When I decided to train in Psychotherapy, I choose a Body Psychotherapy, because I had since teenage years struggled to accept my own body as a woman, and knew instinctively that emotions were carried in the body, which subsequently led to attempts to control. This was I learned, an effort to control my feelings.
It was here I encountered the work of Jungian analysts. While I had for many years found solace and meaning in Jungian quotes, I had never understood fully the psychology behind the quotes. I initially found Jung’s writing difficult, so Jungian analysts introduced me to understanding his psychology. As I progressed in my studies, Jung’s deep concepts made sense.
That journey began in 1994. Memories, Dreams and Reflections was a book recommended on our course was my epiphany; In the first few pages of this book I experienced an identification with how Jung described his earliest awareness. He knew he had two personalities. Everybody has, but not everybody stays aware.
Our early years speak to us of the natural ability we have to nourish our soul in active imagination, play, dreams and our belief in fairytales. Life commands us to leave that life behind, because of the necessity to survive a demanding world; We understand how one can repress and sacrifice it; the “it” being our natural creativity and play; we call it dreaming, childish, silly; Somehow that door does not close completely and it’s need stays bound in tension, in the realms of the body, this can result in the struggle to find a balance between both worlds; conflict and resistance to allowing our creativity, can result in depression, and other disorders.
I have no doubt of the significance of the soul in our journey, the beginning is always evident in the end, and I have no doubt that the soul holds secret treasures, like a lake hidden in the mountains. It is not intended to reveal these treasure at one awakening but through the search in the journey of life, these gifts reveal themselves to us. That is if we face up to life, accept our fate and use adversity to develop ourselves.
When I undertook the training in Bodymind Psychotherapy, as it was an Integrative training, we studied several models of theory, and different schools of thought; it was expected that we would discern what we were most drawn to learn and study, this alongside our learning in Biodynamic.
I started to read Marion Woodman, as I had a deep need to understand the feminine and femininity. As I went through each book, I came to see and understand myself as a Woman; In truth although a Woman, I felt like a young girl, naive in many respects and wise in others.
I had continuous powerful dreams as I studied. I think now maybe they were a purification, the first stage described in the great work of transformation as described in the Tao Te Ching; this in Jungian terms is the process of Individuation.
Myth fascinated me, for example, the story of Psyche portrayed through a Jungian perspective. I could live the story subjectively; I understood the depth of myth through taking the story and seeing it as a metaphor to work with and to understand myself.
I used the archetype of Psyche, my perception of her. The image I had of her was so familiar to my own story, innocence, naivety, the obstacles, her terror and despair, her perseverance when confronting every task; her lack of faith or belief that she can survive the cold Aphrodite. Following on to the helpers from the “otherworld” who arrive to support her as she faces into the underworld to retrieve the gold.
I learned that I had empathy with Psyche, yet had not considered empathy with this part of myself. Working with myth allowed me to integrate this empathy for myself. I could then move to recognising the Aphrodite aspect of myself, and on through each Goddess energy. This is the ongoing work of consciousness. Integrating this in Body consciousness and awareness, supported me to somehow reclaim the denial of my body needs, and incarnate as it were into my body as fully as I could. Using my own personal journey as a map to understand myth I was able to support clients to work with the lost and unknown parts of themselves.
I moved through reading and internalising, working in my own personal therapy, using myth and meaning internally to understand my own subjective story, my dreams, my ambivalence and complexes in the process; what I learned through internalising each story/myth and relating to it, is what gave me depth in my work with clients. I had to understand it myself and my own myth first.
Jung says that we can only take our clients where or as far as we have gone ourselves.
“Meaning makes a great many things endurable -perhaps everything. No science will ever replace myth, and myth cannot be made out of any science. For it is not that ‘God’ is a myth, but that myth is the revelation of a divine life in man.”
~ C. G. Jung
If you are interested in participating in a group process; exploring and relating to your own myth, reclaiming your myth through Bodymind awareness;