Jungian psychotherapy is a psycho-therapeutic process developed by Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), a Swiss psychiatrist.
He was 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 (alternatively called 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”, causing us to behave in ways we can 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”, becoming whole or becoming who you really are.
Everyone has 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.
Therefore Jungian psychotherapy is not just looking at the alleviation or eradication of symptoms, although this does occur as part of the process. It also seeks to hear their messages, which usually points to a deeper matter that needs one’s attention. It might point to a lack of spiritual orientation, a search for meaning in life or a failure to develop one’s creative potential.
“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”
“The 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.”
Because I am also a qualified integrative counsellor I also use other approaches to healing and recovery including Freud (psychodynamic), but also humanistic and integrated theories.
‘I’ve learnt to listen to my body and my soul. To remember to open my mouth before things get too bad. To laugh again. I learnt that the madness I felt was not madness at all, that I am ‘normal’ and nothing is hopeless.’