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MIRRORS TO THE SOUL: Dreamwork as a Dialectical Process

  • Saturday, September 12, 2015
  • 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Wesley Seminary, Elderdice Room, 4500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016


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Saturday, September 12


Melanie Starr Costello

In dreams we put on the likeness of that one universal truer, more eternal man dwelling in the darkness of primordial night . . . ; there he is still the whole, and the whole is in him, indistinguishable from nature and bare of all egohood. -C.G. Jung

This workshop places the contextual and narrative elements of night dreams within the larger framework of the psychology of the Self. As seedbeds for Self-emergence, we compare the phenomenon of dreaming in adulthood with maternal mirroring functions in infancy. We then differentiate defining features of the "personal dream" (tending to day-to-day psychic balance) from those of the "big dream" (addressing universal human dilemmas). An emphasis will be placed upon cosmological, environmental, and theological themes as we celebrate the work of the dream in bridging the psycho-spiritual development of the individual to emerging streams of consciousness in the collective psyche.

5 CEs for Psychologists. This program is sponsored by the Jungian Analysts of Washington Association (JAWA). JAWA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. JAWA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Seminar Objectives: At completion of this seminar participants will be able to: 1) outline the construct of the Self as a psycho-somatic unity in Jungian psychology 2) describe at least 4 functions of the Self as the central organizing archetype of the psyche 3) differentiate personal from archetypal content in night dreams 4) elucidate the means by which "personal dreams" promote psychological stability 5) describe the psychological and environmental conditions that typically activate "big dreams" 5) apply imaginal techniques and amplification of symbols as therapeutic tools

Schedule: 10:00-12:30 The mirroring function and the dream experience 12:30-2:00 Lunch 2:00-4:00 A dialectical approach to dreamwork 4:00-4:30 Summary and course evaluation

Readings: C.G. Jung (1969). The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9,II, Aion. Second edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-35. C. G. Jung (1969). The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 8, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. Second edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 237-297.

Melanie Starr Costello, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, historian, and Zurich-trained Jungian analyst in private practice in Washington, D.C. She earned her doctorate in the History and Literature of Religions from Northwestern University. A former Assistant Professor of History at St. Mary's College of Maryland, Dr. Costello has taught and published on the topics of psychology and religion, mystical spirituality, aging, and clinical practice. Her study of the link between illness and insight, entitled Imagination, Illness and Injury: Jungian Psychology and the Somatic Dimensions of Perception, is published by Routledge press.


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The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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