When suffering strikes, it is helpful to find a framework through which we may understand it, rather than seeing suffering as a random or meaningless event in one’s life. A purely clinical approach is of limited help, because there are many forms of suffering which are normal given the circumstances of the person’s life. As well, even in the presence of emotional disorder, people with the same diagnosis suffer in unique ways and require a personalized approach.
Traditional religions all offer explanations for suffering and the reasons for it, and we will consider some of these, but depth psychology has its own unique approaches. This talk will describe some of the ways in which we may search for meaning in suffering. We will discuss suffering as an experience of liminality and initiation into a new level of consciousness, using as an example a depth psychological exploration of the Book of Job. We will also discuss an approach to suffering based on radical acceptance.