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Friends of Jung-South presents
A Presentation for Mental Health Clinicians and Persons Seeking Self-Development ​ 

The Feral Children
of the Opioid Epidemic

The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on the Children of Addicts
A Jungian Perspective

Melissa Werner, PhD, LPC

Jungian Analyst, Diplomate of CG Jung Institute


Nothing exerts a stronger psychic effect upon the human environment, and especially upon children, than the life which the parents have not lived.
—CG Jung, 1966, CW 15, p. 4, #4

Friday, July 19, 2019

Lecture 7 – 9 pm CDT


Saturday, July 20, 2019
Workshop 9 am – 1:30 pm CDT

6 NBCC Contact Hours

Shades Valley Presbyterian Church
2305 Montevallo Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223

The opioid addiction profoundly affects the children of addicts. Due to the all-consuming nature of addiction these children have been abandoned emotionally and relationally by their parents. I have termed the children feral because in working with them I have come to see some of them as not attached to parents or the culture. The feral child is a child who has little or no experience of human care, intimacy, and, most crucially, relationship.
The workshop on Friday describes the opioid epidemic from the perspective of addicts’ children. Using contemporary brain research the relationship between archetype and attachment is explained in part to provide a model for working with these children.
The workshop on Saturday continues providing material about attachment using Fairytales illustrating different attachment styles.  Case study material with pictures of sandtrays and artwork will illustrate the unique difficulties of these children. The workshop concludes with information about resilience and how this attribute can help these child clients and others struggling with the complex trauma of living with parent addicts.

Participants will be able to:


Friday Objectives

  • Understand the scope of the Opioid problem in Alabama and its effects on children

  • Discover how the Jungian concept of Archetypes informs differences of our perceptions and that of clients.

  • Describe how complex trauma compounds and impacts both psychological health and physical health.


Saturday Objectives

  • Understand attachments’ impact throughout the life span.

  • Review case material to observe manifestations of complex trauma in the lives of children whose parent(s) are addicts

  • Discuss how understanding and promoting resilience can aid in the healing process

  • Name some ways resilience supports psychological health in the lives of adults and children.

Melissa Werner, PhD, LPC

Jungian Analyst, CG Jung Institute, Zurich

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Melissa Werner is a recent graduate of the CG Jung Institute, Zurich. She is the only practicing analyst for adults and children in Alabama. Her thesis, “The Archetype of the Feral Child: The Feral Children of the Drug Epidemic,” is being prepared for publication.
For many years, Melissa was a professor of child development and worked as a consultant for Head Start and children’s programs across the US and the Pacific Rim. She has lectured on Play Therapy in Refugee Communities at the UN NGO Committee on the Family. Recently, she presented a paper, “Psychotherapeutic Interventions with Children and Adolescents: Contemporary Perspectives in the Practice of Child and Adolescent Jungian Analysis and Sandplay Therapy” at the First International Conference on Child and Adolescent Jungian Analysis under the IAAP.
She provides therapy to adults and children in her private practice in Birmingham, Alabama. Contact:

Registration is closed.

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NBCC Continuing Education Credits
Friends of Jung-South has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, AECP #6859. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Friends of Jung-South is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

Friends of Jung-South Membership

Members support the continuing mission of FOJS, and enjoy the camaraderie of a regional group of others with shared interests. Discounted rates for events are offered to members. It is not necessary to pay dues to attend events. Annual membership dues are $20 and renew each January. Members may join at any time during the year.

Click here to pay with a major credit or debit card via PayPal. ​To pay by mail, please send check with your name, address, phone number, and email address to Friends of Jung-South, P.O. Box 130342, 3900 Montclair Rd. FL1, Birmingham, AL 35213-9998.

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