Transforming Complexes as Pathways to Vocation

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Transforming Complexes as Pathways to Vocation

A presentation by Dr. Suzanne Cremen

Friday, March 8, 2019 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: St Mary’s Anglican Church Hall
455 Main St. Kangaroo Point, QLD 4169
Admission: Members & Concession: $10 • Non-members: $15

"Our torments also may, in length of time, become our elements"
  — John Milton, Paradise Lost

Image: Gustave Dore, Paradise Lost 1866

Could your sensitivities, wounds and preoccupations – your complexes – hold the missing key to the treasure of your vocation?

A complex is an impulse, pattern of behaviour, recurring mode of imagination, obsessive thought or particular fantasy which keeps you in its grip. According to Jung, the via regia to the unconscious was not, as Freud thought, the dream, but “the complex, which is the architect of dreams and of symptoms” although the complex is “more like a rough and uncommonly devious footpath” than a royal road (CW8, para. 210). We all have complexes, but when a complex remains autonomous and untransformed, it can easily chain a person to unfulfilling work or inhibit the pursuit of an authentic calling.

Drawing on fascinating stories from interviews with individuals, in this lecture Suzanne explores how a more conscious understanding of one’s complexes can be revelatory for the discovery, choice and conduct of one’s vocation. Complexes may stem from personal wounds (often originating in childhood); the collective wounds of the individual’s culture; or the traumas and patterns of previous generations. A Jungian approach suggests that the complex be treated not merely as a historical wound but that it has a teleological function, whereby the psyche leads the individual towards new horizons and an unfolding vocational direction infused with passion and commitment.

Dr. Suzanne Cremen serves as adjunct faculty at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA and is the founding director of the Life Artistry Centre for Archetype, Imagination and Vocation in Melbourne.

She holds two Masters degrees from Pacifica and her PhD thesis was on a depth psychological approach to vocation and career development. Her background includes working as a lawyer, conference producer, screenwriter, publisher and career counsellor for adults in midlife. Dr Cremen has presented and chaired on the applications of archetypal psychology at major international conferences, including in New York and Québec. She is a past president and honorary life member of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland.