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Depth Calls to Depth: Spiritual Direction and Jungian Psychology in Dialogue

February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 2024

4 Live Classes | Offered Live via Zoom | Offered Live via Zoom

Program Description

What you will receive:

  • 4 Live Webinar Sessions with Q & A
  • 4 Links to the Recordings

A recurrent theme throughout Jung’s life was his deep engagement with the Christian tradition and the Christ-image, which he saw as the primary symbol of the Self in Western culture. Surprisingly, this crucial dimension of his work is largely missing from contemporary Jungian discourse. By contrast, there is much interest in Jung within progressive Christian circle but little deep understanding of his thought and ways that it stands in tension with traditional Christian belief. This course seeks to address this disconnect by bringing these two perspectives into dialogue, while also exploring Jung’s complicated relationship with the Christian tradition. We will examine areas of alignment and divergence between these two visions of the spiritual path in the context of major Jungian concepts such as the shadow, the inner other or anima/animus, and the Self. Our discussion will be informed by the Christian mystical tradition and works of Christian imagination like Dante’s The Divine Comedy. In terms of clinical application, we will explore how religious imagery surfaces in dreams over the course of sustained engagement with the unconscious, including dreams of individuals seeking to come to terms with limiting religious backgrounds and form a more mature relationship with the Holy

This Course is Ideal if:

Ideally, the course will meet the needs of a range of attendees seeking to deepen their understanding of the relationship between Jungian psychology and Christian spirituality. Individuals who would benefit from the class include the following.

  • Those interested in the relationship between psychology and spirituality.
  • Those knowledgeable about Jung who wish to learn more about his perspective on Christianity.
  • Those with a background in Christian spirituality seeking their deeper understanding of Jungian thought.
  • Students knowledgeable in both areas who wish to integrate the two perspectives.
  • Therapists working with clients for whom Christianity is a major issue, whether positive or negative.
  • Students knowledgeable about other religious traditions who want to learn more about Christian spirituality from a Jungian perspective.
  • Students curious about Jung’s complicated personal relationship with Christianity.
  • Students seeking to learn more about core Jungian concepts such as the shadow, complexes, individuation, anima/animus, God-images and the Self.
  • Individuals interested in the relationship between dreamwork and spiritual issues.

Course Overview:

Week 1: Squaring the Circle: Integrating Psychology and Spirituality

For Jung, psychology and spirituality are inextricable. Many psychology problems are at base spiritual and the divine is experienced in terms of human relationships, with all their distortions. This class will examine a letter to a minister in which Jung describes his complicated relationship with the Christian tradition and outlines core aspects of this thought, including complexes, God-images, the Self and the process of individuation. Dreams containing religious material will ground the discussion in clinical practice.

Week 2: Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow

Jung’s concept of the shadow will be explored in terms of four dimensions; personal, relational, collective and archetypal. Various responses to shadow will be discussed (e.g., projection) and the synergism between personal shadow and collective complexes. Jung’s emphasis on becoming aware of what is denied and taking responsibility for one’s capacity for evil offers parallels to the Purgative phase of Christian spirituality. We will discuss Jung’s belief that Christianity fails to adequately address shadow and examine dreams containing shadow material.

Week 3: Anima/Animus: Intimate Strangers and the Inner Other

In Jung’s view, the anima/animus is a proto-personality visible in dreams, fantasy and projection on others. Its contra-sexed nature will be explored, as well as critiques of this formulation. For Jung, libido is a creative force in every aspect of life and dream images of physical union offer a symbol of yearning for deeper integration. His concept of the inner marriage will be compared with images of union with God as a love relationship in Christian mysticism. Although Jung’s society viewed gender in binary terms, the wide range of gender narratives in current culture is more consistent with the composite nature of the personality in Jungian psychology.

Week 4: The Self: Wholeness as Relationship

The Self spans the conscious and unconscious perspectives and the personality arising in their interaction. It contains all opposites, including good and evil, a moral ambiguity Jung extended to God-images. These express the deepest level of the Self for a person or culture and he saw the Christ-image as the primary symbol of the Self in Western history. The Self generates images that lead towards the ultimate reality beyond all images, a paradox reminiscent of the interplay between cataphatic and apophatic Christian spirituality. There is a shifting balance between Self and ego over the lifespan and Jung concentrated on the second half of life when the center of gravity moves to underlying depths. Using Dante’s The Divine Comedy as a Christian active imagination, the class will compare the traditional Christian sequence of Purgation, Illumination and Union with the Jungian path involving encounters with Shadow, inner other, and the Self.

By the End of This Course You Will Be Able To:

  • Discuss the relationship between psychology and spirituality in Jung’s model
  • Gain insight into Jung’s perspective on Christianity and how it evolved over time.
  • Compare the “top-down” approach to sacred symbols in traditional Christian spirituality with Jung’s “bottom-up” approach to dream symbols leading towards the Self.
  • Understand how core Jungian concepts such as complexes, God-images, the Self and individuation operate in his model of movement towards wholeness.
  • Gain a basic understanding of the multiple dimensions of shadow and how it shaped his view of Christianity.
  • Understand Jung’s expansive view of libido, in which images of sexual union offer a symbol of yearning for deeper integration, with comparison to Christian mysticism.
  • Describe Jung’s concept of the anima/animus and later critiques of this model.
  • Gain insight into Jung’s views regarding the shifting relationship between ego and Self across the lifespan.
  • Discuss the role of God-images in movement towards the Self beyond images and parallels to the interaction between cataphatic and apophatic spirituality in Christian mysticism.
  • Compare the progression of Purgation, Illumination and Union in Christian spirituality with the Jungian sequence of successive encounter with the shadow, anima/animus and the Self.

CEC Learning Objectives:

Week One: Course Goals and Educational Objectives:

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify two ways in which personal psychology shapes the experience of the divine in Jung’s theory: a.) The divine is experienced in terms of human relationships and b). working through complexes provides access to the numinous.
  2. List three psychological concepts Jung brought to traditional spirituality: a.) the impact of trauma, b). lifespan development and c). inter-generational and cultural complexes.
  3. Differentiate between the “top-down” approach to sacred symbols in Christian spirituality and Jung’s “bottom-up” approach to guiding images from the Self.

Week Two: Course Goals and Educational Objectives:

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify four categories of shadow: a). personal, b). relational, c). collective and, d). archetypal.
  2. List four primary responses to shadow and their implications: a). denial, b). projection, c). identification with the collective shadow and, d). awareness with moral choice.
  3. Compare Jung’s emphasis on becoming conscious of the Self with the Purgative phase in Christian spirituality.

Week Three: Course Goals and Educational Objectives:

Attendees will be able to:

  1. List three definitions of Jung’s concept of the anima/animus: a). an image representing unexpressed aspects of the personality, b). an image of relationship with the unconscious and, c). an image of the experience of difference.
  2. Name three major criticism of Jung’s theory of anima/animus: a). gender essentialism, b). heteronormative bias and, c). animus is secondary to the anima and less developed.
  3. Define how the existence of multiple gender narratives is consistent with Jung’s view of the composite nature of the personality.

Week Four: Course Goals and Educational Objectives:

Attendees will be able to:

  1. List four stances by the ego towards the Self: a) separation with loss of meaning, b). merger with danger of psychosis, c). efforts to contain the Self leading to inflation and, d.) containment within the Self without disappearing.
  2. Name three changes in perspective Jung associated with the second half of life: a). focus shifts from outer achievement to inner depths, b). previously undeveloped parts of the personality gain new meaning and, c). awareness of mortality undercuts the heroic attitude.

References:

Girz-Johansen, Thomas. 2020. Jung and the spirit: a review of Jung’s discussion of the phenomenon of spirit. Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 65, Issue 4. 653-671.

Jones, Raya, 2023. Dialectics of Sign and Symbol and the Utterance of Archetypal Theory. Journal of Analytical Psychology. Vol. 68, Issue 4. 687-705.

Main, Roderick. 2013. Secular and religious: the intrinsic doubleness of analytical psychology and the hegemony of naturalism in the social sciences. Journal of Analytical Psychology. Vol. 58, Issue 3. 366-386.

Marsman, Michael. 2017. Transgenderism and transformation: an attempt at a Jungian understanding. Journal of Analytical Psychology. Vol. 65, Issue 2. 678-687.

Melker, Iona. 2015. Christina Morgan’s final visions: a contextual view. Jung Journal: Culture and Psyche. Vol. 9, Issue 3. 9-30.

Saiz, Mario. 2022. Inner-outer couple: anima and animus revisited. New perspectives for a clinical approach in transition. Journal of Analytical Psychology. Vol. 67, Issue 2. 685-700.

Spoto, Angela. 2021. Experiencing the whole type: living into the archetypal Self. Journal of Analytical Psychology. Vol. 66, Issue 5. 1094-1118.

Stein, Leslie. 2015. Jung and divine self-revelation. Jung Journal: Culture and Psyche. Vol. 9, Issue 1. 18-30.

Program Details

Dates

February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 2024

12 Noon – 1:00 PM PST

Registration

  • $225 General Rate
  • $185 Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students, & Senior Rate
  • $135 Pacifica Student Rate
  • $30 Continuing Education Credit (CECs) Fee

Participants requesting Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for Online programs must attend all live sessions (offered via Zoom) in order to receive CECs. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs.

 

About the Teachers

John Ensign, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist with over forty years experience across a wide range of settings. His private psychotherapy practice is located in Davis, California. Dr. Ensign is a Jungian Analyst affiliated with the C.G. Jung Center of San Francisco.

General Information

Location

Hosted Online

Cancellations

Cancellations 14 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. After 14 days, up to 7 days prior to the program start date, a 50% refund is available. For cancellations made less than 7 days of program start date, no refund is available.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.

Continuing Education Credit

This program meets qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for Psychologists through the California Psychological Association (PAC014) Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing education for psychologists.  Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.

This course meets the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (#60721) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs.  Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.  Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.

For Registered Nurses through the California Board of Registered Nurses this conference meets qualifications of 4 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177).  Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.

Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs.  Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for each program and its content.  Full day attendance is required to receive a certificate.

Continuing Education Goal.  Pacifica Graduate Institute is committed to offering continuing education courses to train LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs to treat any client in an ethically and clinically sound manner based upon current accepted standards of practice.  Course completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation.

CECs and Online Program Attendance: Participants requesting Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for Online programs must attend all live sessions (offered via Zoom) in order to receive CECs. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs.

 

Registration Details

February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 2024

  • Number of Classes: 4 Classes
  • Class Length: 60 min.
  • Class Time: 12 Noon – 1:00 PM PST
  • CECs: 4 CECs
  • Total Duration: 6 Hours 

The presentations will be recorded and shared after each session for those unable to attend live.