The Collective Unconscious in the Age of Neuroscience brings the connection between C. G. Jung’s theory of a collective unconscious, neuroscience, and personal experiences of severe mental illness to life. Hallie B. Durchslag uses narrative analysis to examine four autobiographical accounts of mental illness, including her own, and illuminate the interplay between psychic material and human physiology that Jung intuited to exist.
Durchslag’s unique study considers the links between expressions of the collective unconscious, such as myth, fairy tales, folk tales, and ‘big dreams’, and the experiences of those diagnosed with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. The author’s personal narrative account of a psychotic episode is at its heart, bringing both an intimate foundation and exceptional insight to the book. With reference to neuroscientific and genetic research throughout, The Collective Unconscious in the Age of Neuroscience highlights gaps in depth psychological notions of etiology and treatment, highlights patterns of collective material in the qualitative experience of these genetic and biological disorders, and explores how the efficacy of pharmacological treatment sheds light on Jung’s theoretical model.
The Collective Unconscious in the Age of Neuroscience will be essential reading for academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, consciousness, neuroscience and mental health. It will also provide unique insight for analytical psychologists interested in severe mental illness and the collective unconscious.
Table of Contents
Opening the Door
Defining Severe Mental Illness
Jung and Severe Mental Illness
The collective unconscious.
The challenge of inconsistencies.
Research: Background and Methodology
Initial research questions.
Impressions and extrapolations.
Structure the Book
Methodology and Procedures
Method as path.
Narrative analysis and the hermeneutic tradition.
Data Collection and the Path into the Work
Initial review of the literature.
Other autobiographical accounts and the addition of personal field text.
Second review of the literature.
The wounded researcher.
The Embrace of Qualitative Research in the Natural Sciences
A Hermeneutic Homage
The Importance of Diagnostic Distinctions
Divergent paths of research.
The end of Jung’s legacy.
Recent trends: RDoC and PDM.
Framing the Dilemma: Personal Onset
An example of complementarity.
A Move into Collective Material
Thematic Alignment in Psychosis
Stripping Down Terminology
A brief mention on Jung’s position in the field.
The theory of actuality.
The Personal Narrative of Psychosis
The Naturally Occurring Variable
Thematic Analysis using Perry’s Categories.
Cosmic conflict, national reform, and new society.
Initiation to qualify for leadership.
Apotheosis, national reform, and new society.
The Challenge Moving Forward
The Brain and Pharmaceutical Actions
The Difficult Dilemma of the Brain
The Brain: Action over System
Pathways and Communication
Monoamine neurotransmitter system.
Example: Dopamine pathways.
Therapeutic Targets in Antipsychotic Medications
Pharmacological Action of Mood Stabilizers
Mood Stabilizers: Lithium and anticonvulsants.
Radiating Outward and the Collective Unconscious
Continuing the Hermeneutic Circle
Brain as Transformer Station
Consideration of energy.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
The objective psyche.
The Non-synchronicity Synchronicity: Foreknowledge
Jung’s visions of World War I.
My own delusions.
A Return to the Intrapsychic Dilemma
The psychodynamic argument.
A return to the collective.
From the Transpersonal to the Suprapersonal: Individuation and the Unavoidable Dilemma
The Problem of Spirit
Abaissement du Niveau Mental
A spectrum of connection.
Medication and 2003.
Medication and 2010.
Flying without a safety net.
A Different Challenge
Reeling in the Net and Readying it to be Recast
Psyche, Psychoid, and Science.
Readying the Net
Synchronicity and the implicit connection to individuation.
Hallie Beth Durchslag, Ph.D., is a Jungian-oriented psychodynamic psychotherapist who has presented both in the United States and abroad on severe mental illnesses and their connection to Jung’s theory of a transpersonal collective unconscious. She is based in Ohio, USA, where she teaches, writes, and maintains a private practice.