Several members of the Alliance are MFTs or MFTs in training. This group invites discussion of how the systemics of MFT and the inner systems of depth/archetypal work might inform and support or contradict and challenge the other.
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  • Welcome Donna may,

    Glad you joined us and hope you will add your experience and training to this group. As you can see, there ahs not been much chatter in this sub-group so I would enjoy hearing what your interests are and how you see MFT and depth psychology intermingling.


  • One thought drawn from dream work. If your client can give the opposites a name and then describe them in greater detail, they may seem less in control and he might feel more in control of the warring factions. Once true personalities are created then some empty chair work between the two factions might yield the transcending idea.

    There is some thought that simply by holding the tension, wisdom will flow but I wonder if the person would have the focus and energy to recognize the movement if there has been no active imagination applied to the process.

    For what its worth, there you go. Would enjoy hearing more if such is appropriate. Also, would enjoy the input of others.


  • I client asked me something new today: how do I (the client) hold the tension of opposites? In the moment I answered somewhat theoritically with something like: holding the tension of opposites without identifying with either position.  The client then wanted an example from his own life.  I struggled here. Part of me wanted to help him, practically speaking, in terms of how to hold the tension of opposites. A second part of me felt like it might be the client's place to struggle with holding the tension and let psyche speak to him.  What does the group make of my this?  Is there a way in which we, as depth-oriented therapists, can help our clients learn the art of practicing Jung's psychology of the unconscious? Or is the value here in letting the client work with the opposites--and, if we hold the tension of opposites successfully--the transcendent function? Interested to hear what others think, feel, sense....

  • Welcome Kristin,

    Hope there are some NYorkers here, and if you are, please see Kristin's discussion above.


  • Brenda,

    Your answer prompts me to wonder about society having its own archetypal images, such as "family" by which we measure our relationships with real folks who are our family. As society becomes more fractured and distant on any deep level (my assumption, of course) the compensatory image of family begins to take on a much more strident energy and many a current real family cannot measure up to such a standard. Winnicott's "good enough" isn't holding up under the strain of this more strident and more rigid constellated set of characteristics. (Who can make an archetype real?)

    Having these thoughts makes me drop back and question just what the term "family" means to people today. When I took my MFT training, the family was still either the traditional nuclear grouping or single parent configuration. Some nod was given to cultural differences but even in that context the nuclear family was still the predominant model. I'm wondering if such an image still hold up in today's society and if it has changed or is changing, are we as practitioners ready for the shift?

    WOW - must have THAT on my mind for awhile. :)

    The above is also the nature of my research question and I wanted people from different areas of the country to get a read on whether regional definitions of family may differ.

    Hope I have not just burned your eyes with the long response. :)

    By the way, your horse?

  • Thank you, Ed, for your warm welcome. I look forward to the conversation of clinical practice and archetypal/depth psychology. I've been looking at client's patterns of attachment and how this energy forms into relationships, that could, on the surface, appear to be place-holders or watermarks of archetypes, living out in day-to-day lessons. I'm interested in knowing more about your potential family research project; it could help demonstrate how culture is caring for itself, if it is reforming bonds, and if this is in anyway related to environmental conditions ie family systems and ecopsychology. How will psychotherapists be called upon, and what will be our service?

  • Welcome Brenda. This group has yet to find its way to relating depth psychology and MFT training and experience. Your ideas would be greatly appreciated. Please see the group research invitation above as well. If I get two more people, we will start the research. Again, welcome.


  • Okay, I'm back and "ready to rumble." I mentioned before a possible research topic for collaborative qualitative research: defining "family." If interested, I started a new sub-group above.

  • Eva and others,

    I would like to invite all who might enjoy a bit of collaborative research into the modern day image of "family." This would be qualitative research piecing together stories and images created when the term "family" is presented in various parts of the country represented by this group's membership. If you would be interested in being a part of this research, please email the group or me (Ed) as to your interest. We will begin after the new year so you may want to start thinking about potential questions and possible sources of subjects.

    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  • In Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (October 2011): Red Balloon: Approaching Dreams as Self-Narratives by Athena Androutsopoulou.

    Can I get an Amen!!??


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