Good and Bad Mother from a Jungian perspective

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  •  May 20, 2023
     1:00 pm CDT - 3:00 pm CDT

Held via Zoom
Brooke Laufer
CEUs: 2

Motherhood is a powerful transition in a woman’s life and intense emotions can surface.  Medea persists as a powerful archetype in modern motherhood and post-partum can be a time of uncertainty, and even fear. A range of strong feelings and impulses can emerge and, at one extreme, even infanticide can be a rare, horrifying outcome.  Neither the field of psychology nor the legal system has adequately addressed, healed or contained this particular phenomenon.  What is infanticide telling us about our world, about motherhood and about Medea’s plight? In this workshop, we will examine the basis and context of maternal infanticide not as a singular crime, but rather as a comment on today’s society and, in particular, the construct of motherhood from personal, archetypal, and symbolic perspectives. The Jungian concept of transmutation is employed to understand how infanticide can be interpreted in the context of our evolution.

About the Instructor
Brooke Laufer, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist with a Jungian orientation, in private practice in Evanston, Illinois. Brooke began her clinical work in psychiatric wards with the severely mentally ill, then in schools with adolescents and their families.  After having her first child, Brooke had a disturbing postpartum OCD experience which inspired her to begin researching, understanding, and specializing in the treatment of perinatal mental illness.  In addition to her practice, she works as an expert witness for women who have committed a crime during a postpartum episode.

Recommended Reading
Laufer, B. (2021). Medea as the Modern Mother: Infanticide, Motherhood, and Transmutation. Psychological Perspectives A Semiannual Journal of Jungian Thought 64(2):222-239.

Rich, A. (1976). Of woman born: Motherhood as experience and institution. W.W. Norton & Co.

Smith-Hanssen, K. (2009). Medea and mothers who kill. The Psychology of Violence, 81.

Woodman, M., & Sieff, D. F. (2015). Spiraling through the apocalypse: Facing the death mother to claim our lives. In D. F. Sieff (Ed.), Understanding and healing emotional trauma: Conversations with pioneering clinicians and researchers (pp. 64–87). London: Routledge.

*Program CEUs are an additional $15 processing fee. Please note that the current CEU processing time is around 3-4 weeks.



This event will be hosted online through Zoom.
Further info will be provided after registration.