THE MUSIC OF METAPHOR: Healing in Therapy & Life

Aug 26, 2021

Author Mark Winborn is shown next to the cover of his book, Interpretation in Jungian Analysis.
Photo Credit: Mark Winborn

The most fundamental medium of our knowing is language, and metaphor imbues language with music. Our guest Mark Winborn is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst who teaches in the U.S. and internationally. Author of three books and numerous articles, Mark is an active member of the IRSJA and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich/Kusnacht. Psychotherapy is talk therapy—but what kind of talk are we talking about?

To understand and engage another’s internal world requires language which speaks in harmony with the unconscious. Metaphor speaks beyond ego and traverses the realms between past and present, bodily sensation and feeling, conscious and unconscious. It infuses lived experience with connection and creates shared space for healing. Jung says, “Whoever speaks in primordial images speaks with a thousand voices; he enthralls and overpowers, while at the same time he lifts the idea he is seeking to express out of the occasional and the transitory into the realm of the ever-enduring.”

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I am in the bathroom of a hotel room where I am staying. I may have just gotten out of the shower. I see a fat, red, slimy worm-like creature several inches in length crawling along the floor. I am horrified and think that it is a snake. As I inspect it more closely, I notice a tiny pair of limbs along the upper portion of the body. At this point, I wonder if it is a baby alligator. I find this idea less repugnant than a snake. My wife comes into the room and tells me that it is actually a bird. As I study the tiny limbs, I begin to think that these must be embryonic wings. At this point, I begin to ponder how I should nurture this creature, wondering if it would be best for it if I took it outside.”


Website: www.drmarkwinborn.com

Edinger, E. (1991). Anatomy of the psyche: Alchemical symbolism in psychotherapy. Chicago: Open Court

Meltzer, D., & Williams, M. H. (1988/2008). The apprehension of beauty: The role of aesthetic conflict in development, art, and violence. London: Karnac.

Siegelman, E. (1990). Metaphor and meaning in psychotherapy. New York: Guilford

Winborn, M. (2018). Interpretation in Jungian Analysis: Art and Technique. Routledge.

Winborn, M. (2014). Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond. Fisher King Press.

Winborn, M. (2011). Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey. Fisher King Press.


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *