The Spirit in Psychotherapy - Working with Darkness and Light
This book investigates an elusive subject: how healing works in psychotherapy as an inner process. It provides a four step framework for understanding the process of psychotherapy and locates the emergence of healing, as well as a potential spiritual dimension, in the later stages. It shows how healing intelligence, arising from the deepest layers, permeates the whole psyche, operating at all levels. Case studies are provided so that practitioners can grasp how techniques for working in this manner may be incorporated in their practice.
Techniques for alignment to the deep psyche are explained, beginning with a meditation exercise and proceeding via experiential focusing on body centres, containing the complex of emotional pain, so as to activate healing intelligence. The relationship between client and psychotherapist is described as a shared field at this advanced stage. Integration, frequently neglected in the literature, is here emphasised as essential for healing to be actualised. Healing intelligence is next examined as an inner process, its vitality described as potency with dynamic features including expressiveness and receptivity. The role of ego consciousness is explored at each stage of the transformation and healing journey, firstly trying to understand the problems presented, secondly having to abdicate its controlling position and thirdly entering into a creative dialogue with the Self. Six ways in which healing intelligence works in the psyche are outlined as well as numerous resistances that arise to it.
Particular emphasis is given to inner awareness, a special faculty of being present with the inner world in a non-analytical, non-judgemental manner and necessary for the deeper healing processes. The spiritual dimension of psychotherapy is given careful consideration and its place in the four step framework is discussed. References to select mythical and spiritual literature are made, for example the Fisher King and the Hymn of the Pearl.
This is a highly creative book exploring the interface between emotional wounds, psychotherapy, and spirituality. Alan Mulhern, a Jungian psychotherapist, takes many enlightening case studies to show how healing experiences are the milestones of the individuation process. It is recommended for practitioner, trainee, and client alike, as well as anyone seeking deeper knowledge on the healing intelligence that lies in the psyche. Lindsey Harris's fascinating pictures complement this fine work.