The War of the Gods in Addiction:
C.G. Jung, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Archetypal Evil
The War of the Gods in Addiction, based on the correspondence between Bill W., one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and C.G. Jung, proposes an original, groundbreaking, psychodynamic view of addiction which explains both the creation and successful treatment of alcoholism and other addictions. Using insights from Jungian psychology, it demonstrates why the 12 steps of AA really work. It emphasizes the crucial process of neutralizing the Archetypal Shadow / Archetypal Evil, an aspect of all true addictions, and explores this concept extensively through theoretical and clinical material, modern and ancient myths, and fairy tales. The significance of using dreams for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of addiction is also explained. This book bridges the longstanding gap between the mental health community and 12-step recovering communities and translates concepts necessary to understanding the addictive process in ways that encourage mutual understanding and benefit.
Jan Bauer, M.A., Jungian analyst, author of Women and Alcoholism and Impossible Love
“From the perspective of a person in recovery from alcoholism, I always felt encouraged and somewhat validated just with the knowledge that Bill W., one of the founders of AA, and Carl Jung were aware of each other and had concurrent thoughts. This new book by David Schoen greatly illuminates the nature and power of addiction and, more importantly, clarifies the rationale for a spiritual path in recovery. The thoughts and observations expressed in it ring true to the twelve-step recovery journey I have experienced myself and encountered in others over the past twenty-five plus years. We can all benefit from this powerful articulation of the struggle and the realm of the solution. I offer a heartfelt thanks to David Schoen for his work on the behalf of those of us in the struggle.”
Paul S., AA member (sobriety date 10/04/1981)
“A must for all therapists who have clients with addictive issues. David Schoen makes it clear that recovery via the 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is primary in the treatment of addiction and that it can be deadly dangerous for addictive clients if the importance of this mode of recovery is not recognized and given priority. Schoen shows the way the AA 12-Step program dovetails with Jung’s description of the individuation process and addresses shadow aspects such as resentment, fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, inflation, deflation, and other obstacles to our health and wholeness—plagues that deaden our lives. Schoen offers hope to all of us who are dealing in any way with addictive problems. After reading this book, I felt a breath of relief for a way of treatment that is inspirational, compassionate, and understanding of the deep subconscious layer of the psyche that must be faced in addiction and a deep gratitude to David Schoen for what he offers us in this book.”
Linda S. Leonard, Ph.D., author of Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction and The Wounded Woman
“David Schoen makes the case that addiction is not merely an appetite gone awry, but a true psychological highjacking ending in a death of the mind, body and spirit. This is the sometimes heartbreaking reality for those of us who work with individuals and families suffering an addiction. This book brings a welcome dialogue that can better help us understand the phenomena of relapse and recovery.”
Robert Hetrick, Licensed Addiction Counselor, Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor, with 20 years experience in treating addictions.
Chapter One: Setting the Stage: The Bill W. – Carl Jung Letters
• Bill W.’s Letter
• Carl Jung’s Letter
Chapter Two: The Psychodynamics of Addiction: Development of a Typical Addiction
• Stage 5 – The Addiction-Shadow-Complex Takes over the Psyche
Chapter Three: An Exploration of Archetypal Shadow/Archetypal Evil as an Essential Ingredient in Addiction
• An Overview of Concepts of Evil
• Clinical and Theoretical Formulations of Unintegratable Aspects of the Psyche
• Clarification of Definitions of Archetypal Shadow/Archetypal Evil
Chapter Four: The Healing Process of Recovery through the Twelve Steps of A.A.
Chapter Five: “Using Dreams” of Recovering Alcoholic and Addicted Individuals