The C.G. Jung Foundation Continuing Education courses are five-week courses designed to be informative and stimulating both to the general public and to professionals. Our program offers you the opportunity to study and explore analytical psychology, the works of C.G. Jung, and fields of related interest.
Read more about all of the currently offered CE Courses
The Meaning of Life
5 consecutive Thursdays, 6:00–7:30 pm
Beginning Octobber 3, 2019
Instructor: Sanford L. Drob, PhD
7.5 CE contact hours for licensed NYS Social Workers, Psychoanalysts and Creative Arts Therapists.
Jung held that psychotherapy involves more than just the relief of symptoms and can assist individuals in achieving individuation and making a deeper connection with life-meaning. In this class, we will examine philosophical and psychological conceptions of “the meaning of life” from the Bible and ancient Greece to the present day, consider the relationship between psyche, life-meaning, and value, and explore the relevance of life-meaning to individuation and the psychotherapeutic process.
Jung’s ambivalence between existential and archetypal views of life meaning will be discussed and his concept of the “objective psyche” will be seen as an effort to provide a bridge between personal and cosmic meaning. The relevance of Gnostic, alchemical and Kabbalistic symbols to life-meaning will be explored and selected writings of Jung and Erich Neumann on these topics will be examined. Finally, we will see how Jung’s archetypes of the collective unconscious can be interpreted as a system of meaning and value which provides a comprehensive understanding of cosmic and personal life meaning, one that is expressed in symbols and embodied in the world’s mythological traditions, and which gives considerable latitude for individual choice.
- Describe how the process of psychotherapy can go beyond symptom relief to work on issues related to individuation and life meaning.
- Articulate the classical responses to the question of life’s meaning and relate these to the phenomenology of the human mind and the archetypes of the collective unconscious as they are understood in Jungian psychology.
- Describe and critique the distinction between “personal” and “cosmic” meaning and its relevance to the ethics of psychology and psychotherapy.
- Articulate how a metaphorical understanding of such age-old disciplines as Kabbalah and alchemy provide a guide to our understanding of the meaning of life and the process of individuation/self-actualization.
- Assess the significance of the archetype of “the Shadow” for life-meaning.
Sanford L. Drob, PhD, is on the Core Faculty of the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, and the C.G. Jung Institute in New York. He holds doctorates in philosophy and clinical psychology and served for many years as the Director of Psychological Assessment and Senior Forensic Psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in New York. His Reading the Red Book: An Interpretive Guide to C. G. Jung’s Liber Novus was published by Spring Journal Books, in June 2012. His other books include Kabbalistic Visions: C.G. Jung and Jewish Mysticism, Kabbalah and Postmodernism: A Dialog, and Archetype of the Absolute:The Unity of Opposites in Mysticism, Philosophy and Psychology.
For more information on our Continuing Education courses, including fees, locations, and how to register, please view the Continuing Education page.