This Jungian Life

By Deborah Stewart, Lisa Marchiano, Joseph Lee

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Eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts as they engage in lively, sometimes irreverent conversations about a wide range of topics. Join them for discussion of news events, family dynamics, personal issues and more as they share what it’s like to see the world through the depth psychological lens provided by CG Jung. Half of each episode is spent discussing a dream submitted by a listener. Lisa, Joseph and Deb went through their Jungian training together, becoming friends and developing working partnerships. Now they are engaged in a new creative venture with a spirit of adventure and hope you will join them.

Episode Date
Episode 50 - Shopping

Everyone shops—we have access to an astonishing choice of products. Internet shopping has multiplied our range of options beyond what nearby retail stores may have to offer. Desired items range from mountain climbing trucks to gold jewelry to highly specialized cookware items. What are we seeking for our inner selves as we shop for outer objects? For some, utilitarian objects carry libido, whereas for others shopping is an aesthetic, adventurous, relational, or aspirational experience. Joseph, Deb and Lisa explore the possible personal meanings of shopping.


The Dream:

Winter. I'm in a remote cabin with a group of young people. Cabin is old and empty, with holes in the walls, and freezing drafts going back and forth. I feel terribly out of place, unsure who are these young people, and why I'm here with them, in this god forsaken place. Under the floor we find a frozen body of an old man: white beard, white hair, calm face as if in deep contemplation. We don't know who he is.

Suddenly, a swarm of reptiles coming at us - strange snake-like chimeric creatures. Their attack is vicious. I have a clay tablet in my hands and I use it as a shield against them. Suddenly, the attack is over. I look at my clay tablet and I see that where the reptiles attacked there is a writing in the ancient language that I wish I'd understand but I don't. I want to leave but the young people are begging me to stay. I open the door and find myself face to face with an old and gorgeous winter forest. My heart aches with longing to walk into the forest, and I decide to stay.

Mar 14, 2019
Episode 49 - Dietary Over-regulation and the Pursuit of Purity

Preoccupation and obsession with food–a condition called orthorexia--can take the form of the quest for health and purity, with rigid rules about food categories, such as the need for all-organic ingredients or omitting food groups such as dairy, sugar, and gluten in the absence of identified physiological intolerances. This overall effort to banish anxiety can take the form of an implicit bargain (eating “right” guarantees health), a strong need for ego control, elitism, specific community values, and banishing shadow by projecting it onto “bad” foods. The person may be also be seeking connection with the archetypal, or religious realm that has become concretized around food.

The Dream:

I am in a large multilevel food court in a mall which is very empty. I'm carrying a tray of food and I'm looking for my mom who I know is somewhere in the food court and I want to sit and eat with her. As I walk through the food court I become distracted looking at the food stalls. One stall, in particular, catches my attention, through a window behind the service counter I see a bustling kitchen scene, many chefs cooking, lots of steam and smoke and fire leaping into the air. I want to eat the food from this stall. As I'm looking through the window at the kitchen, I realize the window is a TV screen and the kitchen scene is just a video. I awake.

Mar 07, 2019
Episode 48 - Estrangement

Estrangement from members of one’s family and others takes place far more often than seems commonly acknowledged. Estrangement involves psychologically cutting-off, repressing, and defending against connection with another who has come to be experienced as “all bad.” People may move away geographically, refuse to talk to a certain person, or simply give someone the “cold shoulder.” Joseph, Lisa and Deb discuss the importance of setting appropriate boundaries with others and understanding that estrangement is also an internal phenomenon.

The Dream:

I see a middle-aged man fixing a fence.  The dogs that are in the yard with him are behaved -- they are not trying to go through the big opening in the fence.  Then the man is inside a house fixing the trim on a wooden doorway. I "know" him -- and I ask, "Will you treat me?" There is a deep feeling of acceptance and he says, "We will start tomorrow." I go off to get ready for tomorrow.

Feb 28, 2019
Episode 47 - Falling in Love with your Analyst

As Jung well knew, eros – love – is an essential part of the analytic process. In Vol. 16 of his Collected Works Jung used alchemical images of a king and queen to illustrate the various ways in which erotic feeling can enter the consulting room. The safety of a time-limited, fee-based relationship is important to allow a full range of feelings and fantasies to be admitted into consciousness without being enacted. Idealizing and erotic feelings for another can pave the way to finding one’s center in oneself.

The Dream:

"I was some kid, with a family. The family left me out of some event, and then they went on a hot-air balloon trip without me. After returning, when I complain, the mother announces that I'm "ready" for it, and prepares to have intercourse with me. But just then, her upper body turns into a giant snake and moved to devour me. And that woke me up."

Link to the Rosarium Images

Feb 21, 2019
Episode 46 - Hiding

Many a fairy tale features hiding as a strategic defense.  Jack, of beanstalk fame, hides from the giant in order to survive and discover his treasure. We often hide when we feel small and life events and people feel big. Hiding can be a conscious decision, whether for fun, as in the game of hide and seek, or out of necessity, as Anne Frank’s family’s had to do. Hiding can also be an unconscious phenomenon, particularly if there has been trauma, in order to protect the inviolable life of the soul. How, then, does an individual come out of hiding to discover him- or herself?


The Dream:

I was on a mountain trip in a van driven by a man with dreadlocks. He was driving myself and some others high up on the mountainside. It was a beautiful and clear winter day. I suddenly had a feeling that we were going to crash. It was a very windy road and he was driving so fast that he couldn't make the hairpin turn. We flew off the road and into mid-air. Life was suddenly in slow motion and I thought I should try to call my boyfriend while we were flying through the air and tell him what was happening. I awoke before the van started to fall.



The Inner World of Trauma and The Soul and Trauma by Donald Kalsched, PhD. Available on Amazon.

Feb 14, 2019
Episode 45 - The Wall

With “The Wall” very much in the forefront of national discussion, Deb, Lisa and Joseph reflect on the archetype of walls. Some may be stonewalls simply marking boundaries between neighbors. Others may be massive defenses like the Great Wall of China. What do walls keep out – or keep in? What do we need to create necessary separation, and what walls off connection with our own shadow that may be projected onto immigrants. When we focus on building a wall, do we neglect our internal infrastructure, health care and education—and eventually shut down our government? This discussion explores parallels between external and internal walls.

The Dream:

I am in my parents’ home and preparing to sleep, when I feel scared and I see through window just shining eyes looking at me from dark. I come closer and open the terrace door and I see an old lady, and I start yelling at her and waving with my hands to make her go. I want to scream but I have no voice and then my partner wakes me up. I was lying in bed, feeling scared for couple of moments, more...

Feb 07, 2019
Episode 44 - The Archetypal Power of Football

Football is a uniquely American sport with millions of fans, heroic teams, and stadiums reminiscent of colosseums. As the Super Bowl approaches – television’s most watched show – Lisa, Joseph and Deb consider the archetypal underpinnings that contribute to making football America’s most watched sport. They consider the light and dark sides of fandom, the hero’s journey, the battleground, and more.


The Dream:

For some reason, I brought kitty litter to the bathroom -- it was not for a cat (since I don't have one anymore) but had some other purpose. Well, as soon as I put it down, my (former) cat, Smoky immediately ran into it. I was surprised to see her, since she's been gone (dead) for years. But she was right there and obviously needed to use the litter urgently. I had the impulse to pull her away, but held back, realizing that she needs to use the bathroom and it's really important not to disturb her in doing that. Then, as I was watching her in the litter box, I saw that she was wrestling with a mouse. As I watched the scene, I saw that both Smoky and the mouse were the same size (the size of a large mouse). Smoky seemed to be winning, but it was definitely a wrestle. They were raising up dust and moving very quickly, so it was hard to see what was happening, but I saw Smoky making cuts on the mouse's back/body, and even saw some blood. I had the sense of cheering her on.  

Jan 31, 2019
Episode 43 - Heartbreak

Heartbreak is more primal, more pervasive, and more related to one’s sense of self than sadness. Our hearts can break over the death of a dearly loved other, including a pet…and our hearts can break over the death of a relationship and the death of our hopes and dreams, and our innocence, idealizations, and the psychic needs we believe another can fulfill. Heartbreak is mythological and fairy tale theme, which illustrates its central place in the human psyche, and in them we find clues to how one heals from this devastating experience.

The Dream:

I am in a distant and unfamiliar town. I enter into a restaurant, but I don’t have any money. I peek into the kitchen and casually ask one of the employees to hand me a bowl. I go over to the other side of the restaurant and begin to get some soup from the pot and eat it. Then one of the employees comes over to me, he’s speaking Spanish and I can’t understand him, but he’s clearly asking me if I paid for it. I am not really acknowledging him directly and jokingly say: no hablā Ingles. I finish the soup and casually walk out, and know at this point that the employee will try and catch me. I hide in the forest, and wait for him to pass by, then begin to run in a different direction. I see the employee running around trying to search for me. Slowly, with the help of an unknown figure that’s with me, I make it back to my car, but am constantly scanning to see where the employee is. I start driving off, but I notice almost immediately that my car is not at full power, it’s revving high and not producing enough torque or speed but continue to drive anyway. The town is small but feels kind of like a maze, and struggle to find my way out of it. Eventually the road ends and turns into a dirt trail that has tall grass further down, but there is a path where the grass had been pressed down from barn animals having stepped on it. Had it been the higher grass, I don’t think my car would have had enough power to plow through it. My car is really struggling at this point, and barely moving forward. Then out of nowhere a baby deer who appears frightened begins to run closer and closer to me, almost as if to get underneath me sort of like baby elephants do with their mother when they need protection. It no longer feels like I’m driving, but rather riding a bicycle; as the deer gets closer and closer, I keep pedaling and know that it’s eventually going to get run over. The deer gets nicked and starts crying. I stop my bicycle and pick him up, and begin to coddle and pet and kiss him. I really try to comfort him, and apologize to him repeatedly. I can feel his little wet nose sniff me as I kiss him. The little deer is so vulnerable and can’t get enough of comforting him. It gives me a warm feeling to comfort and protect him.

Jan 24, 2019
Episode 42 - Over Apologizing

What is “I’m sorry” as a habitual response really about? There’s the preemptive apology that is offered to forestall possible criticism, the apology that evokes reassurance from others, the apology for falling short of perfection…and more. This episode explores developmental, interpersonal, and intrapsychic dynamics of various kinds of habitual apologizing. We’ll be sorry if it falls short of your expectations.


The Dream:

I'm at a holiday "work party" for the very exclusive private school where I work, but it's in a big, old, rather shabby hotel that reminds me of a firehouse where my family used to have annual holiday gatherings. I'm mingling among all of the people and (as is true in my conscious life) can't seem to find a group with which I feel completely comfortable or myself. I feel like a lonely misfit in disguise,  feigning conformity and pleasant attitude.  I go upstairs to where the bathroom is supposed to be, and it feels very far away from the party--the second floor is creepily empty and quiet, with several large, empty rooms. I don't remember actually going into a bathroom, but as I'm about to go back downstairs to the party, I see an infant boy teetering at the top of the staircase on the landing. He is far too small to be walking. I immediately pick him up to save him, and he looks up at me, clearly distressed, and begins speaking as a much older child would. I ask him where his mother is, and he says he doesn't know, and is crying.


I don't remember all of what he says, but he tells me that he is in kindergarten. I hold him to my chest and he begins to calm down, eventually falling asleep. I feel affection for him and give him a kiss on the cheek, but I'm alarmed and unsure of what we will do. I go downstairs to the bartender of this party and ask where this boy's mother might be. He says, "probably in the party upstairs."  No one at the work party seems to notice or care that I have this lost baby. I go back upstairs, and as before, there is no one there--just an open door exposing a room with these creepy, industrial looking blue closet doors (almost like storage spaces) underneath a fluorescent light. I feel a deep sense that this situation is not right, and a strong determination to get myself and the baby out of there. The dream ends with me standing on the landing, baby still pressed against me.  

Jan 17, 2019
Episode 41 - Regret
Along with a our guest podcast Brazilian Jungian analyst Leticia Capriotti, we explored the psychological underpinnings of regret. We considered that sometimes regret can arise as a result of self-betrayal.  We link it to the unlived life that can haunt us and demand our attention. At times, this unlived life may reach into the ancestral past, as we struggle with inter-generational patterns. We discuss how sometimes this can lead to new creative endeavors, but at other times, there may need to be a painful sacrifice of fantasy before regret can be transformed. To avoid bitterness, we must come to love our fate, which involves sanctifying the ordinary. 
We discussed the work of genogram expert Monica McGoldrick.
The Dream: 
It is the middle of the night & I am in the shadowy living area of what appears to be an English mansion house. The room is large and high ceilinged, but is dark & shadowy. My attention is focused on a dimly lit table, where I am standing and packing to depart. I am packing my final suitcase with books - a companion is bringing the books to me but who that person is is unclear (perhaps my young adult son). The books are hard covered and old, thick & weighty. I don't know the titles - but they are from a prolific 19th century English male author who I have never felt the need to read, yet I'm taking the care to pack these. I'm sorting the books & packing with haste. While I'm in charge of the packing, I worry about what I am doing. The books are so thick and heavy & take up so much space - will I even be able to carry the suitcase? Is it a mistake packing these...will I read them?...why take these, why now, at this time? I seem to finish sorting, although I leave everything in the shadowy room. I open the heavy door made of dark wood to peer into the shadowy entryway where my other small suitcases are standing. I peak out into the darkness, keeping my eye out for danger but also for the unknown person who will come to take us away.  
Jan 10, 2019
Episode 40 - What's Unique about Jungian Analysis?

How is Jungian analysis different from other psychotherapies? What are its major components and distinguishing features? And what makes it effective? Lisa, Deb, and Joseph discuss Jungian analysis as a nonlinear process that is not limited to problem-solving or reducing symptoms. Instead, Jungian analysis is grounded in an inherent capacity to grow into wholeness, a process Jung called individuation. Jungian analysis places a high value on all the processes and multiplicities of the unconscious, from symptoms to work with dreams, in order to facilitate the integration of denied or devalued aspects of the personality. The four particular stages of an analytic journey, which may overlap, are explained: catharsis, elucidation, education, and transformation—altogether an abiding fullness of being.

The Dream:

I’m in the front room of my home. It is a farmhouse with views from the room of rolling hills. I’m looking after my two young boys inside and the room is in chaos. An unexpected visitor enters the room, it is my friend who is a vicar. We have children a similar age and I think he has come for a playdate, but I realize he has turned up for a therapy session. He wants to discuss his addiction but I can’t focus as I need to look after the children. I also wonder how I have let this happen—he’s my friend and this is my home; I feel guilty I have let this happen.

Jan 03, 2019
Episode 39 - Shrink Rap Radio

This week we sat down with Dave from Shrink Rap Radio to discuss dream analysis. We hope you enjoy and happy holidays!

Dec 27, 2018
Episode 38 - Holiday Madness

As the holiday season approaches, we examine the tidal pull of the ancient, archetypal power of the solstice season. Because of this underpinning, together with the power of family narratives, roles, and complexes, the holidays can be fraught with intense feeling, from hope to regression to disappointment. We discuss ways to manage feelings, intention, and behavior.  


The Dream:

"I am in a bathhouse (Turkish bath) and sitting immersed in the pool of warm water to my waist. I am sitting with my back to a rectangle column made out of black granite. I have my arms are stretched like a crucifix and my hands are holding onto the column that is behind me. The pool is made out of green granite. To my left there is an altar made out of cubic-shaped granite and on which sits a woman who is a sage, a seer, a fortune-teller, or a magician. She is wearing a long dress and is sitting crossed legged.  My back is hot and dries the film of water on the column and as the column dries my back leaves marks on the column. The marks are magical symbols.  They resemble the Japanese Zen art that is done by a water-wet brush on a black rock and it fades as water dries. The woman comes and looks at them and she is flabbergasted. She has never seen magical marks such as these. 

In the bottom of the pool and in front of me there is a piece of green granite with a circular metal inlay and a ring attached to the circular metal. It resembles the remains of a counterweight that would have been used in opening the gates to castles. I look at it and with the power of my mere stare the rock floats up to the surface of the water and glides on the surface. Then the rock starts skipping on the surface of water 3 times and lands on the skirt of the woman who is back on the altar."   


Dec 20, 2018
Episode 37 - Narcissism

The myth of Narcissus constitutes the archetypal root of the character structure of narcissism. Aspects of narcissism run from the healthy developmental narcissism of a child to the toxic narcissism of the psychopath, but all have in common a lack of empathy, whether momentary or chronic. We offer some thoughts on how to tell if you are in a relationship with a narcissist and what to do about it.

The Dream:

My ex-wife moves back in together, and then she starts belittling (me) like she used to when we were together, which I don’t like. After she does it a few times, I determinedly tell her to move out, and then I remember that she moved into my house, not the other way around—I don’t have to allow her to stay.

Dec 13, 2018
Episode 36 - Adulting: Leaving the Parental Path

What does it mean to separate from one’s parents and parental complexes—the attitudes and values that have been deeply instilled since infancy? How do we discern when we are in a parental complex, whether we are aligned with it or rebelling against it? What can we do to resolve the hold these complexes can have over us and become more of our unique, individuated selves?

The Dream:

I was in front of a white house. I felt like it belonged to me. Some creatures attacked. I remember two of them, one was blue and the other one red. The red one was called Prometheus. I also had allies with me, but I paid no attention to them as they were behind me. It was a fierce fight. We fought with the creatures and after awhile the creatures fled, except Prometheus. I fought with him, and in the end I subdued him, grabbing him by the head and speaking some kind of banishment to him. He collapsed. After the battle I withdrew to the house to rest. As I was catching my breath, I turned around and see Prometheus, now transformed into a lion with a fiery mane and glowing eyes. I roared like a lion trying to protect its territory and he roared back. We stood there for awhile and then he comes closer and tells me: “Don’t you see you’re everything to me?”

Kwame Scruggs’ work with young men can be accessed through:

Dec 06, 2018
Episode 35 - Loneliness

Loneliness is a deeply human and universal experience. Lisa, Joseph and Deb examine it from multiple perspectives: as it may be experienced in young adulthood versus older years; as reflective of the need for attachment and relational security; as comparable to the alchemical metaphors of calcinatio and solutio; as a call to activation in outer and inner worlds; and as a psychologically toxic phenomenon.

The dream:

I dreamt I was haphazardly packing up my family’s things after a stay at a friend’s house. In the bathroom I find I have my period and have bled through all my cloth pads. My underwear in soaked and bright red. I am overwhelmed by the color and amount of blood. Could I use their washing machine, I wonder? After some thought I decide to make a pad with toilet paper. Then I head upstairs looking for my husband and kids.

Going up I remember that we considered buying this house once but decided it was too big and needed too much work. It’s beautiful now. I go upstairs to the attic. There are deep rich rugs and walls in browns and reds, quiet tables and chairs. It feels good. High ceilings, 30 feet, but the space is still warm and encompassing. My family is here. I see the kids' bunk bed to the left. In front of me is a huge window with a view of an enormous maple tree in full red color. It is astonishing, such beauty, leaves rustling. Talking with my husband I recall how when we last saw this place it was derelict, holes in the roof, floor boards missing, pipes exposed. A real mess. The transformation is incredible. I think of the work and expense it was to bring those windows up! I love this place.

To the left there is another huge window split in three sections and shows a long view across plains to distant mountains. We are shockingly high. The view is beautiful but suddenly I fee dizzy. I am afraid of heights and need to sit down. My son is fooling around near the windows. I tell myself he’s fine but I am still afraid. Are the windows sound? I tell myself he’ll be fine, my husband is with him, but can’t tolerate the feeling. I head for the stairs down.


Nov 29, 2018
Episode 34 - The Scapegoat

The archetype of the scapegoat goes back to the ancient Hebrew ritual of using two goats to expiate the sins of the tribe. Sin, blame, and wrongness are also often attributed to others, and this practice – scapegoating – is addressed as it occurs in current culture, in families, and in individual psychology.

The Dream:

I hiked to a “primitive” tribal village. I went there as a researcher, perhaps an anthropologist. As I was standing talking to one of the men, an angry woman with a crying infant stomped toward our area and plunged her infant (backside first) into a plastic basin of water as if to drown her. Bubbles came from the infant’s mouth while under water. I started to run over there to rescue the baby, but the man (or something) held me back. The woman pulled the baby out of the water, looked at her face briefly, and then plunged her back into the water – this time face down. At this, I immediately ran to the baby and pulled her out of the water. I held her face down and pounded on her back in an attempt to get the water out of her lungs. While I was watching/doing all of this, I was aware that I wanted to save the child, not because I cared about her, or because I cared about children in general, but because I knew what it felt like to drown. Water came out of the infant’s mouth, she coughed a lot, and then seemed okay. She was able to breathe. The angry mother had stood there watching me. She was now calm. She wanted her baby back, and although I felt apprehensive about returning the child, I did. The woman and child seemed fine. I wanted to have the child removed from the abusive, dangerous environment, but the mother reassured me everything was fine. I had to leave. The mother was smiling as she cradled her baby; she seemed genuinely happy/content, but I still worried a bit about the infant.  

PAJA (Philadelphia Association of Jungian Analysts)

Nov 22, 2018
Episode 33 - Archetypal Dynamics of Gender Transformation

Lisa, Joseph, and Deb circumambulate the difficult issue of gender reassignment. They discuss the significance of teen girls wishing to transition and the current tendency to foreclose the meaning of this and move rapidly into medical procedures, a process of concretization instead of curiosity and exploration. Lisa discusses previous examples of symptoms and their diagnoses in history, leading to an understanding of the influence of cultural factors on mental illnesses and diagnosis. Finally, gender reassignment is considered as a Promethean venture, and although it is now possible to challenge the gods of genetics, it is also truly awe-full. We suggest that gender transitioning, like much else, can be psychologically transformative only if there is a conscious relationship to it.

Lisa's writings on the topic include three articles in Quillette:

Misunderstanding a New Kind of Gender Dysphoria

Transgenderism and the Social Construction of Diagnosis

Trans Activism's Dangerous Myth of Parental Rejection

This article in the Jungian journal Psychological Perspectives:

Outbreak: On Transgender Teens and Psychic Epidemics

And a chapter in this book, which also includes a chapter from UK Jungian analyst Bob Withers:

Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body



The dream:

I am lying in bed with a man I do not know and we are both naked. We are covered by a thin blanket. The man's right hand man comes in the room to discuss something with him. The man in bed with me gets up and does not clothe himself but nonchalantly takes off his penis and hands it to me. It is not bloody or gory and he seems to know that he can put it back on; I am just holding it for him. I'm not sure what to do so I take it under the blanket and lay it on my lower abdomen. The man tells his partner, as he points at me, that he should take a picture for his Dad because they see the outline of the penis under the blanket.

Nov 15, 2018
Episode 32 - Slobs

What happens when one is held captive by the mud of messiness? We try to understand sloppiness as a defense against overwhelming emotions, ongoing enmeshment in the primal maternal matrix, a regression to a younger and less differentiated self, and a tendency to overvalue objects as compensation for an inadequate ability to symbolize.
The dream:

I am swimming in an indoor public pool with others when waves begin to occur for no apparent or antecedent reason. I am in a pool that shouldn’t have waves. As the waves begin to bob me around, the water level rises dramatically, quickly. The water reaches nearly to the top of a cinderblock retaining wall that is protecting a sunny, sacred green forest glade with a shrine far down below. Another person I don’t recognize, also male about my age begins to chip away at the retaining wall, cracking, crumbling it until it gives way. Darkness rushes in violently, and I awake to see myself in the third person floating in dank, dark blue, murky water that is endless in form and size. A graphic overlay of five hearts (much like a Zelda video game’s heart display) is shown on top of me as I float, alive but ultimately devoured by the flood.

Nov 08, 2018
Episode 31 - Food Addiction

Compulsive eating is a complicated psychological and biological problem. Food addiction can be a way of defending against unmet needs by displacing emotional hunger onto food. We discuss how infant experiences with eating and soothing can shape one’s relationship to food in adulthood. Two fairy tales tell of parents with insatiably devouring babies and illustrate the consequences of failure to develop affect regulation and how that can lead to various vulnerabilities to addiction.
The dream:

My skin (not sure what body part) had green mold on it, like the intense green mold that grows on an orange. When I try to peel it off, I discover it is about a centimeter thick and that it comes away in spongy chunks leaving a very uneven skin surface—once again, like the contrast between peel, pith, and segments of an orange. I feel alarmed. I stop peeling worrying the whole structure will collapse.

Nov 01, 2018
Episode 30 - Escaping Literalism

We consider literalism as a normal state in childhood; children’s literalism can be funny and charming. We grow first into the ability to understand metaphor and conceptualize symbols and levels of meaning. Literalism can then serve as a defense against uncertainty, as ego’s resistance to any threat to its power, and as a refusal to  confront unwelcome truths from the unconscious. A symbolic attitude, however, opens the inner world to adventure, mystery and creativity.


The dream:

I had a wild animal skin. At first, I thought it was a zebra skin but then I realized it something more rare and dangerous, the skin of a white tiger. I knew it was wrong and illegal to have it but I loved it and it felt so warm, comfortable, and safe to be inside of it.


Oct 25, 2018
Episode 29 - ENVY & JEALOUSY: Hobgoblins in Relationships

This podcast relates envy and jealousy to early developmental dynamics, with envy related to the dyad of mother-and-baby and jealousy arriving a bit later, when the child realizes that sometimes he is left out of his parent’s relationship with one another. Envy is related to early narcissism, a sense of inferiority and primal emotions, often resulting in the urge to destroy the envied person or object. Jealousy, because it is related to longing, can motivate a person to strive for what is desired. Rumi, a Persian poet, wrote about existential and universal aspects of longing for the divine, and how, inherent in the longing, lies connection.


The dream:

I was in a house, standing in the kitchen, an attractive and intimate young couple exits one of the rooms, there greet me and leave. The male is playful, the female is glowing they are happy. Beside me on the table is a red book, I felt as though I had written part of it. The number '22' and 'Libra' stand out. I look towards the front door, my ex fianceé walks in, she approaches me and walks right past into a dark room as I point to the book. She did not stop, make eye contact or acknowledge my presence. Her eyes had lost all sharpness, swollen, glazed over and zombie like, powerless and filled with vile, I sensed only a flickering of life within her. Surprised that I was not startled. I waited in the kitchen with fear that she may emerge from the dark room and abuse me for having 'rearranged' her things.


Oct 18, 2018
Episode 28 - Boredom

Boredom is not depression or dissociation, sadness or loneliness…but what is it? We consider boredom from various perspectives: lack of access to one’s inner world, a relational deficit, a defense against unwanted feelings, a byproduct of reliance on technology to command attention, and lack of access to enlivening transpersonal energies. We surmise that the antidote to boredom lies in the ability to pay attention, as this can generate connection and meaning.


The dream:

I had a rather strange dream the other night where I was on a bridge. A very long bridge and on this bridge were statues of people. They were all in different positions but seemed like they were marching but frozen in place. When I intensely looked at one of them it started to move and break open free. I think I did the same thing to other statues and they moved. The next part of the dream I was at the beginning of the bridge and I saw that tall giant woman. It was an uncle’s wife, she is a doctor, very beautiful, and she looked like a queen or had that feeling of wearing a crown. Very regal. And she talked down to me giving me advice that I can’t remember. The next part of the dream she was wearing alluring black top and shorts.


Oct 11, 2018
Episode 27 - Dream Animals

In this podcast, we focus on animals as symbols of instincts that have often been repressed in order to conform to cultural norms. When some aspect of our instinctual nature returns to us as a dream animal we can find ourselves fleeing, fighting, denying, or befriending an aspect of ourselves represented by that animal. Because animals have objectively known characteristics, dream creatures can provide specific clues about lost aspects of ourselves that we may need to reclaim. Finding the right relationship to our inner animals can contribute to our wholeness.


The dream:

I am in the kitchen in our house (the house is huge with very big kitchen and back door leading from the kitchen to what it seems like a farm yard) and trying to prepare some food. My father (who is not living with us in my dream and is separated from my mother) bursts in the kitchen. He is drunk and looking for food to eat. His dog is following him. The dog is very beautiful German Shepherd like, the long hair type variety and completely beige/blond in color. I love the dog very, very much. My father isn’t in a good mood. He starts digging in the fridge for food and complaining that there isn’t anything to eat. He starts pushing things and shouting that there isn’t even any fruit to eat. I am trying to calm him down and give him some of my fruit I bought for breakfast. He is getting more demanding and greedy insisting I give him more and more. I am getting upset, as I am not going to have any fruit left for my breakfast. On the following day the whole scene in the kitchen repeats again. I am giving my father cherries and he keeps asking for more until he gets all my cherries. When I run out of cherries (which I really love and wanted to enjoy eating, so I am very upset he took them all from me) he starts demanding I give him all my blueberries too. I give him some, but he keeps insisting for more and he is getting very greedy. His hands are full and he can’t hold any more blueberries, but he keeps asking for more. The blueberries are starting to roll off his hand and fall on the floor. I am growing more upset and angry at him. I am trying to get him to stop demanding more and go away. The feeling that I hate him and my anger and feeling of disgust towards him are growing inside of me and I am about to burst out shouting and who knows what else. I am already half shouting at him to stop being so greedy. At this moment the dog starts to half bark, half cry very loudly and I know this means my mum is coming back home. My father’s dog adores my mother and always reacts like that when she is around. In the next moment my mum enters the kitchen through the back door and the dog runs to her for big hug and pet. My mum adores the dog too. We all do. He is such a beautiful and cuddly thing and I couldn’t understand why it is with my dad. I always wished the dog stayed with us when they split. We all felt like we lost a sibling…I almost felt like I don’t want to see my drunk, horrible and greedy father, but I don’t want to lose his dog and in order to see the dog I have to put up with my father’s greed and bad behavior (Strange)…. I wake up


We referenced The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Symbols, ARAS (Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism), Taschen publishers, 2010.


Oct 04, 2018
Episode 26 - Betrayal

The experience of betrayal is painful, confusing, and damaging to one’s basic sense of self and reality. The betrayer is often seized by feelings that demand gratification and involve self-deceit, abandonment of responsibility and empathy for the other. Are there ever times when betrayal is necessary for growth, either as the betrayed or the betrayer? Can betrayal be used as a call to deepened feeling, increased consciousness and more creative self-expression?

The Dream:

I was in a house that belonged to my parents, but it wasn't a house my parents have ever actually lived in. My boyfriend and I were fooling around in the bathtub. I was enjoying myself but he warned me that we were making a mess. I turned around and saw that we had somehow flooded the bathroom with several inches of water. I started to panic about how angry my parents were going to be.
There was a radio on the floor that was an actual radio that my dad owned when I was a child. I was afraid to step out of the tub and into the water because I thought I'd be electrocuted. I was able to lean out and unplug the radio, and music that I hadn't realized was playing stopped. I jumped out of the tub to grab a bucket to try to deal with the water, but by then most of it had drained away. I was trying to scoop up what was left and dump it down the drain. My boyfriend wasn't helping and I was getting mad at him. He seemed to think it wasn't any big deal because the water was almost gone. I told him that the water had obviously drained into other parts of the house, causing damage, and that my parents were still going to be angry.

Sep 27, 2018
Episode 25 - The Psychology of Divination: a depth approach

Divinatory systems have been used for thousands of years as a source of help and direction to people wishing to resolve situations of personal uncertainty. Jung used the I Ching for 30 years before he met Richard Wilhelm and found confirmation of its usefulness in Wilhelm’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower. We explore the value of divination through the I Ching and the Tarot, and link this to the concept of a unified field that can facilitate a healing relationship with the Self.

The dream:

"I’m sitting on a concrete ledge. A few feet below is mud. A loved, beaded bracelet slips off into the mud and begins to sink. I know I cannot reach it. The feeling of anger and frustration toward myself and the situation distracts me for so long that when I regain clarity I realize it’s late, and I am far from home. I also become aware of a family of brown bears below, a mother and two cubs, father some distance away. The need to get away from the bears and find a safe place to sleep takes over. I look behind me into a beautiful, green grassy space and see a metal fenced off area about the size of a basketball court. A cage with no roof! I run to it for safety, whilst the bears meander calmly in the distance. Although they appear peaceful, I know that if parents’ protective instincts kick in then I’m in danger. I find the gate to the cage and let myself in, questioning if bears can climb the fence. I’m terrified they’ll see and hear me, so resist the urge to move fast. I quietly, slowly slide the lock on the gate across. Feeling safe and relieved, I look around for somewhere to lie down. It’s all very muddy, which surprisingly doesn’t faze me. I find a spot and lie down, settling into the soft mud, although when I roll over I see that I have lain down next to huge, twelve-foot-tall gorilla, which I initially think is a bear who is asleep but rolling over and toward me, about to land on me! My final thought before waking is if that rolls onto me I will never get away. How did I not notice it was there?"

In selecting the topic for this podcast, we are pleased to acknowledge and, we hope fulfill, the request of a listener, Colin P.


Here's a link for The Matrix and Meaning of Character`

And here's a link for the I Ching app.

Sep 20, 2018
Episode 24 - Motherhood as a Journey of Individuation

The experience of motherhood evokes powerful feelings, ranging from joy and bonding to anger and rejection. If we can develop a conscious relationship with these feelings, we meet both denied aspects of ourselves—our shadows—and experience the pleasures and enrichment of mothering that serve the individuation process. 

You can learn more about Lisa's work on motherhood here. 

The Dream:

I was visiting the home of a friend who doesn’t exist in the real world. She lives with her mother in a house near woods in another state. She’s very talkative and a good friend but is ill and can’t work. We hung around the house and laughed and talked, can’t recall what about—shared history, I guess. I was sure this was not my first visit and we’ve known each other a long time. To stress again, the person in the dream is nobody I’ve ever met in real life. We connected well but I had to go. I wanted to call her but didn’t have a phone number. She said she would email me. I woke with a sense of confusion that my friend didn’t actually exist.

Sep 13, 2018
Episode 23 - Indecision

Many people have difficulty making decisions, whether large or small. Among other factors, the psychology behind the fear of making a decision can be related to fear of making a mistake, lack of motivation, suppressed anger and aggression, and difficulty accepting the limitations and ordinariness of adulthood.

The Dream:

Last night I had what felt like an important dream. I was in a big new house. In one room I was just waking up with the cousin who is closest to me. The room was dark and filled with shadows. The other room was filled with light and I saw a woman waiting for me to wake up. We had both gone to the kitchen and as she got closer she was a girl I had a crush on in high school in very much detail. In high school I was always afraid to come talk to her—now she was coming to me. She was wearing my boxers and tank top and saw me and went right to the fridge and pulled out some tea. One of her friends was there too, whom I knew but didn’t know too well. We were all talking and having fun but with me and her, we kept looking at each other, drinking tea and coffee. I had the sense that something great is coming into my life.

Sep 06, 2018
Episode 22 - Pressure to Conform and Differentiation

The pressure to conform to familial and cultural values provides guidelines for each new generation – and can also stifle the uniqueness necessary not only to the individual but to family and cultural health. How can we discern when differentiation from established norms is in the service of meaningful growth and soul versus avoidance of necessary developmental challenge? This podcast engages this issue as both interpersonal and intrapsychic conflict.

The dream:

A recurring dream I have had for years. I am in someone else’s house and unable to find my way to my bedroom to sleep. I open doors and wander corridors. There are other people around. Sometimes I find my room to find other people in my bed. Sometimes the house is a holiday cottage or a university hall of residence, or a hotel or a huge rambling house. I never find a place to sleep.

At Home in the World: Sounds and Symmetries of Belonging (Zurich Lecture Series in Analytical Psychology) by John Hill 


Aug 30, 2018
Episode 21 -- Living with a Crazy Parent

Living with a parent who is seriously impaired can be traumatic and have lasting consequences. Fortunately, resources for healing and resilience are also available, and premature encounters with shadow can be a call to consciousness and yield gifts of effective and creative depth.

The dream:

My band mate and I are in an underground burial chamber which is dimly lit by torches. At some point we come across a large tomb/coffin. The coffin was black and was decorated with golden “stick figure” men with very large, erect penises. They looked a lot like prehistoric cave drawings of people. There was a smaller coffin inserted into the top of the larger, which could be removed and slid back. My band mate removes the smaller coffin and opens the lid; inside is the rotting, decaying body of an infant girl. It’s at this point in the dream I remember feeling particularly unsettled. At that point both of us knew we were supposed to be the two-wheeling this coffin out of wherever we were. We were supposed to be the funerary procession.

1996, The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit ... Routledge, NY.

Aug 23, 2018
Episode 20 -- Mother-in-Law

The mother-in-law is not only the subject of many a joke but the subject of fairy tale and myth. Conflict between the older and younger woman lies in the archetypal realm, as both struggle to come to terms with differences, age, and the power of both youth and age.

The Dream:

Somehow my baby’s right arm has come completely out of her socket and is completely detached. I try to put it back into her socket, hoping for a miracle (which doesn’t happen) so I put her back into her cot. Later, I look for her, thinking I need to feed her but cannot find her. I search high and low, still there’s no baby. By chance, I find her in another room, it was like she was deliberately moved there. Her skin is very cold but she is alive. Her arm is still detached. I’ll have to take her to the doctor’s, I think, and get her arm sewn on, if that’s even possible. I wake up.

Aug 16, 2018
Episode 19 -- Sin and Transgression

In archery, sin refers to missing the mark, whereas transgression involves violation of a cultural boundary. But missing the mark or crossing a line can have positive effects as well as negative consequences.

The dream:

I am outside, in the yard of an old, but well-maintained house. The house is off-white, but I couldn’t say if it was gray off-white or beige off-white. There are other people here but I don’t pay them much attention because I am looking at my left hand. It has been injured—the skin across my knuckles has been torn and crudely stitched up. The skin is buckled between stitches and several are infected. I think to myself, no wonder things are a mess!

Aug 09, 2018
Episode 18 -- Creative Depression

Creative depression demands that we suffer a journey into the deep wells of the psyche in quest of new life. It differs from other kinds of depression in how it is imaged in dreams, its antecedents in the person’s life history, and in relationships.

The Dream:

I was gardening and all my seeds were failing. The plants they were producing looked old and withered as they broke the soil. I went to a water barrel to irrigate the sad plot and instead of water, there was a red liquid in the barrel. Not sure if wine, blood…it didn’t seem significant. I siphoned some down a hose to the garden and what looked like snow started falling and covering the garden. Then in a back corner of the garden, I saw movement…when I approached the spot, I saw a person stand up from under the soil. As if he had a gown like a plant. I don’t know who it was in waking life, but in the dream, he seemed familiar. I remember being more intrigued than bewildered by the person. Then I woke.

Aug 02, 2018
Episode 17 -- Lying

Lying, hiding and sneaking are examples of trickster behavior, discussed as they occur in political and personal spheres. When is this behavior in service to individuation, and when is it in service to regressive, or unconscious, aspects of the psyche? 

The dream:

I had a dream a couple of days ago where I was cut in half by a shaman. The setting of this dream occurred in my backyard. The shaman was Aztec it seemed. At the same time I was a shaman too, who was willing to be sacrificed by this shaman. He cut me in half with a ceremony knife and as he cut snakes came out of my body. An extension of this dream was of a snake crawling up my spine to talk to me. I don’t remember what it said.


Jul 26, 2018
Episode 16 -- The Archetype of the Gun

As three analysts, we explore the archetype of “the gun” from a Jungian psychological view and seek to understand it’s influence in the collective psyche of Americans. Guns play a big role in American mythology from the American Revolution to cowboys and first-person shooter games. Guns are symbols of heroic power—but mythology also sounds a cautionary note about what can happen when humans arrogate super-human power to themselves.

The dream: 

When I was a child, around ages 7 to 8, I would dream that my bedroom was covered in lizards. I’d wake up and jump to the floor, run to my parents’ bed, and climb in between them. Sweating, I’d look up to see the eye of a red dragon. Suddenly I was in an old-time saloon and the dragon would just be staring at me. That ‘s all there was to it, but it was repetitive.

Jul 19, 2018
Episode 15 -- Toxic Masculinity

How can we understand the superficial label assigned to masculine behavior in today’s meme-driven style of discourse?

The Dream:

I am walking on what seems to be mountainous hills. A little ahead of me is what feels like my teenage daughter and a friend. It’s kind of like twilight. Then I see a giant size footprint on the hillside. Huge, like a natural wonder-of-the-world type of site. I point at it like the way one does when one sees something pretty or interesting on holidays. Then I take a photo.

Jul 12, 2018
Episode 14 -- Dreams
Jung was one of the primary theorists who added to our understanding of the psychological significance of dreams, and working with dreams is often a central part of an analytic process. What is the Jungian understanding of why we dream? What does it mean if we don't dream, and what are some ways of learning to work with dreams? We discuss things one can do to help with dream recall, and ponder whether we dream all day long, even when awake. We also talk about the nature of symbols in dreams and dream series. 
The dream:
I ran into a male friend who I have not seen for a few years in the lobby of a ridiculously high-end hotel. I was wearing only a towel. He asked me to join him in his room, which was called “the mermaid aquarium,” along with a female friend of his who was already in the room. Somewhere along the line in the hotel lobby he bought me orange-scented perfume. I found his room. I just remember entering the room and seeing two nude women lying on the bed wearing exotic jewelry.
Jul 05, 2018
Episode 13 -- Active Imagination
Jung pioneered the technique of active imagination, a process by which the ego engages with imagery and content generated by the unconscious. Active imagination can help us understand our dreams, and lead us into new psychic situations. On today's episode, we share some personal examples of active imagination, discuss some suggestions of how to engage in it, and explore what active imagination has to do with snorkeling. 
The dream:

I am about to light four candles on the dining room table, each in its separate candlestick. They are ivory-colored tapers and are about two-thirds consumed already. Two of the burned wicks are quite short and two are long, curling at the top. I am arrested by this fact as it seems significant and I’m somewhat afraid of getting it wrong somehow.

Jun 28, 2018
Episode 12 -- Anxiety

“We don't so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems.”

CG Jung


Anxiety is one of the most common complaints that bring people into therapy. While it can be difficult to differentiate anxiety from healthy fear we all agree that finding an ally to stand with us makes a big difference. We explore the many underlying dynamics that can manifest outwardly as anxiety and consider the value in taking a heroic stance as we face our inner dragons. Inspired by Jung, we can come to appreciate that working with our anxieties rather than running from them gets the best results.


The dream:

“I’ve had Repeated dreams for many years about human feces in different forms.”



Jun 21, 2018
Episode 11 -- Fairy Tales
Why do Jungians care about fairy tales? What is their relevance in analysis? How do they differ from myths, and why do they matter to us still? Find out what fairy tales have mattered most to our clients, and why Lisa gets cranky when people criticize fairy tales for being sexist.
The dream:

I dreamt of a big cockroach. It was standing like a human and it was going to be transformed. 

Book mentioned:

The Book of Symbols

Jun 14, 2018
Episode 10 -- Synchronicity

Synchronicity is one of Jung's most intriguing ideas -- and one of the most difficult to understand. Jung coined the term to refer to coincidences that feel charged with emotion and meaning. How did Jung come to speculate on the nature of such events, and what role did theoretical physics play in shaping this theory? How can you be sure a coincidence is, in fact, meaningful? We each share an example of a synchronicity from our own experience.

The dream:

My son jumped into the sea in a dockyard against my wishes and didn’t resurface.

Jun 07, 2018
Episode 9 -- Vampires
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, True Blood. Vampires are perennial stars in popular entertainment. How can we understand vampires psychologically, and what does their tremendous popularity tell us about our culture? This week, we look at the transformation of the vampire archetype, explore how vampires live in all of us psychologically, and trace the return of the feeling function in modern vampire images. 
The dream:

This is a repeating dream. I am still at school but have reached well into middle age. I am unwilling to stay there, unwilling to study or sit for any exams as I have already qualified as a nurse. I wish to go and secure a job.

May 31, 2018
Episode 8 -- Choosing a Life Partner
Sex? Money? Passion? Intellectual companionship? Kids? What are factors to consider when choosing a life partner? Should you be practical, or follow your heart? How is this decision different for men versus for women? We offer some ideas.
The dream:

I was in my parents’ house. My mother was showing me some renovations she had done in the bathroom. Suddenly, in the mirror, I saw myself behind me charging toward me. I turned around in terror, but there was nobody there. I turned back to the mirror and saw myself again, looking pretty demented, charging toward me. Again I turned around, but there was nobody there.

May 24, 2018
Episode 7 -- Hearing Voices

The standard psychiatric understanding of auditory hallucinations is that they are a symptom of serious mental illness, and ought to be treated with antipsychotic medication, but could there other ways of understanding this phenomenon? Can such symptoms ever have meaning in their own right? We explore whether voices could sometimes be the psyche's attempt to heal itself. In the show, we mention the Hearing Voices Network.

The Dream: 

I was walking along on a frozen lake near the shore. Suddenly the ice under my feet gave way and I felt myself falling through. My boots were immediately soaked, pulling me under. My coat quickly became too heavy. As my head slipped below the surface, I saw my mother walking some distance from me. She didn’t see me; nobody did. I didn’t make a sound. I only had time to think: this is my death, and nobody will see me. I was going down very quickly, with no time to even struggle. About 1.5 meters below the surface, I had a final quick thought; maybe I’m dreaming. Then I woke up.

May 17, 2018
Episode 6 -- Alcoholism

Is alcohol dependence a misplaced expression of a spiritual thirst, or a collapse into a regressed and infantile state? We discuss Jung's involvement in the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Jung's letter to Bill W.

The Dream:

I’m accused of something I’m guilty of: loving the pharaoh’s daughter as she was my own. There are pictures and notebooks on my bag that prove it. So I’m dismissed from my post as guard. I end of on the floor; they paint my face black. The pharaoh and the other guard go through my stuff. On several occasions, they are about to find the proof that I’m guilty, but there are a lot of other notebooks and books in my bag, so they don’t find the incriminating ones.

May 10, 2018
Episode 5 -- Shame

What’s the difference between shaming, being ashamed, and being shamed? Which of these is most alive in the culture right now? Why do we feel existential shame, and how can it be healed?

The Dream:

I was on one side of the Grand Canyon with my graduate school classmates and it was daylight. We all had on our caps and gowns. There was a thin land bridge reaching over to the other side where there stood significant others, homes, and other symbols of a great future. My classmates were running across smiling and throwing their caps up into the air. I let them all go because I wanted some space to run by myself. It started to get dark and I didn’t see anyone I knew on the other side for me. The land bridge turned into a rope ladder with dowels that was strung horizontally across. I had to crawl across in the dark by myself.

May 03, 2018
Episode 4 -- Emotional Affairs

We take a look at emotional affairs and imaginal affairs. Both are more common than you might think and can lead us into an experience of our own depths.

The Dream:

I was with my eldest child and my husband. We were in my old hometown. I suddenly felt an urge to visit an ex-boyfriend. I knew he was unwell even though I hadn’t spoken to him for many years—call it a sixth sense. I said to my husband and child, “We must go to his house as all is not well.” We got there and entered the house via the back door. My ex-boyfriend was sitting on his sofa, dressed in women’s clothes. He was dead.

Apr 19, 2018
Episode 3 -- The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water recently won the Academy Award for best film, captivating audiences with its dream-like images of an other-worldly love. What can a psychological perspective contribute to understanding this film?

The Dream:

I was in a large, dark room. About twenty feet away was a door opening toward me with very bright light. A tall man with dark hair was looking at me. The dream happened again the next night. Same room, I was five feet away, still bright light and the man was opening the door about one-third of the way as if he was curious why I was there.

Apr 19, 2018
Episode 2 -- Hookups

Are hookups a joyous celebration of unbridled sexual expression? A defense against intimacy? All of the above?

The Dream:

I am at a family reunion. I see two women on the sofa at each end. They are identical twins. I am shocked. I did not realize we had twins in the family. I see a young child sitting on the floor between the twins. The little girl gets up and is trying to walk. She falls back and hits her head. I try to run and catch her but I do not make it in time. I am upset.

Apr 19, 2018
Episode 1 -- Shithole

We discuss the symbolic meaning of shit, and shithole, and wonder about shadow projection.  What does Trump’s use of this term have to tell us about his psyche – and ours? 

The Dream: 

I was in a flooded house. The house had two living rooms. Both were flooded. In one room was a television set with empty birdcages. The water short-circuited the television set and afterward, the birdcages came alive with birds, including a dead bird my mom once had. Also, a cat that ran away was on my lap. In the other room were two other birdcages, one with a stick standing straight up and a baby crow in the other. When I opened the cage with the stick the crow flew away and an open vista with a straight road opened up in front of me.

Apr 18, 2018