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Theoretical Foundations of Psychotherapy: Class One Fall 2010
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Theoretical Foundations of Psychotherapy: Class One Fall 2010


This is the power point presentation given during class one of Theoretical Foundations of Psychotherapy, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Thomas Elsner instructor, Fall 2010.

This is the power point presentation given during class one of Theoretical Foundations of Psychotherapy, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Thomas Elsner instructor, Fall 2010.

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  • 1. Theoretical Foundations of Depth Psychotherapy Class One Counseling Psychology Program Pacifica Graduate Institute Fall, 2010 Thomas Elsner
  • 2. Some Basis Questions in the Practice of Psychotherapy • What is the problem? • What is the goal? • How do we accomplish that goal?
  • 3. What is Your Experience So Far? • What has been healing for you? • What has been problematic for you? • Why are you REALLY interested in becoming a psychotherapist? • How do you deal in your own life with the problems you will ask your clients to deal with? • “The patient’s treatment begins with the doctor, so to speak.” (Jung)
  • 4. THEORY • THEORY 1592, "conception, mental scheme," from Gk. theoria "contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at."
  • 5. Theories are Just Theories • “Theories in psychology are the very devil. . . . [T]hey should always be regarded as mere auxiliary concepts that can be laid aside at any time.” (C.G. Jung)
  • 6. Which Theory is True? • Depth Psychology – Freud, Jung, Object Relations, Self Psychology, Psychoanalytic, Moore, Woodman • Cognitive-Behavioral • Humanistic – Rogers, Gestalt, Existential • Feminist • Post-Modern – Narrative, Brief Therapy, Solution Focused
  • 7. What is the Purpose and Value of Theory? • Who does it help? • What is its value? Its drawbacks? • Flashlight analogy. • We tend to see what we know.
  • 8. Parzival • “What ails thee?” • A question may or may not have an answer; but its asking opens up the possibility of something new, unknown, unthought-of, coming in.
  • 9. The Mythology of Psychotherapy: Archetypal Images of Healing • What are the basic principles and practices of healing that have been believed in by our species since the beginning and are still with us today?
  • 10. “Therapy” • “The word ‘Therapy’ for instance comes from the Greek verb Therapeuein which means to tend or render service to the gods in their temples. So, in the temples of antiquity, therapeuein referred to the careful attendance to cultic worship and religious ceremonies. (Edinger, The Vocation of Depth Psychotherapy, p. 10)
  • 11. Basic Characteristics of Indigenous Healing • 1) The Healer is endowed with great prestige • 2) Patient puts his trust in the person of the healer. • 3) The Healer himself or herself undergoes an initiatory illness • 4) Healing is a public and a collective procedure, often ceremonial. (Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious, p. 38)
  • 12. Loss of Soul: Something Has Got Out • “Sometimes [the soul] wanders into the world of the dead or of the spirits. The latter concept is found predominantly in Siberia, where a cure can be performed only by a shaman, that is, a man, who, during his long initiation, has been introduced into the world of the spirits and is thus able to function as a mediator between that world and the world of the living.” (Ellenberger, Discovery of the Unconscious, p. 7) • CURE = Soul retrieval
  • 13. Possession: Something Has Got In • “An individual suddenly seems to lose his identity to become another person.” (Ellenberger, p. 13) • Cure = Exorcism – Healing possession and obsession states through exteriorization of them.
  • 14. Violation of a Taboo: Guilt and Shame • “The pathogenic secret.” (Ellenberger, p. 45) • CURE = Confession and Acceptance
  • 15. Other Important Indigenous Methods of Healing • Healing through gratification of frustrations. • Healing through “incubation” • Healing through ceremonial reenactment of the initial trauma. • Healing through the retelling and reenactment of creation myths.
  • 16. How Does Depth Psychotherapy Work? • “We don’t know how it works.” (Edinger, The Vocation of Depth Psychotherapy, p. 21)
  • 17. How Does Someone Become a Depth Psychotherapist? • “In my experience every person who has devoted effort over a long period of time in his analysis to the conscious recognition of his own problems has become attractive to the people around him. . . That ‘something’ that creates in a person a healing emanation.” (Von Franz, Profession and Vocation, p. 267)
  • 18. Profession and Vocation • Vocation = a call from the gods or spirits to become a healer. – This call takes the form of a Shamanic Illness: From the standpoint of modern depth psychology, this shamanic experience amounts to undergoing an invasion of the unconscious and adequately integrating it.
  • 19. What is the Central Myth of Healing? • The myth of a healer with an incurable wound. Chiron and Asclepius. • “The wounded doctor heals best.” (Seneca) • “To be at home in the darkness of suffering and there to find germs of light and recovery with which, as though by enchantment, to bring forth Asclepius, the sunlike healer.” (Kerenyi)
  • 20. The Wounded Healer • “However, there are genuine ‘wounded healers’ among analysts . . . Such an analyst recognizes how the patient’s difficulties constellate his own problems, and vice versa, and he therefore works openly not only on the patient, but on himself. He remains forever a patient as well as a healer.” (Guggenbuhl- Craig, Power in the Helping Professions, p. 108)
  • 21. The Wounded Healer . . . • “The wounded healer IS the archetype of the self . . . And is at the bottom of all genuine healing procedures.” (Von Franz)
  • 22. . . . And the Healing Wound • “We do not cure our neuroses, our neuroses cure us.” (Jung)
  • 23. What is Your Theory of Psychotherapy? • How does it work? • What heals?
  • 24. Is There a “Pacifica” Theory of Psychotherapy? Two Main Ideas You Will Encounter • The Relationship: Empathy • Not Knowing: “Negative Capability”: “When man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.”(John Keats, Letter to George and Thomas Keats, 28 Dec. 1817)
  • 25. Edinger, “The Vocation of Depth Psychotherapy” • Physician-Healer: – Goal: Cure. • Method: Treatment • Philosopher-Scientist: – Goal: Knowledge. • Method: Dialogue • Priest-Heirophant: – Goal: Redemption. • Method: Revelation
  • 26. Shadows of the Psychotherapist “The Negative Collective Mythology of the Psychotherapist”
  • 27. What is the Shadow of the Psychotherapist? • The power complex. “One might be tempted to take over the role of the parent or of the wise man, the one who knows what is right.” (Von Franz, Profession and Vocation, p. 278) • This is a type of harm caused directly by our desire to help.
  • 28. Guggenbuhl-Craig, “Power in the Helping Professions” • As soon as we know ‘what’s best’ for our patient or student we have, in Guggenbuhl- Craig’s language, a ‘splitting of the archetype.’ One of us is all knowing and all- powerful, and the other is ignorant, neurotic and powerless. (Power in the Helping Professions, p. 7)
  • 29. The Shadow of the Doctor, Philosopher, and Priest? • The doctor . . . The one who has the power to heal . . . This lofty conception of the doctor. Shadow = Charlatan • Philosopher . . . The one who can solve all problems . . . Shadow = The heartless thinker. • The priest . . . Expected to sincerely try to act on God’s behalf and in accordance with his will . . . Shadow = False Prophet.
  • 30. The Initial Contact Between Client and Therapist • “The patient wishes to be freed from his suffering, from neurotic symptoms . . . hopes to find a redeemer . . . also for access to secret knowledge that will find a solution to all of life’s problems.” (Power in the Helping Professions, pg. 42)
  • 31. The Splitting of the Archetype of the Wounded Healer • “In the doctor, the repression of one pole of the archetype (Wounded Healer) leads to the reverse situation. He begins to have the impression that weakness, illness, and wounds have nothing to do with him . . . He becomes only a doctor and his patients are only patients.” (p. 82)
  • 32. Overcoming the Split • “Overcoming the split requires the therapist to be affected by the patient, to observe how his own unresolved issues are stirred up by the patient’s problems. In this way, the Old Woman is allowed into the room, and the therapist is ‘in the soup’ with the patient.” (Power in the Helping Professions, p. 11)
  • 33. Reflections on Becoming a Therapist • Why have I now decided to study psychotherapy at Pacifica?
  • 34. Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection “the extreme form to which the unrealized feminine assuming masculine ideals foreign to its own nature can lead is perhaps epitomized in Shakespeare’s Macbeth” • “The extreme form to which the unrealized feminine assuming masculine ideals foreign to its own nature can lead is perhaps epitomized in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.” (p. 18) QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 35. The Woman with the Skeletons (Lady Macbeth). 1906, Gustav-Adolf Mossa • “The woman robbed of her femininity through her pursuit of masculine goals that are in themselves a parody of what masculinity really is.” (Woodman, p. 7) QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 36. A Theory of Addiction: Why are People Addicted? • “ . . . Our patriarchal culture emphasizes specialization and perfection.” (Woodman, p. 10) • “Many people in our society are being driven to addictions because there is no collective container for their natural spiritual needs. Their natural propensity for transcendent experience, for ritual, for connection to some energy greater than their own, is being distorted into addictive behavior.” (p. 29) – The Magnet – The Curse
  • 37. Athena • “If we look at modern Athenas sprung from their father’s foreheads we do not necessarily see liberated women.” (Woodman, p. 9) • “Behind the masks of these successful lives, there lurks disillusionment and terror.” (Woodman, p. 12) QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 38. Medusa • “ . . . She is making her presence increasingly felt in her unquenchable cravings for something.” (Woodman, p. 9) QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 39. The Split Between the Persona and the Inner Being • “One reason people are suffering today to an almost intolerable degree is that their unmediated suffering has no conscious connection with its archetypal ground. (SOUL) Cut off from that ground they feel they are alone, and their suffering becomes meaningless.” (p. 134)
  • 40. Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul • “The great malady of the twentieth century, implicated in all of our troubles and affecting us individually and socially is ‘loss of soul.’ When soul is neglected, it doesn’t just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence, and loss of meaning.” (p. xi) QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 41. The Frog Prince QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. “What the unconscious wants . . . will assert itself either as a change of life style or as a neurosis or even a psychosis.” (Jung)
  • 42. Loss of Soul • “ . . .a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” (Shakespeare, Macbeth)
  • 43. Healing the Soul • I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections. And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill. I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help and patience, and a certain difficult repentance long, difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify. (D.H. Lawrence, “Healing”)
  • 44. Care vs. Cure • “The role of the curate was to provide a religious context . . .” (p. xv) • “Its goal is not to make life problem- free, but to give ordinary life depth and value.” (p. 4)
  • 45. Care of the Soul and the Feeling Function • Jung’s Theory of Typology – Thinking/Feeling – Sensation/Intuition – Extraversion/Introversion • The Theory of Compensation
  • 46. The Symbolic Life • The Dramatic Truth of Delusion – Crocodiles in the Sewers – “The Three Languages” • The messages that lie within the illness – Anxiety example – Eating Disorder example (p. 9) • The dream (p. 11) “The dream generated deeply felt thoughts and memories, all related to the food problems.”
  • 47. The Logic and Language of the Soul • “Faced with depression, we might ask ourselves, ‘What is it doing here? Does it have some necessary role to play?’” (p. 137) . . . • “For the soul depression is an initiation, a rite of passage.” (p. 146)
  • 48. Care vs. Cure • “I understand therapy as nothing more than bringing imagination to areas that are devoid of it, which then must express themselves by becoming symptomatic.” (p. xiii) • “The object of therapeutic treatment is to return imagination to the things that have become only physical.” (p. 159)
  • 49. Imagination • “Imagination is an authentic accomplishment of thought or reflection that does not spin aimless and groundless fantasies into the blue; that is to say, it does not merely play with its object, rather it tries to grasp the inner facts and portray them in images true to their nature. This activity is an opus, a work.” (p. 185 -- quoting Jung)