Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Psycho(analyst) Parents

 by Michael Rowe

Tags: psychoanalysis, shrinks, therapists, parents, Jessica Grose, Micah Toub, Growing Up Jung, Spirituality, Slate, Michael Rowe,


Over at Slate, Jessica Grose writes about Micah Toub’s book Growing Up Jung: Coming of Age as the Son of Two Shrinks. In the annals of childhood psychological adjustment, I don’t think my head has ever exploded quite the way it did when I read this paragraph:

There was a lot of dream analysis in the Toub household, of course, and also exercises in the Jungian technique of "active imagination," which Toub explains is "deliberately exploring one's imagination and fantasies by … acting them out verbally or physically to read the message that one's unconscious is trying to communicate." In one memorable scene, Toub's mother encouraged him to "be" an erection in order to help him get over a bout of teenage impotence. To accomplish this, she took young Micah to a local park and had him pretend to be his own boner. "Your name is not Micah, you are not a human being," she told him. "You are an erection. What words come into your head?" He visualized himself as a "victorious penis," running around the park triumphantly.

Source: Slate

Image by marine_perez, licensed under Creative Commons.