Donald Kalsched Early Trauma and Dreams


LECTURE: Experiences in early childhood that cause unbearable psychic pain or anxiety (trauma) can leave the personality and the human spirit threatened with destruction. To avoid this, a defensive splitting of the self occurs in which a "progressed" part of the self casts a spell over a "regressed" part and locks it up in an inner sanctum for safekeeping. This self-encapsulation is out pictured in dreams during the psychological process. In this lecture, using dream examples from the clinical situation and the fairy tale of Rapunzel, we will see how the wisdom of the psyche's archetypal defenses saves the imperishable personal [...]

Donald Kalsched Early Trauma and Dreams2021-09-23T00:58:48-04:00

Donald Kalsched The Soul in Hell and its Liberation


WORKSHOP: Trauma survivors often report that their lives are a “living Hell.” This pathological situation is created by the psyche's archetypal defenses and their depressive power over what one psychoanalyst called “the lost heart of the self,” with its desire for love and intimate relationship. Dante's Divine Comedy gives us a beautiful literary example of such a companioned descent, as Virgil and Dante descend into the nether regions in order to heal the poet's mid-life depression. Dr. Kalsched shows how depth psychotherapy in conjunction with affective neuro-science, and the findings of attachment theory and relational theory all lead toward answers of [...]

Donald Kalsched The Soul in Hell and its Liberation2021-09-23T00:59:13-04:00

Donald Kalsched From Bewitchment to Enchantment


WORKSHOP: Patients who have suffered severe early trauma often find themselves bewitched by dark tyrannical voices assaulting them from within, leading to intense anxiety and depression. In dream work with such patients, the dark inner voices reveal themselves as both archaic and typical--hence archetypal--personifications whose inner purpose seems to be the defense of a vulnerable core of selfhood to make sure it is never violated again. However, in defending the true self against further trauma, the archetypal defenses also persecute and demoralize it, cutting off all hope for life-in-relationship to others. Under these conditions, the positive side of the Self cannot [...]

Donald Kalsched From Bewitchment to Enchantment2021-09-23T00:59:56-04:00

Donald Kalsched The Abandoned Child and its Return


LECTURE: Dr. Kalsched describes a series of dramatic moments in the psychotherapy of trauma survivors where a breakthrough occurred in the client's access to dissociated feelings. These moments usually occurred when “transitional space”—long since foreclosed by trauma—was re-opened between therapist and patient, and the psyche's mytho-poetic matrix re-potentiated. One sign of this “re-potentiation” is the vivid dreams that often occur at such moments—dreams in which a lost or abandoned “child” appears—often menaced by the psyche's oppressive powers. He shows the parallels between these dreams and those ancient myths that describe the birth and trials of the archetypal Hero—the one who always [...]

Donald Kalsched The Abandoned Child and its Return2021-09-23T01:00:39-04:00

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