Joel Kroeker “When Psyche Sings” Lecture & Workshop (July 15–16, 2022)

The evening of Friday, July 15, lecture participants joined the Society for an in-depth look at the relationship between music and psyche as Jungian analyst Joel Kroeker shared an approach to working with musical symbols within analysis, which he calls Archetypal Music Psychotherapy.

He highlighted how many of us feel the loss of our connection to the simple, vital immediacy that musical expression offers. By distilling music into its basic archetypal elements, Joel helped participants explore how to rediscover their place in this confrontation with deep psyche while highlighting the role of the enigmatic, musical psyche in guiding us through our life.

On Saturday, workshop participants joined Joel as he drew on Jungian, post-Jungian, and contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives, helping us explore the place of the acoustic imaginal within our psychic ecology and within our current fractured world of splitting and polarization.

From Joel’s workshop description: The perception of sound triggers psychic contents, and music mediates between our internal and external experience of consciousness through its affective impact on our symbolic imagination. Like a sound engineer, who can stop Time toward differentiation and integration, we will deeply listen together to the soundscape metabolization process of our auditory digestive system toward the fundamental psychoanalytic goal of hearing what cannot yet be seen.

By distilling music into its basic archetypal elements, an approach is illustrated for working with musical symbols within analysis, referred to as Archetypal Music Psychotherapy. Through locating the role that acoustic images, both imaginal and material, play in our affective and archetypal engagement with our world, we will explore the contribution that musical processes offer to the wholeness and teleology of the individuation process intrapersonally, relationally, and collectively.

After the events, Society President Sandy Cooper noted that Joel “was dynamic yet calm, lucid and inviting, and he offered a number of ideas that stir the imagination. For example, ‘music is a waking dream’ that gives us ‘earcons,’ a play on icons, to contemplate. Relating to the conference theme about our polarized culture and its healing, I noted Joel’s point that many things can exist within the musical field without canceling each other out.”

Joel Kroeker is a Canadian Swiss-trained Jungian psychoanalyst, clinical supervisor, and Music-Centred Psychotherapist. He is on faculty as an instructor at the CG Jung Institute Zürich and the Centre for Applied Jungian Studies. He is the founding international workshop facilitator of Archetypal Music Psychotherapy (AMP) and an international recording and touring artist.

He divides his time between his clinical practice and teaching Jungian-oriented courses across Brazil, Europe, and North America. His new book, Jungian Music Psychotherapy: When Psyche Sings (Routledge, 2019) is a finalist for the IAJS (International Association for Jungian Studies) book award.