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The 2022 Fay Lectures | Opening the Closed Heart: A New Look at Jungian Depth Psychology in Light of Trauma, Affect-Theory, and Defense

Donald Kalsched

Event details

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Early on, Jung taught us that the constituents of our imaginations are affect-images or, as he once suggested of the complex, “images of personified affects.” And he once famously said “the very basis of our psychology is affect.” Join us for this year’s Fay Lecture Series, in which noted Jungian analyst and trauma specialist, Donald Kalsched, leads us in a re-visioning of Jungian theory and practice in light of recent discoveries in the clinical domain – discoveries that emphasize unconscious affect-in-the-body as equal with conscious imagery-in-the-mind, and hold both paradigms as central to the healing process and to the experience of meaning.

During Jung’s lifetime, and for decades after his passing, there was a tendency to privilege the image-side of affect-images on the underlying assumption that meaning is mostly an image-derived, intellectual affair. While this is sometimes true, the experience-in-the-moment of unconscious affect in the bi-personal “field” of psychotherapy often renders unconscious suffering into something that can be experienced by the patient for the first time. This can lead to a sense of integrated wholeness that is the very essence of meaning and sometimes results in a numinous sense that the soul is being welcomed home.

This kind of process leads to the softening of previously rigid defenses and to the opening-up of the entire defensive system. This system, originally developed to protect the patient’s life, ends up taking on a life of its own and persecuting them from within. The existence and operation of this system, together with how it is represented in dreams and other unconscious material, has been under-appreciated in Jungian theory and will be illustrated through many case examples in these lectures. As we will see, the system’s “goal” is to sequester and protect – by rendering unconscious – a core of feeling-aliveness in the psyche that was once violated, and must never be violated again. When the feeling becomes conscious, the defensive system can relax its vigilance, and psychological health can improve.

This program will be offered both in-person and via livestreaming. Please use the registration form to select which way you plan to participate. If you register to attend online, you will be emailed viewing instructions either the evening before or the morning of the event. Please be sure to check “spam” and “junk” folders!

This class will be recorded. Recordings will be distributed to registered participants ONLY, after each class session. Recordings will not be available for purchase after the program ends.

All times are CDT. Please contact with any questions.

Please register early. Programs with four or fewer participants are subject to cancellation, 48 hours prior to their start.

About the instructor

Donald Kalsched

Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., is a Jungian Analyst and Clinical Psychologist who practices in Brunswick, Maine, and lives in nearby Topsham with his wife Robin van Loben Sels. He is a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of New England, a senior faculty member and supervisor with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, and lectures nationally and internationally on the subject of trauma and its treatment. His first book, The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit described a core complex of the dissociating psyche (Self-Care System) and demonstrated its clinical applications. His most recent book, Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption explores how psychotherapeutic work with trauma-survivors sometimes provides access to an ineffable world of soul and spirit.

General details

Date & time


Friday, November 18
5 - 7pm CT
Saturday and Sunday,
November 19 & 20
9am - 1pm CT

10 h

Number of sessions

Continuing Education Units









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For more than sixty years, The Jung Center has served as a nonprofit forum for dynamic conversations on a diverse range of psychological, artistic, and spiritual topics. Our mission is to support the development of greater self-awareness, creative expression, and psychological insight—individually, in relationships, and within the community. The Jung Center provides pathways to find deeper meaning in everyday life.

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