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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
The Schizophrenia Complex and The Turbulent Waters of Unconscious Mind
As a psychedelic podcast, we regularly explore the work of Carl Jung as it applies to both psychotherapy and general to understanding the human mind.
This is because Jungian perspectives tend to have substantial utility in making sense of psychedelic experiences specifically, and expanded states of consciousness generally. Explicitly, we have explored Jungian perspective on psychedelic integration with Maria Papaspyrou in episode 104, Spiritual crisis and psychosis with Tim Read in episode 172, and even the psychological wounding of men by society way back in episode 75 with James Hollis. Generally though, Jungian perspectives often flow into many of the episodes due to the prevalence of certain Jungian concepts in psychedelic culture, such as archetypes and the shadow, for example.
This will be another explicitly Jungian episode, this time exploring schizophrenia. Specially, the schizophrenia complex as it is presented by Jungian analyst Dr. Eve Maram.
Dr. Eve Maram is a clinical and forensic psychologist and a certified Jungian Analyst in private practice in Orange, California. She is a member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts (IRSJA) and the CG Jung Institute of Santa Fe, as well as the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP). She has authored two books (Psychopathy Within, Chiron 2016 and The Schizophrenia Complex, Chiron 2022) as well as several chapters and articles.
Throughout the interview we talk about Dr. Maram’s perspective on schizophrenia, of it as a condition wherein the organizing function of the ego is overwhelmed by the turbulence waters of the unconscious (a statement that will be well flushed out in the interview), but we also go deep into her model of the schizophrenia complex, which is the bundle of “thoughts and feelings constellated by encounters with what we call schizophrenia, for those who experience symptoms, and for those others impacted by them” (another statement that will be fully flushed out throughout the interview).
Throughout this interview we also explore what a complex is; the role schizophrenia played in the development of Jung’s theories; the vital important of relationship for those with schizophrenia; how schizophrenia attacks relatedness; the various ways the schizophrenia complex arises within us and why; pharmaceutical vs non-pharmaceutical treatments of schizophrenia; the changing cultural tides around how medicine perceives schizophrenia; and practical advice for relating with those who have schizophrenia and their symptoms, advice for practitioners, loved-ones, and even for people with the condition themselves.
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Episode Breakdown and Timestamps
- (0:00) Opening
- (1:47) Episode overture and guest bio
- (5:21) Patron thanks
- (7:38) Interview begins
- (8:23) How Dr. Maram came to study schizophrenia
- (15:03) A Jungian definition of “complex”
- (18:14) The Schizophrenia Complex
- (24:10) How schizophrenia was essential in the development of Jung’s ideas
- (26:37) We don’t really know what schizophrenia is, exactly.
- (28:36) Schizophrenia as the ego mind being flooded by the unconscious
- (36:01) The Schizophrenia Complex arises from our fear of total annihilation
- (44:44) That fear is justified, for many reasons, what matters is that we are conscious of it.
- (51:09) Relationship is essential in navigating schizophrenia; but schizophrenia attacks relatedness
- (54:21) The Schizophrenia Complex manifesting through fawning (trying to save them)
- (1:00:04) Treating schizophrenia: pharmaceutical vs non-pharmaceutical methods
- (1:07:56) Anosognosia
- (1:09:32) Exploring the changing cultural tides around how medicine perceives schizophrenia
- (1:13:32) Telling the difference between psychosis and spiritual crisis
- (1:16:22) Some practical advice for practitioners working with people with schizophrenia
- (1:20:18) Some practical advice for people with schizophrenia grappling with their diagnosis and condition
- (1:24:58) Some practical advice for people living with/caring for loved ones with schizophrenia
- (1:31:51) Follow-up links and information about Dr. Maram’s book, The Schizophrenia Complex
- (1:32:38) Closing