Welcome to the web site of Dennis Merritt, Ph.D., Jungian psychoanalyst, therapist/psychotherapist and ecopsychologist. I have been in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee,Wisconsin since l983 working with individual adults across the spectrum of mental disorders and life's difficulties. Dream work and use of the I Ching in analysis are my fortes, and I incorporate sandplay therapy as a subtle yet powerful form of active imagination (see topics listed below). I integrate elements of psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, brief therapy and Winnicott into a Jungian ecopsychological perspective.
Ecopsychology can be described as the psychology of ecology and the ecology of psychology. The way an individual relates to the unconscious is similar to the way they relate to other humans and to the environment. My concept of Jungian ecopsychology incorporates a scientific understanding of the human niche in nature and the concepts of attachment theory as defining elements in relationships at all levels. Application of complexity theory to the symbolic realm inhabited by humans describes the deep transformations undergone in the psychoanalytic process. The goal and the process are encapsulated by the Chinese ideogram for the Sage, "The ear listening to Inner King".
I discovered Carl Jung while working on my Ph.D. in Insect Pathology (microbial control of insects) in Berkeley in the late ‘60s. After getting an M.A. in Humanistic Psychology from Sonoma State College in California, I literally followed my dreams and went on to train at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. My Zurich thesis, "Synchronicity Experiments with the I Ching and their Relevance to the Theory of Evolution,” was an attempt to integrate science and Jungian psychology. “Big Dreams” led me back to Wisconsin, Madison in particular (see Dreams and a Sense of Place). I’ve combined my scientific and Jungian sides through week-long “Spirit in the Land” conferences and a book soon to be completed, The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe: Jung, Hermes and Ecopsychology. Participation in Native American ceremonies through a connection to the Rosebud Lakota Sioux has had a profound affect on my worldview and analytic practice.
I do dream interpretation and I Ching consultations in person or by phone. I have been working with the I Ching since 1975 and my article, “Use of the I Ching in the Analytic Setting,” has been translated into Chinese and published in Quadrant (2001). Besides using the I Ching in analysis I help individuals in a single three-hour intensive process using the yarrow stalk method. See the last paragraph of the Bob Dylan article for the I Ching's guidance for the United States post September 11 and "Dance, Archetypes and the I Ching" for an archetypal perspective on a dance as illuminated by the philosophy and hexagrams of the I Ching. The latter article also describes the similarity between Jungian thought and Chinese philosophy as expressed in the I Ching. I conduct weekend workshops and give lectures throughout the country based on the Madison Jungian Studies Program and topics listed under Lectures, Courses and Workshops. “Brief Psychotherapy: A Jungian Perspective” provides a good overview of basic Jungian concepts and the process of psychoanalysis. See the Menu below for descriptions of all the topics.
My blog <JungianEcopsychology.com> has the posts “The Hunger Games from a Jungian, Political and Environmental Perspective” and “A Dangerous Method from a Jungian Ecopsychological Perspective, Even.”
An excellent expression of the holistic, ecopsychological dimensions of Jungian psychology at the social, economic, political and environmental levels is expressed in non-Jungian terms in the Earth Charter and briefly discussed in my talk on the Earth Charter that can be accessed in the Menu.
Dream Interpretation--an hour of dream work with a Jungian analyst
I Ching Consultations with individuals
Jung and Ecopsychology
"The Soul of Glacier Country": an ecopsychology article with a focus on the Midwest
Spirit in the Land, Spirit in Animals, Spirit in People: an ecopsychological approach to environmental education
"The Earth Charter, Jung and Ecopsychology": talk presented at the Madison, Wisconsin Earth Charter Summit, October 11, 2003
Archetypes in the Arts and Politics
Archetypes in Film: see page 2 in "Brief Psychotherapy: A Jungian Perspective" for archetypal figures in movies and "Film, Nature and Spirit" as well as page 9 of "Madison Jungian Studies Program.” My blog <JungianEcopsychology.com> has posts on Hunger Games and A Dangerous Method.