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Individual Therapy & Overcoming Internet Addiction: Soul

April 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments · individual therapy, internet addiction, overcoming internet addiction, therapy

individual therapy

It may seem strange to say that soul might be required in individual therapy for overcoming internet addiction.  Soul is a word that we don’t hear very often in the modern world.  It tends to conjure up visions of organized religion and stained glass windows, or maybe we even think of the late, great James Brown!…

But when depth psychotherapy refers to “soul” in  individual therapy, it refers to images that emerge from the depth of the personality, and the way in which psyche converts events into experiences of meaning and substance.

Inner Treasure

We each come into the world with the capacity for our own unique inner experience.  There are things that come from the depths of ourselves, from places that we don’t fully understand — images, fantasies, feelings.  Our capacity to experience these things is unique to us.  Only you have your particular, unique inner life, and only I have mine.  As that inner life flourishes, so does the uniqueness of the individual.

Food for Soul

The inner person needs a lot of rich inner images, fantasies and imagined experiences to flourish — these things bring our soul, our uniqueness, alive.  In an interview with Mary Nurriestearns, James Hillman noted that “You need a lot of food for the imagination. [A]dvertisers recognize our need to stir our imaginations.  Cars and shoes are two very practical items which, when advertised are sold through imaginative fantasies….  [T]hey are serving other purposes than nurturing the acorn [of the self], but advertisers recognize that human beings respond to imaginative images and fantasies.  That’s the first food.”

Imagination needs to grow, and find its unique form.  Often, advertising stifles this, by cramming the individual’s imagination into narrow, straightjacketing forms.  But that’s nothing compared to what the Internet can do to our imaginal selves.

 The Blizzard of the World

If we allow it, the sheer enormity of the Internet can have a huge impact on our imaginal life.  There’s always more of it; we’re never done.  We don’t need our imagination or inner life to animate the images of the Internet; they just keep coming: more porn to be seen; more people to be tweeted or FBed, more dating prospects to look at.  As the poet Leonard Cohen sang prophetically in his song The Future :

overcoming Internet addiction

Beyond Endless Hunger: Overcoming Internet Addiction

Overcoming Internet addiction involves return to our own real life.  First and foremost, that entails return to our own imagination, and our own soul.  Individual therapy in depth plays an important role in this.

PHOTOS:  Attribution Some rights reserved by michael_reuter ; © Helder Almeida | Dreamstime.com
© 2012 Brian Collinson

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Kathryn Perez

    I agree that getting in touch with yourself gets you away from internet addiction.

    It gets more and more difficult as more things become easily available online, from searching for a restaurant to gaining higher education degrees.

    A healthy balance of real-world experiences can help to bring each internet addict back from the depths of WWW-Hell.

  • Brian C

    Thank you for your comment, Kathryn. I certainly agree with you that real world experience can be important for those people who are too relentlessly involved with the Internet. I think that it can be equally important for people to recover there connection with their inner life, too, both in terms of the images that naturally emerge in the psyche, and our own inner sense of the value and reality of our own inner being. I appreciate your thoughtful comment!

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