Dr Kaye Gersch PhD.  
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
Couples therapist
Clinical Supervisor

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The temenos

The temenos is the place of meeting your unconscious.


The Temenos originated in Greek culture (Greek: τέμενος; plural: τεμένη, temene) as a piece of land cut off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary or holy grove of trees. So the space we create together is not of everyday commerce and the daily round, but an opportunity to think the deep

thoughts and sink into the deep waters of the soul.



C. G. Jung relates the temenos to a protected space in which inner work can take place.  There are many images which evoke the temenos, such as a garden divided into four equal quadrants, usually with a fountain or statue in the middle. Another example of an image of the temenos is the Tibetan Yantra.


The Tibetan sand mandala represents the squaring of the circle and the temenos. The squared circle is,  for contemporary seekers of the inner life, represents an encounter with the unconscious. The temenos is a safe holding place where these unconscious contents are consciously examined.

Preparing the temenos and preparing for the temenos.

In order to meet the unconscious we need to prepare ourselves.  Remember that in Greek times the temenos was a territory marked off from common life.  When I'm preparing for a seminar, workshop, Relationships Insights, analytic hour, supervision session or Jung Study Group, I have a very strong awareness of preparing for the meeting, of being conscious of who is coming, and of what we are about to explore. Even when I don't know who is coming yet! I also have a strong sense of preparing myself - that my own thoughts and body be tranquil and receptive.  

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