Introducing Pat berry

Il y a quelques semaines, à l’occasion d’une conférence qu’elle donnait à la Montréal C. G. Jung Society, j’ai eu l’honneur de présenter cette femme à laquelle je dois beaucoup. Je reproduis ici le texte en version originale anglaise.

It is a great honor for me to introduce Pat today. As English is not my mother tongue, I will read, weaving the personal fiber of my experience into the official stuff of a formal introduction.

Patricia Berry has been active in the Jungian world for nearly half a century. She is a licensed Jungian Analyst, trained in Zurich and has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Braniff Graduate School at the University of Dallas. She has served as president of both the New England and the Inter-Regional Societies of Jungian Analysts.

She also lectures internationally and the first time I met Patricia here in Montreal, in November of 1994, was during a Saturday morning lecture. She began by saying that she was happy to be in Montreal, a somewhat classic move in such a situation, which can easily sound empty. But she quickly filled it up by telling us that the day before, as she drove into the city and was downtown stopped at a traffic light, she turned to the person she was with and pointing at women crossing the street in front of their car, she said: “look at the way they’re dressed and they walk; these aren’t American Women”. The devil is in the details, so the saying goes; Pat’s daimon surely has an eye for psychological and cultural detail, and that she would take notice immediately endeared her to me and probably to much of the audience.

The official line is that she is one of the founders of Archetypal Psychology: I’d rather think that she was one of the strayers from what one could call the stuckness of Jungian thought at a certain period, and that what had perhaps begun as a delinquent move, turned out to be so exciting and in such good company, that she, along with James Hillman and others, decided to just keep on going, developing an original psychological perspective – a way of seeing through soul – and an impressive body of knowledge. And it is to her credit that she has regularly advocated that the collective of people that enabled the emergence and forming of Archetypal Psychology be recognized, especially the contribution of Rafael Lopez-Pedraza.

The official presentation also says that she is the author of the landmark Echo’s Subtle Body: A Contribution to Archetypal Psychology, and of other more recent articles which include: “Image in Motion,” “Rules of Thumb,” and “A Little Light.” What it doesn’t say but her readers know, is that in her writing we find the invaluable combination of theoretical preciseness and poetics. What is less well known is that she is a poet, even at one time a member of a national award-winning slam team – yes this woman is a slammer!

And speaking of undisclosed performances, she is also an accomplished motorcyclist, who crossed the U.S. I believe three times, and paid her motorcycle dues in full, sacrificing at the altar of the god of stray dogs.

In 1991 she was the first Scholar in Residence at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California, where she is now a faculty member. One of the things she teaches her students there – and taught me also, by the way – is to stick to the image, whether that image be a dream, a symptom, a psychological pathology or a physical disease.

This, she has developed into a highly differentiated craft. In supervision, she would tell me: “You’re working too hard; let the image do the work”. She showed me, when working with a patient’s image, how to stay mobile until you reach a position that keeps you in a witness mode so you don’t get caught in the pathology that is implicit in the image, yet are still affected by it, so as to experience what the image or symptom is about, and what it wants from that patient. How I have struggled to achieve something like that.

One of the most interesting things when in her presence, is to watch Pat thinking things out, moving through images as if through a paysage, working her way across unsure territory, encountering ideas and entertaining fantasies, until she finds a place of certainty, pausing there for a while, fully aware that soon, she’ll be moving on.

I hope you get the same pleasure during this lecture that I experienced for more than 10 years as an apprentice of this marvelous analyst and woman. So, with great pleasure and a touch of the magic that permeates her work, I give you Patricia Berry.

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