A Contemplative Pause-Button
Few trends today concern me more than the fragmentation of American society (and Americans) alongside the deterioration and faltering business models of professional journalism, the conflation of journalism with “media,” and the trivializing impacts of the Twitterverse and the 24-hour news cycle. These cultural fault-lines have deepened to fissures with the painfully corrosive 2016 election, its aftermath, and the chaotic first months of a new U.S. presidency.
As both psychologist and journalist I believe our participatory democracy regularly (desperately?) needs to apply a pause-button: To slow down reactivity, quiet shouting voices, calm both individual and collective nervous system. To provide that pause-button can be found via depth psychology’s characteristic contemplative discipline, reflective-observing stance, and many of its core concepts – such as shadow, blind spots, projection, archetypes, individuation, and all that we know about the human body-mind from neuroscience, to name a few.
What You’ll Find Here
In simplest terms each newShrink.net blog post will be re-reading and re-imagining news stories, issues-of-the-day, and the work and activity of public figures through the lenses of both scholarly inquiry and depth psychology. This is to be a living, evolving process that becomes more defined as it unfolds. But here are a few things you can expect to see:
- A few, fully cited direct quotes that capture the gist of the story or analysis piece. In depth psychological terms this corresponds to the “persona,” the intentional publicly presented “official version”.
- Full citations (APA or Chicago Manual style) of directly quoted material and attribution of paraphrased ideas.
- Direct link(s) to journalistic article(s), broadcast(s), and other materials where relevant and useful.
- Material quoting unnamed sources to be cited only from news and publishing organizations that define and adhere to specific standards regarding when, why, and how anonymous sources are needed and used.
- Tips for navigating, distinguishing among, and making best use of today’s chaotic array of journalistic, media-punditry, social media, blogosphere, and even “fake news” marketplace.
- Facts and a solid factual basis for ideas being argued or discussed.
- Application of relevant depth psychology concepts such as the Reality of the Unconscious Psyche, Shadow, Persona, Projection, Projective Identification, Archetypal Patterns, the Collective Unconscious, the Cultural Complex, Individuation.
- Some learn-more links to references and additional resources.
- Access to the NewShrink Facebook page, where relevant, respectful comments and reactions are most welcome.