What is Jungian Psychotherapy?
Jungian psychotherapy provides you with the tools that you need to be able to genuinely relate to other people. This type of therapy helps you address the question, “What is the meaning of my life?” Carl Jung, the founding father of Jungian psychotherapy, believed that the “meaning of life” consisted of individuation and self-awareness.
The central concept of Jungian therapy is individuation. Individuation refers to your psychological evolution. This evolution is gradual process that comes with a new consciousness of yourself and the world around you. Jung believed that over time you could develop a totally new and different personality. According to Jungian therapy, individuation involves your total growth as a human being and your increasing awareness of yourself, the people in your world and the world itself.
Jung believed that this total self-transformation and self-awareness could be achieved by combining your unconscious self with the integration of opposites (consciousness and unconsciousness) within your mind.
From the Jungian perspective, psychological disorders occur as a result of restricted individuation. In other words, psychological issues arise when you are not allowed to express yourself in a way that increases self-awareness and allows you to reconcile to the opposites of consciousness. According to Jungian psychotherapy, you are an unconscious and immature human being who is unable to respond effectively, resourcefully and adaptively to life.
Jung felt that the more distance you have between your consciousness and unconsciousness, the more likely you are to develop neurotic and/or psychotic disorders. Jungian psychotherapy suggests that psychological symptoms are representative of your fragmented mind. Your symptoms symbolize just how unstable and disconnected you are from reality. This type of psychotherapy helps you reconcile your unconscious desires, hopes, dreams and fears with your conscious reality.
Jungian psychotherapists help resolve your issues and better your life by guiding your unconscious self towards your conscious reality. These therapists believe that your inner self stores a symbolic wisdom that transcends your conscious thoughts and delves into your unconscious desires. Jung believed that your inner self is constantly sending symbolic messages that you fail to understand.
Jungian psychotherapy methods consist of: interpreting your dreams, expressing yourself creatively and/or utilizing imagination to help you comprehend and combine your unconscious mind with your conscious state of being. Once you have joined your unconscious self with your conscious reality, your symptoms will ease and the quality of your life will improve.
Who Seeks Jungian Psychotherapy?
A variety of people pursue Jungian psychotherapy. You may seek Jungian therapy for personal growth, to resolve psychological issues, interpret your dreams or understand the meaning of your life. Jungian therapists may use a combination of psychological techniques (dream interpretation and traditional psychotherapy) to help guide you towards psychological balance.
What Kinds of Issues Can Be Treated With Jungian Psychotherapy?
Jungian psychotherapy allows you to explore various ways to reach your full potential and have a more genuine experience in life. A variety of issues such as: dysfunctional relationships, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and/or stressful life events can be successfully treated using Jungian psychotherapy.
How Does Jungian Psychotherapy Address Psychological Issues?
Jungian psychotherapy addresses psychological issues by stressing to you how important it is to have an open mind and heart during the process. In order to receive the maximum benefits from this type of therapy you must be receptive to the messages your inner self is trying to send you. Once you have opened yourself up to the messages then you can interpret the meanings behind the messages. This involves paying attention to your dreams, feelings, instincts, senses. It also involves paying close attention to how these different elements connect together.
After you have learned to recognize and actively listen to these messages, you are ready to explore them through interpretation of your dreams, discussing the relationship between your dreams and your issues with your Jungian psychotherapist. Once you have a good understanding on the meaning of the messages it is time to use your imagination to develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Jungian psychotherapy helps you discover another part of yourself by moving it from your unconscious inner self into your conscious reality. It helps you recognize and remove any roadblocks that prevent you from reaching your full potential as a human being. Once you have integrated your unconsciousness with your consciousness, you transform into the person you are meant to be, your authentic self. Jungian therapy is beneficial for anyone who is naturally perceptive and intuitive or anyone who is willing to embrace new ideas, beliefs and ways of thinking.
What Happens During The Jungian Psychotherapy Session?
Jungian psychotherapy views the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist as a partnership. It is important that you and your therapist work together to recognize and treat the issues that are not only causing you considerable stress, but also preventing you from reaching your full potential. Jungian therapists tend to focus on overlooked dreams and hidden talents because these can improve the quality of your life. In addition, a Jungian therapist may interpret your dreams, actively listen to what you have to say and/or encourage creative expression (art, dance, etc.) as a way to guide you towards complete wholeness and a greater self-fulfillment in life.
Is Jungian Psychotherapy Effective?
Yes, many people have benefited from Jungian psychotherapy. Many have reported an increased self-awareness and self-consciousness, more effective coping strategies, improved problem-solving skills and feelings of independence, self-confidence and competency. Studies have shown that Jungian psychotherapy is especially effective with people who exhibit physical and/or emotional disorders.
Aziz, R. (2007). The syndetic paradigm: The untrodden path beyond Freud and Jung. New York, NY: The State University of New York Press.
Jones, R. A. (2001). The relevance of C.G. Jung. Theory & Psychology, 11, 569-577.