A Jungian Approach to Coaching
This book provides a wonderfully structured and easily readable journey into the world of coaching from a Jungian perspective. In an exploration of the hidden, unconscious dynamics that impact how individuals, teams and orga nizations behave, it suggests some very practical ways in which Jungian psy chology can be applied to create healthier and more humane places of work. It is a 'must read' for anyone who is curious about what is going on 'below the surface' in themselves or their
... with others, whether as a coach, consultant or a friend. The beauty of this book is that its content provides insights which are relevant to all aspects of our lives. At a time of significant societal conflict, it is gift to humanity in helping us understand the troubling and at times irrational aspects of individuals and groups. Its appli cation and relevance is far broader than simply the world of coaching and organizational consulting. Our world needs the deeper understanding that Laurence shares with us. Anyone truly interested in helping individuals and teams to live and work more effectively will greatly benefit from the practical and insightful perspectives that Laurence provides." Roger Lehman, Emeritus Senior Affiliate Professor, INSEAD and Senior Lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bob the cat My transcendent function Why Jung Matters As a student, I spent a summer studying the prehistoric cave art of southwestern France. My university offered discretionary grants for academic studies during the holidays, and although I wasn't particularly interested in cave art, I wanted to spend a lazy summer rock climbing at someone else's expense. What I saw there changed my life. Instead of the simplistic, two-dimensional images I had expected, I saw deeply moving and evocative living frescoes. Painted in black and ochre, and enhanced by carving, herds of animals, handprints, and abstract symbols came to life in the shadows of torches or simulations of candlelight. These images had also been made and remade, suggesting a dynamism and sig nificance that extended beyond simply the image itself. I was able to meet with Michel Lorblanchet, a leading expert in palaeolithic art, who suggested that any attempt to make sense of the images was the equivalent of recon structing the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church by examining the floorplan of the Vatican. I was left with a feeling of mystery and confusion, and of being on the edge of something I felt but could not fully apprehend. A few months later, in what I would later come to understand as a 'synchroni city', where the events of the outer world and the images of the inner world seem to align in a meaningful coincidence, I was given a book, 'the Myth of the Goddess'. In this seminal text the Jungian analysts Anne Baring and Jules Cashford explored the evolution of mother goddess imagery from prehistoric times using Jungian psychology as a lens. This lens allowed me to make some sense of my experience and consider the possibility that 'the Neolithic experience is not dead and gone but still lives on within us as the archaic ground of the 20th century psyche' (Baring and Cashford 1990 p.105). It would shape my life and work for the next three decades. Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who, alongside Sigmund Freud, remains one of the most significant psychologists of the 20th century. His work has influenced not only psychology but the worlds of art and media, literature, anthropology, quantum physics, and popular culture. He suggested that the mind of each individual does not simply develop from our own experience, but from the collective experiences of humankind itself as a shared and living memory, of which we are usually not consciously aware.