This Jungian Life

This Jungian Life
3 Jungian Analysts talk about life and how we grow.

77: Chronic Complaining
Sep 19 • 67 min
Complaining is universal, perhaps, like gossiping, one of the first uses to which developed language was put. Overall, a complaint can refer to a perceived legal injustice, medical symptom, or other personally painful matter. The chronic complainer feels…
076 - Animus & Anima
Sep 12 • 70 min
Although these Jungian concepts have become familiar psychological terminology, they remain difficult to understand. According to Jung, animus and anima are innate psychic structures shaped significantly by the archetypal world, whereas the shadow is…
075 - Negative Mother Complex: When Our Painful Childhood Owns Us
Sep 5 • 64 min
As the mother is the generator of life and usual primary attachment figure, the mother complex is universal. As the image of a “personified affect” fueled by an archetypal core, the mother complex is especially powerful. In its negative aspect it may…
074 - Borderline Personality Disorder
Aug 29 • 63 min
While psychiatric diagnostic labels often reify the complexities of psychological dynamics, they can also orient us to the essential qualities of a particular emotional and behavioral field. BPD is characterized by difficulty with affect regulation,…
073 - Procrastination
Aug 22 • 67 min
We all procrastinate. Tasks from making a doctor’s appointment to preparing taxes to doing the laundry invite us to put off until tomorrow what we can postpone today. We may distract ourselves by going online, doing errands, or minimizing the time a job…
072 - Puer – Puella: Trapped in the Inner Child
Aug 15 • 67 min
If the passage into fullsome adulthood is avoided, a person can be trapped in the world of childhood. This protected realm is a nexus of potential, defined by avoiding the rigors of the real for the pleasures of possibility. Peter Pan, who chose to remain…
071 - Self Talk
Aug 8 • 67 min
Although only some of us talk aloud to ourselves, all of us have inner voices, even if we are not aware of them. These autonomous parts of ourselves provide running commentary on how and what we are doing. Are our inner commentators friendly and…
070 - Dating
Aug 1 • 72 min
We define dating as the quest for serious partnership or ongoing companionship. Today’s dating world is radically different from that of even a generation ago, and is light years away from previous generations. Dating apps and social media expedite and…
069 - Retirement
Jul 25 • 61 min
The life transition we call retirement mandates a major readjustment in how time, energy and money are spent, whether retirement means becoming a “snowbird” or having a stepped-down lifestyle. Work has structured the rhythm of life and time; most have…
068 - Chronic Illness
Jul 18 • 66 min
Chronic illnesses affect many, creating diminishment of physical ability and energy for life activities. Deb, Lisa and Joseph discuss emotional factors in the loss of the healthy, autonomous self –and the possibility of a profound shift in inner life.
067 - Early Abandonment
Jul 11 • 68 min
Experiences of physical abandonment are depicted in stories old and new as ways of out-picturing traumas of early relational abandonment. Jung articulated the archetypal foundation of what later psychologists came to call attachment theory. In an infant’s…
66 - Cults
Jul 4 • 54 min
Cults tap into universal human feelings and desires, such as the need to belong and resonance to parental influence. Although as adults we are no longer dependent on family and tribe for physical survival, our psychological needs for safety and attachment…
65 - Burnout
Jun 27 • 69 min
Burnout is a relatively new term for job-related distress or an ongoing life situation that is unsatisfying, defeating, and creates a sense of despair. Burnout robs us of our sense of control and agency—we feel unable to change the troubling situation.…
64 - Voyages
Jun 20 • 62 min
Although the word voyage connotes a sea journey, this episode considers a voyage to be an intentional trip of any kind. A voyage can range from a vacation in Vegas to a pilgrimage to a sacred site. Such journeys may be solitary, or, like the famed…
63 - Tears
Jun 13 • 69 min
We all shed tears. We cry when we are sad, but also when we are glad, surprised by beauty, love, or touched by other deeply felt and uniquely human experiences. Tears, and our access to them, are part of what makes us human, and when we cannot find our…
62 - The Psychology of a Victim
Jun 6 • 57 min
We can experience powerful feelings of empathy for those who are victims of trauma in all its heartbreaking dimensions. It is difficult even to consider a shadow side to this already dark aspect of human experience. Nevertheless, it is important also to…
61 - Individuation
May 30 • 69 min
Individuation, the central concept of Jung’s psychology, is the foundational image and aspiration of Jungian psychoanalysis – and life. In this episode Joseph, Lisa and Deb circumambulate and amplify the concept of individuation and images of the Self.
60 - Psychological Dismemberment: Why We Can’t Stay Connected
May 23 • 59 min
Images of physical dismemberment are often used in fairy tales, dreams and art to depict psychological fragmentation, numbing and other forms of disconnection. Such cut-offs, dissociations, and splits may be related to earlier relational trauma, and…
59 - Offense and Outrage
May 16 • 67 min
We all take offense, from feeling miffed at a thoughtless but cutting comment to being suffused with righteous rage. Others may fail to meet our expectations, agree with deep values, or hold us in positive regard. These experiences can spark effective and…
58 - The Art & Practice of B*tchiness
May 9 • 69 min
In this episode, the archetype of the bitch is explored using fairy tales, mythology, and popular culture to shed light on this colloquial, pejorative term. The term is applied most frequently to assertive women - and to men acting in a way deemed…
57 - Ambivalence
May 2 • 60 min
Deb, Joseph, and Lisa consider various facets of ambivalence: anxiety around foreclosing options and missing out fear of regret over a possible wrong choice, or inability to raise complexes and shadow elements into consciousness.
56 - Persona
Apr 25 • 61 min
This episode, inspired by the new album by the Korean band BTS, explains and amplifies the Jungian concept of the persona. Altogether the persona is the social archetype and represents a compromise between adaption to social realities and individuality.
55 - Identifying & Integrating the Personal Shadow
Apr 18 • 72 min
Deb, Lisa and Joseph discuss some of the ways that shadow can be confronted and given a place at the table of consciousness.
54 - Chronic Lateness
Apr 11 • 64 min
Lisa, Joseph, and Deb discuss possible unconscious motivations for lateness, including its role as an inelegant effort at individuation.
53 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Apr 4 • 64 min
Joseph, Lisa and Deb discuss stages of marriage / partnership, from romantic to parenting to empty nest, and the ongoing need for evolving relational awareness, especially in discerning the difference between individual complexes and relational problems.
52 - Precognitive Dreams
Mar 28 • 63 min
Listeners contributed examples of precognitive dreams for this episode. Lisa, Joseph, and Deb discuss theoretical concepts and listener dreams from various vantage points: the intuitive capacity of the unconscious, the synchronous intersection of matter…
51 - What is Your Therapist Thinking?
Mar 21 • 64 min
Lisa, Joseph, and Deb explore and explain what the analytic process is like for them as they work with clients. Deb describes her interactions with clients using a rectangular diagram - this represents the multi-directional flow of energy in the session…
50 - Shopping
Mar 14 • 62 min
Everyone shops—we have access to an astonishing choice of products. What are we seeking for our inner selves as we shop for outer objects? For some, utilitarian objects carry libido, whereas for others shopping is an aesthetic, adventurous, relational, or…
49 - Dietary Over-regulation and the Pursuit of Purity
Mar 7 • 58 min
Preoccupation and obsession with food–orthorexia-can take the form of the quest for health and purity, with rigid rules about food categories, such as the need for all-organic ingredients or omitting food groups such as dairy, sugar, and gluten in the…
48 - Estrangement
Feb 28 • 65 min
Estrangement involves psychologically cutting-off, repressing, and defending against connection with another who has come to be experienced as “all bad.” People may move away geographically, refuse to talk to a certain person, or simply give someone the…
47 - Falling in Love with your Analyst
Feb 21 • 66 min
Eros – love – is an essential part of the analytic process. In Vol. 16 of his Collected Works Jung used alchemical images of a king and queen to illustrate the various ways in which erotic feeling can enter the consulting room. The safety of a…
46 - Hiding
Feb 14 • 64 min
Hiding can be a conscious decision, whether for fun, as in the game of hide and seek, or out of necessity, as Anne Frank’s family’s had to do. Hiding can also be an unconscious phenomenon, particularly if there has been trauma, in order to protect the…
45 - The Wall
Feb 7 • 49 min
With “The Wall” very much in the forefront of national discussion, Deb, Lisa and Joseph reflect on the archetype of walls.
44 - The Archetypal Power of Football
Jan 31 • 69 min
Football is a uniquely American sport with millions of fans, heroic teams, and stadiums reminiscent of colosseums. As the Super Bowl approaches – television’s most-watched show – Lisa, Joseph and Deb consider the archetypal underpinnings that contribute…
43 - Heartbreak
Jan 24 • 65 min
Our hearts can break over the death of a dearly loved other, including a pet…and our hearts can break over the death of a relationship and the death of our hopes and dreams, and our innocence, idealizations, and the psychic needs we believe another can…
42 - Over Apologizing
Jan 17 • 60 min
What is “I’m sorry” as a habitual response really about? There’s the preemptive apology that is offered to forestall possible criticism, the apology that evokes reassurance from others, the apology for falling short of perfection…and more. This episode…
41 - Regret
Jan 10 • 57 min
Along with a our guest podcast Brazilian Jungian analyst Leticia Capriotti, we explored the psychological underpinnings of regret.
40 - What’s Unique about Jungian Analysis?
Jan 3 • 59 min
How is Jungian analysis different from other psychotherapies? What are its major components and distinguishing features? And what makes it effective? Lisa, Deb, and Joseph discuss Jungian analysis as a nonlinear process that is not limited to…
39 - Shrink Rap Radio
Dec 27, 2018 • 77 min
This week we sat down with Dave from Shrink Rap Radio to discuss dream analysis. We hope you enjoy and happy holidays!
38 - Holiday Madness
Dec 20, 2018 • 55 min
As the holiday season approaches, we examine the tidal pull of the ancient, archetypal power of the solstice season. Because of this underpinning, together with the power of family narratives, roles, and complexes, the holidays can be fraught with intense…
37 - Narcissism
Dec 13, 2018 • 67 min
The myth of Narcissus constitutes the archetypal root of the character structure of narcissism. Aspects of narcissism run from the healthy developmental narcissism of a child to the toxic narcissism of the psychopath, but all have in common a lack of…
36 - Adulting: Leaving the Parental Path
Dec 6, 2018 • 61 min
What does it mean to separate from one’s parents and parental complexes—the attitudes and values that have been deeply instilled since infancy? How do we discern when we are in a parental complex, whether we are aligned with it or rebelling against it?…
35 - Loneliness
Nov 29, 2018 • 74 min
Loneliness is a deeply human and universal experience. Lisa, Joseph and Deb examine it from multiple perspectives: as it may be experienced in young adulthood versus older years; as reflective of the need for attachment and relational security; as…
34 - The Scapegoat
Nov 22, 2018 • 73 min
The archetype of the scapegoat goes back to the ancient Hebrew ritual of using two goats to expiate the sins of the tribe. Sin, blame, and wrongness are also often attributed to others, and this practice – scapegoating – is addressed as it occurs in…
33 - Archetypal Dynamics of Gender Transformation
Nov 15, 2018 • 75 min
Lisa, Joseph, and Deb circumambulate the difficult issue of gender reassignment.
32 - Slobs
Nov 8, 2018 • 67 min
What happens when one is held captive by the mud of messiness? We try to understand sloppiness as a defense against overwhelming emotions, ongoing enmeshment in the primal maternal matrix, a regression to a younger and less differentiated self, and a…
31 - Food Addiction
Nov 1, 2018 • 69 min
Compulsive eating is a complicated psychological and biological problem. Food addiction can be a way of defending against unmet needs by displacing emotional hunger onto food. We discuss how infant experiences with eating and soothing can shape one’s…
30 - Escaping Literalism
Oct 25, 2018 • 61 min
We consider literalism as a normal state in childhood; children’s literalism can be funny and charming. We grow first into the ability to understand metaphor and conceptualize symbols and levels of meaning. Literalism can then serve as a defense against…
29 - ENVY & JEALOUSY: Hobgoblins in Relationships
Oct 18, 2018 • 63 min
This podcast relates envy and jealousy to early developmental dynamics, with envy related to the dyad of mother-and-baby and jealousy arriving a bit later, when the child realizes that sometimes he is left out of his parent’s relationship with one another.
28 - Boredom
Oct 11, 2018 • 55 min
Boredom is not depression or dissociation, sadness or loneliness…but what is it? We consider boredom from various perspectives: lack of access to one’s inner world, a relational deficit, a defense against unwanted feelings, a byproduct of reliance on…
27 - Dream Animals
Oct 4, 2018 • 69 min
In this podcast, we focus on animals as symbols of instincts that have often been repressed in order to conform to cultural norms. Because animals have objectively known characteristics, dream creatures can provide specific clues about lost aspects of…
26 - Betrayal
Sep 27, 2018 • 67 min
The experience of betrayal is painful, confusing, and damaging to one’s basic sense of self and reality. The betrayer is often seized by feelings that demand gratification and involve self-deceit, abandonment of responsibility and empathy for the other.…
25 - The Psychology of Divination: a depth approach
Sep 20, 2018 • 56 min
Divinatory systems have been used for thousands of years as a source of help and direction to people wishing to resolve situations of personal uncertainty. Jung used the I Ching for 30 years before he met Richard Wilhelm and found confirmation of its…
24 - Motherhood as a Journey of Individuation
Sep 13, 2018 • 54 min
The experience of motherhood evokes powerful feelings, ranging from joy and bonding to anger and rejection. If we can develop a conscious relationship with these feelings, we meet both denied aspects of ourselves—our shadows—and experience the pleasures…
23 - Indecision
Sep 6, 2018 • 49 min
Many people have difficulty making decisions, whether large or small. Among other factors, the psychology behind fear of making a decision can be related to fear of making a mistake, lack of motivation, suppressed anger and aggression, and difficulty…
22 - Pressure to Conform and Differentiation
Aug 30, 2018 • 52 min
The pressure to conform to familial and cultural values provides guidelines for each new generation – and can also stifle the uniqueness necessary not only to the individual but to family and cultural health. How can we discern when differentiation from…
21 — Living with a Crazy Parent
Aug 23, 2018 • 55 min
Living with a parent who is seriously impaired can be traumatic and have lasting consequences. Fortunately, resources for healing and resilience are also available, and premature encounters with shadow can be a call to consciousness and yield gifts of…
20 — Mother-in-Law
Aug 16, 2018 • 55 min
The mother-in-law is not only the subject of many a joke but the subject of fairy tale and myth. Conflict between the older and younger woman lies in the archetypal realm, as both struggle to come to terms with differences, age, and the power of both…
19 — Sin and Transgression
Aug 9, 2018 • 37 min
In archery, sin refers to missing the mark, whereas transgression involves violation of a cultural boundary. But missing the mark or crossing a line can have positive effects as well as negative consequences.
18 — Creative Depression
Aug 2, 2018 • 38 min
Creative depression demands that we suffer a journey into the deep wells of the psyche in quest of new life. It differs from other kinds of depression in how it is imaged in dreams, its antecedents in the person’s life history, and in relationships.
17 — Lying
Jul 26, 2018 • 45 min
Lying, hiding and sneaking are examples of trickster behavior, discussed as they occur in political and personal spheres. When is this behavior in service to individuation, and when is it in service to regressive, or unconscious, aspects of the psyche?
16 — The Archetype of the Gun
Jul 19, 2018 • 41 min
Guns play a big role in American mythology from the American Revolution to cowboys and first-person shooter games. Guns are symbols of heroic power—but mythology also sounds a cautionary note about what can happen when humans arrogate super-human power to…
15 — Toxic Masculinity
Jul 12, 2018 • 38 min
How can we understand the superficial label assigned to masculine behavior in today’s meme-driven style of discourse? The Dream: I am walking on what seems to be mountainous hills. A little ahead of me is what feels like my teenage daughter and a friend.…
14 — Dreams
Jul 5, 2018 • 40 min
Jung was one of the primary theorists who added to our understanding of the psychological significance of dreams, and working with dreams is often a central part of an analytic process. What is the Jungian understanding of why we dream? What does it mean…
13 — Active Imagination
Jun 28, 2018 • 38 min
Jung pioneered the technique of active imagination, a process by which the ego engages with imagery and content generated by the unconscious. Active imagination can help us understand our dreams, and lead us into new psychic situations. On today’s…
12 — Anxiety
Jun 21, 2018 • 37 min
While it can be difficult to differentiate anxiety from healthy fear we all agree that finding an ally to stand with us makes a big difference. We explore the many underlying dynamics that can manifest outwardly as anxiety and consider the value in taking…
11 — Fairy Tales
Jun 14, 2018 • 37 min
Why do Jungians care about fairy tales? What is their relevance in analysis? How do they differ from myths, and why do they matter to us still? Find out what fairy tales have mattered most to our clients, and why Lisa gets cranky when people criticize…
10 — Synchronicity
Jun 7, 2018 • 31 min
Synchronicity is one of Jung’s most intriguing ideas — and one of the most difficult to understand. Jung coined the term to refer to coincidences that feel charged with emotion and meaning. How did Jung come to speculate on the nature of such events, and…
9 — Vampires
May 31, 2018 • 29 min
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, True Blood. Vampires are perennial stars in popular entertainment. How can we understand vampires psychologically, and what does their tremendous popularity tell us about our culture? This week, we look at the…
8 — Choosing a Life Partner
May 24, 2018 • 39 min
Sex? Money? Passion? Intellectual companionship? Kids? What are factors to consider when choosing a life partner? Should you be practical, or follow your heart? How is this decision different for men versus for women? We offer some ideas.
7 — Hearing Voices
May 17, 2018 • 36 min
The standard psychiatric understanding of auditory hallucinations is that they are a symptom of serious mental illness, and ought to be treated with antipsychotic medication, but could there other ways of understanding this phenomenon? Can such symptoms…
6 — Alcoholism
May 10, 2018 • 35 min
Is alcohol dependence a misplaced expression of a spiritual thirst, or a collapse into a regressed and infantile state? We discuss Jung’s involvement in the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous.
5 — Shame
May 3, 2018 • 33 min
What’s the difference between shaming, being ashamed, and being shamed? Which of these is most alive in the culture right now? Why do we feel existential shame, and how can it be healed?
4 — Emotional Affairs
Apr 18, 2018 • 46 min
We take a look at emotional affairs and imaginal affairs. Both are more common than you might think and can lead us into an experience of our own depths.
3 — The Shape of Water
Apr 18, 2018 • 38 min
The Shape of Water recently won the Academy Award for best film, captivating audiences with its dream-like images of an other-worldly love. What can a psychological perspective contribute to understanding this film?
2 — Hookups
Apr 18, 2018 • 35 min
Are hookups a joyous celebration of unbridled sexual expression? A defense against intimacy? All of the above?
1 — Shithole
Apr 18, 2018 • 35 min
We discuss the symbolic meaning of shit, and shithole, and wonder about shadow projection. What does Trump’s use of this term have to tell us about his psyche – and ours?