Alchemy and Psychotherapy – PSY 511

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Alchemy was a natural science that represented an attempt to understand the material phenomena in nature. However, as C.G. Jung tells us, everything unknown and empty is filled with psychological projection; and what the alchemists saw, or thought they saw in matter, was chiefly the data of their own unconscious processes. Consequently, an understanding of alchemical processes and stages is a fertile source for understanding and facilitating the experimental modes of the psychological transformation that Jung called individualization, the heart and soul of depth psychotherapy. This course will consider alchemical symbolism and images as they concretize these experiences of transformation in psychotherapy, including an examination of the mystery of the conjunctio as it unfolds in psychotherapy.

 

 

COURSE SESSIONS AND TOPICS

Session 1 | Psychology and Alchemy:
The Psychic Nature of Alchemical Work & Psychotherapeutic Process

Session 2 | The Opus, the Prima Materia, and the Spirit Mercurius

Session 3 | Alchemical Processes: Calcinatio & Solutio

Session 4 | Alchemical Processes: Coagulatio & Mortificatio

Session 5 | Alchemical Processes: Sublimatio & Mortificatio

Session 6 | Alchemical Processes: Separatio & Conjunctio

Session 7 | The Mystery of the Conjunctio and Psychotherapy:
The Mercurial Fountain & The King & Queen

Session 8 | The Couple: The Naked Truth & Immersion in the Bath

Session 9 | The Couple: The Conjunctio & Death

Session 10 | The Couple: The Ascent & Return of the Soul

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THIS COURSE

Outcome 1: Students will be able to describe the depth psychological approach to Alchemy.

Outcome 2: Students will be able to recognize the basic concepts of Alchemy and describe how they relate to fundamental psychological processes.

Outcome 3: Students will be able to list the seven alchemical processes as they manifest in the psyche.

Outcome 4: Students will be able to explain how the seven alchemical processes relate to the practice of depth psychotherapy.

Outcome 5: Students will be able to articulate the concept of the “psychotherapeuticcouple”

Outcome 6: Students will be able to discuss in written assignments the stages of psychotherapy as they are imagined in the illustrations of the Rosarium Philosophorum

Outcome 7: Students will be able to explain the alchemical perspective on transference and counter

 

PROFESSOR

Michele Papen Daniel, Ph.D. | A Jungian analyst with a private practice anda faculty member of the Analyst-Training Program at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. Dr. Daniel is particularly interested in the trajectory of Jung’s thinking that began with Gnosticism, led to Eastern religion and finally, to Western Alchemy as a means for understanding the psyche and its processes. She is committed to his idea that the practice of depth psychology is synonymous with the personal development of a spiritual (yoga) discipline in which psychic energy is withdrawn from the world of objects and introverted for the purpose of psychological and spiritual transformation.

 

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PURCHASE AUDIO / VIDEO

The lecture series from this course is also available for independent study.
>> Click Here to order these course materials.

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