Saturday Morning/Afternoon Film and Lecture
Trauma and Psychological Creativity
presented by John Beebe, MD
Saturday, January 26th, 2008
The creativity of the psyche is never more evident than in its response to trauma. In this daylong seminar, the participants will be asked to contemplate Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, which depicts a rape and murder that takes place in a forest glade in 11th century Japan. The story is told by the participant witnesses to these traumatic events. Each story is very different and each compromises the truth sufficiently to raise the question of whether, in the end, we should only be cynical about the human psyche's "creativity" when individual pride has been challenged. Rashomon however, is also an existential and spiritual film, raising the possibility of moral creativity in the face of trauma.
To foster the group discussion that will follow the showing of the film, Dr. Beebe will examine the different kinds of creative response to trauma that are depicted in Rashomon, and will amplify these with current theoretical views of personal and archetypal defense as well as with examples from patients and artists in the West who have developed their own creative strategies for dealing with overwhelming trauma. Everyone should come prepared to participate. The goal of the seminar will be to uncover strategies for preserving the integrity of the soul in a regularly traumatic world.
Dr. John Beebe, a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst in practice in San Francisco, has explored film from a Jungian perspective in the The Journal of Film and Popular Culture, The Psychoanalytic Review, The Chiron Clinical Series, Psychological Perspectives and DreamTime. His several books include Integrity in Depth. His movie reviews are regularly published in The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal.