Inspirations

W. Brugh Joy, M.D.

Brugh Joy saw himself not simply as a medical doctor, but as a "teacher of beinghood."  In his work, he reminded us that the conscious mind is merely a speck on the vast ocean of the unconscious, which is rich with resources and conflicts that must be made part of any healing process.  Using dreamwork, meditation, initiation rituals, and the healing power of touch, he guided patients to confront their shadows, embrace disowned parts of themselves, and create physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being in balance with one another.  Dr. Joy saw beinghood as a journey marked by stages; in mid-life, particularly, by the challenge to surrender the ego and brave the dangerous but transformative journey into the unconscious world.

"When I'm working with people...it has to do with first of all introducing them to this realization that who and what they are is far vaster than they know about. 

Sometimes when I hear people talking about you create what your life is, and so on, as if the part that they know about had any sort of resource to do that - we're talking about much richer, much deeper, much more awesome states of consciousness, for which one can no longer use the word mine or yours. We're talking about a total shift in consciousness. ...There are many more of you than you know about or that I may know about, that still [are] within your personal sense of beinghood. And those resources then, to me, are interconnected to much larger collective material. Then of course, doing the big leap...of casting it into the universe, now we're talking about something that truly our outer minds can't possibly begin to take on.

In my exploration over the years, the most dramatic shifts in illness that I've ever encountered were people who underwent a total change in their consciousness. It's as if they were 'born again,' and a whole new being was present. Even though the name and the historical data are still part of the memory bank, there's an entirely different energetic that you're dealing with."                                   
                                                   -Dr. Brugh Joy



James Hillman, Ph.D.

James Hillman was the founder of Archetypal Psychology, which examines the archetypes and images that shape our psyches or souls, and the archai, the deepest patterns of psychic functioning or "fundamental fantasies that animate all life."   He viewed his life work as the restoration of the soul  to its vital place at the center of psychology.  Indeed, Dr. Hillman called his therapeutic process "soul-making."  A leader in the field of post-Jungian analysis, Dr. Hillman was the first director of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.  His major work, Re-visioning Psychology, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1975.

"[By] soul I mean the imaginative possibility in our natures the experiencing through reflective speculation, dream, image, fantasy—that mode which recognizes all realities as primarily symbolic or metaphorical."
                                               (Re-visioning Psychology, 1975)

"The power of myth, its reality, resides precisely in its power to seize and influence psychic life. The Greeks knew this so well, and so they had no depth psychology and psychopathology such as we have. They had myths. And we have no myths - instead, depth psychology and psychopathology. Therefore... psychology shows myths in modern dress and myths show our depth psychology in ancient dress."
                                               (Oedipus Variations, 1990)

"The circumstances, including my body and my parents, whom I may curse, are my soul's own choice and I do not understand this because I have forgotten."

Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson's work in developmental psychoanalysis stresses the dynamic agency of each individual in meeting the challenges posed by the distinct stages of the human life cycle.  Erikson described human life as characterized by nine stages of development, each of which challenges us to choose between two basic attitudes of engagement with the world:
  1. Infancy - trust vs. mistrust
  2. Early childhood - autonomy vs. shame
  3. Preschool - purpose/initiative vs. guilt
  4. School-age - competence/industry vs. inferiority
  5. Adolescence - identity vs. role confusion
  6. Young adulthood - intimacy vs. isolation
  7. Middle adulthood - generativity vs. stagnation
  8. Late adulthood - ego integrity/hope vs. despair
Individuals who have not met successfully the challenges of early stages will find that they must return to those challenges before they can make progress towards mental health in later years.  The creation of a firm foundation of trust, autonomy, purpose, and competence allows people to develop complex and stable identities in adult life, experience well-being, and contribute meaningfully to their communities.  

"The growing child must derive a vitalizing sense of reality from the awareness that his individual way of mastering experience (his ego synthesis) is a successful variant of a group identity and is in accord with its space-time and life plan."
                                                           (Identity and the Life Cycle, 1994)


"Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit; for such mutilation undercuts the life principle of trust, without which every human act, may it feel ever so good and seem ever so right is prone to perversion by destructive forms of conscientiousness."
                                                                         (Young Man Luther, 1958)

"It is only after a reasonable sense of identity has been established that real intimacy with others can be possible. The youth who is not sure of his or her identity shies away from interpersonal intimacy, and can become, as an adult, isolated or lacking in spontaneity, warmth or the real exchange of fellowship in relationship to others; but the surer the person becomes of their self, the more intimacy is sought in the form of friendship, leadership, love and inspiration. The counterpart to intimacy is distantiation, which is the readiness to repudiate those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to one’s own."
                                                                         (Identity and the Life Cycle, 1959)



Winafred Lucas, Ph.D.


Winafred was a pioneer in the field of Past Life Regression Therapy. Her book, Regression Therapy: A Handbook for Professionals, remains the definitive textbook. A student of Jungian and Freudian psychoanalysis in Europe before the outbreak of WWII, Winafred went on to obtain her doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1949 (only the 8th year in which UCLA awarded Ph.D.s to women). In time, Winafred's interests led her away from psychoanalysis to Rogerian therapy, transpersonal psychology, Transcendental meditation, Progaff Journal Therapy, encounter & adolescent groups, and Roberto Assigoli's Psychosynthesis, which introduced a spiritual dimension into psychotherapy. She developed a reputation for understanding gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender psychology at time when most clinicians treated homosexuality as pathological. She was one of the founding members of the International Association for Regression Research & Therapies. Editor of their journal for over a decade, she also founded and ran the Institute of Regression Therapy Training program in Sedona, AZ, and served on the core faculty of the California School of Professional Psychology (now Alliant University). You can find out more about Dr. Lucas here.