May 19 2023


5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: May 19 2023
  • Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm




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Member Event: Opening the Closed Heart: A New Look at Jungian Depth Psychology in Light of Trauma, Affect-theory, and Defense

On Friday, May 19 the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago is honored to host a Reception, Supper, and Lecture by Donald Kalsched, author of The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit (Routledge, 1996) and Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption (Routledge, 2013).

The most profound effect of severe childhood trauma has been described as an injury to the capacity to feel, and this injury is especially tragic because the capacity to feel is the window to life. Trauma’s injuries are not caused by outer events alone, but by dissociative defenses installed inside the psyche as a system designed to prevent the “unbearable” or “unthinkable” feelings from being experienced. I have called this inner self-regulatory structure the Self-Care System.

The defenses that accomplish this inner division are more destructive and violent than the defenses that Jung described in his theory of complex-formation and require both new theoretical understanding and new ways of working in the analytic situation.  In this workshop, we will witness these powerful archetypal defenses and try to understand their origins in the child’s early life.  We will also witness how the lost feeling capacity of the trauma survivor appears in dream material as a lost “child.  This “child” turns out to be a duality–on the one hand the wounded empirical child of the patient, and on the other hand the pre-traumatic innocent child representing the vital core of feeling-aliveness that we call the human soul.

In this lecture, we will explore both clinical and archetypal material that illustrate the critical ‘moments’ when the lost inner child emerges from the defensive system. We will discover that healing the “child” also means honoring the defenses that have kept this child imprisoned and out of feeling-experience.

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  • Registration Closes: 14 May 2023
  • Number of hours credit:


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