Archive of Presentations - 2010


Friday 8 October 2010, 8pm
John Kassoutas

The Odyssey in ancient Alexandria

(Place-making in the gap between myth and reality)

There is an island there in the heavy wash of the open Sea in front of Egypt,
and they call it Pharos (Odyssey, Book 4, lines 354-355)
Quoted by Plutarch in ‘The Life of Alexander’

in Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, 75AD

From these two lines of poetry, reputedly recited by Homer to a dreaming Alexander the Great, the city of Alexandria, in Egypt, was founded in 331BCE. But thanks to Alexander’s leading General, Ptolemy 1, and, later, the historian Plutarch Homer’s reputation may have suffered gravely by this mythologising entanglement.

In the Hellenising (colonial) program for Egypt the tale of wandering by ‘cunning and resourceful Odysseus’ was overlooked for Homer’s other great tale of Achilles wrath and the sack of Troy (Iliad). Stories of Achilles’ heroic exploits and divine heredity were promoted as Alexander’s story after his death (Alexander Romance). John writes, “by asking ‘how much more of the Odyssey is in ancient Alexandria?' I’m seeking more material evidence of design linking Odysseus’ exploits and his character to the city”.

John recognises Odysseus as a ‘Trickster archetype’ * and will focus his talk almost exclusively on the scenes leading into the underworld and the return (Books 10-12). John concludes, “if Achilles Alexander is the idealised action hero, Odysseus is an expert hunter, familiar with traces and histories of movement in the landscape; hinting at an ‘environmental unconscious’”**

John Kassoutas was a postman when a heart attack and stroke (2007) felicitously delayed the earlier presentation of this talk, as ongoing recovery of mobility and sensation yielded personal insights into an unconscious haptic sensibility. John has graduated in Social Ecology/Analytical Psychology (UWS); Media Art (UNSW); and Primary Teaching (SCAE).

*Joseph Russo, ‘A Jungian analysis of Homer’s Odysseus’
in The Cambridge Companion to Jung, 1997, p 240;
see also * C.G. Jung, ‘On the Psychology of the Trickster-Figure’ in The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Vol 9, I, 1975.
** Paul Carter, Dark Writing: Geography, Performance, Design. University of Hawai’i, 2009.


Friday 3 September 2010

Sandra Kay Lauffenburger

“Self-Psychology: Just Another Psychoanalytic Theory
or a Dynamic Regenerative Research Program?”

“Evidenced-based practice” is the current criteria for choosing therapeutic models. Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy have suffered as therapy of choice because of the presumed “non-scientific nature” of their procedures and outcomes.

In a recently published text on the Self-Psychological theory of Heinz Kohut, Lee, Rountree and McMahon (2009) propose that Self-Psychology offers us a science and a scientific method, but of the individual rather than the general (as is the case for psychology). Viewing Self-Psychology from within a Lakatosian framework, where a central postulate provides the basis for testing and evaluating auxiliary ideas and theoretical corollaries, this psychoanalytic approach becomes a vibrant, dynamic science with the possibility of ongoing regeneration.

This talk touched briefly on the Lakatos framework, using it to discuss the interweaving of the theoretical components of Self-Psychology. Case vignettes were used to illustrate the Lakatosian model of Self-Psychological theory where empathy is the core postulate driving any theoretical innovation.

Sandra Kay, B Ed, M Sc, B Soc Sci (Hons) (Psych), maintains a clinical practice in Self-Psychologically-based psychodynamic psychotherapy in Canberra.

For the past 12 years she has worked with a spectrum of issues such as chronic pain, multiple personality, OCD, personality disorders, and borderline presentations. Professional training in Self-Psychology and over 25 years of exploring the body and movement therapies inform her clinical work.

Sandra holds credentials in Laban Movement Analysis and is a lecturer in Dance/Movement Therapist. She is on the faculty of the Wesley Institute (Sydney) where she teaches courses in non-verbal clinical interventions as well as lifespan developmental issues.

She also offers face to face and phone supervision to psychotherapists and Dance/Movement Therapists.


August 2010

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Archetypes of Chaos

We tend to flee from disorder and chaos, identifying chaos with evil and destruction. However what if spiritual, social and psychological growth necessarily involves living with, or passing through, chaos?

Jung differed from our usual Western approach, embracing the fragmentary propositions of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, about world as flux, and the productive and disordered struggle between opposites.

This view was reinforced after Jung’s studies in alchemy when he suggested that the experience of chaos, the materia confusa, is also the experience which both leads to transformation and is essential to transformation. At this time, the order that the ego wishes to impose on the world or the unconscious no longer works, and this failure is the moment of the possibility of new life.

The whole spirit is hidden in chaos, and disorder is not just to be feared. Indeed, we might say that life is that which resists order and predictability, and the more we are alive, the more fraught is the relationship between what we call order and disorder.

This talk investigates what it might mean to take chaos and disorder seriously, by exploring symbols and images of chaos in Christian, Jewish, Babylonian, Greek, Chinese and other mythologies, and by a return to hidden messages of the ‘collective dream’ of alchemy.

Jonathan Marshall is an anthropologist and a Research Fellow at the University of Technology in Sydney. He is the author of Living on Cybermind: Categories, Communication and Control and Jung, Alchemy and History, and the editor of Depth Psychology, Disorder and Climate Change.

July 2010

Jeff Ward
“On finding and forgetting the self:
The Developing Dialogue
between Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis”

There are many practices employed by human beings to ease suffering and enhance personal growth. Prior to the development of psychotherapy, these practices were mainly associated with religion, and many of the features that define psychotherapy can also be found in religious practices. For example, a close relationship with a spiritual advisor is often an important part of religious practice. spiritual practices and teachings of the various forms of Buddhism (e.g. Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, vipassana/insight practice as part of Theravada Buddhism). One enduring area of cross fertilisation has been between the psychoanalytic tradition and Zen Buddhism, which began in the 1950s with dialogues between people such as Carl Jung and Erich Fromm and Japanese Zen scholars.

The meeting between Carl Jung and Shin’ichi Hisamatsu will be used as an example of an early attempt to establish a conversation between the two traditions that failed. Jung thought that a more productive exchange might be possible by having experience with both traditions. More recently this hope has been realized, with books being published by authors who have extensive training in both psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism. This more recent literature will be discussed, highlighting key areas where Zen can make potential contributions to the practice of psychotherapy, and where psychoanalytic theory can offer useful insights to Zen Buddhism.

Jeff Ward is a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice in Canberra. He is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy, the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and the Australian Psychological Society. Jeff has been involved with Buddhist practice for over 35 years. He has practised Zen in Japan and Australia and has for many years been the practice leader of the Canberra Zen Group which is a satellite group of the Sydney Zen Centre.


Peter Dicker: The Undivided One: Dionysian Consciousness in the Clinic


Elizabeth MacKinlay: Ageing and Spirituality


Carolyn Rolls: Where in the Brain is Jung? 


Jonathan Marshall from the Sydney Jung Soc:

Book Launch of “Depth Psychology and Climate Change”


And a special treat: a mini performance of “The Songman” movement

from “The Gift of the Furies” musical extravaganza!

Frances Killaly: Origins – Family History”

Giles Clark: “Difficult Passions: Desires and destructions at our Core”

Sandra Russet-Silk: Boundaries – When Working to Support Disadvantaged People I the Community/Welfare Sector”


Zsuzsi Soboslay: “[re] Membering the Invisible: Landscapes of Healing in the Therapeutic Process”
Frances Killaly: Origins – Family History”

Giles Clark: “Difficult Passions: Desires and destructions at our Core”

Sandra Russet-Silk: Boundaries – When Working to Support Disadvantaged People I the Community/Welfare Sector”


Zsuzsi Soboslay: “[re] Membering the Invisible: Landscapes of Healing in the Therapeutic Process”


Friday 4 June 2010

Dr David Russell
“Jung in the Era of Evidence Based Psychotherapy”

Carl Jung was a highly regarded psychiatrist and researcher. He was largely responsible for the transition of the nascent psychoanalytical interest group from a small and relatively inward-looking gathering into an international and professionally accepted movement.

The intellectual divide separating Jung and Freud, that eventually was too great to bridge, was essentially the recognition of two very distinct emotional drivers: Freud’s for conceptual clarity to a point close to dogmatic understanding, and Jung’s for an experiential appreciation of the inherent complexity and ambivalence of the human psyche.

This conflict of desires, the longing for white-boned clarity with the correlated desire for a definitive practice and the longing for an acceptance of the fullness of the other’s experience, is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. Evidence-based psychology/psychotherapy, what is called “best practice”, is now de rigueur in medical/scientific worlds.

The aim of this talk is not to argue the case in favour of one desire over the other, or to evaluate the respective methods of observation and measurement. Rather, it is to accept that what we have here are two legitimate worldviews; two different attitudes to knowledge and interpersonal engagement; two different understandings of the relevance of the client’s experience. A useful question might be: is it of value to be fluent in these two languages of the mind and thus move from one perspective to the other depending on the exigencies of the moment?

Dr David Russell is a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice (East Sydney). He also holds the position of Associate Professor (Adjunct) in the School of Psychology at the University of Western Sydney. Through the study of the history and philosophy of psychology whilst a student at the University of Sydney he was drawn to the works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

However, the spirit of the times being as they are, the only area for a PhD candidate in psychology interested in therapeutic methods was cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Following a few years in private practice he moved into a teaching/research position with UWS and was responsible, as part of a small and enthusiastic group, firstly for the foundation of degrees in Social Ecology and then a master’s degree in Analytical Psychology (a postgraduate course-work program based on the works of Carl Jung and the post Jungians). David has recently retired from the academic life in order to more fully pursue his therapeutic practice.

Canberra Jung Society
is a non-profit organisation,
which aims to provide a contact for people interested in the psychological insights of Carl Gustav Jung.Through monthly meetings, workshops, other activities and our library,
we seek to help people to understand their own inner journey and the world today –
from a Jungian perspective.
PO Box 554,
Dickson, ACT 2602.

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