The APTC In collaboration with The Society of Analytical Psychology

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Date(s) - 07/11/2021
10:45 am - 2:45 pm




William Meredith-Owen

In collaboration with The Society of Analytical Psychology

This talk has its origin in a paper (JAP 2005) by Jeffrey Morey in which he presented a correlation of this striking image – “Athene arising from the head of Zeus” – drawn from an alchemical emblem book of 1617, with the “splitting headache” dream Winnicott experienced in the wake of completing his controversial review (IJAP 1964) of Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Winnicott’s contention that Jung “started off knowing (about the Self) but lacked a self with which to know” effectively draws a challenging line between the objective, collective, unrepressed psyche of Jung and the subjective, personal, repressed unconscious of Freud: yet his dream, “which cleared up an element of my psychology that psychoanalysis could not reach”, self-confessedly bridges these two perspectives that have for so long regarded each other with mutual suspicion.

One implication of this alchemical image of the bearded contemplative accepting (self) sacrifice in order for the Athene (Self) figure to emerge is that the work of psychoanalytic introspection, leading to a relinquishment of narcissistic preoccupation, must necessarily precede any sustainable engagement with the “objective psyche”. Narcissus cannot see beyond his own image into the depth of the pool.

Although not of course couched in such terms I believe some such premise underpinned much of the alchemical opus, particularly its European flowering in the C16 & C17. This day conference is an invitation to consider this possibility in the company of the richly enigmatic imagery which expressed it.

William Meredith-Owen is a Training Supervisor with the SAP and former committee member of the Analytical Psychotherapy Training Committee. He is the author of several papers, is currently Consultant Editor to the JAP, and continues in private practice in Stratford-Upon-Avon and London.

Booking APT Lecture November 2020 (

Respondents: Hellen Mabhikwa from the Analytical Psychotherapy Training: Birmingham and Marcus West from The Society of Analytical Psychology.

During the afternoon, Hellen Mabhikwa and Marcus West will make brief responses to William Meredith-Owen’s lecture and contribute to the final plenary.

Hellen Mabhikwa is a Jungian Analytical Psychotherapist working in full-time practice in Birmingham and Leamington Spa. She is a member of the Analytical Psychotherapy Training Committee at the West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy and teaches on their training. She has also taught on diversity for the Society of Analytical Psychology.

Marcus West is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. He is author of a number of book chapters and papers, including one on alchemy: ‘Self, other and individuation: resolving narcissism through the lunar and solar paths of the Rosarium? (JAP Feb. 2020). He has also written three books, one on identity and narcissism, one on dreams, and a recent book, Into the Darkest Places: Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind (2016). He works in private practice in West Sussex.


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