What is depth psychology?
Psyche was the ancient Greek word for soul. At the centre of the discipline of depth psychology lies the notion of the soul, which Sigmund Freud described as 'the fragile insubstantial essence of the self which needs to be approached gently and with love'. Although it is impossible to define precisely what the soul is, we know intuitively that it has to do with genuineness and depth (just think of soul music, soul friends, or soul-food!).
Whereas mainstream approaches to psychology emphasise brain function and observable behaviour, depth psychology values the more intangible, spiritually important unconscious. Depth psychology tends to the soul, and to what lies below conscious awareness. It is a psychology of the sacred, which gives birth to or allows for the re-birth of the human soul, and recognizes the depth of human experiences. Based on the premise that there is a psychic reality beyond ego consciousness, depth psychology acknowledges the continuous interaction of conscious and unconscious influences on human behaviour.
Beneath our conscious experience is a personal unconscious, filled with thoughts, feelings, and memories of which we are usually unaware. At a deeper level lies what the Swiss psychologist CG Jung described as the collective unconscious – a field of fundamental possibilities inherited from the long history of experiences of the human species, which finds expression through various cultural and personal filters. Jung reintroduced the ancient idea of archetypes as structuring principles of the collective unconscious.
Why a Centre for 'archetype, imagination and vocation'?