Personal Responsibility and Political Transformation

Political Rupture & Personal Responsibility in a Time of Crises

“We are in the midst of a huge shift in values and in collective consciousness – a profound, complex, nearly unbearable, perhaps doomed to fail psychological shift in our philosophies of life, with powerful implications for society and soul alike.” 

Andrew Samuels, A New Therapy for Politics


Now a Complimentary Series!

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges we now face due to the corona virus, The Sophia Center is offering all four sessions as a complimentary series. Please feel free to share this with colleagues and friends and be sure to register to get the Zoom invites for each month’s session.

From Loralee M. Scott, MFA

Founder and Director

The Sophia Center 

Personal Responsibility and Political Transformation

    We live in a particular moment in history that confronts collective humanity not only with a global pandemic, but with the perhaps final, collective dissolution of the romanticized idea of the political leader as an archetypal hero. This invisible virus that currently holds the world hostage, while casting a shadow of fear and grief, is also illuminating the degree to which the destinies of nations are dependent on the intentional actions of ordinary citizens. In a world where the right to our own breath is under threat by a trip to the local market, abdicating personal responsibility to the powers that be can be tantamount to a death sentence. We exist in an epochal moment of uncertainty, where the tension between a regressive pull towards what was and a creative emergence of what will be is not only political and collective, but psychological and personal.

    The traumatic realities of this virus are shifting the tectonic plates of collective consciousness; leaving individuals and societies at large struggling to find their footing as the once solid ground beneath them undulates with an emerging consciousness that challenges the status quo. In the words of 18th century philosopher and author, Thomas Paine: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Yet history as well as the science of complexity theory, illustrate that creative emergence is born not out of order but out of chaos. Is it possible that the very chaos that some have seen as reason for despair is the soil out of which hope for a better way forward can grow? If so, what are the necessary risks mandated by that hope and how do we understand these from both a psychological and political perspective?

In his 2017 book, A New Therapy for Politics?, Andrew Samuels writes:

“No transformation or resacralisation of politics will happen outside of the field of personal responsibility. But we have to exercise such responsibility from inside the cesspit, not from outside it. We need to be forgiving towards ourselves, as we will fail to honour commitments and fail to deliver on promises. Above all, we cannot and should not seek to be more than good-enough citizens. But anyone and everyone can reimagine the world. We are each of us co-creators, destroyers, and saviors of the world we live in. We should begin our work now, here, among one another, and also in solitude.”

The Hope and the Risk

    This global pandemic dissolves the boundaries between the political and the psychological. It confronts clinicians and therapists with a reality that the progenitors of psychological methodology did not have to face. The challenges are multi-faceted both for the citizen as therapist and the therapist as citizen. Is it possible to imagine a way through the cultural panic and chaos to an emerging understanding that makes room for individuals as co-creators, saviors and destroyers of their own world, bearing both the weight of responsibility and the exhilaration of liberation? Is it possible to recuperate Jungian psychology, in a way that repositions Jung’s intuitive prioritization of polarities as differences but liberates these differences from within gendered constraints? Therein lies the hope and the risk.

Please Join Us for these vitally relevant conversations!

    I hope you will join us for this four part series, where Professor Andrew Samuels, recognized internationally as one of the foremost political commentators and theorists from the perspectives of psychotherapy and depth psychology, will discuss some of the dominant psycho-social themes emerging in culture, politics and clinical practice in light of the global pandemic. Each 60 minute on-line session will include a chance for viewers to ask questions and engage with Andrew and Loralee relative to that session’s theme. 

I look forward to welcoming you to this newest series from The Sophia Center!

Loralee M. Scott, MFA
Founder and Director
The Sophia Center for Transformative Learning


If you have a particular question that is directly related to the topic for that session, we’d love to hear from you! Please e-mail your question, along with your name, to us one week before each of the scheduled webinars. We will do our best to answer as many of these as possible. Please note all e-mails need to be received the week before the scheduled session with Andrew. Please direct e-mails to:


Join Andrew and Loralee on Saturday mornings at 11:00 AM EST if you’re in the US, Saturday afternoons at 4:00 PM in the UK, for each of these 60 minute conversations. Each session will be recorded and will be available for registered participants to watch at their convenience on the Sophia Center website.

Saturday, May 23rd 

11:00 – Noon EST

Leadership in Viral Crisis – Heroes, Siblings and Good Enough

Saturday, June 27th

11:00 – Noon EST

Politics of Intimate Relationships – From Private Lives to Political Change

Saturday, July 25th

11:00 – Noon EST

Political Violence – Aggression, Individuation and Inequality in the Personal and Collective Realms

Saturday, August 22nd

11:00 – Noon EST

Will COVID 19 Advance Progressive Politics?

Professor Andrew SamuelsProfessor Andrew Samuels 

Andrew Samuels, is recognized internationally as one of the foremost political commentators and theorists from the perspectives of psychotherapy and depth psychology. He works as a consultant with political leaders, parties and activist groups in several countries, including the United States. He also consults to the NHS. He draws on a wide range of approaches to psyche, including post-Jungian, relational psychoanalytic and humanistic ideas. But he roots his work in citizens’ lived experience, and in what can be learned from therapy work carried out with political awareness. While Andrew does not disguise his background in progressive and left-wing politics and his commitment to diversity and equality, he remains open-minded and celebrates many different takes on social and political issues. Andrew is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology, in private practice in London, and Professor of Analytical Psychology at the University of Essex. He was Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and one of the two founders (with Judy Ryde) of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility. His many books have been translated into 21 languages, including: Jung and the Post-Jungians (1985); A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis (1986); The Father (1986); Psychopathology (1989); The Plural Psyche (1989); The Political Psyche (1993); Politics on the Couch (2001); Persons, Passions, Psychotherapy, Politics (2014); Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling: Appraisals and Reappraisals (edited with Del Loewenthal, 2014). His latest books are A New Therapy for Politics(2015) and Analysis and Activism: Social and Political Contributions of Jungian Analysis (editor)
Loralee M. Scott, MFALoralee M. Scott, MFA 

Loralee is the founder and Director of The Sophia Center for Transformative Learning where she brings over 20 years of successful experience in organizational leadership and instructional design. Her award winning choreographic work resulted in the passage of anti-trafficking legislation and is included in Grief and the Expressive Arts published by Routledge. Her graduate degree focused on an inter-disciplinary study of Jungian psychology, creativity theory, philosophy and performance art as activism. She has been a featured lecturer at national and international conferences in Portugal, Italy, Russia, and Australia.