In the Chinese language, the two characters representing crisis are danger and opportunity. Can that possibly be true of these days of pandemic crisis, with physical, economic, and psychological destabilization? Voices of experience and wisdom speak to us about finding potential in desperate situations.

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The archetype of origins is in resurgence since the advent of ancestry-mapping programs. What are the psychological and symbolic meanings of ancestry? Identity is often strongly linked to ancestry in its ethnic and cultural aspects, and as the carrier of personal traits.

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Should an analyst share personal information with clients? Freud believed that the analyst should be devoid of personal presence, so he sat unseen behind his famous couch. Jung realized that regardless of theory, psychotherapy entailed two people in a room interacting. 

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“The word plague derives from the Latin plangere, “to strike the breast as if in lamentation.” The novel coronavirus has visited loss, fear and hardship on many. Nature in her destructive mode can radically disrupt cultural creations and norms and show us how fragile they – and we — are.”

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“Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.” For Eeyore, only perverse possibilities lie ahead, even if they are unknowable. Do gloomy expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies? Or are pessimists more realistic than naive optimists like Winnie the Pooh? Pessimism can be associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and more. It may also motivate preparation and striving, especially if the pessimist believes he or she can overcome significant obstacles and succeed. 

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We can all cite examples of behaviors that defy reason and meaning. How can we understand X shouting those things at a party, or the bizarre thing Y filmed himself doing on YouTube? There is a great array of psychological labels for such behaviors, as if pronouncing them “histrionic,” “manic” or even “drunk” explains radical actions and cascades of feelings.

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“The power of projections to hit psychic targets serves both defensive and integrative functions. Projections are a natural aspect of psychic functioning, as we know from watching children at play: we first see inner images “out there” in order to experience them internally.”

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Recent severe environmental events have made facing climate change urgent. We talk with Jeffrey Kiehl, PhD, climate scientist, Jungian analyst, and author, about bringing a psychological perspective to our present situation and the process of change.

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As we grow, unconscious unity becomes differentiated into feeling, ego, personality and desire. As we grow, we will have initiatory encounters with shadow, demanding the sacrifice of innocence and identification with ego. The story of Adam and Eve conceives this archetypal experience as the fall. The stories of Job, Faust and even the children’s tale, […]

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