Synchronicity and analytic attitude

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Date(s) - 25/01/2020
10:00 am - 12:30 pm

1 Daleham Gardens, London NW3 5BY


Synchronicity and analytic attitude

Martin Schmidt

Bernini 1622

In this paper, I revisit George Bright’s (1997) seminal paper ‘Synchronicity as a basis for analytic attitude’ (Journal of Analytical Psychology, 42 (4), 613-635) as a platform for understanding a Jungian approach to analysis. Developments in emergence theory, and in particular Cambray’s (2002) work on ‘Synchronicity and Emergence’ (American Imago, 59, 4) supports the view that analysis itself can be seen as a synchronistic event.  I explore the salient features of the analytic attitude, how it is understood in psychoanalysis and compare differences between Jung and Freud’s orientation to the clinical encounter.  With the use of clinical examples, I illustrate how a receptivity to synchronistic phenomena informs a Jungian analytic attitude.

[This paper was originally presented as a plenary paper at the 6th Chinese Psychoanalytic Congress (2019) in Shanghai.]

Martin Schmidt, MBPsS, is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology in full time private practice. He has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in psychiatric rehabilitation for over 20 years with patients suffering from psychosis, narcissistic and borderline personality disorders.  Since 2016, he has been the Honorary Secretary of the IAAP and its Regional Organiser for Central Europe.

He teaches and supervises widely both in the UK and abroad.  He has published numerous papers in international journals. His paper ‘Psychic Skin: psychotic defences, borderline process and delusions’ (Feb 2012, 57,1) won the Fordham Prize for best clinical paper in the JAP in 2012 and was nominated for the Gradiva award by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, New York in 2013.

Chair: Rupert Tower

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