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Jungian Psychotherapy, Part IV: Active Imagination

6 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $59.00

Developed by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

Course includes the works of Dr. Tom Elsner, Dr. Monika Wikman & Dr. Jeff Raff

This course is also offered as part of a Jungian Psychotherapy Certificate Program of 33 CE Credit Hours.

Course materials: audio Audios

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  Introduction to course by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.


General Course Description

Jungian psychology is rich, complex, and infinitely interesting. In addition to archetypes, projection, and depth work, another aspect of this fascinating field is active imagination. Active imagination is hardly new; our ancestors staring into the fire were exercising just this. Jungian practitioners use dolls, sandtrays, stories, art, and other methods to engage clients' active imagination. Unlike many other forms of therapy, active imagination comes directly from the client's unconscious. In art, sandplay, or doll work, the therapist holds the space and allows the client to play and create without analyzing or interpreting. While these areas are primarily Jungian tools, psychotherapists of a wide variety of backgrounds can practice art, doll, or sandplay therapy. And clients of all walks of life and all ages can benefit greatly from connecting with the unconscious through art and play, in a sacred space held by the therapist.

In this intermediate level course, Dr. David Van Nuys interviews seven experts in the field of active imagination. All of the interviews come in audio form, and all of them include written transcripts. In the first section, Dr. Monika Wikman introduces the listener to the concept of active imagination. In the second section, Dr. Tom Elsner, a former attorney, shares his knowledge of the function and the purpose of fairy tales. This section also includes interviews with Dr. Maria Hess and Dr. Liza Ravitz on Jungian sandplay work. In the third section, Dr. Geri Olson shares her wisdom on doll work and Dr. Suzanne Lovell discusses art therapy. In the fourth section, in our final interview, Dr. Jeff Raff explains ally work. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

This course is the fourth in a series on Jungian Psychotherapy with Dr. David Van Nuys. The first course is Understanding the Jungian Worldview, the second course is Exploring Jungian Archetypes, the third course is Jungian Tools and Applications, and the fifth course is Myth, Story, and Synchronicity.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Discuss the importance of active imagination.

2.    Recommend art, sandplay, doll therapy or other forms of active imagination.

3.    Explain the process of sandplay psychotherapy.

4.    Distinguish among methods of engaging active imagination.

5.    Explain the relationship of dreaming and sandplay work.

6.    Contrast cultural expectations with human needs.

Course Syllabus

  • Active Imagination
    • Definitions
    • Uses
    • Ways to engage
  • Jung
    • Background
    • Magic
    • Synchronicity
  • Fairy Tales
    • Comparison to myths
    • Function in society
    • General themes
    • Relationship to Shadow
  • Sandplay Work
    • Origins
    • Uses
    • Protocol
    • Psychotherapist role
  • Doll Work
    • Therapeutic uses
    • Protocol
  • Art Therapy
    • Requirements to practice
    • Suggested backgrounds
    • Methods
  • Ally Work
    • Shamanism
    • Magic
    • Different concepts of reality
    • The Imaginal
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