Tending the Lunar Mind: Neurobiology, Metaphor and Dream interpretation in Jungian Analysis


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The International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) and the Asheville Jung Center are pleased to announce a joint presentation on Carl Jung and Neuroscience. Part 1 of this 2 section event features Murray Stein (supervising training analyst at the International School of Analytical Psychology) presenting from Zurich and Margaret Wilkinson (member of the editorial board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology) presenting from Northern England.  Part 2 features the presenters from the 29th Annual IASD International Conference held in Berkeley California (June 22 – 26, 2012). The IASD presenters include Ernest Hartmann, David Kahn, and Stanley Krippner with moderator Robert Hoss and Sonoma State University host Laurel McCabe.

This first portion of the seminar is two hours in duration and features Murray Stein and Margaret Wilkinson. Other partners in this event include Sonoma State University, the International School of Analytical Psychology, the Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Zurich Presentation by Dr. Murray Stein

“Tending the Lunar Mind – Dream Interpretation in Jungian Analysis”

Presented by Murray Stein

In an early work, Jung wrote about two types of thinking, directed and fantasy thinking. He had in mind what we might today see as the difference between left brain analytical thinking with words and right brain thinking in images and stories. The brain works differently in each mode, with different areas active and with different chemicals suffusing the neurons. Jung’s two types combine what we would now distinguish as right and left brain activity while awake and dream thinking while we are asleep. In referring to the lunar mind, I am speaking about the sleeping mind at work as it dreams us and also the (probably mostly) right brain activity that we use in active imagination. In Jungian psychoanalysis, we are concerned with bringing lunar and solar minds into contact with one another in the field of an analytic relationship, and working with dreams is an essential aspect of this process. In this lecture, Murray discusses some of the ways Jungian psychoanalysts may work with dreams in analysis.

Murray Stein, Ph.D. is a training analyst at the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich (ISAP-Zurich) and a former president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. He is the author of Jung’s Map of the Soul and the editor of Jungian Psychoanalysis. http://murraystein.com

Northern England with Margaret Wilkinson

Neurobiology, Metaphor and the Dreaming Process in Clinical Practice: a contemporary Jungian perspective.

Presented by Margaret Wilkinson

In this presentation Margaret discusses the nature and role of dreams and the dreaming process and its use in clinical practice. Insights from contemporary neurobiology support rather than contest Jung’s view that emotional truth underpins the dreaming process. Recent imaging studies confirm that dreams are the mind’s vehicle for the processing of emotional states of being, particularly the fear, anxiety, anger or elation that often figure prominently. Dream sleep is also the guardian of memory, playing a part in forgetting, encoding and affective organization of memory.

In the clinical sections of the presentation Margaret will let the dreams speak, revealing the emotionally salient concerns of the dreamers in a way that demonstrates the healthy attempt of the brain-mind to come to terms with difficult emotional experience. The dreams become dreamable as part of the meaning-making process.


Margaret Wilkinson is a Jungian analyst and writer. She practices in England and has a special interest in what neurobiology teaches us about dreaming.

Margaret Wilkinson is a professional member of the Society of Analytical Psychology, and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. She leads neurobiology research reading seminars for The Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy in Leeds and in Cambridge, and for The Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham. She is the author of numerous papers and two books: ‘Coming into mind. The mind-brain relationship: a Jungian clinical perspective’ (2006, Routledge) and ‘Changing Minds in Therapy. Emotion, Attachment, Trauma and Neurobiology’ (2010, Norton).
She is in private practice in North Derbyshire, England.
Email address: mwilkinsoncurbar@yahoo.co.uk

Margaret is a Jungian analyst, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council. Her degree is in history not in neuroscience, but as a historian she is particularly interested in the history and development of ideas and hence is open to new ways of thinking. As a clinician Margaret finds the new research into neurobiology, attachment, trauma and the dreaming process particularly relevant to her clinical practice.

Zurich learning objectives:

Participants will be able to:

1. Describe the different functions of the Lunar and Solar minds.
2. Explain the effect of sleep on the mind as well as it’s effect on direct and indirect thinking.

Northern England learning objectives:

Participants will be able to:

1. Discuss insights from research in the field of neurobiology to the dreaming process as encountered in clinical practice.
2. List the various ways in which metaphor presents in the consulting-room and discuss the evolving symbolizations as they may emerge in dream material in the course of an analysis.


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