All sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And a sphere.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer (1803-82)
Greetings, and welcome to my website for creative and in-depth life coaching and depth psychology. As a depth psychologist in Jungian and archetypal studies, my practice involves getting to the heart and soul of matters. My approach is: It is by diving into the depths of psyche that we can explore our soulfulness and then resurface to the light of uplifted human spirit to set our sails to reach our goals.
For life contains both pleasant and unpleasant, both good and bad, both light and dark. A depth approach is different than most approaches (outside of depth psychology) because, as depth psychologist Carl Jung stated, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” It is by becoming aware of what is inside our psyche that we can create a positive outside effect on our lives and the lives of those around us. We need to be aware of our unconscious contents carried in each our own Shadow in order to positively effect our moods, thoughts, behaviors, and to reach our goals whether in regards to careers, jobs, or relationships. But in the end, it is all for the goal of reaching the light and the positive, meaning to make the unconscious conscious. While we all have trials, and some dark matter in our Shadows, it is yet helpful to remember that not everything that is unconscious is dark or negative! Sometimes we find hidden treasure there, too! Yet, as we are all human, as humans we do sometimes experience our share of trials.
Our trials are our (word scramble:) trails we forge along our paths throughout life. Some of these trails are more difficult, some of which are what Jung called "the Night Sea Journey," one description of his quoted below:
The night sea journey is a kind of descensus ad inferos--a descent into Hades and a journey to the
land of ghosts somewhere beyond this world, beyond consciousness, hence an immersion in the
unconscious. (“The Psychology of the Transference,” CW16, par. 455)
Our ghosts are our hurtful memories or traumas. What haunts us can become obstacles that are the embodiments of our negative beliefs, thoughts, and fears that sometimes can block our attempts at success or to be simply enjoying the day, overcoming depression, getting through illness or grief, anxiety or other troubles.
Yet I do recognize that some hauntings are good or friendly ghosts, whether Casper the Friendly Ghost
cartoons or a beautifully enchanting song someone might describe as "haunting." One such beautifully enchanting song that has meant a lot to me all my life (as I have written about elsewhere before) is Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
In this piece, he channeled his frustrated love-longing for his piano student Julietta who did not return his love. Without Beethoven's unrequited love for her, we would never have had this amazingly hauntingly enchanting piece of classical music in our historic musical library. After the pain of this night-sea journey has ended, after the midnight, there is always the dawn. The moon-ship sinks below the horizon and the sun-boat chariot comes up. The arts make for a fascinating and useful bridge, a type of what Jung called "transcendence," to overcome our struggles and get on in the light of day. With that bridge, we bridge differences and we bridge our way to better destiny, by going from where we stand to someplace or to meet someone "other." When examining deep psyche, we also learn there is not truly an "other," but that all things are like dancing atoms in the cosmos of life. We are separate but we are together, just as light and dark make up a "day." But we do want to emphasize (finalize) with the light, or we would call a time span of 24 hours a "night" rather than a "day."
It is because there is both light and dark in life that I do not focus only on the light as many life coaches do. It is, in my opinion, quite often of not much use to repeat positive statements to ourselves when looking in the mirror when the next thing (event or comment) that comes along can spin a person out of their conscious control in the grips of what Jung called a complex--a psychic (meaning "psychic" in terms of the psyche) wound. When the wound is somehow disturbed like a bumped bruise or already strained (sprained, for instance) ankle, we revert back to our memories or "conditionings" we have "learned" in our behaviors. It has "struck a nerve." Therefore, while I do use techniques that can help people re-"program" their behaviors (in terms of common traditional psychological terms), again, I feel it is to not much avail without a deepening of one's understanding of their own psyche and close re-reading of the archives of one's own life story. In the meantime, the positive statements we can make to ourselves can have a good effect; what I mean here is that in and of themselves they are not always successful and without objectivity can even create a lack of recognition of one's own needs for personal change.
Story is invaluable in depth psychology and story is relayed in all forms of the arts, just as seen above with the story of Beethoven and his Moonlight Sonata resulting from his longing for love. In it you hear both the tenderness and integrity of his love for her and the ruminating passions of hopes in their destruction. In it you hear the madness of the moon. All these emotions are expressed in the various movements of the piece. As the moon moves across the sky on its night-sea journey, so do heroes in tales in myths and legends, novels and films, also go through their night-sea journeys. Some examples are Jonah in the belly of the whale swallowed away from the outside world, Beowulf fighting the monster sea-serpent, or Cinderella escaping the infernal hell of the fireplace where she is forced by her wicked stepmother (not womb-mother, but like her life has been swallowed up in the belly of the whale) to sleep upon the hard mantle. That hardness is where she has to rest her head, her mind, her psyche. Cinderella is in the belly of the whale not simply because of having a stepmother, but because the stepmother is so mean and the stepsisters are merely like their mother. Cinderella is also in the belly of the whale or fighting the monstrous sea-serpent when she is kept hidden from the prince for jealous reasons.
The discussion above demonstrates the importance of story to our lives, and the importance of our lives (and how we live them) to others' stories. This is one technique I then use: mytho-poetics. The myths are the stories whether true or untrue (we each have our story as our personal myth) and the poetry of it all, the poetics of a situation, for they are in every situation and not just in poetic justice!
I am dedicated to helping others' journeys to overcome obstacles stemming either from the past or the present time in order to live the life a person hopes for--to fulfill life dreams of envisionment
, I help clients explore questions, problems, or concerns through Jungian and archetypal depth psychology to assist with healing of the psyche, soul, and human spirit.
We all have a life story, an archive of the heart and soul of our human life and lived experience. Sometimes that envisioning comes through our daydreams (wishes, goals) and sometimes through our night-time sleeping dreams. Dream interpretation and dream-tending are another technique I use, one I specialize in. Our dreams are the story our soul is writing about us--or the music, to achieve harmony, or the visual arts, to show our conscious awareness through non-verbal symbol that the psyche can best understand, or the dance that is our circle of movement upon the sphere of earth.
The arts are a mirror too of nature and ample opportunity for connecting to soul through nature and eco-psychology:
Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your
nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you.
When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself,
you have misread the image.
The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your
possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s
where you are. You’ve got to keep both going. As Novalis said, 'The seat of the soul is there where
the inner and outer worlds meet.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Finding our place on the earth in its nature is part of myth as earth's story. Eco-psychological earth awareness in the natural world tends to anima mundi (world soul), just as psyche and the arts and our own life events do.
With a background in teaching and being involved in the arts and humanities, I have coached others onward and upwards (as well as inwards and outwards). I have worked with grades Pre-K-12 and in undergraduate college, including as a teacher and also as a life-coach 1-1 aide with students with special needs. I have also worked as a retail manager in he realm of fragrance industry and part of my job was to coach other sales specialists on the floor.
The core value of my life coaching practice is wellness of psyche and soul through tending one's hopes, wishes, and dreams in a spirit of adventure to include self-exploration and learning/discovery in life and our life stories.
We can write new chapters anytime, and create happy new endings and enjoy our re-enchantment of the world through mythopoetics in its many forms, through the archetypal symbols in story, our sleeping dreams, and awake-dreams or daydreams. .I also coach with Jung's Active Imagination processes, which can be used with dreams or life concerns in general, and which is like meditation. I offer other types of meditation that are more about light than the dark--it depends, however, on what your psyche brings up.
I also offer creative consulting, for writing and musical services, helping clients find the mythologems in their writing, creative work/lyrics, and advertising. I have edited short stories, novels, and biographies, as well as poems and have written newspaper ads, info-mercials, and brochures. I am also used to lecturing, as I lectured many a day and season in front of classrooms in the arts and humanities, including English composition and folklore.
May your ship come in, filled with life's treasures you seek!
My logo is the ship. My motto is: 'May your ship come in, filled with the treasures you seek'~
Another motto of mine is 'Life is all about directions' and the best are given by the en-heartened soul~
I am also on facebook:
Mary Ann Bencivengo Jungian Life Coach: https://www.facebook.com/Archetypal.Heart
Bencivenga Astrology: https://www.facebook.com/cosmic.star.art
May all life's journeys be a grand adventure,
Mary Ann Bencivengo, MA Depth Psychology, MFA Creative Writing/Poetry
Jungian Life Coach