Archive for July, 2009

new link to Zimbardo

Posted on July 27, 2009. Filed under: Ethics |

Fascinating talk at last year’s TED from Philip Zimbardo (leader of infamous Stanford experiment)  about evil and social institutions


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Jungian studies conference – reflections

Posted on July 14, 2009. Filed under: Conference reports, Jung | Tags: , |

Still thinking about how wonderful the Jungian studies conference in Cardiff was. My own presentation went fine, though a v small audience as the previous session had overrun and everyone needed a break, but that wasn’t a problem as I had terrific conversations with a variety of interesting people, all of whom were encouraging about my thesis. One recent PhD student had done a similar project looking at business ethics (we used similar quotes and refs) but had spent time analyzing managers’ views rather than developing a new approach it seemed. We’re swapping references and papers. Other delegates included musicians, painters, helath workers, youth workers, as well as very senior Jungian analysts and academics, including John Beebe who founded the SF CG Jung Institute in 1975 and Andrew Samuels who advises Blair, Brown and Obama on psychological and political issues.


I attended sessions on Jung and writing, culture, leadership, TV, archetypes and justice, competing concepts of self and much more…. Particularly struck by the level of engagement with politics – rounded off by Andrew Samuels (author of the political psyche) on economics and psychology.



The main themes that emerged for me were:

 – the desire to build bridges between Jungian ideas and the modern world, ie beyond therapy – linking with media, politics and change

– concepts of leadership using Jungian premises are being taught in management schools and developed in theory

– the welcome from experienced Jungian specialists for ‘new blood’ like me, who may not acquire equal depth of knowledge but who still have something to bring to the table.

Had particularly exciting conversations with Peter Dunlap who runs a practice for individual therapy but also offers group support for people involved in change campaigns of various sorts – he’s written a book linking Jung and political movements that looks as if it will contain useful material for me (for ‘grounding’ the conclusions in practice). I’ve added a link to a recent radio interview with him (see links)

   Only downside was appalling accommodation both for conference : cramped cold lecture theatres with failing sound ,  – and much needed rest :  ghastly student units with harsh lighting, rock solid beds and fire alarms triggered by use of showers – so turfing everyone out of bed about 6.30 am. Horrible.


But overall, Very fruitful…… Felt like a three year PG course on the range and variety of Jungian studies right now – exhausting but exciting.

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Live from Cardiff (not the Ashes)

Posted on July 10, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Fascinating time at 2nd annual Jungian studies conference – first entry into the world of Jungian academe, though there are analysts, counsellors and other practitioners as well as academics from across the world. Realised how defensive parts of my own presentation were – justifying use of Jung, despite epistemological problems; explaining why it was OK to leap from individual to collective psyche and dealing with aspects of elitism. The latter I think is still worth , if not labouring, putting in context to avoid some of the problems of early 20C thinkers’ attitudes to mass participant in social change. But now \I can see Jungian ideas applied to leadership in a much more positive way that is self-selecting, rather than pre-judged. The issue of whether Jung is an artist or scientist always seemed to bother him more than it does me: we are all free to interpret his ideas and reconsistute them for today’s situation, as I attempt to do in the field of professional ethics. I don’t need to ‘prove’ these concepts, merely to explore and look for resonance. I have found some of that resonance today as Jungian analysts and scholars have been wellcoming and encouraging to my reflections from other fields.
Have also enjoyed the use of film clips to illustrate Jungian psychological types – John Beebe represented this typology as Jung’s effort to create a critical theory approach similar to that generated by the Frankfurt school – an interesting conjunction. There have been several speakers today looking at Jung and society (as you’d expect from a conference called Psyche, Power and Society), at how Jungian ideas can help transform and empower social movements, activist groups and other players in the public sphere. This is where I think I am heading in the long run…. though not clear how I get there. In any event there is clearly no problem for Jungian in extrapolating between individual and collective psyche – it is designed for this purpose (micro/macro) but may still have to explain to a wider audience. Next paper for Stirling CIPR conference is ‘Can there be a Psychology of the Professions?’………………………….

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