Psychology and Spirituality in Young People

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young Australians aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing, these figures continue to rise. The solution? Jung would propose a return to ancient wisdom. That is, the use of ancestral knowledge traditions that highlight the importance of connections to Self, Spirit and Nature. How can this be achieved? In therapy, mythos can be used to reframe logos—mythological stories and creative imagery can help young people to make meaning from their suffering like Sisyphus, or learn the importance of balance like Icarus. Archetypal symbols can also help youth feel connected to something greater than themselves, and their immediate problem or issue.

Spirituality means different things to different people. For Jung, it is about religious and non-religious experiences that help an individual connect with their spiritual selves through quiet reflection: time in nature, private prayer, yoga, mindfulness and meditation, music, dance or art. Jung was against dogma in all its forms. Yet he understood that spirituality is essential for individuation. In young people’s increasingly fast-paced, mediated and technologically advanced world, it is vital.

This seminar is about the practical application of Jungian psychology and psychotherapy to improve the lives of young people. In particular, how Dr Gordillo uses Story Image Therapy (SIT for short) in daily practice to facilitate young people’s spiritual, emotional and psychological growth.

Emerging research shows that spiritually integrated approaches to treatment can be effective. Moreover, there are scientifically-supported reasons to be sensitive to spiritual practice in clinical work and counselling. Unlike other life dimensions, spirituality has a unique focus on the sacred—themes of transcendence, individuation, meaning-making and connectedness. Any psychology that overlooks these, according to Toula, remains incomplete. Asking young people about their spiritual views can open the door to deeper conversations. And it is through this dialogue with the personal and collective unconscious that young people can transcend their suffering, like the phoenix rising from ash, to attain their highest potential.

About the presenter:
Dr Toula Gordillo is a practicing Clinical psychologist and Jungian psychotherapist in busy medical centres on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. She is also a former school teacher, guidance officer intensive behaviour support and acting head of student services in some of Queensland’s largest state high schools. As an international guest speaker, Toula has engaged school staff, students and parents in learning the importance of ancient stories and images for health and wellness at Wakatipu State College, New Zealand and Cambridge College, India.

Dr Gordillo is a published author of numerous academic and non-academic journals, magazines and books including: Youth Voice Journal, Viewpoint, The Artifice, Immanence – Journal of Applied Myth, Story and Folklore and Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She has been a guest speaker for the Sunshine Coast’s Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and has presented at seminars and conferences including: the Narrative, Health and Wellbeing Research Conference presented by Central Queensland University, Children’s Media Symposium hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast and the International Mental Health Conference presented by the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association.

Toula is a member of the CG Jung Society of Queensland, the International Depth Psychology Alliance, the Australian Society of Authors, The Queensland Writer’s Centre and the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (ACATLGN). Dr Toula Gordillo Dr Gordillo is the author and creator of Story Image Therapy (SIT)®, Talk to Teens and The Mythic Toolbox.

A Big-Enough Land: identity, and Self without borders

Misidentification is one of the most persistent and insidious causes of suffering and mayhem. Although developmentally we need to establish a solid and boundaried sense of ego-self and to feel a sense of belonging in our own culture (natal, or chosen later on), this means we will find our selves living on a land of borders, peopled with the acceptable; a place of exclusive invitation, guarded against potential invasion from ‘the other’ and from the unconscious. Every time we feel, “I am this, and not that,” we tend to polarise and contract.

Yet safety is a core psychological need at all ages, especially when we have suffered abuse, criticism and rejection, abandonment or trauma. So, how to negotiate a less contracted landscape in our psyche; one where we can feel safe to explore, to wander, to include and celebrate, rather than feel compelled to silence or reject our own opposites and the opposites in others. And who are we beyond the opposites?

Kris sees this negotiation as a practical activity – potentially worth pursuing because it can directly enhance our sense of freedom, well-being, wholeness and connection – but not as a moral activity of shoulds, goodness or forgiveness. This is a should-free land; this land is your land!

The tension of opposites is as ancient as light and dark, star dust and gravity; it fills Greek mythology, Vedanta, Christianity, and the ‘I, it and Thou’ of Martin Buber. It is as all-pervading and stubborn as a hundred daily annoyances; it is both stealthy and alluring.

In this presentation Kris will use Jung’s concepts of individuation, the transcendent function and projection as the basis for applying the processes of the Psychology of Selves and Voice Dialogue to this intriguing issue of identity and identification in our relationship with ourselves and with others.

About the presenter:
Kris Hines is a counsellor and facilitator in private practice on the Sunshine Coast. She has a Diploma of Counselling, a Diploma of Teaching and an M.A. in Education. She draws on an extensive experiential background in Jungian psychology through analysis, professional development, and archetypal mythology and dream work. She has presented professional development trainings for the ACA and QCA, and workshops on themes of Jung, voice dialogue, bonding patterns in relationship, myth, conflict resolution, voice, and life journey and self esteem for children and adults. Her work has also been in prisons, in Sydney and New York, and in a spiritual community in India. She is trained in Voice Dialogue facilitation and often uses its concepts in individual and couple work as a powerful way to bring unconscious patterns into the light for conscious integration. She is eternally thankful to Carl Jung for his concept of wholeness and the healing richness it brings, and for his de-pathologising of the human condition.

Images of the Jungian Influence in Psychotherapeutic Practice

Jungian theory can be intellectually demanding to engage with, and bordering on mystical in its esoteric nature. Mythological themes and complex archetypal images can be illuminating and bewildering in equal measure as one engages in the rich Jungian canon. This presentation will consider some of the less poetic aspects of the Jungian literature; some Jungian concepts that are useful in the day to day practice of psychotherapy. The argument will be made that several Jungian concepts provide the therapist with unique advantages in allowing a broader scope of consideration. The presentation will draw on the work of Jung, von Franz, Hillman and Kalsched, and will be supplemented with tales from therapeutic experience.

Paul Gibney, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and family therapist who has been in full-time private practice in Brisbane since 1988. His doctoral thesis (1993) focused on the theoretical relationship between psychoanalysis, systemic therapy, time in therapy, and the matter of context. His theoretical and academic interests and practical contributions to the field have been in the areas of brief therapy, systemic practice, Jungian psychotherapy and psychoanalytic thought. He has a deep interest in ‘everyday therapy’, and how to apply complex frameworks to the practical demands of the real world. He has consulted and supervised across a wide range of institutional settings. Paul worked as a psychiatric social worker for a decade in public practice and for ten years held a part-time senior lectureship, teaching Advanced Casework and Family Therapy in the Social Work Department at the University of Queensland. Paul currently provides consultation and professional supervision to agencies providing services in trauma recovery, child health, trans-cultural psychiatry, child protection and residential care. His current research interests are in the areas of professional supervision and developing personal frameworks for practice.

Cinderella!

When the people who attended my workshop on The Nixie in the Millpond in November last year asked, “when is the next one?”, I was only too pleased to oblige. A discussion ensued as to which story to explore in more depth – perhaps a less obscure one? And Cinderella was decided upon. ‘Endearing and enduring’ versions of this story date back to at least 1634, when Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentamerone was published, maybe 1501 when it was mentioned in a sermon, or perhaps even as far back at the 9th Century in China, as a version was unearthed again in 1932. Cinderella shows up in many countries and cultures. She goes by different names too, such as Catskin, Cap O’ Rushes, Ashenputtl and She Hsien. Cinderella is so much more than a rags-to-riches story. In the description of Vol.3 of Marie Louise von Franz’s Collected Works, she says, “The maiden is the undeveloped feminine and the promised fruit of her struggle with the animus is the coniunctio”. In this workshop we will explore the better-known versions of Basile, Perrault and Grimm through a Jungian lens. So, you are invited to give yourself permission to take a few hours out of your busy schedule and join us in delving into the ancient story of Cinderella.

Pam Blamey is a retired art therapist and counsellor, having worked with couples, women survivors of Domestic Violence, people with drug and alcohol issues, adolescent girls in care, and refugees, as well as facilitating in writing retreats. Pam has been a committed member of the C. G. Jung Society of Queensland for many years, (as Secretary for eleven years), and has presented in Brisbane and Melbourne. Specialising in story and fairy tales in particular since 2008, she has run her own workshops, recorded stories online, presented to groups and conferences and published book chapters. Fairy tales remain a source of insight and delight.

For booking, please visit: https://jungqld.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/jung-qld-newsletter-feb-to-july-2022.pdf

C.G. Jung and Alchemy: the Philosopher’s Stone and the Journey of Individuation

The study and practice of alchemy in Europe lasted from early Christian times to the end of the 17th century. It was the forerunner of the science of chemistry and also an esoteric philosophy. Jung began collecting and studying original alchemical texts from about 1930 and his writings are peppered with allusions to alchemical terms like vas, nigredo, coniunctio, hierosgamos. He concluded that those who called themselves the Chemical Philosophers (as opposed to the charlatans) unconsciously intuited that the processes and stages in the alchemical opus were equivalent to stages in psychological transformation, while the goal of alchemy – gold, or the philosopher’s stone or the elixir of eternal life – was the equivalent of the goal of psychological transformation: the Self. Anne will give a brief outline of the nature of alchemy and explain Jung’s approach.

Australian by birth, Anne Di Lauro obtained a B.A. from the University of Queensland and a Post-graduate Diploma of Librarianship from the University of NSW. After a period working at the State Library of Queensland, she sailed away to see the world. She spent 32 years living overseas, working in library and information sciences for international organisations in Italy, Geneva, Paris and New York, as well as for national institutions in the UK and Canada. Having become an avid student of Jungian psychology, on her return to Australia she obtained a Master of Counselling from Queensland University of Technology and combined this qualification with her knowledge of Jungian psychology to enter private practice as a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in Brisbane. She retired at the end of 2018.

Anne served on the committee of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland for 15 years, including a period as president. She has given talks to our Society on a variety of subjects including Pinocchio and the Hero’s Journey, James Hillman and the Renaissance, Alchemy, Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung and the East, Jung and Pauli, The Nature of the Psyche according to Jung and, most recently The Use of Dreams in Psychotherapy.

Suburban Gothic and the Sublime Divine

"Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain."
  — C. G. Jung

Artist Tanja Stark will host an interactive conversation spiralling around the archetypal symbolism and themes that have emerged in both the form and the processes around her art practice. Across a range of media, including clay, bark, and metal, her iconography explores the mysterious dimensions of the psyche, and the dynamic interplay between the destructive and creative, the visceral and cerebral, and the numinous. Jung believed the recurring mythopoeic symbolism, imagery and narratives found across cultures in art, myth and religion drew from the powerful energies of the collective unconscious. Manifesting through dreams, visions, art, intuitions, spiritual experiences and synchronicities, active attention to these expressions could provide pathways to greater integration and wholeness, while unhealthy repression, denial or unbalanced inflation of unconscious energies could result in pathology, illness and psychological disintegration. Artists, he felt, had a particularly unique and complex role in this process. “Every creative person… is a duality or a synthesis of contradictory aptitudes… Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument… There are hardly any exceptions to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine gift of the creative fire” C.G. Jung

This evening offers an opportunities to playfully explore some of the curious and synchronistic stories around the creation of Tanja’s work, and some broader ideas around the role of the arts in culture, in a relaxed end of year celebration.

Tanja Stark is intrigued by interplay between the arts, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality. She has worked as a social worker and counsellor, in research, writing and the arts and is a contributing author to books on contemporary culture and creativity by Routledge and Bloomsbury Press. She maintains fulltime art practice from her studio in Brisbane’s western suburbs.

Meaningful Coincidence in Fiction and Anecdote

While coincidences in fiction are everywhere, especially in how storylines are constructed, they are less common when it comes to depicting the potentially life-changing experiences of synchronicity, the term coined by C. G. Jung for meaningful coincidences. One author, however, who made regular use of synchronistic events in his work was the popular novelist and short story writer Paul Gallico, and examples from his stories will be given in this presentation. Juxtaposed against meaningful coincidences in fiction are those to be found in anecdotes arising out of actual events. These are generally short depictions which, unlike much of fiction, get straight to the point and can be very striking indeed. It is perhaps unfair to compare the two genres as they are distinct, though not entirely so—especially when it comes to the short stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer, many of which seem to dwell at the intersection of the two.

Also mentioned in this talk is the ‘trickster’ figure, found the world over in myths and legends. Synchronistic events commonly have a trickster quality about them: a shock of the unexpected and a revelation of direct insight in the face of paradox. One fascinating example is Eshu, a trickster deity from the Yoruba of West Africa, who is described by Robert Pelton, author of The Trickster in West Africa, as ‘pure synchronicity’.

Laurence Browne has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Queensland, where he is an Honorary Research Fellow within the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. He is the author of The Many Faces of Coincidence, published in 2017 by Imprint Academic, Exeter, U.K.

What lies beneath: working with dreams in psychotherapy

Although originally conceived as a talk directed to psychotherapists, this talk will be of interest to anyone wanting to work with their dreams. No-one can doubt that the part of our minds of which we are conscious is only a small part of the richness of the psyche. Working with dreams gives us a larger sense of self and provides a direct path to what is unconsciously influencing the issues presented in psychotherapy. Dreams also mark points of transformation and indicate the way to individuation and ultimate healing. This talk will be a practical guide to working with your clients’ dreams. We shall look at dream work in relation to C.G. Jung’s theories, as well as Robert Bosnak’s Embodied Imagination method of dream work, and illustrate the application of these approaches with case studies.

Participants will receive a list of useful questions to help in the exploration of dreams.

Australian by birth, Anne Di Lauro spent 32 years living overseas, working in library and information sciences for international organisations in Italy, Geneva, Paris and New York, as well as for national institutions in the UK and Canada. She has been studying Jungian psychology for many decades and became particularly interested in dream work when she encountered Robert Bosnak’s Embodied Imagination method. She undertook a three-year training with him and became a certified “Embodied Dream Imagery Psychotherapist”.

On her return to Australia, Anne obtained a Master of Counselling degree from Queensland University of Technology and combined this qualification with her extensive knowledge and experience of Jungian psychology to enter private practice as a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in Brisbane. She retired at the end of 2018. Anne was on the committee of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland for 15 years, including a period as president. She has given lectures to our Society on a variety of subjects including Pinocchio and the Hero’s Journey, James Hillman and the Renaissance, Alchemy, Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung and the East, Jung and Pauli, and, most recently, The Nature of the Psyche according to Jung.

Inside a Fairytale…

How would you like to spend a slow day deeply reflecting on one fairy tale, a tale full of rich symbolism that speaks to men and women?

The tale I have chosen is The Nixie in the Millpond (Grimm, No 181). We will take as much time as we need to delve deeply into the psychology, sociology and lore of this not so familiar fairy tale, using visualisation, amplification, reflective journaling and art materials. It’ll be like panning for inner gold.

Pam Blamey is a retired counsellor, art therapist and storyteller. She has presented several times to the Jung Society in Brisbane, and also in Melbourne and Swansea, Wales. She has recently completed on-line courses on fairy tales with Depth Psychology Alliance and The Assisi Institute. Pam is keen to share her knowledge and passion for stories with you again.

For booking enquiries refer to our Newsletter:
https://jungqld.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Newsletter-Jul-Dec-2021.pdf

Fairy Tales are not just for children!

There are tales for every age and stage of life. Just as dreams help us uncover what’s going on in the personal unconscious, fairy tales, or traditional stories, open up both the personal and collective unconscious to exploration and discovery. Jung’s life-long collaborator, Marie Louise von Franz is a fountain of wisdom and knowledge on fairy tales and the author of many books on the subject. These stories are rich in symbolism and metaphor, so useful for horizon-expansion and self-reflection.

Pam Blamey is a retired counsellor, art therapist and storyteller. She has presented several times to the Jung Society in Brisbane, and also in Melbourne and Swansea, Wales. She has recently completed on-line courses on fairy tales with Depth Psychology Alliance and The Assisi Institute. Pam is keen to share her knowledge and passion for stories with you again.