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Confrontation with the Unconscious
Jungian Depth Psychology and Psychedelic Experience
Confrontation with the Unconscious
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Scott J. Hill - Author
Muswell Hill Press
Price: $24.95 
Paperback - 250 pages
Release Date: November 2013
ISBN13: 978-1-908995-07-0



Demonstrates the relevance of Jungian archetypal psychology to psychedelic and transpersonal research.

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.

“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., Jungian analyst and President Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Philemon Foundation that funded the publication of C. G. Jung’s Red Book

“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, author of The Unfolding Self

“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, 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, Co-President of the Association of Transpersonal Psychology

“A landmark study … timely, impeccably researched, and wisely conceived.” — Sean Kelly, author of Individuation and the Absolute: Hegel, Jung, and the Path Toward Wholeness

Scott J. Hill, PhD, 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.

Distributed for Muswell Hill Press

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Table of Contents


Part 1. Encountering the Unconscious

1. Jung’s Confrontation with the Unconscious and its Relation to Psychedelic Experience

Psychedelic Research and Theory: a Brief History
Jung, Jungians, and Psychedelic Experience

2. Psychedelic Psychotherapy

Psycholytic and Psychedelic Models
Schools of Psychedelic Psychotherapy
An Early Jungian Approach to Psychedelic Psychotherapy

3. Basic Jungian Concepts and Principles

Consciousness and the Unconscious
The Relationship Between Consciousness and the Unconscious Individuation
Archetypes and Their Manifestation in the Psyche
Dreams and Other Symbolic Products of the Unconscious

4. Jung’s Explanation of Psychedelic Experience

A Lowering of the Threshold of Consciousness
the Limits of Integration
Ronald Sandison’s Response to Jung’s Criticism

Part 2. Jungian Insights Into Difficult Psychedelic Experiences

5. Psychedelic Experience and Trauma

Difficult Psychedelic Experiences as Potentially Traumatic
Psychedelic-Induced Trauma
The Relation of Trauma in Jungian Psychology to Psychedelic Experience
Kalsched’s Model of the Psyche’s Archetypal Self-Care System
Trauma and Dissociation in Jung’s Psychology
Trauma an d Jung’s theory of the Complex
Possession by Complexes in Relation the Archaic Psychological Defenses
The Emergence of Trauma-Based Imagery in Psychedelic Experience

6. Psychedelic Experience and the Shadow

The Shadow in Jung’s Psychology
Personal and Archetypal Levels of the Shadow
The Overwhelmingly Numinous Nature of the Archetypal Psyche
Resistance to and Projection of the Shadow
The Shadow in Psychedelic Experience

7. Psychedelic Experience and Psychosis

Psychosis and Psychotic States
Psychedelics as Psychosis-Inducing Substances
From the Psychotomimetic to the Psychedelic Paradigm
The Psychotomimetic Paradigm Reconsidered
Transpersonal Explanations of Psychedelic-Induced Psychotic States
Accounts of Psychedelic-Induced Psychotic States

8. Psychosis in Jung’s Psychology

Jung’s Focus on Schizophrenic Forms of Psychosis
Commonalities Between Schizophrenia and Other Conditions
Neurosis, Latent Psychosis, and Manifest Psychosis
Reduced Consciousness and Psychedelic-Induced Psychotic States
Accounts of Psychedelic-Induced Psychotic States

9. Psychedelic Experience and Transformation

The Transformative Potential of Psychedelic Experiences
The Transformative Potential of Psychotic States
The Transformative Potential of Psychedelic-Induced Psychotic States

10. A Jungian Approach to the Transformative Potential of Difficult Psychedelic Experiences

Jung on the Healing Potential of Psychotic Experiences
The Painful Passage Through the Shadow Towards Wholeness
Treating Trauma: Integration Versus Abreaction in Jung’s Psychology
Jung’s Definitions of Trauma and Abreaction
Grof’s View of Abreaction
Jung’s Critique of Abreaction
Drawing from Both Grof and Jung
The Transformative Potential of Psychedelic Psychotherapy: Two Case Studies
Dr. Rick Strassman’s Report
Dr. Margot Cutner’s Report

Part 3. Jung’s Psychology and Psychedelic Psychotherapy

11. The Transcendent Function: Jung’s Approach to Integration

12. Jungian Psychotherapy

The Method and Purpose
Gaining Access
Coming to Terms With the Unconscious

The Relationship Between Analyst and Patient
The Analyst
The Dialectical Relationship
The Transference

Dreams and Their Interpretation
The Sphere of the Irrational
The Purpose of Value of Dreams
The Compensating Function of Dreams

13. Implications for Psychedelic Psychotherapy

Subject Readiness
The Therapist and the Dialectical Relationship
The Compensating Function
The Significance of the Collective Unconscious
Integration and the Role of Ego-Consciousness


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