Brian Collinson

Journeying Toward Wholeness

Vibrant Jung Thing Blog

Who Does Depression Affect?

August 17th, 2014 · who does depression affect?

The tragic death of Robin Williams brings home a pressing question to all of us: who does depression affect?

who does depression affect?

As many commentators have now pointed out, Williams’ suicide powerfully impacted a huge number of people.  Due to his TV and film presence, very many people felt closely connected to this very engaging, unbelievably high energy and truly ingeniously funny man.  That someone so loved by millions, so successful and so apparently in love with life as his public persona would suggest could take his own life has taken our manic-paced world and plunged us into an uncharacteristic state of deep reflection.

Depression Respects No One

Depression affects all age groups and types of people, and it might affect any one of us.

In fact, one important element of the upswell around Williams’ death may well be that it forces many people who normally would not do so, to confront the depressive person in themselves.

Each of us possesses the capacity for depression.  Each of us knows that, while we may not suffer from chronic, on-going depression, we have suffered from various forms or degrees of what are called reactive depression — depression that comes about as the result of life events.

From a Jungian perspective, many experiences of depression may potentially open a way into the real meaning and value in my life.  As James Hollis reminds us,

Everyone experiences depression from time to time.  

In every case, one has to ask the fundamental question,

what is the meaning of my depression?

Depression and Late Midlife

We see suicide as a huge problem for the young, and so it is.  Yet, statistics from the American Center for Disease Control show a growing suicide crisis for those in late midlife.  Between 1999 and 2009, suicide rates have most dramatically increased in the 45 to 54 age group, and secondly, the 55 to 64 age group, especially among males.

Who does depression affect?  Increasingly, this midlife group, men in particular, and sometimes so severely it leads to the tragedy of suicide.  Individual cases greatly vary, yet, often loss of key relationships, health or a long-held social identity, such as a work role, are key factors.  The persona, or socially constructed self, that may have provided a meaningful identity in earlier life now no longer fits.  The individual is thrown back on the key questions of who they most fundamentally are, and what in life is fundamentally meaningful.

Yet, Issues Around Depression Aren’t New

who does depression affect

Four thousand years ago, in a time of tremendous social upheaval and anxiety,  an Egyptian wrote a book called The World-Weary Man and his Ba (an ancient Egyption word for “soul”).  In that book, the narrator recounts his weariness of life, and his desire to commit suicide, and to travel to the afterlife.  Yet, his inmost self rebels, basically telling the man that he has no understanding of the importance of the here and now, or he could not even think of squandering his life in this manner.  The soul challenges the man to find his real identity, and his wholeness.

In our culture, we tend to flee from depression, yet almost all of us will have to face it in some form or other.  Finding a personal, meaningful and sustaining answer to the questions it asks is right at the heart of the work of depth psychotherapy.

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Depth Psychotherapy vs. Psychology: What’s the Difference? – 2

August 3rd, 2014 · psychotherapy vs. psychology

In my first post on depth psychotherapy vs. psychology I focused on the relationship and communication dimensions of psychotherapy; in this post, I look at depth psychotherapy’s approach to the individual person.

psychotherapy vs. psychology   To truly take the individual seriously is to move in some significant ways beyond the science of psychology per se.

Individuality

Depth psychotherapy is particularly focussed on the client as a unique individual.  The individual, insofar as he or she is unique, cannot truly be the object of scientific study.  Science, whether physics, biology or psychology, is based on generalization and law-like regularity.  As such, it cannot take into account the genuinely unique aspects of an individual situation — or of an individual.

Psychology certainly can provide lots of insight that is relevant to an individual and his or her situation, and that may genuinely help.  But there are also the dimensions of an individual’s experience that are genuinely unique.   There are those who would try to explain this sense of uniqueness away, to reduce it to a mere illusion attributable to the interplay of the particular family, social and cultural environment and of genetics.  Yet every person undoubtedly has a strong subjective sense of his or her individual uniqueness, and it certainly seems that our individual stories have many unique features that differentiate us from others, even — or especially — those close to us. The existential, humanistic and, above all, Jungian therapeutic traditions have been particularly sensitive to the unique individual, and to exploring his or her individual reality in psychotherapy.

The “Depth” in Depth Psychotherapy

Another distinguishing factor in depth psychotherapy vs. psychology is the very dimension of depth itself.  By this, we mean the emphasis on the unconscious mind.  Now, as Carnegie Mellon researcher James Bursley shows us, the unconscious mind is once again coming to the fore in brain science and neuroscience. psychotherapy vs. psychology

 

Until very recent times, the unconscious had not played as central a role in the science of psychology per se.  Discussion of the unconscious was often branded as “overly subjective” and “not evidence-based”.
psychotherapy vs. psychology

 

Yet, depth psychotherapy has emphasized the importance of the activity of the unconscious in dealing with the situation of individual persons in therapy.  The unconscious, through dreams, through implicit knowing of the type discussed in attachment theory, and through reactions to everyday situations that we may not be consciously aware of, as in the phenomena of “projection”, and what we have all come to refer to as “Freudian slips”, often play an important role in depth psychotherapy.

 

Unlike psychology, which must concern itself with what is objective, provable and repeatable, the depth psychotherapist must use psychological knowledge, certainly, but must enter into the subjective and unique reality of the individual client, in terms of both the conscious and unconscious world of the client. It is this journey into the subjective reality of the client that forms the healing heart of psychotherapy.

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Depth Psychotherapy vs. Psychology: What’s the Difference? – 1

July 27th, 2014 · psychotherapy vs. psychology

Depth psychotherapy vs. psychology: people are confronted with so many “psych” words today that there is real value in clarifying the differences between these two things.

psychotherapy vs. psychology

I was a little reluctant to use “versus” or “vs.” in the title of this blog.  The word can tend to make it sound like depth psychotherapy and psychology are “opposed”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The differences between them are a question of priorities and emphasis.  And certainly, psychotherapy depends upon the knowledge gained through psychology.

The American Psychological Association tells us psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours.  In this broad sense, psychology is a fundamental foundation of psychotherapy.  Clearly, it’s essential that psychotherapy be informed and structured by clear understandings of mental functions, and how they relate to human behaviour.  But, by its nature, psychotherapy must go beyond mere study of the human mind.

University of Florida’s Prof. Michael Herkov identifies two special things about psychotherapy: the nature of the relationship; and, the nature of the communication.

The Psychotherapy Relationship

The relationship between a psychotherapist and a client has a special character. It  exists solely for the purpose of helping the client, and is designed to ensure that the therapist is completely “there” for the client.  The client is listened to, carefully — quite possibly more carefully than they have been listened to at any point in their lives.  As Jungians like to say, the relationship is a temenos, a Greek term used for the sacred enclosure around a temple.  The relationship is “sacred” and protected.  People can and do reveal things that they have never said to anyone before — because it’s safe to do so.

psychotherapy vs. psychologyPsychotherapy Communication

An old truism states that: “When a therapist asks how you are doing, he really wants to know.”  This is especially true of communication with a depth psychotherapist.

The depth psychotherapist doesn’t just listen for the sake of it!  He listens to help you make key connections with the deepest parts of yourself.  Feelings, thoughts and attitudes of the client, which may never have come to light before, may very well surface in the course of the dialogue between therapist and client.   Some of the connections and realizations the individual makes, may well be profound and life changing. psychotherapy vs. psychology

As you can see from our discussion so far, there are some very important differences relevant to the distinction of “depth psychotherapy vs. psychology “.  Where psychology works extremely hard at being a science, and expanding the scientific knowledge of human mental functioning and behaviour, depth psychotherapy is a healing art.  It uses psychological knowledge, but is also aware of broader human dimensions that necessarily go beyond the purely scientific to create the bond with the client that makes for effective psychotherapy.

In my next post, I’ll be looking at two other dimensions which make the depth psychotherapy vs. psychologist clarification even clearer: the psychotherapeutic understanding of individuality and the “depth” in depth psychotherapy.

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Emotions, Spirit, Mind & Body: Jungian Holistic Psychotherapy, 2

July 4th, 2014 · holistic psychotherapy

In my last post, I started  to explore the nature of holistic psychotherapy, and how Jungian therapy is truly holistic.

holistic psychology We can see this even more clearly if we look at some of the ways in which radically different elements of the personality interact — or conflict!  Jung, in his work on psychological types, showed that the functions and attitudes that exist in our psyche can often show us very different aspects of who we are.  Sometimes this can seem so true that different aspects of who and what we are can seem completely opposed.

Feeling and Rationality

For instance, there’s a fundamental split between rational, logical thought, and our own subjective reactions to things.  Could two things be more fundamentally opposed?  Yet here’s the important truth: both are parts of our journey to wholeness. It’s not enough to say, “Oh, I’m a thinking type” or “I’m a feeling type”.  To experience psychological wholeness, essential that we have the experience that both of these capacities co-exist within us.  They both are part of us, and a person needs both.

Intuition and Sensation

We experience a similar pair of opposites when it comes to intuition and sensation. Sensation refers to our perceptions by means of the sense organs.  Sensation is awareness grounded in the here and now.  It’s very present-oriented.  Sensation puts its faith in the kind of hard facts that are immediately available to the senses.  It sees a situation in terms of the details, rather than a comprehensive pattern. Intuition is pretty much the opposite of sensation.  It’s perception by way of the unconscious.  Intuition is our sense of things often guided by hunches and things the individual “just knows” — although he or she would have a hard time putting into words just why.  Intuition is future-oriented, and sees situations in terms of large, broad patterns. Again, to truly experience psychological wholeness, it would be essential that we experience our capacity for both intuition and sensation. holistic psychotherapy

Body and Mind

Another significant pairing explored in depth by key Jungian figures in holistic psychotherapy such as Marion Woodman and Joan Dexter Blackmer is the need to integrate mind and body Mind and body aren’t really opposites.  Yet in the 2,000 year history of the Christian west, it’s been very easy to ignore the body.  As Blackmer reminds us, …in order to develop the spirit and rational consciousness, Christianity had historically to declare the body untouchable — a kind of second-class citizen….  Untouched, repressed, denied, the body moves into the shadow, where dwell those aspects of ourselves we are loathe to look at.  Then the ego loses a direct connection to the body as a source of natural wisdom and energy. This kind of splitting produces excruciatingly painful dilemmas and divisions for modern people:     Rationality and feeling, sensation and intuition, body and mind — all form part of a comprehensive unity in a Jungian holistic psychotherapy.

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Emotions, Spirit, Mind & Body : A Jungian Holistic Psychotherapy

June 23rd, 2014 · holistic psychotherapy

There’s great yearning today for a holistic psychotherapy, one that takes in all of the emotions, spirit, mind and body — all that is involved in being human.

holistic psychotherapy

Some people have a stereotype of Jungian or depth psychotherapy as a “heady” or “spiritual” perspective that couldn’t be a holistic psychotherapy.  But folks who think that, haven’t really understood Jung!

Is “Holistic Psychotherapy” Just a Buzzword?

In a word, no.  One of the crucial insights of modern psychotherapy has been that many important aspects of the healing that people need through psychotherapy are not simple matters of intellectual insight.  This is because we have many types of experiences of consciousness, not merely intellectual, something that Jung stressed in his pioneering work on the 4 psychological functions:

  • sensation – perceptions by means of the sense organs;
  • feeling - the function of subjective evaluation;
  • thinking – intellectual cognition and the forming of logical conclusions; and,
  • intuition – perception by way of the unconscious.

holistic psychotherapy

As described by Jung, these 4 functions form the basis of the Myers-Briggs personality type inventory, now so widely used in the business and educational worlds.  Jung’s basic idea was that there are a variety of forms of consciousness in the wholeness of our being. Jung discovered powerful interconnections between body and mind and what many traditions have called the human spirit.

Jung was one of the first to become aware that human consciousness is fundamentally embodied consciousness, an awareness borne out by contemporary research in neuroscience.  He saw clearly that mind and body and spirit influence each other in profound ways, in both the conscious and unconscious realms.  The human journey of individuation involves both body and mind.

Spirit and Body Need Each Other

While Jung early on recognized these profound truths, it was up to later Jungians like Marion Woodman to work in new ways with conscious and unconscious body awareness in depth psychotherapy and soulwork.  As Woodman states in her important book Addiction to Perfection:

Ego can only be strong enough if it is supported by the wisdom of the body, whose messages are directly in touch with the instincts. Without that interplay… the spirit is always trapped… undermined by fear and lack of confidence because it cannot depend on its instinctual ground even for survival.  Without that ground, the body is experienced as the enemy. [italics mine]

For Woodman, the aspiring, yearning part of the human being — what many would call the spirit — can only come into its own when a person’s life is directly grounded in her or his instincts.  In this awareness, Woodman anticipated the work in neuroscience in recent years which has shown how fundamentally powerful the instinctual basis of human life is.  As the evolutionary psychologists Tooby and Cosmides tell us,

…the mind is not a blank slate, passively recording the world.  Organisms come “factory equipped” with knowledge about the world …. [Innate “programs”] organize our experiences… give us our passions… [and] make certain ideas, feelings and reactions seem reasonable, interesting and memorable.

Woodman stressed the need for human beings to be rooted in this instinctual layer, which participates in powerful ways in both body and mind.  Depth psychotherapy often opens the door to awareness of our instinctual reality.

In the next part of this post on holistic psychotherapy, I’ll look at “Why Emotion and Reason Need Each Other.”

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

Oakville, Burlington & Mississauga Ontario 

905-337-3946

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What to Ask Yourself When Considering Midlife Career Change, 2

June 17th, 2014 · midlife career change

In my first post on midlife career change, I looked at the issue of vocation and some other factors essential to career change at midlife.

midlife career change

In this post, I look at additional factors that may help to decide whether to make a midlife career change.

What Kind of “Reward” Do I Want and Need?

Undoubtedly, everyone has heard the expression “money talks”. But is it the sole thing speaking in our lives, or are other things trying to get our attention, as well?

Money is one of the few things that everyone in our society values. Why? Because money has a neutral character. Whatever it is that one might want, one can pay money, and get it. So it’s a value to all kinds of different people who value all kinds of different things.

Because of its special character, money is also tied to status. There is a tendency in our culture to assign a higher social standing to someone, simply because she has a lot of money.

So, for many reasons like these, we may well feel that we need to go after money, and that it needs to be the key value in our lives.  To what extent should money be the determining factor in our work or vocation in the second half of life?

We need a certain amount of money. But is money enough, for us to lead a good life, past midlife? Often depth psychotherapy uncovers values in individual’s lives that are truly greater than money, but it also uncovers our money shadow:

 

 

To deal in therapy with career and vocation, we may well need to confront and deal with our money complex. What really is “adequate reward” for our work — in every sense of the word?

The Precious Nature of Time

I once was working therapeutically with a lawyer who decided to give up the law, because it didn’t leave room for anything else in his life.  I asked him if he had gained anything positive from the practice of law.  “Yes” he told me, “One very big thing. I learned that, for me, the single most valuable thing there is, is time to devote to the things that really matter to me.”

He was right.  Journeying through the second half of life, we often confront the awareness that the time remaining is short and it’s precious.  Five years, ten years — time was much easier to squander at an earlier point in life.  But now I live in the reality that I simply cannot have everything that I want in the available time.  A key question is: how do you most want to spend your precious time? midlife career change

You can’t have it all.  What, to you, is worth spending time on?  It may take deep soul searching, to properly decide.

The Individual Equation

With work and vocation, it’s essential to not lose sight of one’s unique personal nature and needs.  As Jung was fond of saying, “Only that which is truly oneself, heals.” Often the journey of midlife leads through the issues of vocation and possible midlife career change.  Jungian psychotherapy can be of immense help in finding your own genuine priorities.

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What to Ask Yourself When Considering Midlife Career Change, 1

June 9th, 2014 · midlife career change

Many people will consider making a midlife career change, and here are some important questions to ask to decide if a career change is right for you.

midlife career change Rather than starting from the place that a career change will “fix everything”, a depth psychotherapist would tend to start with questions about the relationship to oneself.

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 IS the Issue Really Career?

This might be a hard question to answer clearly. Often, the need for a career change can seem so immediate and compelling. Yet, it’s very important to remember that it is very common to encounter deep unease at midlife transition. It can be very easy to blame externals for that unease, such as one’s career.  But it’s essential to ask whether the issue is really career, or whether other factors within myself, or between myself, others  and/or the world may be involved.

Most meaningful and effective midlife career change will result from some resolution or growth in my relationship to myself, and not the other way around.  Career change is not a magic bullet making everything alright  — but it can be an important part of connecting with who I am now.

What are My Values — Now?

This whole question of understanding myself at midlife is related importantly to the question of my key values.  Those are the things that I hold to be important and precious in life.

As a person goes through the middle of life, it will be essential to ask, what are my values now? Have the things that are important to me changed as I’ve moved into the middle of my life? It’s very common that what was important to me when I was in my twenties is no longer as important to me in my 40’s. It may well be that some other key values have taken their place. It’s essential to know what’s important to me before I embark on any process of midlife career change.

midlife career change

What is My Vocation?

The question of values is intimately related to the question of vocation. As Ryan Duffy of the University of Florida reminds us, vocation literally means “call”, and, many people would see this word is having a specifically religious meaning. But it does not need to be viewed like that. It is possible to ask oneself the question in this way:

What is it that my own deepest being calls me too, or wants me to do? What is it, that, when I do it, something in me feels a profound rightness about it, or rejoices in doing it?

Sometimes, people really know what this is. Sometimes, it only becomes apparent through in-depth soulwork.

Often a person’s vocation will need to be expressed in their choice of career. But almost equally often, the thing or things that a person does that are of greatest importance to them, may be something outside of their work, and it may be essential to choose a career that doesn’t get in the way of the fulfillment of this vocation.

What is my calling?  Again, it can often take the real discernment that comes through depth psychotherapy to know how to best fulfill a calling from the person’s inner being. In my next post, I’ll continue with other important questions to ask when considering a mid-life career change.

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How to Cope with Depression After a Divorce, 2

June 1st, 2014 · how to cope with depression

In How to Cope with Depression after Divorce, 1, I explored some of the healing that can emerge from post-divorce depression; I continue that exploration here.

how to cope with depression

Here are some additional factors relevant to post-divorce depression, namely, the shadow and the Self.

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Shadow

Divorce often highlights aspects of ourselves that we don’t want to acknowledge.  I speak from personal experience, but I also know it’s the experience of many.

Psychology journalist and writer on relationship issues, Maggie Scarf, tells us:

It is a fact of marital reality, well known to experts in the field, that those qualities cited by intimate partners as having first attracted them to each other are usually the same ones that are identified as sources of conflict later in the relationship.

It’s quite true that often we react to the qualities in partners in this manner, and those reactions to the Other can become very charged when we’re dealing with relationship breakdown.  A question that might often be a gateway to self-knowledge in this circumstance might be this:

how to overcome depression

Answering this question can take us deeply into our own reality.

Example.  Jim is a rational, pragmatic and matter of fact guy.  He married Cara, a very energetic, lively woman, who responds to situations with deep feeling.  When Jim met Cara, he was utterly beguiled and captivated.  “There’s so much life in her!” he told friends.  Something in him yearned to share that, to have it in himself, to meet his life with it.

Fast forward 15 years.  Jim and Cara, married, have been through much.  Jim was downsized from his role as a middle manager in an IT firm. The couple endured 18 difficult months where he was out of work.  The couple had two children, the second of whom experienced ADHD and learning disabilities.  In attempting to meet the challenges in their lives, Jim and Cara often found themselves in conflict situations.  Typically Cara responded with intense expression of feeling, while Jim, feeling out of his depth, responded rationally and pragmatically, which Cara experienced as cold and unfeeling.

With time, the gulf between them grew insurmountable.  When intimacy died, Cara and Jim agreed to go their separate ways.  While acknowledging the necessity of their parting, Jim finds himself feeling as if part of himself has died.

In seeking how to cope with depression after a divorce, it may be essential to accept and honour the parts of ourselves that were in the relationship, but that we couldn’t acknowledge.  To do so may be painful, but it may be essential for healing in our lives, and to enable us to continue our journey towards wholeness.

Divorce as Honouring the Self

CG Jung referred to our psychic wholeness as persons as “The Self”.  The Self is bigger and more inclusive than the ego, the conscious part of us that regularly runs the show in our lives.  The Self has many aspects that we have yet to explore and acknowledge.  After a divorce, it can be essential to affirm many of these aspects of ourselves that have come to the fore in marriage, and in marital breakdown.  This can be essential for working through our feelings, getting beyond divorce-related depression, and moving forward into a fuller experience of life.  Often depth psychotherapy such as Jungian therapy is of invaluable assistance.

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How to Cope with Depression After a Divorce, 1

May 25th, 2014 · how to cope with depression

Divorce may lead to great psychological change and growth, but a key challenge can be how to cope with depression during such an immense life transition.

how to cope with depression   In dealing with depression associated with divorce, it’s easy to move quickly to wanting to solve it, to get past it.  But it may be important for us to ask, “What’s the meaning behind this depression?  Could there possibly be anything it’s trying to teach me or show me?

Situational Depression and Divorce

This may seem like an outrageous idea!  But as Jung tells us,

All aspects of the psyche, even those which seem pathological or destructive, actually serve the function of furthering our psychological development. 

Is there anything in divorce-related depression that might actually further our journey towards wholeness?

The Meaning of Divorce-Related Depression

To discover how to cope with depression after a divorce, it’s essential that we first understand all that is going on in our inner life at such a time, and grasp its meaning. Jungian psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn tells us,

“Like ‘phantom limb pain’ a subject can continue to vividly experience a person even after they are gone. [The inner image of the person is] a compact symbolic expression of all the feelings, subtle environmental cues, affects, introjected qualities, unconscious perceptions, and self-biased memories of the person in the subject”.

This is true in death, but just as true when a relationship terminates, or a divorce occurs. The former partner is still very much a presence in our inner life, and in our unconscious mind. We will not exorcise that inner presence by a simple effort of will, no matter how strong our will may be. It is often only through a process of extended inner work that the restless “ghosts” are finally quieted, and enabled to go to a place of peace. Often this is connected with a process of acknowledgement of grief, and of self compassion and self acceptance. how to cope with depression

Grief and Loss

Those undergoing divorce or marital breakdown are reluctant to acknowledge grief. Anger, or, even hatred, can be so intense that acknowledging grief can seem like a self betrayal. Yet, even in those situations where the feeling towards the former partner is totally negative, there is almost always a sense of loss, tied to intense feelings of grief.

Those newly married are most often not hard boiled cynics. Most look forward to life with the new partner with hope, joy and often security. One of the hardest things about divorce can be the recognition of the death of hopes and dreams. Individuals can feel that the years and emotional and physical energy invested in a relationship have been wasted. It may be essential to confront these feelings, to enable the individual to ultimately be able to move forward with a sense of hope or trust in the future.

Depth psychotherapy or Jungian analysis may play a vital role in dealing with depression, and ultimately finding healing, in the experience of divorce. In How to Cope with Depression after a Divorce, Part 2, I’ll look at the presence of the Shadow in divorce-related depression, and look at divorce as an honouring of the Self.

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Midlife Crisis in Women: 5 Signs Your Life is in Transition, 2

May 13th, 2014 · midlife crisis women

In my last post, I focused on what midlife transition and midlife crisis in women look like, and I’d like to continue that here.

midlife crisis women

Woman with a Chignon – Paul Gauguin

A woman’s journey through midlife and the second half of life differs from a man’s, both because of her feminine identity and because of her unique individual being.  Last time, we looked at 3 signs of that journey; here we look at 2 more.

4.  Consciousness of Suffering

One of the signs of midlife in a woman can often be awareness of the kind and amount of the pain in her life.  Of course, the same is true of men, but this can be a singular experience of extraordinary and life-changing depth for many women. Psychologist and Jungian analyst Cara Barker writes of the experience of the type of woman whom she calls World Weary Woman in this manner:

Historically, [she] answers her difficulties with attempts to be perfect, and to be perfectly good.  She is not inclined to look for interior solutions until she encounters a form of suffering so profound it stops her in her tracks, and her usual coping strategy does not work.  She can no longer defend herself against her pain.

Barker tells us the pain will not be eased until the woman in question finally acknowledges it, and receives its wisdom.  There is need to listen to the deepest self, and its most fundamental wounding and yearnings.  Especially its deepest yearnings! This can be very difficult for many women, who even in 21st century culture are continuously given the message that their being is for other people — spouse, parents, children, or the broader community.  Yet it is in listening to her own being that the deepest healing occurs.

midlife crisis women

Self Portrait, 1980 – Mavis Blackburn

5.  Liminality: The Threshold

An important sign of midlife transition or midlife crisis in women is the sense of liminality, of transitioning from one life or way or being, to another.  A woman often experiences an inability to continue living as she has throughout all of her earlier adult life.  A woman may not know where she is going, or what is trying to open up in her life.  She may only know, I can’t do it anymore.

midlife crisis women

For many women, it may boil down to “Will I stay other directed, or does my own commitment to myself and my reality, matter? As Jungian analyst Murray Stein puts it:

When the soul awakens at midlife and presents its gifts, life is permanently marked by the inclusion of them.  Taken in, they become the hallmark of your life, the core of your uniqueness.  Refused, they can haunt your days, and may undermine all your toiling.

Depth psychotherapy can be essential to living out the gifts of soul in the time of midlife transition or midlife crisis for women.

PHOTO:  Attribution Share Alike  © freeparking :-|  ; Steve Snodgrass
© 2014 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

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