Summoned or Not
Complex, Fiction, and Writer’s Block
2023 Jungian Society for Scholary Studies Conference
Jung and the Numinous: Art, Science and Psyche
July 27–30, 2023
Speaking as a novelist and a Jungian, Faith will share her experiences with writer’s block in light of complex theory, reflecting on the numinous power of writing in-complex, and the darkness that remains when complexes depart. Might the tending of our complexes be the most important creative practice of all? conference website
Mansion of Mind
Dissociation and Nightmare in Sanderson's Legion Novellas
6th “Trauma and Nightmare” International Interdisciplinary Conference
March 16–17, 2023
Protagonist Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane ... but only because his 47 hallucinatory ‘aspects’ carry his madness. And when Leeds’
intrapsychic control slips, his subpersonalities turn into nightmares. Leeds’ story is the focus of this presentation, an examination
of Brandon Sanderson’s Legion trilogy through the lens of complex psychology. Here, we will consider Sanderson’s compelling portrait of
a fictional disorder blending elements of both schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder (DID).
This fantasied model of the pluralistic psyche raises important questions about dissociation, loss, and, finally,
the power of the imagination to help us cope and heal.
In a World of Pure Imagination
The Complex Wounds of Charlie Bucket
3rd Memory, Trauma & Recovery Conference
September 22–23, 2022
Many in the West will recall Mel Stuart’s 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory —
but how many remember it fondly? Frequently (and justifiably) labeled as ‘nightmare fuel,’
I suggest that this childhood fantasy serves as an allegory for the mind of the traumatized child.
That, in fact, the action of the movie depicts a wounded boy and his psyche’s attempts to safeguard him
from future pain, embracing psychological strategies including dissociation and complex formation.
This presentation will consider viewers’ memories of the film, its form as a fantastical trauma
narrative, and the way the tale vividly depicts the inner life of the wounded child in us all.
related academic paper
Trauma & the Autonomous Complex
5th “Trauma and Nightmare” International Interdisciplinary Conference
March 17–18, 2022
Jung’s concept of the autonomous complex dovetails powerfully with questions of trauma. Many, perhaps all, complexes are born from traumatic experiences and, when constellated, draw us instantly and insistently back to the felt-sense of our wounding. Jungian thought, blended with newer approaches like those of Internal Family Systems therapy, offers tools for encountering and working with autonomous complexes. This presentation will cover these foundational concepts and tools, as well as asking the deeper ethical question, What do we owe to our traumatized complexes?