It may be the sounds of a child crying in the shadows, or a mother and father staring vacantly into the distance, or a child terrified of their own body that allows us to hear something of the language of trauma. Then there are the sounds and pain that accompany our ongoing repetitions of traumatic experiences, where we seem caught in the Sisyphean cycle of re-enactments of such horrors.
As individuals, as partners, as wives and husbands and as therapists and clergy, we are often oblivious to this language of trauma. Perhaps it is our own hope that life will hurry up and get better and restore us to our former self, that the mourning process will end in a month, or a year, or as quickly as possible that drives our well wishes, and our inability to listen to the Self’s lamentations. The wisdom of psyche in communicating the unconscious experiences of trauma, is silenced by our fears and needs to obliterate the reality of the dark unconscious. This work asks us to enter the domain of Hades in order to fully grasp the world within which those living with trauma inhabit.
It is in the domain of trauma that traditional therapy must face its limitations. In living with such unimaginable suffering, individuals are unwillingly made to see the contours of a hellish reality. So too, in their movement towards resilience, they experience a benevolence which they felt had been lost not only to them, but to the world. It is this inexorable dance of the eternal themes of hope, trauma and healing that creates what may be the greatest individual and archetypal challenge of life.
Therapy needs to return to its origins as a spiritual journey in order to help the individual live with the pain while opening to the archetypal experience of benevolence. It will also help those living with trauma to see the truly heroic nature of their unique journey, in realizing that they now have to carry a profound experience of heaven and hell in their heart. Perhaps if this work goes well we will begin to see trauma in a new light, and to consider as Whitmont writes:
“Relevant events in a patients past history which we have been in the habit of viewing as causes of current psychopathology may now perhaps be seen as the manifestations of the beginning life pattern.” *
Through presentations by many of the worlds leading figures in Jungian psychology, the arts and theology, we will discuss how it is that traumatic experiences can often yoke the individual to a current and future life determined by the fixtures of the trauma, and on the other hand, how one can find a way to continue moving forward into life with the ongoing reality and pain of the trauma, coupled with an enhanced sense of psyche and the reality of the creative unconscious.
This nine month certification program includes the following:
* 17 teleseminars with each session being 1.5 hrs
* 9 small group discussions led by Dr Michael Conforti
* 2 individual mentoring sessions offered by Dr Conforti and Senior members of The Assisi Faculty
* A weekend residency in Stonington, CT