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EARLY TRAUMA: the Lost and Recovered Soul in Psychotherapy, a lecture with Donald Kalsched

  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Zoom, Eastern Time


This program is not recorded


When relational trauma strikes the developing psyche of a child, a split sometimes occurs in which a wounded and “innocent” part of the self retreats into the unconscious where it continues to live in suspended animation as a lost soul--often represented symbolically in archetypal material as a lost or orphaned ‘child.’ Deprived of this lost core of aliveness, the outer personality struggles to survive in a “de-animated” world, often becomes depressed, and sometimes seeks psychotherapeutic help. Depth Psychotherapy offers the opportunity for renewed contact with the lost soul and hence for renewed feeling-life, creativity, and relatedness—but not without fierce resistance thrown up by the psyche’s defensive powers.

How the psychotherapy process invites the lost soul back into relationship, in the face of these defenses will be the focus of this lecture and discussion. Through a series of clinical vignettes and relational moments, as well as in typical fairy tales and mythological motifs, Dr. Kalsched will show how the splitting and dissociation occasioned by early trauma, are gradually healed in the evolving process of depth psychotherapy.

Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Jungian Psychoanalyst who practices in Brunswick Maine. He is a member of the C. G. Jung Institute of New England, and a training analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. 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 thought 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 (Routledge, 2013) explores some of the mystical dimensions of clinical work with trauma-survivors. For more information or to contact Dr. Kalsched, visit

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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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