Whether you address the healing of Pluto problems [Donna Cunningham has a book by this name] via long-term psychotherapy or intensive retreat, the integration of material that arises from the unconscious is paramount to healing. If there is any danger to retreats or workshops, it is that (through the use of powerful tools of consciousness-expansion) too much material comes to the surface, and the participant feels overwhelmed. Then she goes home and does not know how to make meaning of her memories, images, bodily experiences, and so on. She also does not know how to go on with her daily life without being inundated with feelings that she cannot handle. However, if she has already done a lot of inner work and has a fair amount of ego strength and coping skills, she can benefit from intense weekends of transformation.
The benefit of long-term psychotherapy is that the healing of Pluto problems can happen over a slow pace in a (presumably) safe environment. Psychological material arises over time, sometimes in big chunks with apparently little going on for weeks or months in between. I say “apparently,” because much of the work of psychotherapy is building enough trust in the psychotherapist to feel safe, thus allowing one to open up the psyche in the container of the therapeutic space.
Unfortunately, among both psychotherapists and workshop leaders there are bad eggs who can cause more wounding than healing. It is advisable to get referrals, use your common sense, and talk with friends, so that you can notice red flags as they arise. Healers in positions of power (Pluto people!) can effect profound transformation, and they can also be perpetrators of abuse. The dark side of Pluto is cults, sex with patients, mind control.
I don’t mean to scare off anyone who feels the imperative to heal their Pluto problems. Without looking at your “stuff” head on, you are likely to keep repeating self-destructive habits in relationships (with others or yourself). Just don’t let yourself be prey; there are good people out there, but you have to do your research to find them.
A therapist can help you integrate the material that arises from your unconscious, but if you are not in counseling, some of the following tools can help you on your journey:
- Journal about whatever feelings, images, memories come up. Just the act of writing this stuff down on paper helps to get some of it out of your head.
- Read books on mythology and Jungian psychology. Some of the Plutonic material you encounter in healing may come from the collective unconscious. Consciousness explorers have mapped out much of human experience already, so don’t reinvent the wheel.
- Draw, paint, write music, dance … any form of creative expression can channel material that cannot be expressed in a linear, logical manner.
Comment below: What negative or positive experiences have you had with healers? How do you integrate the psychological material that arises from your unconscious as a result of deep inner work?