Active Imagination

Active Imagination: An Introduction


Friday 17 July 2020 - A Live Webinar

With speaker Dr Murray Stein

  • Includes a recording of the event with access for a year (14 days post the event)
  • Bookings close at 9.00am BST Wednesday 15 July

Active imagination is one of the pillars of Jungian psychoanalysis. Along with the developmental concept of individuation, the activation of transference in the therapeutic relationship, and the interpretation of dreams, active imagination is a key component that constitutes the essence of Jungian clinical work. Paradoxically, however, active imagination has been neglected as a method by many Jungian psychoanalysts since Jung’s death in 1961.




Dr Murray Stein,


10.00 BST
What is Active Imagination?
The opening session will be focused on defining what active imagination is and is not, and on how it is practiced. Jung’s The Red Book will be used as an example of the method in action. Instructions for how to begin practicing active imagination will be given with space and time for a series of exercises, to gain experience with this method.


When to Use Active Imagination in a Clinical Setting
This session will be devoted to further experience and investigation of the method of active imagination for exploring the unconscious. There will also be consideration of clinical applications of the method. There are important considerations regarding when and when not to use this method in psychotherapy. Various adaptations of active imagination to specific clinical problems will also be considered, such as working in the transference, deepening the experience of dreams, the related methods of active imagination such as sand-play, psychodrama, drawing and painting, authentic movement. Clinical examples will be discussed. Participants will be encouraged to share case material for consideration, with respect of course for confidentiality.

Lunch Break

Pauli’s The Piano Lesson
In this session we will discuss Wolfgang Pauli’s active imagination, “The Piano Lesson.” The text provided will be the basis for this discussion. The famous mathematician and nuclear physicist produced this active imagination in 1952 and dedicated it to his analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz. The text raises a number of fascinating issues about the nature of active imagination and its various uses.


Zen Meditation and Active Imagination
Zen Buddhism’s well-known “Ten Ox-Herding Pictures” offer an opportunity to consider comparisons between the method of Active Imagination as a type of meditation practice and Zen meditation. Are their final goals similar in any way? Is the process comparable? Jungian psychology asks the question of meaning of symbols. What do the symbols of active imagination teach us? This session will be a lecture comparing Jung’s The Red Book and the series of drawings known as the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, followed by discussion and reflection, drawing on personal experience.



Handouts included:

Bookings close at 9.00am BST Wednesday 15 July

Confer member:
£48 (Booking Closed)
(Click here to become a member)

£60 (Booking Closed)


Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided


This is a live online webinar using Zoom software. Zoom is free to download and use.

For more information about Zoom click here.

To download Zoom free of charge click here.


10.00 (BST) What is Active Imagination
11.15 Break
11:30 When to use Active Imagination in a Clinical Setting
12.45 Lunch Break
13:30 Pauli’s The Piano Lesson
14.45 Break
15:00 Zen Meditation and Active Imagination
16:15 End


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  • You cancel in writing to 60 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 100% refund.
  • You cancel in writing to 30 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 50% refund.

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We reserve the right to change a speaker at one of our conferences without offering a refund. However, if a solo presenter cancels we will offer a full refund OR transfer of your fee to another Confer event. If the entire event is cancelled we will offer you a full refund.

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