by those who wish to, and serve as a form of creative exercise that by healing painful episodes from the past, we enable more fulfillment in future years. We are then freed to approach the present with Soren Kierkegaard’s incisive observation- “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards”- to guide us to draw on the past to live within a more individuated consciousness.

David Rosen, M.D., trained as a psychiatrist at the Langley Porter Institute in San Francisco and as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. As a Professor of Humanities in Medicine at Texas A & M University, his research interests include analytical psychology, the psychology of religion, depression, suicidology, healing, creativity, and the psychosocial, psychiatric, and human aspects of medicine. Among his eight published books are Transforming Depression: A Jungian Approach Using the Creative Arts, The Tao of Jung: The Way of Integrity and his newest book, The Healing Spirit of Haiku, co-authored with Joel Weishaus in 2004.

Speaker: Patricia Sohl

Quotidian Conversations: Working with Symbolic Images in Dreams and Everyday Life

The deeper layers of our psyches are constantly communicating with us via symbols. Amid the demands of everyday life we may notice this only in passing, usually first giving it our attention after a dream presents us with particularly enigmatic images and we wonder what it might mean. This program is offered as a small retreat where we will take the opportunity to look at symbolic process, the basis of Jung’s work.

The Friday lecture will start with a profound 28-minute film in which Yo-Yo Ma introduces his friend David Blum, also a professional musician. David explains how, when he left the security of his preferred language of expression, music, and dared to pick up some children’s pastels to draw scenes from his dreams, he unwittingly engaged in conversation with his inner self. We follow him as he shows us his pictures and talks movingly about his own skepticism, shyness, curiosity and wonder, and the unexpected reward of finding a layer of rich meaning in his colorful, naïvely-styled pictures. In our discussion of this moving account, we will review Jung’s ideas about symbolic images, and include some of the newer findings from brain scans, which unite cognition and emotion.

During the Saturday workshop, we will turn directly to the images themselves that arise when the unconscious psyche responds to the crises and concerns of everyday life, and using the amplification of archetypal images, engage in so-called conversational sketches. Conversational sketches are dream storyboards that offer us a dialogue with that part of ourselves that communicates in symbols. The psyche, being wiser than our artistically challenged selves, will respond with the wistful whisperings of dialogue, inviting us to pay attention to our depths. Participants in the workshop will be shown how to use the expressive arts to bring out imagery from their own internal process and experiment with learning to amplify these symbols with the resources available today with online Jungian archives.

PATRICIA SOHL, M.D., is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and received her advanced degrees at the Harvard University School of Public Health and the Tufts University School of Medicine. Reflecting her twin interests in symbolic expression in healing, she is Curator of the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism at the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco and Associate Director of its Clinic. She resided in Denmark for twenty-five years, practicing as physician-psychotherapist at the first clinic in the world dedicated to the rehabilitation of ex-political prisoners who survived torture and live in exile. Her research has centered upon the spiritual aspects of archetypal images in the dreams of individuals, the deeply unconscious nature of somatic symptoms, and the use of "landscapes of childhood" in healing trauma.