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41st Annual Jungian Conference

Trauma and The Lost and Recovered Soul  

Special Guest Speaker:
Donald Kalsched, PhD

SATURDAY,  May 14th,  2016    10:00 AM  ~  5:00 PM

audio file available to Club members upon email request


When relational trauma strikes the developing psyche of a child, a split sometimes occurs in which an "innocent" part of the self retreats into the unconscious where it continues to live in suspended animation as a lost soul.  Deprived of this lost spark, the outer personality struggles to survive in a "de-animated" world, often becomes depressed, and sometimes seeks psychotherapeutic help.


As psychotherapy begins, however, a dramatic struggle often ensues within the therapeutic relationship.  This struggle results from the fact that a "vow" has been made deep within the psyche of the trauma survivor, never to allow the lost heart of the self into relationship again.  The lost soul secretly "wants" to emerge and re-attach, but primitive dissociative defenses prevent this return, encapsulating the true self and leaving it imprisoned by the dark powers of the archetypal world—what Jung called "possession by spirits."  Dreams during the psychotherapy process often demonstrate such "possession," revealing both the "lost soul" and its "spirit protector" now turned persecutory.  And fairytales describe a similar "bargain" with spiritual powers in which a "child" is given up to a witch or demon and must subsequently be rescued.


How the psychotherapy process, with its combination of intimacy and separateness, invites the lost soul back into relationship, will be the focus of this lecture/workshop.  Through a series of clinical vignettes and transference/countertransference "moments," (each followed by an important dream)  Dr. Kalsched will show how the splitting and dissociation occasioned by early trauma, are gradually healed in the slow relational process of depth psychotherapy.

Course objectives:


  • Identify and analyze examples of familiar fairy tales which deal with the theme of the rescue of the traumatized child.

  • Illustrate the relationship between the traumatized psyche and dreams of the injured person.

  • Describe how the depth psychotherapy process contributes to healing of the trauma that has occurred in the life of a child.

Donald Kalsched, PhD is a Jungian psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist with a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He is a senior faculty member and supervisor with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, and teaches and leads workshops nationally and internationally.  His celebrated book The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit (Routledge, 1996) explores the interface between contemporary psychoanalytic theory and Jungian theory as it relates to practical clinical work with the survivors of early childhood trauma.  His more recent book, Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption, explores some of the spiritual dimensions of clinical work with trauma-survivors.  He and his wife Robin live in Santa Fe,New Mexico. during the winter, and summer in Newfoundland, Canada.

Link to Donald Kalsched's website

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