By Dale Mathers
Alchemical symbols are a part of pop culture, so much lately popularised within the Harry Potter books. Alchemy intrigued Carl Jung, the founding father of analytical psychology. It encouraged him as he wrote ‘the pink Book’ - the magazine of his voyage of inner discovery. He committed a lot of his existence to it, utilizing alchemical symbols as metaphors for subconscious techniques. Alchemy and Psychotherapy explores the difficulty of alchemy within the consulting room and its software to social and political matters. This publication argues opposed to the dominant discourse in modern psychotherapy - clinical materialism - and for the invention of non secular meaning.
Alchemy and Psychotherapy has 4 major sections:
‘Alchemy and meaning’ - appears on the historical past of alchemy, really the logo of the coniunctio - sacred marriage - a metaphor for the healing relationship.
'The symbolic attitude’ - explores operating with goals, fairytales, astrology and the physique: each one of that's a symbolic language.
‘The spirit and the typical world’ - discusses the concept that of 'burn out' - of therapists, our ecological assets, the magical elements of quantum physics and the philosophical underpinning of image formation.
‘Clinical Applications’ - indicates alchemy’s use with sufferers of abuse, these suffering to safe gender id, in anorexia and in ‘social healing’ - atonement and restorative justice - which observe the belief of the coniunctio.
Alchemy and Psychotherapy is illustrated all through with medical examples, alchemical photos and poetry which emphasise that alchemy is either an artistic paintings and a technology. Bringing jointly individuals from a variety of disciplines, Dale Mathers and members express that treatment is either paintings and technology, that the consulting room is the alchemical laboratory, and that their learn is their artistic engagement. Alchemy and Psychotherapy might be a invaluable source for practitioners, scholars in any respect degrees of psychotherapy, analytical psychology, psychoanalysis and artistic, art-based treatments and for artistic practitioners (in movie, literature and acting arts) who draw on Jung’s rules.
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Additional info for Alchemy and Psychotherapy: Post-Jungian Perspectives
Following this, a mysterious substance called the prima materia had to be found. This is described as something right under your nose, yet you might have to spend your whole lifetime searching to ﬁnd it. It is that which you reject and despise and it may require a long perilous quest to ﬁnd it. Once the alchemist had the prima materia he placed it in a mortar, pulverised it with a pestle, mixed it with the ignis innaturalis and then left it out all night to be moistened by the morning dew. There would then be an extremely long period of waiting for the right moment to proceed.
For example, ‘depression’ – existential angst and spiritual pain – is distilled into a disease with an ICD4 deﬁnition, treated with medication and ten sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy. All three discourses – by encouraging us to think in certain ways, rather than for ourselves – involve power dynamics. In alchemy, this is clear enough. The male adept does the magic, the female helper, the soror mystica, does the work and gets dirty. There is obvious gender power in the discourse. And analysis/therapy/ counselling is hierarchical.
Modernist discourses often take as facts what we’d call ‘faiths’. To mistake symbols for facts, as well as being a philosophical category error, is a premature closure which stiﬂes creativity. Developmental psychology and neuroscience are useful, if not essential, attempts to describe ‘things as they really are’, but they capture what it is to be human as successfully as reading a cookery book captures the taste of real food. Too often, these discourses are used as recipes. For example, ‘depression’ – existential angst and spiritual pain – is distilled into a disease with an ICD4 deﬁnition, treated with medication and ten sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy.