EDUCATION: 1900 – University of Basel, Doctor of Medicine
THEORETICAL ORIENTATION: Psychoanalysis
INFLUENCES: Eugen Bleuler, Freud, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer
APPROACH TO WORKING WITH PEOPLE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE:
Divorce is a time of great loneliness in the lives of my patients. They are not alone. They are constantly in communication with their lawyers, kids, often with the ex, and often with friends. But they feel alone because they cannot be themselves with these people. Being yourself is talking about what pains you, and neither lawyers, nor friends, nor family can listen until the divorcing spouse feels seen and heard.
If they talk to me long enough, many of them will eventually talk about their fate, the fate to be alone or in unhappy relationships. The sense of fate comes from the experience of feeling powerless, from the impression that one’s life is ruled by unseen forces. These forces are invisible to the eye because they inhabit the unconscious. In each of us there is another whom we do not know. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
[Fishing with Sigmund]
Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it becomes. Divorce is the both the easiest and the most difficult time to become aware of your shadow. There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Your vision will become clearer only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
Divorce exposes your degree of individuation by forcing you to stand alone. For this reason it is also an opportunity to come to terms with who you are, accept yourself completely and perhaps also change your essence. You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become. But we cannot change anything until we accept it.
ADVICE TO THERAPISTS WORKING WITH PEOPLE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE:
- The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
- You cannot apply kindness and understanding to others if you have not applied it to yourself.
- The reason there is evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.
- What you resist, persists.
ADVICE TO PEOPLE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE:
- A marriage is more likely to succeed if the woman follows her own star and remains conscious of her wholeness than if she constantly concerns herself with her husband’s star and his wholeness.
- Nourish the soul. Otherwise, you will breed dragons and devils in your heart.
- Everything that irritates you about others can lead you to an understanding of yourself.