A Jungian approach to the struggle of working therapeutically with addiction
Dr Mary Addenbrooke & Jason Wright
Convenor & Chair: Jay Barlow
Social Dreaming Matrix: Ali Zarbafi
The conference examines working with addiction from a Jungian perspective and is aimed at therapists of all orientations and will address issues about clinically supporting and working with users who present as the other in ways that we do not always understand, and which can leave the therapist despairing and feeling hopeless.
In his letter to Bill Wilson in early 1961, Jung articulates addiction as the search for spirit in the wrong place. This idea has had a considerable influence on how addiction has been thought about in Western culture. In the form we currently experience, it is a recent symptom. It echoes back to the fall of the Roman Empire but was named as Addiction in 1906. The word is rooted in the Latin for a contract between a slave and their master and evidences those links.
This one-day event will explore, from a broadly Jungian Viewpoint, how we meet addiction now. We will consider the experience of addiction as we meet it in our practice, and the patience needed to bear the struggle of addiction release, as the patient turns from relation to a dead object to relation to living beings. We will pay particular attention to the suffering borne between the practitioner and the patient, the group which constellates around the use and its release, and the simple faith needed that life, and its complex relations, are possible beyond the dead cycle of use and anaesthesia.
The objectives: of this conference are:
• Exploring the context of addiction and working therapeutically with addiction;
• Thinking about working with users in private practice;
• What resources can the therapist offer the therapy patient suffering from an addiction;
• Considering the resources and support that therapists need when working with addiction in the consulting room;
• Understanding ways of information sharing with other professionals as a part of working with an individual patient linked to group contexts.
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