Inner Life of the Holidays: Symbols and Rituals of Renewal


Inner Life of the Holidays – Symbols and Rituals of Renewal 

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

A six-hour seminar with Jonathan Young and Anne Bach. As nights begin to grow longer, festivities stimulate the senses and stir poignant memories. Popular stories, customs, music and images are rich with nostalgia, awakening hopes for fulfillment. Archetypal aspects of such traditions can be guides to personal integration and psychological maturity.

This course investigates seasonal issues as opportunities for growth. Instruction includes coming to terms with emotional vulnerability, and self-care for those in helping professions. The main focus is on autumn and winter events, but other special days are considered as well, in this exploration of the psychological dimensions of gatherings and celebrations.

Open to everyone. The course is not just for psychotherapists. It is open to all those interested in archetypal perspectives. The lectures are presented at the introductory level and require no background in mythology, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology. 


Jonathan Young, Ph.D., PSY10231, is a psychologist storyteller, and writer on mythic stories. He assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell at seminars and was the Founding Curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library. His books and articles focus on personal mythology. Dr. Young is on the faculty of the University of Philosophical Research     

Anne Bach, M.S., MFT 38891 is a specialist in uses of writing in psychotherapy. She gives presentations on creativity as inner work at major conferences, and lectures widely on psychological dimensions of expressive writing. Her clinical background includes poetry therapy with residential mentally ill patients.   


In person: $140 with CE credit   ~   $95 non-credit

Webinar: $95 with CE credit   ~   $45. non-credit

Learning Objectives:

- Discuss psychological elements of festive gatherings.

- Explain how archetypal patterns appear in seasonal customs.

- Describe how life-stage issues are stimulated by holidays. 

- Detect how weather shifts impact inner experience.

- Assess underlying issues in holiday stress.

- Recognize how personal rituals can aid fulfillment. 

Day Schedule:

10:00: Underlying emotions in family gatherings

    – Expectations and realizations

    – Psychological dimensions of gift giving

11:15 – Break (approximate time)

11:30: Seasonal activities as yearning for illumination

    – Popular films as representations of nostalgia and longing

    – Effects of music, television, and public events

12:30 – Lunch Break

1:30: Winter rituals, religious observances, and symbolism

    – Traditions and their psychological dimensions

    – Archetypal readings of ancient images

2:30: Ancient stories and modern enactments

    – Familiar tales and personal renewal

    – How holidays influence personal mythology

3:00 - Break (approximate time)

4:00: Unconscious elements of the season

    – Hopes, losses, excesses and rewards

5:00 – Course concludes – Total 6 hours (RNs 7 hours)

CE Credit Information:

The material is presented at an introductory level, requiring no background in mythic studies, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology. Non-credit: Those not needing verification of attendance, such as teachers, writers, clergy, and artists – are welcome as non-credit attendees. Spouses, friends, students, and others not needing verification of attendance can also choose the lower non-credit tuition. 

Continuing Education hours are available for psychologists, marriage & family therapists, social workers, nurses, and other mental health professionals. The course meets CE requirements in most states. The certificate of completion will be provided by the Center for Story and Symbol. 

The following CE credits are available:

Psychology, MFT, LCSW, LPCC : 6 CE hours, Nursing: 7 hours. Most teachers must get credits approved by their school administration. Credits are provided by the Center for Story and Symbol. Center courses meet the requirements in most states. 

CE Hours: 

Psychology, MFT, LCSW, LPCC, Ed Psych: 6 CE hours   –   Nursing : 7 hours 


Psychology ~ The Center for Story and Symbol is approved by the American Psychology Association to sponsor continuing education hours for psychologists. The Center maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents. CE hours are accepted by the California MCEP program. Full attendance is required for psychologists – No partial credit. The level is introductory for psychologists. 

MFT, LCSW, LPCC ~ California BBS Provider Number PCE 3903 

RN ~ Provider approved by the Calif. Board of Registered Nursing, BRN Provider Number CEP 12477 

Teachers ~ Continuing Education courses are customarily approved by immediate supervisors. It is usually sufficient for teachers to attend on a non-credit (auditing) basis and present a receipt for the course.   

Inner Life of the Holidays – Symbols and Rituals of Renewal