Symbolism in the Arts: A Psychological Phenomenon for Clinical and Personal Applications

Seminar 2: Spring 2023

9 Tuesdays: 6:00 – 8:00 pm ET – a 2-hour class
March 7 – May 9, 2023 (excluding April 11th)

Instructor: Jane Selinske, EdD, LCSW, LP, NCPsyA

“…the human psyche is the womb of all the arts…and creative art has
its root in the immensity of the unconscious.” C.G. Jung, CW 15

Music, Literature and Art are a bridge to and from the unconscious and are vehicles in the symbolic process. The symbolic process is an experience in images and of images which Jung discovered in his descent into the unconscious as described in The Red Book. These images can be visual, auditory, kinesthetic and represent a symbolic representation that cannot be formulated in any other or better way [CW 15, par 105]. The purpose of the symbol is to bring something new to consciousness and to shift a previous psychological position held by an individual.

In the Arts the symbol has a dual function. The artistic expression breaks through from the collective unconscious and can move the society and culture forward. At the same time the symbol expressed by the artist acts personally within his own psyche and the psyche of the receiver. So, the symbol from the artist moves the individual and the collective into the future. Art symbols act as mediators uniting the unconscious with the conscious by circumambulating between the creator, the artistic creation and the observer. When we experience a great piece of art …we let the work of art act upon us as it acted upon the artist [CW 15, par 161].

In this class Jungian Analytic theory will be taught in order to assist in the interpretation and understanding of psyche’s symbolic meaning. The theory will demonstrate how Jung understood the function and value of symbolism. We will then look at the role of symbols in relation to the arts through experiencing significant examples of music, art and their creators.

Classes will be didactic and experiential and will consist of Jungian theory integration with these great pieces of music and art. There will be weekly assignments for further enhancement of the material consisting of listening to a specific music selection or viewing a piece of art. Participants will then be asked to journal their insights and observations for class discussions. Their journal entries will consist of the impact of the symbols within the music or art selection on themselves, possible clients and society. The intent of the class is to sensitize participants to the significance of symbols in the arts for personal and clinical application.

Learning Objectives:

The course is designed so that participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss different approaches to symbol interpretation such as:
    • Active Imagination
    • Amplification
    • Personal Associations
    • Objective Nature of the Symbol according to C.G. Jung
  2. Engage a symbol through imaginal/creative techniques.
  3. Describe C.G. Jung’s Map of the Psyche as the basis for understanding Jungian Psychological Theory.
  4. Discuss the significance of the unconscious language of images and symbols in art and music.
  5. Describe the differences between Jung and Freud regarding their understanding of symbols in the psyche.
  6. Understand the Arts as a bridge to and from the unconscious and as vehicles in the Symbolic Process.
  7. Discuss the symbol as having a dual function in the Arts To learn to discover the importance of symbols in art and music and apply them for personal and clinical use.
  8. Provide students with a bibliography on Symbolism in the Arts.



Jane Selinske, EdD, LCSW, NCPsyA, MT-BC, is a licensed Jungian analyst, a practitioner of Mandala Assessment and Board-Certified Music Therapist.  She was trained at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York and has taught psychology and Jungian theory at the Washington Jung Society, PAJA, the Institute of Expressive Analysis, the Creative Therapies Institute connected with New York University, the New York C.G. Jung Institute, Rutgers University and the New York C.G. Jung Foundation, where she is currently President of the Board of Trustees.  Dr. Selinske has a practice where she unites music and imagery, art, spirituality and Jungian theory.

YOU DO NOT NEED A PAYPAL ACCOUNT. HERE IS HOW TO PAY WITH CREDIT CARD: On the Paypal login page, look below login fields for a boxed link that reads PAY WITH DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD.


Tuition for each seminar is $540.
Students registering for both seminars will pay a discounted fee of $900.

There is an additional $25 materials fee for Seminar 1.


$565 (includes $25 materials fee)   Art, Active Imagination, and the Archetype of Creativity
$540  The Religious Ground of Jung’s Analytical Psychology
$925 (includes $25 materials fee) Both Advanced Seminars, discounted rate

YOU DO NOT NEED A PAYPAL ACCOUNT. HERE IS HOW TO PAY WITH CREDIT CARD: On the Paypal login page, look below login fields for a boxed link that reads PAY WITH DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD.

Tuition for the Spring 2023 9-week seminar is $540.
Symbolism in the Arts

For registration by mail, please snail-mail this form:
Click Button to Download Form.

Include your credit card information or check, made payable to
the C.G. Jung Foundation, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
The C.G. Jung Foundation
28 East 39th Street
New York NY 10016