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Jan 252012
John Romig Johnson, PhD, NCPsyA

In 2012, CJS marks its second anniversary!  Our program year continues with seven dynamic topics.  Each is designed to deepen our understanding of how Jung’s psychology fosters self-discovery, integration of our disowned parts, and contributes to balance and wholeness.  Theoretically, individuation is the conscious realization of our unique personality, including its strengths and weaknesses—and the living with this complexity, which make each of us a unique and differentiated person.  Each presentation will show a different approach to the inner journey and include something new about the importance of self-knowledge and engaging the unconscious as a partner in informing our lives.

Our first two presentations are by original and gifted psychologists who provide a fresh perspective on Jungian concepts and psychological healing. The first presentation in January by the Mithoeffers titled, “MDMA and Archetypal Images.”  Their use of “ecstasy,” i.e. MDMA, in assisting psychodynamic psychotherapy with PTSD patients is indeed groundbreaking. Their sense of responsibility and compassion for others balance their adventurous exploration of this new field of psychological inquiry.

Our February program features Dr. Tim Brewerton who is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and conducts private practice in the Charleston area.  Tim will present a case example of dissociative identity disorder (DID) from his own practice to demonstrate how the phenomenology of this disorder can be understood using Jungian concepts, including complexes and archetypes.

The final five programs will be lead by Jungian analysts. We are fortunate to have two internationally renowned Jungian analysts from away from the Holy City join us this spring in addition to our three resident analysts.

In March, Dr. Sharon Martin will speak on the feminine and fundamentalism. Sharon knows Christian fundamentalism from the inside and is a leading exponent of Jungian feminism.  When so many in the Bible belt have born the burden of this conflict, Sharon’s insights will offer an opportunity, valuable for women and men, to amplify and explore these contractions.  She is sure to expand our consciousness, self-awareness and sense of purpose.

In April, I will speak to the obvious point that religious images are and provide for us a phenomenology of the psyche.  I hold that creation myths portray: first, the images of how conscious psyche first arose, and second, various representations of the way each new increment of consciousness emerges.  The myths are presented as explanations of the physical world’s creation, but that is naïve. They truly depict the emergence of psychic reality. Creation myths refer to each new level of conscious realization that dawns on us.  I’ll share much more on this with you in April!

Coming to us in May is Patricia Berry, Ph.D. a Zurich-trained Jungian Analyst who serves as president of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. She is an author and lecturer well known in the Jungian world and beyond.  In her lecture she explores the question,” Why is love so difficult? How do we fail at it?”  She notes that for centuries, Love has been a topic for philosophy, theology, the arts, depth psychology, evolutionary theory, and modern science. Yet marriages and partnerships continue to break up, and the divorce rate climbs. Dr. Berry asks why we fail at love. Are we the problem? Is modern society? Or is it love itself that is so difficult?  She asks, “Could love be problematic even at an ‘archetypal level’”?

In June, Charleston analyst Dr. Alvaro Giraldo will examine from a Jungian perspective issues of the Shadow in the political arena.  Surely few topics can be thought more timely than this. While many of us try to steer clear of “politics as usual” who among us is not fascinated by the dynamics at play?

In July, we offer a special two-day event featuring David E. Schoen, MSSW, LCSW, who is an analyst in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He lectures and teaches nationally, and his work has appeared in journals in the United States and abroad. The programs will explore the correspondence between Bill W., one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Carl Jung. Based on David’s highly acclaimed book, The War of the Gods in Addiction: C. G. Jung, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Archetypal Evil, the workshop will explore his original, psychodynamic view of addiction and describe the creation and successful treatment of addictions using the dual lenses of A.A. and Jungian psychology.

     My hope is that The Charleston Jung Society through its programs, the fellowship and available analytic work will help us more fully engage in life and become more reflective individuals aware of our contradictions and conflicts as well as our experiences of joy, insight, and wisdom.

I wish each of you success on your journey to look at your inner selves and the life around you. May 2012 bring you the transformative experiences of journal reflection, dream work, and active imagination.  I believe our programs in 2012 will encourage us as we to expand consciousness, increase self-awareness, and live with deep purpose.

Peace and blessings,



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