ABOUT PSYCHOTHERAPY& JUNGIAN ANALYSIS
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is an opportunity for a person to work on his or her problems and challenging emotions by talking with a trusted and qualified professional who listens attentively and assists him or her in exploring an inner path for healing, whatever it might be for that individual. To put it simply, psychotherapy is deep soul or spiritual work.
“I use the term ‘individuation’ to denote the process by which a person becomes and ‘in-dividual,’ that is a separate indivisible unity or ‘whole’.” — C. G. Jung
“The aim of individuation is nothing less than to divest the self of the false wrappings of the persona on the one hand, and the suggestive power of the primordial images on the other.” — C. G. Jung
Established by the world-renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, an analytical approach to psychotherapy deals primarily with a patient’s emotional complexes. These can have a tendency to grip a patient and make him or her one-sided, psychologically.
Working with a person’s dreams can assist him or her in becoming more aware of the hidden dynamics of his or her personality and help to bring psychological balance.
A person’s dreams, images, and visions can reveal how his or her psyche (soul) is encouraging psychological balance and wholeness.
Such psychological treatment can foster personal insight, personality development, greater social and interpersonal skills, as well as improve functioning in a patient’s everyday life.
As a form of psychotherapy, the analytical journey often begins when a person is experiencing an extremely challenging time in his or her life, does not know what to do, and feels stuck.
The Jungian modality, as an approach to and understanding of psychotherapy, utilizes an analytic container (temenos) in which mental health concerns can be addressed and worked on.
A weekly analytic hour (consultation) is an opportunity for a person to explore his or her unconscious psychic material within a symbolic and psychological framework, and work toward personal maturation (individuation).
How is Jungian psychoanalysis traditionally defined?
Jungian analysis is “a form of therapy specializing in neurosis, aimed at bringing unconscious contents to consciousness; also called analytic therapy, based on the school of thought developed by C. G. Jung called analytical (or complex) psychology.” — Daryl Sharpe
“[Analysis] is only a means for removing the stones from the path of development, and not a method . . . of putting things into the patient that were not there before. It is better to renounce any attempt to give direction, and simply try to throw into relief everything that the analysis brings to light, so that the patient can see it clearly and be able to draw suitable conclusions. Anything [the patient] has not acquired himself [or herself] he [or she] will not believe in the long run, and what [the patient] takes over from authority merely keeps [him or her] infantile. [The patient] should rather be put into a position to take his [or her] own life in hand.” — C. G. Jung
What is the approach?
Jungian analysts work with clients on their dreams, exploring them symbolically and psychologically, and glean together what these dynamics have to offer and mean. Dreams contain aspects of who patients are as persons and how the Self (numinosum) is present in their life. The process of individuation (personal maturity) is the goal.
For some religious people, dreams are viewed as “God’s forgotten language.” From a faith perspective, although collective (group) activity is crucial to religious life, so, too, is working on oneself: to do the personal work that undergirds day-to-day life, whether it be on one’s own or in a group. In other words, personal experience of God (the Holy) is just as significant as creedal, dogmatic, and theological perspectives.
“Synchronistic events . . . almost invariably accompany the crucial phases of the process of individuation.” — Marie-Louise von Franz
“The shadow is merely somewhat inferior, primitive, unadapted, and awkward; not wholly bad. It even contains childish and primitive qualities which would in a way vitalize and embellish human existence, but—convention forbids!” — C. G. Jung
“The confrontation with the shadow and its integration must always be achieved first in the individuation process in order to strengthen the ego for further laps in the journey and for the crucial encounter with the Self.” — Jolande Jacobi
What is spiritual direction?
Another modality of psychotherapy, spiritual direction, which is a form of spiritual counselling, mentoring or companioning, explores questions regarding God’s presence in a person’s life and focuses on their relationship. Jungian analysis is often considered the crème de la crème of spiritual direction.