A Certificate Training Program for Clinicians with Donald Kalsched, PhD
This program is an opportunity for clinicians from a variety of disciplines to explore the clinical, theoretical, and symbolic/spiritual dimensions of Donald Kalsched’s model of the inner world of trauma and its archetypal defenses of the imperishable personal spirit or soul–as described in his two books, many articles, and four decades of Jungian analytic practice.
This understanding of dissociative structure, described as the Self-Care-System (SCS), holds open the possibility of a new way of thinking about the symbolic processes in trauma as they open a window into the mystical dimensions of existence, a new way of understanding other contemporary dissociative models of the mind, and a new way of envisioning the unique contribution of Jungian Depth Psychology to modern clinical practice.
The model describes a dissociative system of daimonic inner personifications representing powerful affects and defenses that structure the unconscious mind, and define the universal struggle in human life to actualize a sacred core of true selfhood under environmental conditions that are often unfavorable or traumatic. Myths and Fairy Tales record this struggle for individuation in their narratives, which usually portray a heroic figure (often a “child”) suspended between the powers of light (love) and darkness (hate), aided by benevolent powers and thwarted by malevolent ones. When trauma enters this story, it injures the capacity for feeling-in-the-body upon which the life-forces depend, thereby strengthening the malevolent anti-life forces of defense. These dark, depressive forces appear as powerful resistances in the psychotherapy situation leading to the negative therapeutic reaction, and often to a “repetition compulsion” of self-destructive activity in outer life. Learning how these oppressive forces operate in the personality, and how to intervene when they have taken over, helps us to become more effective in our work with trauma survivors.
In each of the three extended sessions of the program, different facets of the model and its implications for understanding and healing trauma, while restoring the soul to embodied life, will be discussed. Film-clips will be used throughout as illustrations, and assigned reading between sessions will add important developmental background, especially in the areas of infant observation, attachment theory, and affective neuroscience.
First Session: Mapping the System Through Dreams, Transference, and Film(November 1-5, 2017)
In this intensive session, the focus will be on the dramatic inner structures within the Self-Care System (SCS) –especially the lost child and his/her Spirit-protectors or persecutors. Comparisons with other psychoanalytic dissociative models will be made, most notably Ferenczi, Bollas, Steiner, Symington, Grotstein, van der Hart et al, Fairbairn, and Modell in order to demonstrate the universality of the findings and to highlight the importance of Jung’s mytho-poetic understanding. Extremes on the dissociative spectrum will be examined– especially DID and the role of alter-personalities (Kluft, Ross) or discreet “self-states” (Bromberg) as they appear in the treatment situation. The role of unbearable affect in dissociative fragmentation, and the way the defensive system provides an unconscious strategy for affect-regulation, will be demonstrated through clinical vignettes as well as through symbolic exploration of dramatic themes in fairy tales and contemporary films. The spiritual importance of generative innocence and the role of the SCS in encapsulating innocence and keeping it out of experience will be explored as well as the problem of “malignant innocence” and the “borderline” dynamics that result from this sequestration. Finally, the problem of affect tolerance, affect competence and a restored capacity for feeling-aliveness will be linked to the process of Soul-recovery.
Second Session: Transactional Pathology and Treatment Approaches(January 8-11, 2018)
Clinicians working with dissociative patients rapidly discover that the defensive system is not just an inner structure, but is also a worldview—an interpretive narrative–and that this narrative, built around the inner figures in the SCS, is externalized in the field of the patient’s relationships and in the bi-personal field of the transference. Trauma-surviving patients who enter psychotherapy, do not realize that they are identified with the powers of the defensive system. Nor do they understand that their ego-identities and narratives are often constructed around generic patterns and relational schemas originating in the powers of the system, rather than a personal story, written from an animated center in themselves. The therapeutic challenge of helping these patients to integrate and reclaim their own aliveness from the deadening grip of the Self-Care-System and its victim-perpetrator narrative will be explored, as well as the frequent anger and rage that erupts as the system fights for its life, like a Golum or a Zombie.
In this weekend we will review, discuss and demonstrate various treatment techniques that are rooted in the findings of affective neuroscience, (Schore, Siegel) attachment theory (Wallin) and infant-observation (Tronick, Beebe). These will include affect-focused ways of working, with special attention to affects in the body (Ogden, Levine,) and safety in the moment (Porges). An affect-centered approach to dreams will be presented and participants will be exposed to different ways of working with parts of the personality such as Internal Family Systems Theory (IFS), and other grounded techniques such as those outlined in van der Kolk and Badenoch. This weekend will also explore the difference between authentic suffering (of the soul) and neurotic suffering (of the defended ego), as highlighted by C. G. Jung, Helen Luke, and others.
Third Session: Mystical Dimensions of Psychotherapy with Trauma Survivors(February 28-March 4, 2018)
From the very beginning, Psychoanalysts have observed the “extraordinary knowing” that sometimes manifests in the lives of gifted or troubled individuals. It is as though when trauma-surviving patients are “broken” by unbearable experiences, they are also broken open to a psycho-spiritual dimension of the psyche in which mysterious, uncanny powers reside. While these powers are often deployed defensively, they can also provide important inner resources for the survivor and give access to an alternative reality in which genuinely mystical experiences occur. Including these “spiritual” aspects in the treatment of dissociative patients can be very important in promoting a healing outcome. This weekend will review the many accounts in the psychoanalytic literature of anomalous, or extra-sensory experiences in analysis. These paranormal experiences seem to defy explanation by the normal physical laws that organize our sense of reality. Many dissociative patients have verifiable psychic abilities and therapeutic work with them often opens both partners to mysterious connecting experiences that can be disorganizing and problematic on the one hand, or powerfully healing on the other. The weekend will include theoretical discussion of the ideas of Jung on Synchronicity and the Psychoid, the theories of David Peat, David Bohm, Joe Cambray, and others.
Learning Objectives by Session:
Session One: Mapping the System Through Dreams, Transference and Film:
Participants will learn how to identify and recognize the signs of early trauma in their patients and the dissociative defenses that result from this trauma
Participants will become familiar with the typical dramatic inner structures within the Self-Care System and how they manifest in both dreams and transference material
Participants will become conversant with other psychoanalytic theories that describe the inner world of trauma from different metapsychological perspectives
Participants will explore the role of unbearable affect in the creation of dissociative defenses and how the defensive system provides an unconscious strategy for affect-regulation.
Participants will learn the role “malignant innocence” in the creation of borderline dynamics within certain patients
Session Two: Transactional Pathology and Treatment Approaches:
Participants will become sensitized to their patients’ trauma-generated interpretive narratives and how these are externalized in the relational field and in the transference.
Participants will learn ways of working “up close” in the transference and with attention to embodied affect and defenses.
Participants will gain insight into the differences between authentic and neurotic suffering in their patients.
Participants will become aware of the findings of affective neuroscience, attachment theory and infant observation as they relate to clinical work with dissociative disorders.
Participants will learn ways of working with parts of the personality or discreet “self-states” and will be exposed to the clinical features of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).
Third Session: Mystical Dimensions of Psychotherapy with Trauma Survivors
Participants will become acquainted with the historical research in the area of “visionary gifts” and other parapsychological phenomena (especially that of American Psychologist William James) and how this research is relevant to work with dissociative patients.
Participants will read the relevant literature on “extaordinary knowing” as it is reported by psychoanalysts in the course of their practices with trauma survivors and how these experiences are framed theoretically.
Participants will become acquainted with the theoretical and practical difficulties surrounding psychic abilities in their patients as they occur in the clinical setting and in the transference.
Participants will explore and come to understand the ideas of C. G. Jung on Synchronicity and how this concept can be applied to extraordinary coincidences.
Participants will explore the literature on mystical experiences and how important they can be in establishing connections between the material and spiritual worlds for those who experience them.
Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., is a Jungian psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist. He is a senior faculty member and supervisor with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, and teaches and leads workshops nationally and internationally. His celebrated book, The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit, explores the interface between contemporary psychoanalytic theory and Jungian theory as it relates to clinical work with survivors of early childhood trauma. His recent book, Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-Spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption, explores the mystical dimensions of clinical work with trauma-survivors.
Requirements: Participants are required to be engaged in some form of clinical/healing practice and to be licensed in their respective fields.
Application:Application deadline is October 12th. To apply for the program please submit a one or two page letter containing the following information: Your name, address, telephone number and e-mail, a brief review of your clinical experience, and a statement about why you are interested in the program. Letters should be sent via email to the Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payments: All participants must be paid in full by October 15th.
Scholarships: Scholarship applications are no longer being accepted for this program
Enrollment: Enrollment is limited, and is based on a first-come, first-served basis. An enrollment invitation, including further details about participation, will be sent via e-mail to those who are accepted into the program. Payment for registration fees will be processed at that time.
Continuing Education Credit:
This program meets qualifications for 74 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 74 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 74 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.