“That’s what I find in Jung’s work, which is a deep prescription to sort out your own existence, as hard as that is.” – Satya Doyle Byock
Here’s a hot take for you: The teachings of a privileged white dude from the past can help us sort through our modern existential crises. OK, in the world of Jungian psychology, my pithy opening salvo is far from controversial; it’s indisputable. One of the folks translating Carl Jung’s classic analytical foundation into a contemporary application is Satya Doyle Byock, LPC.
At The Salomé Institute of Jungian Studies, Satya and faculty provide online salons and seminars that delve into the power of Jung’s work to heal complex personal and societal issues. In addition to hosting the Institute’s podcast, Satya is about to release “Quarterlife: The Search for Self in Early Adulthood,” a much-needed guide for bridging the gap between adolescence and mid-life.
While chatting with Satya about the book, the institute, and the podcast, it’s clear that all of her endeavors lead back to Jung. His outlook was profoundly impacted by the carnage of WWI, a period in which the world faced multiple, seemingly insurmountable issues (sounds familiar). Jung delved deep into the psyche for guidance. A century later, Satya went in search of her own remedy for (or at least assistance with) 21st-century challenges (hello racism, climate change, ableism).
“There’s kind of this whack-a-mole game of social justice where it’s like there’s a never-ending number of problems and pains and sufferings, and it’s so exhausting,” she says. “When I found Jung’s psychology, It really spoke to me from a feminist and anti-racist perspective.”
Even if you “don’t know” Jung, you know Jung. He coined the idea of the “introvert” and “extrovert” personalities, archetypes, and the power of the unconscious––a fundamental aspect Satya wants to rescue from the patriarchy’s toxic clutches. “It’s shocking how conditioned we’ve become even though we know in our bones [what’s] not true,” she says of our severed connection to ancient indigenous or divine feminine wisdom. “We have access to certain knowledge that we need to stop pretending like we don’t have access to.”
Having studied Jung so thoroughly, Satya has developed a clear-eyed assessment of his body of work, noting that 80% of what’s available is revolutionary while 20% is well off the mark. That still leaves an overwhelming amount of fascinating, deeply contemplative lessons direct from the psyche. Satya hopes to keep those profound insights inclusive for people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.
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Satya Doyle Byock, LPC, is a psychotherapist in private practice, the director of and teacher at The Salome Institute of Jungian Studies, and the author of the forthcoming book “Quarterlife: The Search for Self in Early Adulthood,” to be published by Random House July 26, 2022