A Depth Psychological Approach to Suffering
Ethical Society of Philadelphia
1906 Rittenhouse Sq
When suffering strikes, it is helpful to find a framework through which we may understand it, rather than seeing suffering as a random event in one's life. The approach of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is of limited help, because there are many forms of suffering which are normal given the circumstances of the person's life. As well, even in the presence of emotional disorder, people with the same diagnosis suffer in unique ways and require a personalized approach.
Traditional religions all offer explanations for suffering and the reasons for it, and we will consider some of these, but depth psychology has its own unique approaches. This seminar will describe some of the ways in which we may search for meaning in suffering, and will discuss suffering as an experience of liminality and initiation into a new level of consciousness. We will also discuss an approach to suffering based on radical acceptance.
Lionel Corbett, MD,
trained in medicine and psychiatry in
England and as a Jungian Analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. His
primary interests are: the religious function of the psyche, especially the way
in which personal religious experience is relevant to individual psychology;
the development of psychotherapy as a spiritual practice; and the interface of
Jungian psychology and contemporary psychoanalytic thought. Dr. Corbett is a
professor of depth psychology at Paciﬁca Graduate Institute, in Santa Barbara,
California, where he teaches depth psychology. He is the author of numerous
professional papers and four books:
Psyche and the sacred: The religious
function of the psyche:
The sacred cauldron: Psychotherapy as a
and most recently The soul in anguish:
Psychotherapeutic approaches to suffering.
He is the co-editor of: Jung and aging; Depth psychology, meditations in the
field; Psychology at the threshold,
and Psyche's stories.
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