By Patricia Skar
C.G. Jung was notoriously wary of groups, and even strongly resisted the formation of the first Jung Institute in Zurich in 1948. However, as he writes in the definition of individuation in his book Psychological Types:
As the individual is not only a single, separate being, but by his very existence, also presupposes a collective relationship, it follows that the process of individuation must lead to more intense and broader collective relationships and not to isolation. (CW6:758)
When I came to Ireland nearly six years ago, one of the first things I discovered was that, as a Jungian analyst, I was in a distinct minority. Professionally. I often found myself to be the lone Jungian in a sea of Lacanians, Freudians, and Kleinians. However, as I began to lecture at various academic and psychotherapy trainings around Dublin, I was immediately struck by the keen interest in Jung I met in people of all ages and backgrounds. Wherever I present short courses on Jung, students regularly ask where they can go for more. It is clear that collectively, Jung has a broad appeal in Ireland.
But what I have also realised is that, even though there is a strong interest in Jung in Ireland, this cannot be followed through professionally unless there is a legitimate centre for Jung, which can grow into a home for qualified professionals. It is important that any professional Jungian group in clearly aligned with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, which is working toward codifying standards for all types of psychotherapy in Ireland and representing the interests of Irish psychotherapists to the European Association for Psychotherapy. A professional Jungian body in Ireland should also be associated with the International Association tor Analytical Psychology (IAAP), based in Zurich, which regulates and accredits Jungian professional standards around the world.
With these needs in mind, our new group, the IAPA, came into being last year, The seven members of the Executive Committee, all qualified psychotherapists with a Jungian background, have been meeting regularly, laying the groundwork for the organisation Most of our work so far has centred around becoming legally incorporated, forming a Constitution, Code of Ethics, etc so that we could apply for membership in the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, which we did earlier this year. The IAPA has also established close ties with the Execute Committee of the IAAP and when there are enough resident analysts in Ireland, we can apply for Group Membership in the IAAP. After that, we will be able to consider forming an IAAP-affiliated Jungian training programme.
The Inaugural Meeting of the IAPA took place at the Milltown Institute in Dublin on 20th September 1997. Over sixty people attended from all over Ireland. Patricia Skar, Chairman, gave a welcoming address, covering the aims and objectives of the IAPA, which include promoting and developing analytical psychology in Ireland, encouraging high standards of professional training and practice, and providing a network for members and a support for their work. Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop spoke about the origins of the group from the Dublin Jung Seminars of the 1980s. Guest speaker Professor Renos Papadapoulos of the University of Essex addressed the topic “The Paradox of Personal Myth: Jung’s Relevance Today” Dr. Papadopoulos began by discussing some key areas in psychotherapy which were initiated by Jung and are now accepted across a wide spectrum of therapeutic orientations, such as the positive emphasis on counter-transference, the feminine dimension and the relationship between the idea of a personal myth and modern narrative approaches to therapy. He continued by surveying Jung’s position in the academy today, discussing briefly how modern academic scholarship can benefit from Jungian ideas. He then broadened this focus to look at how a Jungian perspective can be brought to wider social issues, such as violence, international conflict and refugees. Finally, he discussed Jung’s contribution to an enhanced spirituality, as well as its limitations. A lively discussion followed, ranging from what it means to be a Jungian today to the experience of “archetypal evil” in personal and collective situations.
Much interest and enthusiasm was generated by the Inaugural Meeting. Many who attended had already reserved a place for the IAPA-sponsored lecture of well-known Jungian analyst Andrew Samuels, who spoke on the topic “Why Jungian Psychology? Its Strengths and Weaknesses at the Turn of the Century” on 22nd November at the Dublin Writer’s Museum. An Introductory Course in Jungian Psychology given by members of the IAPA Executive Committee began in October and will run through March at the Milltown Institute, and study/reading groups for IAPA members are underway. The IAPA will also be sponsoring lectures and clinical seminars by its members and analysts from abroad.
Should you wish to become involved with or kept informed of the activities of the IAPA, you might want to consider becoming a member. Membership details and application forms can be obtained from the IAPA Membership Secretary, Ruth Kearney, at 5 Beechlawn, South Hill Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. If you have access to the Internet, you might want to check our website: www.iol.ie/~fitzgera/iapa/welcome.htm. We look forward to your involvement in our activities.