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January 2022

The analytic initiation: The effect of the archetype of initiation on the personal unconscious

Journal/Book: J Anal Psychol. 1996; 41: 11 New Fetter Lane, London, England EC4P 4EE. Routledge. 509-527.

Abstract: The author proposes the term 'analytic initiation' to describe a rite of passage from childhood to adult life effected by psychotherapy. He suggests this passage is based upon a personal regression within the embrace of an archetypal symbolic process. Archetypal symbols orientate the analysand towards the transformative potential of a regressive experience. They also contain him as he separates from parental complexes and tolerates their dissolution. The analysand's growth depends on his submitting to an intrapsychic and interpersonal experience of the initiatory process with its attending regression. Correspondingly, it relies on the analyst being available for both the personal and impersonal transference/countertransference interaction. Over time, the analysand's participation in this process brings his ego in greater relationship to the Self. The most important outcome of a successfully constellated analytic initiation is not the dissolution of a group of complexes. Rather, it: is the establishment of a symbolic process that allows the individual to continue to evolve. The author supports his findings with a critical review of Jung's writings on initiation and additional case material.

Note: Article Sullivan M, 2820 Coll Ave 2, Berkeley,CA 94705 USA

Keyword(s): initiation; personal; unconscious; archetype; self; regression


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