In this paper I describe four different aspects of the group experience from the imaginal perspective. They include the inter-subjective imaginal group field, a dream and an extra-ordinary group experience, the evolution of the class as a group and, finally, an oracle for the following year’s group experience. I conclude that the group functions within a complex imaginal matrix.
This essay is a reflection on my experience with the group therapy process with emphasis on one particular session. Although group therapy may have some value in educating the social attitude, I find that authentic experience and individuality is generally repressed, rendering the meetings boring and unfulfilling. This, at least, is my experience with cognitive oriented groups. Based on my reflections, however, I eventually conclude that there may be the possibility of a group therapy that is more authentic, which taps into a deeper level of the psyche and which allows for the expression of archetypal energy, both positive and negative.
This essay involves a discussion and a Jungian depth psychological perspective on a relationship with W B, a man that suffered from Delusions of Grandeur and Persecutory Delusions, as well as severe arthritis. Although I was not there as a therapist or healer, we did discuss dreams and other issues regarding his life and there may, as a result, have been some measure of healing.
Before I get into my talk I feel the need to state that I am not here to sell my services or try and convince you to send clients my way. As you know psychiatrists have one corner of the therapy market all sewed up thanks to Medicare. Otherwise, commercial values have taken over the world of therapy as it has become dominated by managed health care agencies and insurance companies, each of which encourages brief therapy [3-6 sessions] and medication. Of course, pharmaceutical companies play a major role in defining the status quo. These organizations also treat therapists as numbers, as if to say that one therapist is as good as the next. Rather than choosing therapists on the basis of character, or integrity, they are selected on the basis of symptom specialization and the therapist’s networking acumen.
In this paper I demonstrate how the archetype of Dionysus is constellated in the dreams of a male therapist and his female analysand. Amplifications on the nature of this archetype, by drawing on story, myth and cult practices, help in understanding the meaning of each of their dreams. I also attempt to relate the meaning of the dreams to everyday reality and life circumstances.