Mark Winborn

Engaging the Emotional Self: Affect, Metaphor, and Embodiment in Analysis

This presentation will focus on affect as the most fundamental layer of human experience and the impact of that layer on the analytic process. In Jungian analysis there is significant focus on archetype and symbol as primary influences on the analytic process. However, without the engagement of an affective response to these influences, the analytic process can easily remain dry, intellectualized, and non-transformative. In 2017, neurological researchers Antonio Alcaro, Stefano Carta, and Jaak Panskeep published a groundbreaking article titled, “The Affective Core of the Self: A Neuro-Archetypal Perspective on the Foundations of Human Subjectivity.” The article makes a direct link between neurological structures, affects, and Jung’s concept of the Self. In this paper, they indicate that the, “affects may be viewed as the basic organizers of the Self.”

Building on the work of Alcaro, Carta, and Panskeep (2017), this paper will incorporate contemporary research on primary affects, neuroscience, embodiment research, metaphor, and cognitive science which expand the traditional Jungian perspective in significant ways. Additionally, concepts from contemporary field theory, based on the work of Wilfred Bion, will also be included.

Affect is most readily accessed through metaphorical communication because metaphor has the capacity to bypass patient defenses, often also resulting in an activation at the somatic level rather than the cognitive level. Our affects are the “engine” for our complexes and shape how we experience ourselves, how we perceive the world around us, influence our unseen patterns of motivation, and guide the behaviors and actions we engage in.

The focus of this paper will be to provide a broader, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of how the affects, somatic experience, and metaphor interact with the more familiar concepts of archetype and symbol to shape the experience of the human psyche.


Mark Winborn, PhD, NCPsyA is a Jungian Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist. He received his BS in Psychology from Michigan State University in 1982, his MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Memphis in 1987, and his certificate in Jungian Analysis from the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts in 1999. From 1988 – 1990 he was the staff psychologist at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Dr. Winborn is a training/supervising analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and the Moscow Association for Analytical Psychology. He currently serves on the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis and the Ethics Committee of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. Dr. Winborn is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Analytical Psychology and the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, as well as being a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. Since 1990 he has maintained a private practice in Memphis, Tennessee, USA where he was the Training Coordinator for the Memphis-Atlanta Jungian Seminar from 2010 - 2016.

Recent Publications

  • Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey (2011)
  • Interpretation in Jungian Analysis: Art and Technique (2018)


© 2022–2023, Jung Institute