The Journal of Analytical Psychology : Xth International Conference

The ancestors in personal, professional and social history
Call for Papers
Thursday 12th May to Sunday 15th May 2011
St. Petersburg

…Blow on a dead man's embers
And a live flame will start
Robert Graves

I feel very strongly that I am under the influence of things or questions which were left incomplete and unanswered by my parents and grandparents and more distant ancestors. It often seems as if there were an impersonal karma within a family which is passed on from parents to children. It has always seemed to me that I had to answer questions which fate had posed to my forefathers, and which had not yet been answered, or as if I had to complete, or perhaps continue, things which previous ages had left unfinished.
C. G. Jung

With this conference marking the 50th anniversary year of Jung’s death in 1961, we hope to explore the complex unfolding of analytical psychology through history—personal, professional and collective. What is our relation to our analytic forbears, to our parents and grandparents, to the collective culture? How do the ancestors live on through their descendants?

History is accessible through memory which serves a linking function with the past, the present and the future. A sense of cohesion in the moment leads to coherency over time and a secure self identity and orientation. The self is embedded within nested, interacting systems from neural networks to political systems. We come to know our history through the incarnation of memory in the arts and, at the other extreme, through the transmission of intergenerational trauma involving interpersonal relationships and socio-cultural events. Many of our patients have manifested symptoms that must be seen against a broad context of family and global events. Simultaneously, we as analysts must consider our own inheritance from progenitors, personal and professional, and reflect on their influence on our clinical practice.

Jung believed that we all inhabit a collective unconscious that shapes the way we experience the world through the influence of archetypal patterns in the individuation process. As Jungian analysts, too, we are affected by our professional history and especially the history of our analytic ancestors from Jung onwards. Ancestors may be either a resource or a burden: spirit guides or haunting ghosts.

This conference will consider the influence of history on our personal, professional and collective psyches. Proposals may include:

  • recent research on the role of infancy and childhood in development;
  • inter-generational trauma;
  • social, cultural and political influences on the psyche of analysts, analysands and clinical practice;
  • professional ancestry—studies in analytical history, with particular reference to Jung’s legacy over the last 50 years and in the wake of the recent publication of the Red Book.

Proposals of no more than 400 words are invited for papers, panels and workshop presentations and should be suitable for presentations of no more than 30 - 40 minutes.

Proposals should be submitted by 15th October 2010 by email to The Editors
Journal of Analytical Psychology
1 Daleham Gardens
London NW3 5BY
United Kingdom
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