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The medical complex

The medical complex

Most of us have had interactions with Western medical systems and practitioners which have left us at least mystified and confused, if not traumatised; particularly in the field of mental health. Sometimes it is impossible to make sense of what happened. The author of this paper is both a General Practitioner (family physician) and psychotherapist (with an interest in Jungian thought). She experiences the tension between the paradigms of medicine and psychotherapy as a source of both anxiety and possibility. In Jungian psychology, complexes are understood as a collection of ideas or concepts around a particular archetype or archetypes, and they contain both conscious and unconscious elements. Whilst they remain unconscious, they may wield a powerful influence on both individuals and ‘the collective’. This presentation proposes the existence of a Medical Complex constellated within individuals, systems, and wider culture in the West, which is primarily unconscious and influences us in ways of which we are mostly unaware.

Building on the work of Davis-Floyd and St John regarding the ‘technocratic’ medical paradigm, the tenets of western medicine are examined from a Jungian perspective to d etermine whether there is indeed a Medical Complex, and if it exists, how it might be influencing us as individuals, our systems and our society. The presentation is informed by personal reflections on the experiences of medical training, of trying to both a doctor and psychotherapist at the same time, by a wide range of sources from mainstream and integrative medicine, and by Jungian psychology.

Speakers: Dr Mary Emeleus
Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Jungian Psychotherapy