Culture, Society and Family: The Impact of the Collective Psyche and Cultural Complexes in the Individuation Process


Event Details

This event is running from 19 January 2018 until 20 January 2018. It is next occurring on January 19, 2018 9:00 am

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January 19th & 20th, 2018
Cost: $250 for clinicians  $125 for students
12 MHC and NASW CEUs

“In Jungian work, which is always about the exploration of complexes, one does not necessarily recognize that the knot one is trying to untie may be a cultural complex. Like any other complex the cultural complex creates internal conflict; occasions anxiety, anger and depression, governs the outer situations that are brought into therapy for counsel…By following a careful clinical method, a therapist can unmask the intrusion of a cultural complex into the unconscious life of the patient.”

-John Beebe, “A Clinical Encounter with a Cultural Complex.”

A Jungian psychoanalytical approach gives great consideration to the influence of and interplay between opposite forces in the development of the human psyche in its quest toward individuation. Both constructive and destructive unconscious energies impact individual development with tremendous power. These arise out of an equally unconscious and powerful matrix of family, cultural, ethnic, and societal influences, which can be understood as collective complexes.

The effect of these collective complexes on the process of individuation is amplified through the pervasive effect of technology and social media in contemporary life. Understanding and differentiating the impact of such forces in our work with patients seems particularly critical given the present unrest and turmoil within the collective psyche.

In this Winter Clinical Intensive, four analysts will discuss how collective complexes transmitted from family, culture and society influence the process of development within the patients we work with. Theory, clinical case material, and analytic technique will be presented to illustrate how such material can addressed in a clinical setting, and the challenges we face in doing so.

Friday January 19, 2018

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Brian Hobbs, M.Ed., CAGS, IAAP
Cultural Complex, Assimilation and Identity: A Journey Towards Wholeness.

This presentation will address the construct of the cultural complex and its basis in Jungian psychology. In this light, we will explore the overlapping processes of identity formation and assimilation within a new culture, looking closely at an individual case study. The concept of the cultural complex will be utilized to more deeply understand the social dynamics involved, as these pertain to individual development, and how such material can be worked with in a clinical setting. Social constructionism theory will also be applied to enhance an understanding of the interplay between the social context and individual psychological development. Our case study will focus on the period of adolescence, when cultural complexes are so prominent within thepsyche.

1:00PM – 4:00 PM
Manisha Roy, PhD, IAAP.
The Interface Between Cultural Complex and Collective Unconscious in Individuation Process.

In my forty years of analytical practice in three continents I have had the opportunity to analyze clients of various nationalities from different parts of the world. It was evident that Jung’s central concepts of the archetypes and the collective unconscious are inevitably expressed only through the unique cultural symbols.
A non-American myself, I shall use a few clinical examples to demonstrate the paramount importance of the analyst’s attention to the cultural background of the client. Because, the archetypes and the collective unconscious are known to us only via specific cultural expressions, it is vital that the analyst is familiar with the familial, social and cultural backgrounds of the client. This also helps in addressing the transference and counter-transference – two most important tools that condition the transformation of the ego’s relationship to the healing collective unconscious, the goal of Jungian analysis.

Saturday January 20, 2018

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Susan Mckenzie, M.S., IAAP
Explosions and Containment in the Dream Vessel: Transgender Shame, Individuation, and Embodied Soul

What does it mean to be a person in the world? What constitutes personhood and what are the barriers to our experiences to being in the world? How does the soul’s movement and the person’s being reveal itself to us in emerging case phenomena? This is the tapestry from which I draw the single thread of one man’s search for identity.
This is David’s story. With the help of his extensive dream material we will follow his struggle to come to a sense of self grounded in his unique flesh experience; his natural transgendered feelings. With this story I offer the flesh of clinical work around gender and sexuality from a post-Jungian, emergent mind perspective.
My understanding of emergent mind theory suggests that one’s sense of gender emerges very early in development from a self-organizing process involving an individual’s particular body biology, their early brain development, their attachment experiences, and their culturalenvironment. Through David’s story we will explore the impact of the mirroring we receive from our caretakers in early life as well as from the collective ‘other’ of our culture

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Francine Lorimer , PsyD, IAAP
Honoring ancestors in American clinical work: The importance of ancestral connection for psychological well being.

Jung wrote, “Remoteness from the unconscious, and so from the determining influence of history, means an uprooted state. That is … the danger confronting every individual who through one-sidedness … loses his relation with the dark, maternal, earthly origin of his being.” (Collected works XIX, 209f). In most American clinical practice settings, therapy focuses on assessing and treating mental, emotional and physical symptoms of mental illness in individuals. Such an approach is one-sided in that it is oblivious to the “dark, maternal, earthly origin” of a person’s being. Jung is referring partly to our awareness of and connectedness with our ancestors. Such a connection may be especially relevant for our clients who are immigrants. These may experience being uprooted as a state of dissociation – cut off not only from their land and family, but also from the ways they have maintained a relationship with their deceased relatives. As therapists, it is important we are alert to the spiritual needs of our clients who have been uprooted, including their relationship with their ancestors. My presentation works with literature, film and clinical material to identify ways that relocation can make a person feel spiritually wounded, and shows how reconnecting with ancestral spirits can bring the capacity to grieve, and with it, acceptance, leading to an experience of increased personal consciousness, and internal peace. We will explore the symbolic significance of ancestors for a sense of self, and discuss ways that ancestral connections can be validated and renewed in clinical work.


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“Winter Clinical Intensive”
Cost: $250
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For students:
“Winter Clinical Intensive”
Cost: $125
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*CEU (Continuing Education Unit) – Please add the quantity of “1” if you wish to receive CEUs for this program. CEUs are $10 per program.
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