A commonly encountered experience of both analyst and analysand is that of the void. It is spoken about at different stages of therapy and refers to experiences that have different origins. Sometimes the experience of the void is around a relatively limited aspect of the psyche but at other times the void seems much more global and threatens to engulf the entire personality; the whole individual psyche then seems threatened by the possibility of dissolution into nothingness. By drawing on the writings of both Jungian and psychoanalytic thinkers as well as on poetry, mythology and art, and by illustrating these ideas with dreams and other material from his analysands, Paul Ashton attempts to illuminate some of the compartments of this immense space. Because the experience of the void is so unsettling we attempt to defend ourselves against it. The author's thesis is that the void, frightening as it is, is not something that can or should be obliterated, as that would lead to stagnation. Rather, that hidden behind the "clouds of unknowing" that sred the void, lie endless possibilities for growth and transformation and an increasingly strong connection with the objective other; whether we see that "other" as God or the Self or as previously unexperienced parts of ourselves.

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