Threshold Experiences: The Archetype of Beginnings
Publish Date: 2007-11-04
Author: Michael Conforti
In the beginning , so goes many a great story. These familiar words beckon us across a threshold, often transporting us into unknown worlds and novel experiences. So too our lives are filled with many such beginnings - new jobs, relationships, adventures, and even the inception of life itself. Each of these threshold experiences not only introduces us to new domains, but also draws us into the realities of archetypal fields. Learning to creatively interact with these prefigured, a priori fields can allow us rich access to sources of eternal wisdom. Jungian analyst Michael Conforti's examination of the initial clinical interview as a threshold experience shows that the same archetypal processes responsible for the generation of life iself also shape patient- therapist relationships, creating fascinating, highly patterned dynamics. These powerful fields structure events so that core issues in clients', and often even therapists', lives are re-enacted in the therapeutic setting, with remarkable fidelity to the archetypal field within which each is embedded. Conforti's deft weaving together of psychological and scientific theory, dream analysis, and clinical vignettes elucidates the ways that the psyche entrains both client and therapist into a synchronized pattern. An understanding of the role of the Self in this process reveals the profound meaning and purpose that can be gleaned from careful attention to the communications occurring during the early phase of the therapeutic dialogue. Drawing from the fields of Jungian psychology, biology, quantum physics, and the new sciences, the author provides a unique lens for viewing the central archetypal dynamics operating within an individual life. His findings demonstrate how past experiences not only shape the initial stages of therapy, but also allow us to understand the future trajectory of treatment. This important study confirms C.G. Jung's assertion of the need for an interdisciplinary perspective if we are to truly comprehend the workings of the psyche.