The idea of repression is not new. Neither is that of the psychotherapy that can help bring repressed material into consciousness where, the idea is at least, it can be addressed.
But what happens to repressed material that belongs to an entire culture, to a whole society of people? How can that be worked with?
Jung – who has cropped up a couple of times there in the comments – wrote an essay in 1936 called “Wotan”. It predicted the rise of the Germanic hero myth in northern European culture and warned that unless a symbolic way could be found to acknowledge and engage this story, then it would emerge in the literal world as ‘Ragnorak’ – the war at the end of the world.
His essay was largely ignored at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s a bit of a stunner.
So what repressed myth is emerging now, from our contemporary culture? What are the symptoms? And what are they symptomatic of?
How do we engage psychotherapy across an entire culture, especially one that has become globalised. Is this even possible? To what extent is psychotherapy bound to the idea of the individual itself? Entwined with the very thing that is making our culture sick in the first place.