Postmodern consciousness in psychotherapy
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2006
Journal of Analytical Psychology
Volume 51, Issue 3, pages 437–450, June 2006
How to Cite
Kawai, T. (2006), Postmodern consciousness in psychotherapy. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 51: 437–450. doi: 10.1111/j.0021-8774.2006.00601.x
- Issue online: 19 MAY 2006
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2006
- acting out;
- modern consciousness;
- postmodern consciousness
Abstract: Modern consciousness is a cultural and historical achievement in the West and a developmental task for each person now. Modern consciousness consists in the emancipation from the power of community, animistic nature and the unconscious. It is connected with neurosis and psychotherapy because it has to do with inner conflicts. But today there is an increasing number of cases which are characterized by dissociation and acting out, without the feeling of conflicts. Consciousness seems to be changing toward a new conception which might be called ‘postmodern consciousness’.
The essence of postmodern consciousness is shown by interpreting two dreams internally. The first dream from a case of depersonalization indicates that it is not necessary to be entangled with the object. There is a different kind of coniunctio in the mode of seeing. The second dream from a case of dissociative disorder shows a world which has neither traces of pre-modern cosmology—high and low, here and the beyond—nor modern interiority. There is only surface and self-reflection without content. The discussion of dreams suggests that postmodern consciousness is not to be understood as premature and pathological. It is therapeutically important to refine and deepen postmodern consciousness.