|Soulwork is not psychotherapy, although
it has evolved partly out of a broad cultural dissatisfaction with therapy.
It is a kind of work that restores "psyche" to its original meaning as "soul."
The January 1997 issue of the Utne Reader was largely devoted to the evolution of this new approach to learning and personal growth. "A new artistic and spiritual movement has evolved so far beyond...therapy," says the magazine, "that it needs its own name." Maureen O'Hara, former president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, suggests "soulcraft," "psychopoetics" and "the existential arts." We have chosen "soulwork."
Soulwork, although it is a growing cultural movement typified by James Hillman, Thomas Moore and Marion Woodman (just to name three), has ancient roots. The Greeks, the Sufis and the shamans of indigenous cultures all practiced a kind of oracular knowing through the use of the imagination. Carl Jung amplified this by his process of active imagination. Others since Jung have added bodywork, so that material gleaned in the field of the imagination is firmly grounded and resonates completely in the here and now.
Soulwork, in short, is the art of living soulfully, from a place of deep imagination but in a fully embodied way, so that you can make a difference in the way you actually conduct your life.
Practically speaking, in soulwork we access the deep imagination which has been variously called the "archetypal field," the "spirit," the "soul" through specific assignments and exercises, including breathwork. This work often involves writing, art, music and movement. It is available individually and in ongoing groups and workshops.
An important component of this work is that it attempts to help you cultivate soul in the world. It views the inhibitions and blocks to personal growth as more than personal symptoms but as symptoms of the world in which we live. When we access the deep imagination, we are accessing anima mundi, the soul of the world, itself. In that deep place, we find our purpose in being here.
Cliff Bostock, MA, 404-525-4774 (Atlanta), offers this work independently
and through his association with SoulWorks LLC.