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Transformations of Imagination in the Healing of our Personal and Collective Trauma
Talk 1: Democracy and Autocracy in the Individual and the Collective:
Reflections on Psychological Factors at Play in our Polarized World
Friday 27th August, 17:00 to 19:15 BST (16:00 to 18:15 UTC, 12:00 to 14:15 EST)
In this lecture, Dr. Kalsched describes a totalitarian or fascistic inner ‘system’ of archetypal defensive powers (‘angels’) typical of the dissociative psychology found in survivors of early trauma, and contrasts this with the more democratic conflict psychology found in more integrated individuals.
While both these psychologies exist side by side in everyone, the more primitive totalitarian system, with its binary extremes of good and evil, tends to take over in times of individual or collective stress, emotional overload, and irrational fear, such as we are living through collectively in today’s modern world, where much of outer reality is simply more than we can bear. The result is a system full of violence and illusion – a radical and polarized psychology which, by violently ejecting the ‘painful’ or ‘bad’ aspects of experience from the boundaries of the self or nation, destroys the inner democracy required for wholeness and health.
Saturday 28th August 10:00 – 10:30 BST (09:00 – 09:30 UTC, 05:00 – 05:30 EST)
With Mary-Jo Radcliffe
Talk 2: Transformations of Imagination in the Healing of our Personal and Collective Trauma
Saturday 28th August, 14:00 – 16:00 BST (13:00 – 15:00 UTC, 09:00 – 11:00 EST)
The world is suffering, at this time in history, from various forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this workshop, Dr. Kalsched will explore how the human imagination is employed to make meaning out of traumatic experience and how the imagination can be either hijacked by fear—leading to primitive dissociative defenses and psychopathology—or employed in more creative and integrative ways—leading through conscious suffering to healing and wholeness.
Saturday 28th August, 17:00 – 19:00 BST (16:00 – 18:00 UTC, 12:00 – 14:00 EST)
Dr Kalsched will focus on the violence and illusion that currently characterize American Culture. He will discuss American gun-culture and the violence of white racism and the radical right (bringing in violence on the Left as well). He will also speak about current conspiracy theories and what they represent psychologically in keeping with points made previously in the conference.
We are planning to hold small discussion groups on the themes from Donald Kalsched’s talks on a later date, probably within a month of the conference and probably on a Saturday. These will be open to everyone who has registered. Dates and times will be confirmed at or before the conference.Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash
Speaker: Donald Kalsched
Dr. Kalsched is one of the world’s leading analysts and writers specialising in trauma. He is a Clinical Psychologist and Jungian Psychoanalyst in private practice in Brunswick, Maine, USA. He is the author of two major books in the field of Depth Psychology: The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defences of the Personal Spirit (Routledge, 1996), and Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-Spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption (Routledge, 2013). Both have been translated into many languages. Dr. Kalsched teaches and lectures internationally, pursuing his inter-disciplinary interest in early trauma and dissociation theory and its mytho-poetic manifestations in the mythic and religious iconography of many cultures.Last updated July 2021