Jungian Therapy

What Is Jungian Therapy?

Jungian therapy, sometimes known as Jungian analysis, is an in-depth, analytical form of talk therapy designed to bring together the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind to help a person feel balanced and whole. Jungian therapy calls for clients to delve into the deeper and often darker elements of their mind and look at the “real” self rather than the self they present to the outside world.

When It's Used

Jungian therapy can help improve the lives of those with depression, anxiety, grief, phobias, relationship or trauma issues, low self-esteem, or other emotional problems. It is also appropriate for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of themselves and is willing to make a commitment to the work involved in acquiring that knowledge.

What to Expect

In addition to talking, your therapist may use various techniques, such as dream journaling and interpretation, and creative experiences likes art, movement, or music, to encourage self-expression and release your imagination. Your therapist may also try word association tests, wherein the therapist says a specific word and records how long it takes you to respond with the first thing that comes to mind. Your response time can indicate emotions and issues you connect to certain words. Depending on your situation and the agreement you make with your therapist, you will meet for regularly scheduled sessions, one or more times a week.

How It Works

Originating in the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung early in the 20th century, Jungian therapy focuses more on the source of a problem than on the manifestations or symptoms. Jung believed that an individual’s repressed experiences and memories, in combination with what he called the “collective unconscious,” or natural traits that affect everyone, result in an imbalance between conscious awareness and the unconscious mind that has a detrimental effect on one’s emotional life. In analysis, one must explore the deep-rooted causes of relationship problems and blocked emotions to achieve “individuation,” or wholeness. If one tries simply to relieve the symptoms, the issues will not be resolved and are bound to resurface. The success of Jungian analysis depends on the client’s commitment to regularly scheduled sessions and intense work.

What to Look for in a Jungian Therapist

A certified Jungian therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has completed advanced training in a program accredited by the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP). In addition to checking training and credentials, be sure you are comfortable with the therapist you choose, and understand the therapeutic process as it is explained to you.

Sources

David C. Hamilton, Jungian Analyst, IAAAP

International Association for Analytical Psychology