Confrontation with the Unconscious: Jungian Depth Psychology and Psychedelic Experience (Muswell Hill Press)

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9781908995070: Confrontation with the Unconscious: Jungian Depth Psychology and Psychedelic Experience (Muswell Hill Press)

Carl Gustav Jung pioneered the transformative potential of the deep unconscious. Psychedelic substances provide direct and powerful access to this inner world. How, then, might Jungian psychology help us to better understand the nature of psychedelic experiences? And how might psychedelics assist the movement toward psychological transformation described by Jung? Jungian depth psychology and psychedelic psychotherapy are both concerned with coming to terms with unconscious drives, complexes, and symbolic images. Unaware of significant evidence for the safe clinical use of psychedelic drugs, Jung himself remained wary of psychedelics and staunchly opposed their therapeutic use. His bias has prevented Jungians from objectively considering the benefits as well as the risks of using psychedelics for psychological healing and growth. Confrontation with the Unconscious intertwines psychedelic research, personal accounts of psychedelic experiences, and C. G. Jung’s work on trauma, the shadow, psychosis, and psychospiritual transformation—including Jung’s own “confrontation with the unconscious”— to show the relevance of Jung’s penetrating insights to the work of Stanislav Grof, Ann Shulgin, Ronald Sandison, Margot Cutner, among other psychedelic and transpersonal researchers, and to demonstrate the great value of Jung’s penetrating insights for understanding difficult psychedelic experiences and promoting safe and effective psychedelic exploration and psychotherapy.

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About the Author:

Scott J. Hill, Ph. D., lives in Sweden, where he conducts scholarly research on the intersection between psychedelic studies and Jungian psychology. He holds degrees in psychology from the University of Minnesota and in philosophy and religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Review:

"Scott Hill's brilliant book presents a sophisticated analysis of how psychedelic experiences may be understood from the standpoint of Jung's archetypal psychology."
- Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author of The Unfolding Self and other books, including The Psychedelic Experience (with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert)

"A perceptive and creative interface between the thought of Carl Jung and contemporary psychedelic research, now in its rebirth, by a scholar who skilfully articulates a profound comprehension of both realms of knowledge."
- William A. Richards, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

"The Jungian insights Dr. Hill provides here are invaluable for clinicians working with acute psychedelic crises and the integration of difficult psychedelic experiences. They also shed light on the robust archetypal dynamics of all psychological transformation."
- David Lukoff, Ph.D., co-president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and co-author of the DSM-IV category Religious or Spiritual Problem

"A landmark study ... timely, impeccably researched, and wisely conceived."
- Sean Kelly, Ph.D., author of Individuation and the Absolute: Hegel, Jung, and the Path Toward Wholeness

“The wisdom in this book offers hope that we can heal the psychological wounds and political divisions of the past, objectively assess the benefits as well as the risks of psychedelics, and move toward a more informed and mature application of these valuable substances.”
- Rick Doblin, Ph.D., executive director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

"Dr. Scott J. Hill’s comprehensive volume [is] the first significant reconsideration of psychedelics in light of Jungian psychology since the 1950s. In fact, what Dr. Hill has created is a sourcebook for those interested in such a natural interface for the compelling reason that Jung’s work is a psychology of inner exploration and, understood properly, psychedelics or entheogens can be an ideal tool in this endeavor. Moreover, its publication coincides with a renewed interest in psychedelics in terms of research and their clinical utility and the revaluation of something culturally long forbidden. . . . Dr. Scott Hill has written a big book about a thorny subject and I, for one, am extremely grateful, though my few words scarcely do it justice. Speaking as a seeker after consciousness, it is about time that someone called our attention back to the potential value of the psychedelic experience as a bona fide agent in personal transformation. And speaking as a Jungian analyst, it is about time that serious consideration of and openness to it should replace the quick judgment and summary dismissal I witnessed so long ago."
- Stephen A. Martin, Psy. D., is a licensed psychologist and a certified Jungian analyst who has been in practice for over thirty years. He is the President Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Philemon Foundation that funded the publication of C. G. Jung’s Red Book.

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