What is Jungian
Jungian Analysis is a psychoanalytic process developed by Carl
Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and one of the pioneers of
modern depth psychology or psychology of the unconscious. The unconscious
is that part of the psyche over which the ego (or the will) has no control.
This is easily seen in habits we cannot break such as addictions, or in
autonomous emotional states which “come over us” (also known
as complexes), causing us to behave in ways
we often regret. We often refer to such symptoms as neuroses.
Jung believed that in order to become a whole person, these two aspects
of the psyche, ego consciousness and the
unconscious, must come together into a harmonious relationship. This is
a process he called “individuation,”
or becoming who you really are.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Jungian viewpoint is
that it sees great value in these symptoms or neuroses. Jung saw symptoms
or neuroses as profoundly important and purposeful, giving us information
about what is happening in the unconscious, which he saw as infinitely
more powerful than consciousness. These symptoms are messages from our
soul, and by entering into them and paying them appropriate attention,
we begin to see what is out of balance in the psyche and how we can consciously
become more balanced and whole.
In Jung’s words:
In many cases we have to say, "Thank heaven he could
make up his mind to be neurotic." Neurosis is really
an attempt at self-cure. . . . It is an attempt of the self-regulating
psychic system to restore the balance, in no way different
from the function of dreams-only rather more forceful and
drastic.[The Tavistock Lectures," CW 18, par. 389.]
I myself have known more than one person who owed his entire
usefulness and reason for existence to a neurosis, which prevented
all the worst follies in his life and forced him to a mode
of living that developed his valuable potentialities. These
might have been stifled had not the neurosis, with iron grip,
held him to the place where he belonged. ["The Problem
of the Attitude-Type," CW 7, par. 68.]
Therefore Jungian analysis is not content with the alleviation or eradication
of symptoms, as seriously as it takes that task. It also seeks to hear
the message of the neurosis, which usually points to a deeper matter that
needs one’s attention, such as complex that has become so powerful
as to take over the entire personality, leaving little room for real choices
and freedom. It might point to a lack of spiritual orientation, or a failure
to develop one’s creative potential.
Dreams also arise from the unconscious, speaking a symbolic language that
is initially obscure because our language in waking life is more concrete.
However, we each have an innate knowledge of symbolic language and can
gradually remember it.
Jungian analysis is essentially a
dialogue between two people, the analyst and the analysand. Its aim
is to help the analysand get in touch with his/her own inner sources of
healing and growth, and thus to arrive at individual answers and solutions.
Because Jungian analysis is adapted to the needs and goals of the individual,
it may in practice be any number of things: short-term counseling on a
specific problem; sympathetic support through a difficult period; help
in resolving conflicts and eliminating symptoms; guidance in developing
creative potentials or discovering new life possibilities.
Although Jung’s “analytical
psychology” has its own distinctive viewpoint, it is, in the final
analysis, less a school of psychology alongside others than a fundamental
perspective and methodology capable of accommodating a many-sided truth,
and thus of integrating the empirical findings of many disciplines, giving
them in the process a richer context and new dimensions.
The basic outlook of Jungian psychology makes it possible to offer help
in these areas, not in the form of any specific ideology or method, but
by assisting the individual to discover the meaning already lying in his/her
own soul. Anything he has not acquired himself he will not believe
in the long run, and what he takes over from authority merely keeps him
infantile. He should rather be put in a position to take his own life
in hand. The art of analysis lies in following the patient on all his
erring ways and so gathering his strayed sheep together.[Some Crucial
Points in Psychoanalysis," CW 4, par. 643
The spirit of Jungian analysis and therapy is perhaps best captured in
Jung’s own words: “The prime task of psychotherapy today is
to pursue with singleness of purpose the goal of individual development.
So doing, our efforts will follow nature’s striving to bring life
to the fullest possible fruition in each individual . . . The labors of
the doctor as well as the quest of the patient are directed towards that
hidden and as yet unmanifest ‘whole’ man, who is at once the
greater and future man."
Is Jungian Analysis for you?
The most common reason most people seek analysis or psychotherapy is that
they are suffering in some way. They are seeking relief from symptoms
which are often brought on by life events which have had a dramatic impact
on their sense of self.
For others, there is a sense that they are out of touch with themselves
or that they have betrayed themselves by taking a certain path or direction.
They may feel they have lost their way and are seeking a way to return
to their true path.
Others feel disenchanted with traditional clinical psychotherapies and
medications, and seek an alternative approach to their symptoms and suffering.
Carl Jung said that a mandala
symbolizes "a safe refuge of inner reconciliation
and wholeness." It is "a synthesis of distinctive elements
in a unified scheme representing the basic nature of existence."
Jung used the mandala for his own personal growth and wrote about
Some just want to know more about themselves
and the reasons their lives have turned out the
way they have. They want to engage in what Jung called the "special
act of reflection.”
Some reasons Jungian analysis may be right for you:
• Feelings of meaninglessness
• Desire for increased self-knowledge and awareness
• Desire to connect to your deeper essence and truth
• Creativity blocks
• Relationship issues
• Issues related to sexual orientation
• Work-related problems
• Mid-life Crisis
• Grief and/or loss
• Chronic pain or illness
• Spiritual crisis
What is a certified Jungian analyst?
Certification as a Jungian analyst requires
completion of an extensive and thorough post-graduate training program
at an institute approved by the International Association for Analytical
Psychology. Requirements for admission to such a training program include
a graduate degree, supervised experience in a therapeutic field, and personal
Jungian analysis, which continues throughout the training and lays its
foundation. Jung believed that all analysts must of necessity undergo
their own rigorous and sustained personal analysis. The analysts’
training generally extends over a four to eight year period. Training
and certification are designed to ensure a high level of competence, quality
and integrity among Jungian analysts.
What can I expect if I decide to meet with a Jungian analyst for
Generally analysts meet with prospective patients for one or two sessions
to determine whether the therapeutic relationship feels promising for
productive work. Often a patient’s dream can be helpful in reaching
this decision. If both parties agree that the relationship appears to
be satisfactory, they will agree to a regular schedule for sessions.
man at peace with himself contributes an infinite amount of the
universe. Attend to your personal and private conflicts and you
will be reducing by one millionth millionth the world conflict.