Individual Therapy & Overcoming Internet Addiction: Soul
It may seem strange to say that soul might be required in individual therapy for overcoming internet addiction. Soul is a word that we don’t hear very often in the modern world. It tends to conjure up visions of organized religion and stained glass windows, or maybe we even think of the late, great James Brown!…
But when /a-midlife-transition refers to “soul” in individual therapy, it refers to images that emerge from the depth of the personality, and the way in which psyche converts events into experiences of meaning and substance.
We each come into the world with the capacity for our own unique inner experience. There are things that come from the depths of ourselves, from places that we don’t fully understand — images, fantasies, feelings. Our capacity to experience these things is unique to us. Only you have your particular, unique inner life, and only I have mine. As that inner life flourishes, so does the uniqueness of the individual.
Food for Soul
The inner person needs a lot of rich inner images, fantasies and imagined experiences to flourish — these things bring our soul, our uniqueness, alive. In an interview with Mary Nurriestearns, James Hillman noted that “You need a lot of food for the imagination. [A]dvertisers recognize our need to stir our imaginations. Cars and shoes are two very practical items which, when advertised are sold through imaginative fantasies…. [T]hey are serving other purposes than nurturing the acorn [of the self], but advertisers recognize that human beings respond to imaginative images and fantasies. That’s the first food.”
Imagination needs to grow, and find its unique form. Often, advertising stifles this, by cramming the individual’s imagination into narrow, straightjacketing forms. But that’s nothing compared to what the Internet can do to our imaginal selves.
The Blizzard of the World
If we allow it, the sheer enormity of the Internet can have a huge impact on our imaginal life. There’s always more of it; we’re never done. We don’t need our imagination or inner life to animate the images of the Internet; they just keep coming: more porn to be seen; more people to be tweeted or FBed, more dating prospects to look at. As the poet Leonard Cohen sang prophetically in his song The Future :
Beyond Endless Hunger: Overcoming Internet Addiction
Overcoming Internet addiction involves return to our own real life. First and foremost, that entails return to our own imagination, and our own soul. Individual therapy in depth plays an important role in this.
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