Dreams, Symbols and Homeopathy: Archetypal Dimensions of Healing
"Dreams, Symbols and Homeopathy" will fascinate those interested in homeopathy and psychology alike - including analytical psychologists intrigued by how homeopathy can be integrated with Jungian theory. Jane Cicchetti shows how C. G. Jung's concepts of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, the shadow, and the soul's journey towards individuation can be applied to healing. She describes how dreams can aid the homeopath, often using her own dreams as example. Cicchetti describes Jung's typology of psychological classification, and furnishes a Jungian-style symbolic materia medica of homeopathic remedies. She brings new focus to unusual remedies from trees, vines, the seven alchemical metals, and milks. In this satisfying new work Cicchetti shows how important the unconscious is in bringing the body back to health.
- Author: Jane Cicchetti
- ISBN: 9781556434365
- 259 pages
- Printed in USA
Reprinted with the permission of The Homeopathic Links magazine, Volume 17, Autumn 2004:
Reviewed by Jean Pierre Jansen, The Netherlands:
This is one of the few books that tries to bring together the worlds of analytical 'Jungian) psychology and homeopathy. It is aimed at homeopaths, analytical psyÂchologists and anyone who is interested in a holistic approach to health and disease, including lay people. The most important other author on this subject is Edward Whitmont. The last ten years or so has seen an increased interest in Jungian psycholÂogy within the homeopathic community, and implicitly we use many Jungian conÂcepts.
The book is easy to read. In part I, Cicchetti discusses the problem of opposites, and how Jung and others searched for soÂlutions to problems that arise from the paradoxes of life. She explains the analytiÂcal psychological approach on the basis of a dream of her own, the homeopathic apÂproach with a description of the homeoÂpathic method, and cases that she has treated. This part ends with an explanaÂtion of the theme of the book, the relationÂship between mind and body. This subject had Jung's attention, but he said during his old age that he had to leave this work to future generations.
Part II discusses Jung's concepts of archeÂtype and collective unconscious, and exÂplains the more important archetypes that occur in clinical practice: the Shadow, An-ima and Animus, and the archetype of the Self (wholeness).
Part III deals with the application in homeopathic practice: the use of dreams in homeopathy, perceiving what needs to be healed, and a practical chapter on the technique of dream analysis.
Part IV gives a discussion of some groups of remedies: trees, vines, milks and the seven alchemical metals. There is also a chapter about the 'trickster' and a comÂparative materia medica of 'trickster' remedies.
Throughout the book we read extensive case examples (Alumina, Aranea diadema, Colocynthis, Glonoinum, Nitricum acidum) and numerous materia medica vignettes that illustrate the theoretical concepts.
There are quite a few concepts whose hisÂtorical development has been described by Jung, (and some by Freud, to whom Jung was closely connected in his early years). These concepts already existed in the 19th Centuary literature of homeopathy, but were not desribed in Jung's historical research, because Jung was not much interested in homeopathy, although he had an extensive knowledge of, for example, Paracelsus and alchemy.
Here is a quote related to projection and constituional thinking, that Cicchetti takes from JT. Kent: 'The internal state of man is prior to that which surrounds him, therefore environment is not the cause... Man is willing to violate every commandÂment... This state is represented in man's diseases... All diseases are representations of man's internals... The image of his own interior self comes out in disease.'
I found it exciting to read the parallel that Cicchetti draws between Jung's concept of the collective unconscious and HahneÂmann's concept of miasms.
Psychology has introduced the concept of transference and countertransference, which can induce an altered state in the therapist. Hahnemann doesn't address the issue of prejudice very clearly, if at all, in paragraphs 6, 54 and 141 of the 'Organon'. Jung has written a great deal about transference.
The crucible, coming from the alchemical tradition, is one of his images in connecÂtion to transference. It is a picture of the closed vessel, and in it the basic material transforms into the alchemical gold after various alchemical operations like solution or sublimation. Jung has developed this image to a picture of the nature of the healing process, where all components of the healing process are closed in. In homeopathy this would be the patient, the homeopath and the remedy. Cicchetti shows some insights that come from this image, which are absent in Hahnemann's work and the 19th century homeopathic tradition. She gives a practical example, when she writes about dreams of
the paÂtient that are meant for the treating homeÂopath. It follows that a homeopath with a broad working knowledge and insight into the workings of the psyche can expect to get other dreams from the patient than the homeopath who doesn't pay much attenÂtion to this.
A difference with psychotherapeutic pracÂtice that becomes clear is that part of the transference and countertransference process that takes place in the crucible in homeopathy also shared by the remedy. When the homeopath is not aware of this situation, and attributes all the credits for a sucessful treatment to his or her personal accomplishment, the homeopath runs a risk of becoming inflated and attain a self-grandiose attitude. Cicchetti gives various ways to deal with this occupational risk.
Jung's psychological typology, for which he is seldom acknowledged, is one of the frequently used typologies in our daily life, when we speak about extraversion and inÂtroversion, and about the feeling, sensaÂtion, thinking and intuitive type of person. This typology has also found wide use in test-psychology. In homeopathy Philip Bailey's book 'Homeopathic Psychology' and Frans Maan's 'Homeopathy in ReÂflexive Perspective' are examples of this tyÂpological approach to materia medica. These two authors divide remedies acÂcording to Jung's typology, e.g. Bailey arranges Sulphur among the fiery (intuÂitive) types, whereas Maan arranges it unÂder the extraverted feeling (watery) types. Cicchetti takes a different position. DifferÂent types may need the same remedy, e.g. Sulphur the practical idealist would be an extraverted thinking type, whereas SulÂphur the ragged philosopher would be an introverted intuitive. Her approach seems more flexible and realistic, as I have been able to observe since I assess the type of my patients according to Jungian typology.
There are some interesting clinical hints. The prognosis of a patient who has trouÂble with his Anima will generally involve a longer process.
Premature old age, ossification, etc., are likely to be associated with problems along the so-called Ego-Self axis. This concept, described by Edinger, describes the quality of the connection between the conscious and inner essence of the person. There is an Alumina case to illustrate this.
The last part of the book gives a lengthy description of remedies belonging to the group of trees, vines, milks and alchemical metals.
The 'trickster' is a dream figure, repreÂsenting a part of the dreamer that brings him or her to behave in an unwanted way, e.g. a voice saying that 'one more cigarette or pint will not harm...' If this archetype plays a dominant negative role in the healÂing process of the patient, one can conÂsider a remedy that addresses this issue. There is a chapter with a list of short remÂedy pictures for these situations.
The book is not a complete textbook on remedies. All in all this is a book that invites to study your patient and your self in a more profound way, whereas the case and materia medica examples serve as practical examples.
The contribution of analytical psychology to homeopathy is that it gives a better unÂderstanding of the psyche and dreams, of the healing relationship and a better self-knowledge of the homeopath. In this sense the book is a unique and valuable addiÂtion.
Second review; Reprinted with the permission The ARH (from 'Homeopathy in Practice' magazine, July 2004 edition):
Reviewed by David Chantler;
Having read this book I feel a little daunted by the eulogies given on the back cover by Jan Scholten and Alize Timmerman, praising the work for its insight, and V Walter Odajnyk saying the author picks up where Edward Whitmont left off (The Alchemy of Healing). Who am I compared to these eminent homeopaths and analysts to say differently? Is it a case of The King's New Clothes - or have I missed the point? ft was not the book I thought it was going to be.
To start off with, it annoyed me that throughout Jane Cicchetti uses the word 'extravert' instead of 'extrovert'. This may be the standard US spelling or what the spell checker approved, but according to Oxford Dictionary 'extravert' is a verb that means to turn out so as to be visible; 'extrovert' being the word used for an outgoing, outward-looking person.
Perhaps it is unfair to start passing judgment from such a small point, but to me this word is central in the study of psychology and so its misuse spoils the rest of the work for me. Having said that, the layout and formula are pretty standard textbook stuff, with comfortable use of typefaces, making it an easily readable work. The actual content too is easy to read, perhaps erring on the side of simplicity - which is probably no bad
What I did find disappointing was that I was expecting a far greater correlation between the subjects of the title than I was given Yes. the explanations of dreams, symbols and homeopathy are adequate, but the assertion that a dream could provide the red-line thread running through a remedy may well be so, but was not proved in the text. I got the feeling that this was another of those infallible methodologies - like putting the symptom picture of a remedy on to the circle, popular when I was at college - that seems brilliant and works for a few examples, but in practice fails to work for the rest!
Taking the materia medica section which deals with trees, vines, milks, the seven metals of the alchemists and finally those related to the internal saboteur, there is I no explanation of why the author has chosen to highlight the remedies reviewed. When the book is dealing with symbolism, why is there no mention of Quercus or Ilex which both have a long history of sacred association? Or of Lac humanum which is surely closer to being, as the first food of the infant, a powerful symbol of the mother and nurturing' than the other Lacs and should therefore be more closely examined.
The List of Tree Remedies, Endnotes and :he Bibliography and Index are useful for anyone wishing to go further into these areas.
My verdict has to be that this book is fine for whetting the appetite for looking mto this fascinating area of homeopathic knowledge, but if you are looking for real answers you won't find them here. Jane Cicchetti has brought together some interesting threads from other sources into one book. However, most of her inforÂmation is already available elsewhere in greater depth, and perhaps more can be gleaned from the bibliography than from the text itself!