1st Edition

Trauma and Beyond The Mystery of Transformation

By Ursula Wirtz Copyright 2021
    370 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    370 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this seminal work on the clinical, archetypal and spiritual dimension of trauma, the author offers a compelling vision of the transformative potential of suffering and the dialectic of Dying and Becoming. Wirtz outlines a healing path from fragmentation to integration and illuminates the resilience of the human spirit in the face of severe trauma. Trauma and Beyond will be essential reading and a valuable resource for counsellors, therapists and Jungian analysts who are challenged in their practice with individual and collective traumata.

    Introduction. Part 1: The Spiritual Lens: Dying and Becoming. Unveiling the Face of Trauma. Trauma as a Spiritual Experience. Trauma as a Crisis of Meaning. The Transformative Power of Suffering. Beyond Embitterment. Trauma through the Mythological Lens. Part 2: The Clinical Lens. Retrieving Soul. Circumambulating Complementarity. The Crucible of Transformation. Transcendence, Trauma, and Sacrifice. Sacrifice of the Self. The Traumatic Dimensions of Sacrifice. Trauma and the Body: Portal to the Source. Conclusion.


    Ursula Wirtz, PhD, has a doctorate in literature and philosophy from the University of Munich, graduated from the C.G. Jung Institute Zürich and works as a clinical and anthropological psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice. She is the author of numerous publications on sexual violence, ethics and the interface of psychotherapy and spirituality. She is a training analyst, supervisor and faculty member of ISAP Zürich.

    "Wirtz courageously and brilliantly undertakes the most truculent question: ‘wither the soul after soul-murder?’. She summarizes the literature in the field, the range of methodologies, and provides numerous illustrations and case studies which demonstrate a realistic, hopeful, sequential approach to trauma integrating fragmented splinters. She illustrates the narrow passage between the necessity of ego-death, abiding a most difficult in-between, and attending the birth of an enlarged, more capacious ego state. Trauma and Beyond is not only a key contribution to the field, but has the makings of a classic study of the resilience of the soul in the face of even the most devastating traumata." – James Hollis, PhD; Jungian analyst and author

    "In an extraordinary synthesis of the diverse facets of the psyche activated in trauma, Wirtz truly offers the reader a way ‘beyond’ suffering into wisdom. A lifetime of experience is woven into a revelatory tapestry of heart and soul. Reflecting an emerging paradigm in the 21st century, science and spirituality are brought into kindred relations through the author’s courageous explorations of trauma. Anyone touched by trauma will benefit deeply from an encounter with this book." – Joe Cambray, PhD; past-President, IAAP

    "In this insightful work, Wirtz asks us to take Jung’s Red Book as a map or template for working with loss and trauma. If you are looking for guidance in clinical work in trauma and recovery or for guidance in your own recovery, you will find a treasure trove of riches here." – Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD; author, The Resilient Spirit and Subject to Change

    "This profoundly moving book is a major contribution to Jungian studies in this field. Wirtz has a remarkable ability to seamlessly synthesize the spiritual, archetypal, and clinical aspects of trauma. Her wise reflections on the transformative potentials of trauma, and the meaning of the suffering it produces, are an inspiration. This book is required reading for any psychotherapist working in this field." – Lionel Corbett, MD; Pacifica Graduate Institute; author, Psyche and the Sacred and The Religious Function of the Psyche