Journeying Toward Wholeness

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Individual Therapy & Overcoming Internet Addiction: Soul

April 16th, 2012 · 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

 

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Jungan Analysis & Overcoming Internet Addiction: 4 Keys

March 19th, 2012 · addiction, internet addiction, Jungian, Jungian analysis, overcoming internet addiction

depth psychotherapy
Overcoming Internet addiction is now a very real concern for many people, and Jungian analysis brings a perspective to this problem that offers hope and the possibility of finding an underlying meaning.  “Hold on a minute”, I hear you saying, “I can understand overcoming Internet addiction, but how could Jungian analysis find meaning in this kind of compulsive activity?”

First: Yes, Internet Addiction Actually Exists

There are many seeking help overcoming Internet addiction who know this.   Especially in Canada, online gaming, online gambling, social media and email, or Internet pornography are taking up more and more room in these peoples’ lives, and they can’t find a way to slow down or stop.  For them, overcoming Internet addiction is a priority, because something not under conscious control is in the driver’s seat.

2.  Signs of Internet Addiction

A person may be wrestling with internet addiction if:

  • Net use dominates his or her life and/or thoughts;
  • Net use modifies his or her  mood, or creates a “buzz”;
  • increasing Net use is needed to stay feeling good;
  • refraining from Net use causes unpleasant feeling or physical effects; or,
  • Net use creates conflict with those they are close to, or with their everyday life.

overcoming internet addiction

3.  Overcoming Internet Addiction: Insights from Jungian Analysis

The key issue in overcoming Internet addiction is determining what the Net is really providing to the individual, that brings him or her benefit.  It is at this point that a perspective drawn from Jungian analysis brings real insight.

If we look at the compulsive Net user, we see a hunger and a yearning at the heart of his or her usage.  Jung, in his letter to Bill W., described this as “the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness.”  In our restless searching and exchanges on the Net, we yearn for something to bring us to a sense of being whole and complete.  We are only going to get past unending searching on the Net, if we find something real, that makes us feel alive — that moves us toward fulfillment, and away from anxiety.

4.  Jungian Analysis & Wholeness

For Jungian analysis, wholeness is not the same as perfection.  We can have experiences that make us feel fully aware and alive — whole.  How this happens for each of us is a very individual matter; often only the depth explorations of individual therapy will reveal what these unique, life-giving realities are for each of us.

PHOTOS:  Attribution Some rights reserved by olga.palma and entirelysubjective
© 2012 Brian Collinson

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