Welcome from Cliff Bostock

Thank you for visiting soulworks.net. If you saw an ad or an annoucement in Creative Loafing or another publication, this page will give you a little direction about my work, including other appropriate links on the site, although you are certainly encouraged to make your own exploration.

You can go to this link and find the bare bones of my biography: About Soulworks.

Marsilio Ficino's statement on the opening page of this site, "Creation is a more excellent act than illumination," expresses my basic philosophy about personal growth. Like Ficino, teacher of the great artists of Renaissance Florence, I believe creating something beautiful out of our lives, no matter what happened to us, is more important than illuminating the past. As a doctoral candidate in archetypal psychology, I work with the imagination. I try to help people imagine their lives differently by learning to pay attention to their psyche's (or "soul's") different voices.

My work is not psychotherapy, although my education and training are in humanistic and depth psychology, with emphasis in the philosophical tradition of phenomenology. I am not interested in cures. The goal of my work, which I call "soulwork," is the cultivation of eccentricity -- helping people become individualistic -- through an appreciation of beauty, not as prettiness, but as the quality that gives every living and inanimate thing of the world its particularity, its quality of soul.

This is so alien to the way most of us live that it is hard to communicate except experientially how deeply satisfying it is when we learn to live with a sense of the beauty of things. But it is completely consistent with the original, long forgotten project of depth psychology created by Freud and Jung. Both of them drew heavily from the arts and assumed that people following their paths as analysts would have broad education in the humanities rather than the very focused clinical scientific education most psychologists have today.

One analogy of what it means to live with the beauty of things is provided by my intellectual mentor, James Hillman. He told me once that one lives as one would make a painting. You paint, you create beauty on the canvas, until you come to a resting place and put down the brush. In coming to that rest, your life becomes satisfying. Then inspiration returns and you pick up the paintbrush again. You are creating, you are not illuminating.

Most psychotherapy, on the other hand, is a tool of illumination, discovery, in service to normalization, rather than the cultivation of eccentricity. This may be useful in the case of seriously disordered people, but for people who are not disordered and are seeking to reshape their lives, who feel trapped by the choices they have made, psychotherapy's agenda is less useful.

To learn more about how my work differs from psychotherapy, go to this link and read the articles available there about my work by other people, especially the interview by Sage Place: Articles about Cliff Bostock's work.

You can also read some of my own articles about therapy by going to this page and consulting the group entitled "Reading on the Death of Therapy."

I work with individuals and groups, usually in themed workshops of 10 to 12 weeks duration. You can find the usual groups described on the events page.

You can return to the menu on the second page, which guided you here, and explore the buttons there for much more information.

You are of course invited to call me at 404-525-4774 or email cliff@soulworks.net for a conversation.


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