Jung: “A model does not assert that something is so. . .”

The practice-informed symbolic representations reflect intuitive connections. With regards to the validity of the system, reflecting my 40 years of clinical practice and process observations, I appreciate this reflection by Jung (1946) cited by Helene Shulman (Living at the Edge of Chaos, 1996, p. 18.):

“All knowledge is the result of imposing some kind of order upon the reactions of the psychic system as they flow into our consciousness … it is not a question of … asserting anything, but of constructing a model, which opens up a promising and useful field of inquiry. A model does not assert that something is so; it simply illustrates a particular mode of observation.” (The Structure and Dynamics of Psyche, Volume 8, par. 362, 381)

This symbol system is dedicated to opening up promising and useful fields of inquiry. It is not intended to be therapy, or a substitute for therapy. During times of personal/family crisis, the containing, protective presence of an experienced mental health professional can be essential. That may be a more appropriate place to address a crisis, and come to a deeper understanding of the experience. Stein and Stein, in their essay “Psychotherapy, Initiation and the Midlife Transition,” offer an in-depth perspective on this from a developmental, rites of passage, and Jungian perspective. (See: Stein and Stein, Betwixt and Between: Patterns of Masculine and Feminine Initiation, 1987) 

As we begin to explore together, I do anticipate the concepts will be fleshed out with stories of personal experiences, some of which will be painful. Therefore, it is important to capture the experiences in such a way as to preserve/protect anonymity of the source, while supporting and modeling “holding the space together” – that is, ensuring that sharing is a safe experience. Before opening to traumatic memories, we must first understand how to create the psychological/spiritual container required so that contact with the trauma will be in the service of healing, not re-traumatizing.  I will be calling for personal sharing and selecting and editing stories with this key issue in mind.

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