Jung understood psyche and soma as two expressions of one sole principle (Spirit) – an essential “pair of opposites” in mutual need of each other for expression and manifestation. According to Jung, our consciousness perceives the entire world in pair of opposites, good and bad, black and white, rich and poor, etc.
The tension and conflict generated by trying to hold the opposites in perspective can lead people to choose one side of the conflict to avoid stress. Jung called this choice of one side of the conflict an “one-sided attitude”, which could lead to imbalance, resentment, isolation, neurosis and/or illnesses.
To endure the opposites, a person needs to be consistently aware of one’s inner life: feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, impulses, etc., no matter how difficult and disparate they are. As a simple example of these conflicts, a woman feels fulfilled by her job but hates its politics; a man loves his dog but his beloved fiancée does not – these are ordinary examples of daily life. Although necessary, holding a conflict long enough until it generates a solution that harmonizes the two sides of the problem, is a strenuous affair!
Calatonia proposes just that, to experience one’s inner feelings, thoughts, symptoms, etc., in a natural and relaxed manner, allowing the body and mind to come together to find truth, within a contained and safe environment, in dyadic regulation with the therapist. Most importantly, Calatonia is not invasive, does not force issues to emerge, does not force the client to have abreactions – quite the opposite, it is generally a pleasant experience.
By activating various levels of the complex psychophysical structure of each individual, Calatonia conjures up sensations, feelings, impressions, thoughts, images, and life experiences that can be processed later in verbal psychotherapy.
For some, such experiences during Calatonia are physically noticeable, they are tiny spasms, muscular reactions, altered respiratory rhythm, stomach rumble, itches, yawning, etc. For others, the effects are experienced affectively or emotionally, in the form of recollections, remembrances, associations, etc. Still others may experience states of consciousness similar to meditative states, with flow of images or impressions, or a combination of many different reactions – each person reacts in accord to their own psychophysical make-up and personal history.
In general, Calatonia mobilizes ‘priority issues’, conflicts that are pressuring the individual or a psychological issue that has been bottled inside for years. Those issues are ripe to spring into consciousness and are pertinent to what is happening in the client’s life at the time. At times, Calatonia may trigger a burst of creativity or enthusiasm, or a calming of mind and emotions and promote good sleep.
By gently bringing to consciousness what needs to be encountered, through the language of the body, Calatonia facilitates the releasing of stresses that prevented the organism to function in its best capacity. This process of recovering ‘its best way of functioning’ involves the body (and mind) capacity for self-regulation, also called the “body’s know-how” or simply ‘self-regulation’ (psychosomatic homoeostasis).
These experiences may be therapeutic in themselves, even with minimal processing in verbal therapy, and over time, the result of a series of Calatonia sessions is a global reorganization of mind and body – the primordial pair of opposites reconciled.
Recommended Article: “Excerpts from Jung’s Work Related to Body and Psyche” – some of Jung’s ideas about the relationship between body and psyche.