The Creation of Symbolic Meaning on the Path to Individuation

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C. G. Jung wrote extensively on symbols, beginning importantly with the work that heralded his break with Freud, Symbole und Wandlungen der Libido (Symbols and Transformations of Libido). The Red Book, which followed shortly afterwards, is itself a symbolic work in many respects, not only for its content of narrative and the painted images but for the meaning it held for Jung personally.

In this 3 hour seminar, Murray Stein and Warren Coleman look at Symbols and the symbolic process. Jungian psychology has been known for its interpretation of symbols as they appear in cultural materials such as myths, fairy tales and religious rituals. They also powerfully appear on a personal level in dreams, active imagination, projection and transference (or countertransference). Symbols often lead us through the transcendent function in psychic life and can become a primary motivator of change. Join us in this seminar as we look at personal symbols and how they effect our lives.

This courses meets the qualifications for 3.5 hours of continuing education credit for MFT’s & LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. (Provider #4958) Please contact your state (or international) licensing board to determine your board’s specific requirements.

The Asheville Jung Center is a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) – Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC – approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible of all aspects of the program. (Provider # 6594)


Murray Stein, Ph.D. is a training analyst and president of the International School of  Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland (ISAP Zurich). He is the author of The Principle of Individuation and many other books and articles in the field of Jungian Psychoanalysis. He is a founding member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts. From 2001 to 2004 he was president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. He is a highly sought after international lecturer and presently makes his home in Switzerland.

Warren Colman, M.A., is Editor of the Journal of Analytical Psychology and a Training Analyst at the Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP) in London, UK.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To compare traditional and contemporary Jungian thinking about symbols and their place in psychotherapy

  2. To analyze the creation, use and misuse of symbols in culture

  3. To create symbolic meaning and describe its impact on individuals and culture

  4. To describe symbolic processes in psychotherapy

  5. To critique new conceptualizations in analytical psychology that bear on symbols and the creation of symbolic meaning

Outline of Talk:

  1. “Introduction: Jung on Symbols and the Symbolic Life,” with discussion, by Murray Stein.
  2. “Some Reflections on the Creation of Symbolic Meaning,” with discussion, by Warren Colman.
  3. “Zurich vs. London on Symbols, Symbolic Meaning, Symbolic Life.” A dialogue between Murray Stein and Warren Colman and audience.
  4. “Some reflections on symbolic images and processes in analysis” by Murray Stein.


Bovensiepen, G (2002) Symbolic attitude and reverie: problems of symbolization in children and adolescents. Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol 47:2, 241-257

Colman, W. (2010) Dream Interpretation and the Creation of Symbolic Meaning. In Jungian Psychoanalysis (ed. M. Stein), pp. 94-108.

Jung, C.G. The transcendent function. In CW 8, paras. 131-193.

________. The Tavistock Lectures, Lectures 3 and 4. In CW.18. Paras. 145-303.

________. The Symbolic Life. In CW 18, paras. 608-696.

________. “Symbol” in Definitions. In CW 6, paras. 814-829.

Ronnenberg, A. (ed.) (2010) The Book of Symbols.

Stein, M. (2009) Symbol as Psychic Transformer. In Symbolic Life 2009 (ed. M. Stein), pp. 1-12.

Target Audience: MFTs, LCSWs, LPC’s, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counselors, Therapists and others wishing to gain a deeper understanding of Jungian Psychology
Continuing Education Course Schedule: 1. View video seminar 2. Review supplemental material (if present) 3. Take post-seminar exam 4. Fill out evaluation survey
Instructional level for Counselors, Social Workers and Psychologists: Intermediate Practitioner
Course Delivery Format: All Asheville Jung Center lectures are primarily online seminars and are essentially Non-Interactive except for email communication with us.
Course Completion Requirements: In order to receive CE credit for this course, participants must: pay the appropriate CE fee, view the entire seminar, review any supplementary materials if appropriate, complete a course evaluation (on line), and pass a brief online examination on the material. Certificates can be downloaded immediately after passing the exam. All CE recipients must attest that the name and license number on the certificate matches the person completing the materials.
Commercial Support for CE Seminar: None
Approval Information by Jurisdiction: Asheville Jung Center seminars often have participants from across the United States as well as 50 other countries. Seminars are approved for continuing education by the American Psychological Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors as well as the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Please consult your state’s licensing board to verify that you may use these credits professionally.
Deadline for Cancellations or Refunds: Please request any cancellations for refunds at least 24 hours prior to a seminar being presented for the first time. Refunds for seminars that have already occurred and access has been already granted cannot be accepted unless there is a technical or other superseding problem with it. Contact us at
ADA Accommodations: Asheville Jung Center seminars may be viewed from any home computer with appropriate internet access. If you have a disability that would interfere with your viewing a seminar on your computer, please contact us and we can look at all available formats.
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