Current seminar:

Dreams: Their Meaning and Uses from an Orientational Jungian Approach

Following is a selected list of seminars, workshops and lectures he has delivered in the United States and Canada:

  • The Archetype of the Angel

    Every blade of grass has over it an angel saying “grow”
    — Source: The Talmud

    In fairy tales and sacred literature, angels with flaming swords guard the entrance to the golden treasure—only those who know the password may enter. In this illustrated seminar, we will take a fascinating look at how angels have been described in literature and portrayed in religious iconography since ancient times, across many cultures. Once we have developed a “resume” for what angels do and how they do it, we will use the key to symbolic understanding given us by the pioneering Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung.

    Our goal will be to get past the “flaming sword” that stands in the way of a modern understanding of the meaning of the phenomenon of angels. After all, we’d like to feel that our forefathers and ancestors were talking about something valid, and in fact, something real, when they spoke of angels.

    Through the use of analytical psychology, we will explore the meaning of:

    • Finding One’s Identity by Wrestling with (Dark) Angels
    • Sexual Intercourse with Angels
    • Children born of the union between Humans and Angels
    • The Role of Angels in the Creation of Evil (i.e. Fallen Angels)
    • Consciousness, Angels and Sin
    • Befriending the Angel of Choice

    Our day will be filled with discovery as well as controversy. Angels are a wonderful, and even thrilling, example of how an understanding of religious and mythological traditions can enrich our lives, if we bring to bear a knowledge of symbols through Jung’s methods.

  • The Archetype of Empathy: Its Role in Advancing our Lives and Careers

    Although Jung’s writings on empathy are not extensive, the topic is fundamental to the application of all of his work. Empathy has unmatched power to transform our experiences of ourselves and others, of life and work. In this course, we will explore the dimensions of empathy, and discuss many examples that reveal how meaning and creative living are brought about by empathy. Class members will be encouraged to bring examples from their own lives.

  • Power In Everyday Life: At Work and in Relationships

    We need personal power to accomplish our goals and reach our potential. During this seminar we will explore the nature of the ego’s relationship to power; the distinctions between power and influence; the source of temptations connected with abuse of power in both work life and politics; the impact of powerlessness on the career; Jung’s famous contrast between power and love; and methods, both positive and negative, for increasing power. We will also note historical landmarks in the development of attitudes towards power in philosophy, religion and psychology.

  • The Persona: Archetype of Successful Adaptation

    With characteristic dry humor, C.G. Jung wrote that the development of the persona “is usually rewarded in cash.” The persona, the public face (or mask) we show to the outside world, can help us relate in a flexible and differentiated way, fulfilling the expectations of those around us and maneuvering through existing social conditions to meet our own goals and desires. (A healthy persona brings not just money, but also self-expression, companionship, recognition, opportunity, and creative accomplishment.)

    Difficulties with the persona arise when, through poor adaptation to the world, we fail to catch on to the necessities, boundaries, customs and roles of our profession or environment. Equal difficulties arise when we identify too strongly with a persona role, (a persona can be sticky!) and lose our sense of self and our soul.

    The paradox is that in order to fashion a genuinely successful persona for the benefit of the world, each of us requires specialized knowledge of our own unique individual make-up.

    In this day long seminar we will examine the nature of the persona and the archetype of adaptation, with plentiful examples from daily life. Our goal will be to reveal how the development of a sound relationship between the ego and persona can bring us what we want—and what we need.

  • An Archetypal Approach to American Political Life

    In this course we will define a Jungian approach to political involvement in America. Topics will include: The role of the discovery of the unconscious in redefining the emerging new concept of the “consciously participating citizen.” What can and cannot be discussed in a given era: the idea of the archetypal hot spot. Understanding current American political leaders, from an archetypal perspective. What is the role of the Feeling Function in political discourse? The role of ritual in political life. What not-yet-visible lines of future development of American political life can be identified from a Jungian perspective: Where are we heading? As a group, we will define the nature of a “Jungian Political Party.”

  • The Role of Family History in the Career

    “The secrets of the parents have the most extraordinary influence upon the lives of the children, and nothing in the world will prevent the children from being influenced.” C.G. Jung

    In this course we will examine the role of the parents and family in transmitting career interests, career problems and obstacles, and career goals.  We will explore how dimensions of our “career anima” and “career animus” are handed down both positively and negatively over the generations. Our focus will be on how the individual can shape his or her own working life in relation to how he/she has been shaped. Class participants will be encouraged to bring material from their own lives for the discussion section of the course.

  • The Career As An Expression of the (Higher) Self

    In this course we will explore how the Self is behind the energy for our career. Our goal will be to uncover new images that allow us to raise our level of awareness, creativity, and self-expression in the career. Topics to be covered will include: the role of the persona in career success; career ambition, sent by the Self; the task from the Self which lies behind each profession; and the role of the Anima/Animus in motivation for Creativity. We well also include how the psyche generates Transformative images of Work for purposes of renewal. Participants are encouraged to bring material from their own lives and careers for discussion.

  • Making Meaning at Work in a Time of Upheaval

    While staying within the boundaries of our professional role, can we help others in our workplace to overcome fear, terror and immobility? Jung’s unique archetypal perspective can help us to understand how we can digest overwhelming national events both at work and in our private and personal lives.

    In this workshop, we will look at how the individual can become centered and anchored within a time of upheaval and change. Our focus will be on the nature of helpful interventions in the workplace, from a Jungian perspective. Participants will be invited to bring examples from their professional experience, and the workshop will be interactive.

  • The Archetype of Renewal in the Career

    Any essential change of attitude signifies a psychic renewal, which is usually accomplished by symbols of rebirth in the patient’s dreams and fantasies. C.G. Jung

    Ideas and fantasies about the need for renewal in the career have a symbolic meaning that can be understood using Jung’s approach. The need for a rebirth through a new attitude is a key Jungian concept; in this course we will examine several means by which this renewal can take place. Topics will include career renewal through contact with fantasies, fears and yearnings, and dream images. We will examine the concept and experience of wholeness as it applies to the career, and explore the role of life issues in the career and in the development of personality. The chief focus of the course will be on how the psyche gives highly specific indications of the direction for renewal in the career for each individual. Class members will be encouraged to discuss material of relevance to their own lives.

  • The Archetype of the Career Journey: Acts of Transformation

    How are we to gain a sense of our career as a meaningful journey as a whole? What can help us to unite the many unfolding experiences that come from different jobs and tasks that fill our working lives? How do we arrive at a sense of career purpose and fulfillment? Jung says that in the journey to higher development, the symbol acts as a transformer of energy. In this course we will take a look at differing images of the career journey, of career meaning, and of career transformation. We will trace how obstacles stand in the way of our acts of transformation, and how our own naturally arising symbols offer the potential to get our career journey on the right path.

  • The Career as a Psychological Mirror: The Role of the Shadow, Persona, and Anima/Animus in Work

    What we don’t face on the inside, we meet on the outside, according to C.G. Jung. This course will examine the role of the shadow in aiding or interfering with our career goals. We will also focus on the role of the positive and negative anima/animus in leading us towards or away from a satisfying experience of our work life. We will look at career situations and dilemmas as a “mirror” of inner development, with an emphasis on the tasks that the ego is called upon to undertake, in both changes of attitude and practical steps. In addition, we will examine the role of the persona in achieving outer success. Class participants will be encouraged to bring material from their own careers for the discussion section of this course.

  • Finding the Soul in the Career

    How do we find an experience of the soul in our careers? The longing for a career with a soul is a profound desire which burns brightly in many people today.  If this longing isn’t brought to realization in some measure, it creates increasing anguish as the working years go by. Above all, it’s the “job” of our conscious awareness to take account of matters of the soul and give them their place in our life.

    This course will examine the ways in which Jung approaches the soul as an objective reality. We will draw conclusions for infusing the career with the qualities we associate with the soul: deeper meaningfulness, joy, and a sense of the importance of our work.

    First Section

    According to Jung, we can “define the soul on the one hand as the relation to the unconscious, and on the other as a personification of unconscious contents.”

    In this short but powerful statement, Jung gives us a compressed understanding of the way the soul operates in the human system.

    When, for example, we are caught up in the dramatic events of our careers, we fail to realize that we ourselves have imbued these same outer events with the qualities of our own psyche. Taking back the projections to the outer world will enrich our experiencing of it, and our understanding of it. Then a new process can begin: the experiencing of the ego’s relationship to the soul, and the ways in which this process can be brought into reality in the world and the career.

    Second Section

    Jung states that identification with the persona can lead to loss of soul. What does he mean by that and by the “negative soul” or negative anima or animus? How does the positive soul work in bringing the experience of meaning to our lives and careers?

    Third Section

    The soul has a profound significance in the religious practice of human beings all over the world. How does Jung understand the soul’s connection to religious experience and how can this be brought into careers which seemingly are “secular?”

    Fourth Section

    What are the common images and fantasies in the lives of working people which can lead to an experience of the soul? What is the role of what Jung called the “transcendent function” in realizing the contents of the soul?

    Fifth Section

    From a Jungian point of view, what does it mean to have a rebirth or renewal of the soul, or to experience healing of the soul? How is the soul renewed in our career?

  • How Overcoming Learning Disabilities Can Boost Your Career

    (excerpt from New York Post feature article by David Rottman)

    What do these three people have in common:

    –The lawyer whose office looks like a cyclone has just hit. Memos and telephone messages are scattered on the floor and under the desk. Files rest precariously on top of the lamps. Most dangerously, contracts perch on the edge of the waste basket. Everyone who sits in his office can’t help wondering if those contracts might just slide in. Although he is bright and well liked, no one views this lawyer as a contender for top management. He is simply too disorganized.

    –The woman who dreams of being a social worker, but can’t find the shampoo at the supermarket. She knows where the bread and milk are, but if she wants to buy something special, she often leaves the store without it. “Shampoo?” says the stock boy, “that’s three aisles over, on the right side, on the fifth shelf.” She looks carefully on the left side, on the fifth shelf, and then on the third and fourth and sixth shelves and then in the second aisle and then the fourth aisle and finally she gives up…not just on the shampoo, but also on the idea of driving a car and on her dream of pursuing a career in social work.

    –The middle manager who always protests that he has “too much on his plate.” The stress of overwork leaves him exhausted. Today he leaves a team meeting with no clear recollection of what he should do as a result of the long and complicated discussion. Because he is conscientious, he calls up a co-worker after the meeting and asks “Was I supposed to be doing a memo on that new project, or was it you?” His co-worker’s response is kindly (“I believe it was you”), but the middle manager has reinforced his already blemished reputation as a poor listener. His opportunities for career advancement are sabotaged by the fact that everyone thinks he overreacts to pressure and that he is just a bit “slow.”

    Without knowing it, each of these three people suffers from career-limiting learning disabilities. All three can be helped to overcome the spatial, motor, visual, and auditory perceptual difficulties that underlie their problems, according to Motke Pomerantz, founder and director of Manhattan’s PerDev Perceptual Development Center.

    Perceptual problems can result in difficulties with writing, thinking, verbal expression, organizing, problem solving, math functions, and even creative expression.

    “Many times people simply adjust to living with this kind of frustration and lack of enjoyment in their careers,” says Pomerantz. “Frequently these kind of organizational and perceptual difficulties can be improved, and many times eliminated, by working through a process of developmental perceptual therapy.”

    The lawyer, for example, has a problem with visual memory. He leaves the files, contracts and papers in view because he is frightened that he won’t be able to find them if they are out of sight. When he began treatment at PerDev, he was unable to reproduce a simple four block design from memory. However he could perform at a high level if the designs were placed in front of him as cues. After undergoing a program designed to retrain his visual memory, he was able to clean up his office and keep it organized on a permanent basis. The sense of triumph at overcoming a lifelong problem was a huge morale booster that reenergized his career.

    The would-be social worker has a problem with spatial orientation. As a child, she had difficulty reading. “What does it mean to read? You must look from left to right, then you must go from one line to the next and the next. At the most basic level, that’s spatial orientation and if a child has a problem with it, she will have difficulty not just with reading but with orienting herself in space as a adult,” says Pomerantz.

    PerDev treats children as well as adults, and Pomerantz maintains that career-limiting perceptual difficulties can always be traced back to a failure to negotiate so-called “normal” stages of childhood perceptual development. His pioneering method begins by working with a patient’s least developed mode of functioning and then raising it to the next level.

    As a result, the would-be social worker had to undergo a process of “educating” her motor and spatial functioning at the level of a five year old. She even had to learn to walk and skip in sequence. After graduating from the PerDev program, she went on to social work school and is now employed in her dream vocation.

    As for the middle manager, he has a problem with “auditory-visual synchronization.” When he sits in meetings, he has difficulty processing what goes in through his ears (“John, would you do this one?”) with simultaneous visual information from hand-outs and slides. As a child, he experienced great difficulties in comprehension when the teacher spoke her instructions at the board. “Because he lacks the perceptual ability to synchronize the speed of reading with the different speed of listening, he gets lost,” says Pomerantz. The middle manager’s treatment program focused on connecting visual images to auditory information. For example, he had to learn to form a mental picture of numbers when they were read out to him by a PerDev therapist. The result of completing his treatment program was a profound reduction in stress, and a new level of confidence in his abilities.

    “People who don’t realize they have perceptual problems often think they should switch careers,” says Pomerantz. “Very often the problems can be traced to childhood perceptual development, and then there is a good chance that perceptual treatment will bring new potential into the career.”