A Jungian Approach to Early Relational Trauma with Marcus West

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Date(s) - 02/07/2016
9:45 am - 12:30 pm

Cambridge - Friends Meeting House


Marcus West

The perspective of trauma has often been tragically (and scandalously) lost from psychoanalytic thinking and practice, or at least given only token recognition. The innovations in the understanding of trauma in the last two decades have been slow to be integrated with analytic theory, and a split has often developed between analytic and trauma-based ways of working.

In this talk I will outline an approach which puts early traumatic experience as central to analytic work, and will introduce a developed conceptualisation of Jung’s concept of the complex, which embodies trauma-related internal working models and primitive responses to the trauma itself. I will suggest that this perspective sheds new light on traditional analytic difficulties, for example, borderline states of mind, and will outline the subtle but far-reaching shifts in analytic understanding that this entails.

I will explore, in detail, the intersubjective nature of the analytic relationship and look at the journey that the analyst may need to undertake themselves in order to maintain an analytic attitude and work safely and effectively in this area.

Marcus West is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology working in private practice in Sussex. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology and is currently Chair of Psychotherapy Sussex. He is the author of a number of published papers, and was joint winner of the Michael Fordham Prize in 2004. He is the author of three books, Feeling, Being & the Sense of Self, Understanding Dreams in Clinical Practice, and, Into the Darkest Places – Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind (in press).

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