Embodied Alchemy®: Awakening Spirit in the Body

August 22, 2013

International Association of Analytical Psychology(IAAP)

XIX Annual Conference

In today’s Western world, many traditional verbal, cognitive therapeutic approaches prioritize mental insight over the impactful role of embodied experience and the spiritual dimensions of the healing process. Yet, as contemporary neuroscience and attachment theory show us, genuine healing and change involve more than verbalization: true insight needs to be experienced in the body and responded to within a conscious, empathic relationship in order to become integrated within the individual and brought into community.

Alchemy, an ancient practice that integrated both material and spiritual elements, was rediscovered by C.G. Jung as he sought to understand the images in dreams. Mirroring the practices of the early alchemists, Jung noted how reappearing images heralded changes in the embodied psyche of his patients and in himself, reflecting a deeper transformative process at work. This workshop revisits the work of Alchemy in relation to bodily experience in the analytic process through moving and witnessing practice, integrating theory, embodied experience, drawing and writing.