Today we welcome paranormal romance author Ann Gimpel, who knows a little something about Carl Jung and the paranormal.
First off, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. One of the very best parts of the virtual tours is all the new-to-me blogs I discover along the way. Thanks too for an interesting guest post topic suggestion.
Jung was born in 1875 and graduated from medical school around 1900. He saw himself as a man of science, not as a mystic. That label has grown since his death. It’s true that Jung was fascinated by “soft science.” For example, he believed in astrology. There are a few “Jungian astrologers” around today. They have a slightly different take on reading charts. In any event, before Jung would accept an analysand (Jungese for patient), he sent them off to have their chart done to see if their energies would be a good blend with his own.
Before you scoff and stop reading, remember that Jung was a psychiatrist. He treated mental illness before we had drugs to blunt the most severe symptoms, and he had a surprising amount of success “curing” illness we consider incurable today, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This is a gross simplification, but he joined patients in their delusions so he could understand them, and helped them find ways out of the twisted labyrinth their minds had become.
Traditional analysis is an extremely intimate relationship between doctor and patient. Patients spend several hours a week in the doctor’s office analyzing dream material to shed light on the roots of their problems. While modern psychotherapeutic approaches focus on symptom alleviation, analysis aims to integrate a person’s psyche so they can transform themselves into fully functioning human beings.
While treating his patients, Jung was struck by the similarity of the material presented by those with mental illness. This led him to postulate the existence of a collective unconscious that collects and organizes our experience as human beings. He traveled widely and did research into primitive cultures. The commonality in symbolic drawings led to further fleshing out of his theories of the collective (as opposed to our personal) unconscious.
This is getting long for a guest post, so let me wrap it up on a personal note. I was drawn to depth psychology because of its potential to enrich us. That we are alive at all is one of the mysteries, and I don’t want science to explain everything away. If any of you are interested in learning more about Jung, try Man and His Symbols or Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.
Thanks again for inviting me. I’d be glad to answer questions added to this post as comments.
Author: Ann Gimpel
Publisher: Dream Shadow Press
Release Date: 12/11/14
Genre: Urban Fantasy
When the dream world spills its murky contents, everyone’s worst nightmares run free.
Dr. Lara McInnis reads auras and flirts with an elusive ability to foretell the future. Ambivalent about the magic within her, she’s done a fine job ignoring other aspects of her power—until now. After several patients—and a student or two—describe the same cataclysmic dream, she uncovers ancient evil intent on draining her power. Lara knows next to nothing about her psychic side, but it will destroy her if she can’t come to terms with it.
Trevor Denoble has secrets, but he shields them well with a stunning body and a boatload of British charm. The airline he works for folds because there’s no fuel for the planes, and Lara’s changing into someone he barely recognizes. Though he doesn’t know it yet, the rest of his carefully crafted life is about to come crashing down too.
Living in a world teetering on the edge of anarchy, Trevor and Lara are faced with a series of painful decisions. Is the love between them enough for Trevor to swallow his distrust of Lara’s burgeoning paranormal ability? Will their personal demons tear them apart in a world gone mad, as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate?
Excerpt – Dark Prophecy
…Hours later, Lara let herself out of her office, reached back in to activate the alarm, and then locked the door behind her. Arabel had gone home at six. Normally her receptionist left a note if there was something she needed to communicate. Tonight there hadn’t been any notes because there weren’t any patients she needed to call. But there had been a few zucchinis from Arabel’s lovingly-tended garden. Lara was grateful, both for the organic produce and for the lack of patient-related affairs to attend to. She was tired and hoped nobody had a crisis that evening.
She double-checked the pager that lived clipped to her belt. As she moved away from the front door of her building, she stumbled. The outside light was out—when had that happened?—and it was very dark in the shadows of the cavernous front porch. She made a grab for the railing to steady herself and took a tentative step toward the street.
“Stop right there,” a familiar harsh voice boomed from behind her.
“Mr. Beauchamp. That is you, isn’t it?” Alarm ricocheted through her, but she knew intuitively it was important to hide her fear. “What do you want?” Though she aimed for nonchalance, her voice sounded thin and shaky. Is it Ken? Aw, Jesus, who else could it be? She closed her eyes, gathering data from an unseen realm she knew well. Once her energies were focused, she discerned his twisted energy field throbbing against the darkness. Better the devil you know flashed through her mind. Not necessarily came close on its heels, as she realized, with a sinking feeling, that Ken Beauchamp really was dangerous. She’d known it the first time he walked into her office, but drawn in by his wife’s soft helplessness, she’d ignored her concerns, compassion overriding common sense.
“I want to talk. No, don’t turn around.” The man’s voice held menace as it sliced into her tumbling thoughts.
“What do you want to talk about, Mr. Beauchamp?” With effort, she kept her voice steady. “Surely whatever it is can wait until tomorrow. You really do need to call my office and make an appointment.” There, that seems like about the right amount of bravado.
“What did you tell my wife today? When you were in the bathroom. You’d better tell me the truth.”
“Are you threatening me? Because if you are, I’ll call the cops and have you thrown off my property.” Anger was rapidly displacing her fear—or at least coexisting with it. She reached a hand into her bag in search of her phone.
“That wouldn’t be smart, Doc, not very smart at all. Take your hand out of that purse.”
Ken Beauchamp’s voice was mild, but an ominous undertone chilled her. Sweat gathered in her armpits and dripped down her sides. Think! she commanded herself. There’s got to be a way out of this.
“Well, Doctor?” Ken’s voice oozed sarcasm, with undercurrents of something darker and far more primal. “I asked you a simple question. Answer it and we can both go home.”
What was he doing? Lara dug deeper with her hyper-honed senses. His breathing seemed…uneven. Was he getting off by intimidating her?
Something clicked ominously. The snick of a gun’s safety mechanism? What else could that cold metallic snapping sound possibly be? Fighting fear that threatened to paralyze her, Lara asked, “How’s Bethany, Mr. Beauchamp? She’s all right isn’t she?” Despite her concerns for herself, Lara was suddenly frantic about Bethany.
“That’s none of your business anymore. We won’t be back. I just want to know what you told her today.”
“Why is that important to you?”
“I ask the questions around here.” Yes, Lara thought as she listened intently, he was practically panting. Oh shit, this guy’s a pervert on top of all his other less-than-stellar attributes. She flirted with flying down the porch steps and trying to outrun him, except she had dress shoes on and her heavy shoulder bag. What if he really did have a gun? She hadn’t heard the metal click again.
A car pulled to the curb in front of her building and she started, heart beating like a mad thing. Christ, is it one of his henchmen come to help out? Practically moaning aloud, she wondered what Ken Beauchamp had in mind for her…
About Ann Gimpel
Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014 and beyond.
A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.