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McGlashan, R. (1991). Van Eenwyk, J. R. (Evanston) ‘Switching tracks in psychotherapy: parallel paradigms in psychology and religion’. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 19, 4. 1989.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(3):401-402.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(3):401-402

Van Eenwyk, J. R. (Evanston) ‘Switching tracks in psychotherapy: parallel paradigms in psychology and religion’. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 19, 4. 1989.

Review by:
Robin McGlashan

The author of this paper is a clergyman and an analyst. He also practises ‘hypnotic age-regression’. In this paper he addresses the question of how to work with patients who frame their concerns in religious terms and are ignorant of or hostile to psychological theory. To facilitate such work, he proposes the metaphor of the roundhouse.

This seems to be what we would call a turntable for railway engines, which enables the engine to be turned round and to pass on to another track. Van Eenwyk seeks to provide a means whereby the therapist and patient can pass from one track to another, from religious ideation to psychological constructs and back again. The psychological track on to which he redirects the religious-minded patient is the personality theory of Jung.

In the central section of the paper, Van Eenwyk offers an exposition of the roundhouse idea in terms of agency, intention, and design, and seeks to establish a parallel between Jung'and religious thought in these three areas. Thus agency refers to any autonomous centre within the psyche which influences the functioning of the organism, i.e. God in theological terms, the complex in Jungian theory. Intention denotes the immediate purpose manifested in the activity of the agent. Design is the overall plan which informs the intentions of the agent.

In the third main section of the paper, the author applies the roundhouse metaphor thus understood to a case study. This concerns a 47-year-old man who suffered multiple losses in childhood.

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