Friday, November 02, 2007

Sponsored by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis
Presented by Analysts Boris Matthews, Ph.D., and Rose F. Holt, M.A.

An on-line class in Fundamentals of Jungian (Analytical) Psychology with 16 CEU's for licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and chaplains will start in mid-January, 2007. This course will be appropriate for people who are new to Jung's work as well as people who wish to gain a solid, organized grounding in the basics of Jung's theories.

Details will soon be posted on this weblog, on Boris Matthews' website and on the Jung Society website: People who wish to enroll will be able to do so online at the Society website.

If you are interested in advance information, please e-mail either or

1. What was your process for determining this was the therapy you would use?

I once went to a five-day program at Notre Dame University where I heard a Jungian Analyst talk about dreams. That exposure led me to understand that there is a whole lot in the human psyche accessible only through image and symbol. This analyst was an extremely learned and interesting person, someone worth emulating. Now, of course these kinds of thoughts were hardly conscious to me at the time. I only knew that the experience gave me a glimpse of something worth pursuing.

A few months later I found a local Jungian Analyst and began working with him. That work lasted seven years and was, for me, essentially an introduction to parts of myself that I didn’t know existed. It led me to understand the complexity of the human person and also the delight and agony of all that complexity. In short, it was a journey TO MYSELF.

I had already had a fairly successful career in the business world but never found deep satisfaction in my work. It was a job but not the “calling” that I began to feel for the world of psychotherapy. During my subsequent education to become a counselor (at Lindenwood), I learned a whole lot about different approaches to helping people. However, I never found an approach that sufficiently explained either myself to me or other people to me--other than Jungian Psychology, that is.

After graduating and working for a time, I applied for admission to do advanced study in Jungian Psychology at the Jung Institute of Chicago. In the Analyst Training Program in Chicago, I truly began to fulfill the notion of my calling. It was an arduous journey, taking me six years to complete and requiring much study and a whole lot more personal analysis. The program also exposed me to even more theoretical approaches to psychotherapy, but always the Jungian approach seemed the most adequate for it offered psychodynamic theory that best explained the inner workings of the human person. I found that it works. It offers “actionable intelligence,” to borrow a phrase.

2. In a general sense, as opposed to the personal specific goal of the client, what has changed in the client that makes you believe that they are ready to terminate therapy?

I believe the client is ready to leave therapy when he/she does leave OR when he/she has a dream that announces the end of the work. Some people come long enough to solve a personal problem, get over a relationship, work out career issues, or work through grief or trauma. Some people continue on long after the initial reason for coming has been resolved. For these clients, personal growth and development seemingly have no end. Analysis becomes an avenue for increasing consciousness and accessing contents from the unconscious that feed their creative lives.

When people pay attention to their dreams long enough and develop an ability to understand them, they realize that there is an unconscious agency actively seeking participation from them. Jung calls this agency the Self. The Self may sound like a religious term, but he (and I) mean it in a strictly psychological sense. Whatever you may call it, it is a REALITY but only for some. Above all the Self requires patience. Its language, symbolic in form, is the dream. Learning that language is difficult.

3. Do you explain the process of Jungian analysis to your client?

No. Many people who enter analysis do so because they have some intellectual notion of the process. I answer questions when asked but try never to place theory ahead of personhood. For some the theory doesn’t fit at all. To try to use it would be a disservice. I rely instead upon input from the client—life experiences, memories, his/her story, dreams, meaningful events. Psyche seems to unfold in its own way and own time. I try to follow the meandering of the psyche and not interfere too much in that process. Much better that the client be the one to begin experimenting with his/her own self.

4. What techniques are your personal favorites that you use more often?

If listening is a technique, that is the one I rely most on. I frequently check in with the client to make sure I am hearing with minimal distortion.

5. Do you use other therapies with clients and if so, what do you use and what was your experience with the other therapies?

I think I must be very bad at adopting other people’s notions when they don’t fit. I find that for me Jungian theory and Object Relations are the two approaches most comfortable and effective. However, I do subscribe to the general notion that, in psychotherapy, it is the relationship between therapist and client that heals.

6. Do you work with the chemically dependent population and if so what kind of results do you see?

I haven’t worked much with chemically dependent clientele. Those I have worked with generally moved beyond dependence once they got the notion that their behavior and attitudes meant a great deal to that unconscious agency, the Self. [Just an aside here: Alcoholics Anonymous is a very effective approach to chemical dependency. Jung himself was the analyst for one of the founders of AA.]

Rose F. Holt
Jungian Analyst
October 31, 2007