The Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine and Discovering a Personal Access to the Force
Dennis Merritt, PhD, Jungian Analyst and Ecopsychologist
The Force Awakens arrives at a propitious moment in the history of planet Earth. Opening days before the 2015 winter solstice and the Christian version of its celebration, its ending can be interpreted as a hope that individuals and cultures will turn towards the light of greater consciousness and have the courage to confront the roots of terrorism, violence, and the harsh realities of our deteriorating environment.
1.The Dark Side of Life
The Dark Side in The Force Awakens is led by Supreme Leader Snoke, his generals, and a mysterious leader hell bent on finding and eliminating the last of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker. Skywalker went into exile after one of his students went over to the Dark Side. The faces of evil in real life are clearly evident in the leaders of Boko Haran, Isis, and the Muslim couple responsible for the killings in San Bernardino. Where does one draw the line on the question of evil? We see the disturbed young men who murdered children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary and moviegoers at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. We are horrified by the policeman who pumped 16 bullets into a young black man on a Chicago thoroughfare. More subtle but far deadlier in the long run are the multitude of faces that created the systems, particularly in America, that funnel wealth to the top 1% of the population and deny the overwhelming scientific evidence of human induced climate change. Severe wealth inequality leads to a deteriorating quality of life for millions in terms of health, housing, educational opportunities, and increasing violence. Delaying action on the elimination of fossil fuels means greater losses occurring sooner from massive droughts, floods, severe storms, food and water shortages, and the creation of millions of climate refugees. We are all complicit in environmental degradation, for the activities of ours species will be responsible for the elimination of 30 to 50% of the other species on the planet mostly through the adverse effects of climate change. The strange December weather in the US is a timely reminder that all is not well in Bethlehem and beyond.
Dr. Punnett will show how the constellation of the orphan archetype with its accompanying feelings of isolation, anguish, and despair can act as a catalyst for the individuation process. Jungian theoretical concepts will be woven into her presentation of the case of an 11-year-old boy, including his sandplay process. Her work with the boy will also demonstrate how, when working with children, there is always the potential that parents see progress and want to end the child's therapy too soon. She will discuss how she worked with this problem and invite discussion from the participants.
Dr. Punnett will have copies of her recent book, The Orphan, for signing, which can also be ordered through the publisher, Fisher King Press.
In the afternoon, Dr. Sherwood will discuss the psyche's survival strategies in response to actually being orphaned, including the case example of a young girl and her sandplay process. We will see how the healing capacities of a child's psyche are constellated and expressed symbolically. The case example will serve as a basis of looking at ways these survival strategies also appear in situations in which a person feels emotionally abandoned, including reactions to the therapist within a therapeutic setting.
Participants need not be child therapists in order to benefit from this program and apply it to life experience and to working with patients.
Audrey Punnett, Ph.D., received her diploma in both adult and in child and adolescent analysis at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She is also a Teaching Member and past President of the Sandplay Therapists of America (STA). She has lectured nationally and internationally on the archetype of the orphan. Her private practice is in Fresno, California.
Dyane N. Sherwood, Ph.D., received her analytic training at the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, where she was certified as both an adult and as a child and adolescent analyst. She is a Teaching Member of the Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) and International Society of Sandplay Therapy (ISST). She has taught widely on topics in Jungian psychology such as alchemy, active imagination, implicit communication, attachment, and working with trauma. She is the author of articles and book chapters, and the most recent can be downloaded from her website, http://dyanesherwood.com. She is in private practice in Oberlin, Ohio.