Jungian Psychology
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Jungian psychology (or Analogical psychology) refers to the school of psychology originating from the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, and then advanced by his students and other thinkers who followed in his tradition. It is distinct from Freudian psychoanalysis but also has a number of similarities. Its aim is the apprehension and integration of the deep forces and motivations underlying human behaviour by the practice of an accumulative phenomenology around the significance of dreams, folklore and mythology. Depth psychology and archetypal psychology are related in that they both employ the model of the unconscious mind as the source of healing and development in the individual.

Overview

Jung developed his own distinctive approach to the study of the human mind. In his early years when working in a Swiss hospital with schizophrenic patients and working with Sigmund Freud and the burgeoning psychoanalytic community, he took a closer look at the mysterious depths of the human unconscious. Fascinated by what he saw (and spurred on with even more passion by the experiences and questions of his personal life) he devoted his life to the exploration of the unconscious. Unlike many modern psychologists, Jung did not feel that experimenting using natural science was the best means to understand the soul. For him, an empirical investigation of the world of dream, myth, and soul represented the most promising road to deeper understanding.

The overarching goal of Jungian psychology is the reconciliation of the life of the individual with the world of the supra-personal Archetypes. Central to this process is the individual's encounter with the unconscious. The human experiences the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits. Essential to the encounter with the unconscious, and the reconciliation of the individual's consciousness with this broader world, is learning this symbolic language. Only through attention and openness to this world is the individual able to harmonize their life with these suprapersonal archetypal forces.

"Neurosis" results from a disharmony between the individual's consciousness and the greater archetypal world. The aim of psychotherapy is to assist the individual in reestablishing a healthy relationship to the unconscious (neither being swamped by it-a state characteristic of psychosis-nor completely shut off from it-a state that results in malaise, empty consumerism, narcissism, and a life cut off from deeper meaning). The encounter between consciousness and the symbols arising from the unconscious enriches life and promotes psychological development. Jung considered this process of psychological growth and maturation (which he called the process of individuation) to be of critical importance to the human being, and ultimately to modern society.

In order to undergo the individuation process, the individual must be open to the parts of oneself beyond one's own ego. In order to do this, the modern individual must pay attention to dreams, explore the world of religion and spirituality, and question the assumptions of the operant societal worldview (rather than just blindly living life in accordance with dominant norms and assumptions).

The Fundamentals

The Unconscious
The basic assumption is that the personal unconscious is a potent part-probably the more active part-of the normal human psyche. Reliable communication between the conscious and unconscious parts of the psyche is necessary for wholeness.

Also crucial is the belief that dreams show ideas, beliefs, and feelings/emotions of which individuals are not readily aware, but need to be, and that such material is expressed in a personalized vocabulary of visual metaphors. Things "known but unknown" are contained in the unconscious, and dreams are one of the main vehicles for the unconscious to express them. Dreams are a direct link to the unconscious.

Analytical psychology distinguishes between a personal and a collective unconscious. (see collective unconscious below)

The collective unconscious contains archetypes common to all human beings. That is, individuation may bring to surface symbols that do not relate to the life experiences of a single person. This content is more easily viewed as answers to the more fundamental questions of humanity: life, death, meaning, happiness, fear. Among these more spiritual concepts may arise and be integrated into the personality.

The Collective Unconscious
More on The Collective Unconscious

Jung's concept of the collective unconscious has often been misunderstood. In order to understand this concept, it is essential to understand Jungian archetypes.

The archetypes of the collective unconscious could be thought of as the DNA of the human psyche. Just as all humans share a common physical heritage and predisposition towards specific gross physical forms (like having two legs, a heart, etc.) so do all humans have innate psychological predispositions in the form of archetypes, which compose the collective unconscious.

In contrast to the objective material world, the subjective realm of archetypes cannot be fully plumbed through quantitative modes of research. Instead it can be revealed more fully through an examination of the symbolic communications of the human psyche-in art, dreams, religion, myth, and the themes of human relational/behavioural patterns. Devoting his life to the task of exploring and understanding the collective unconscious, Jung theorized that certain symbolic themes exist across all cultures, all epochs, and in every individual.

The Archetypes
Reference Article From Myths-Dreams-Symbols Archetypes
Reference Link: Jungian Archetypes

The use of psychological archetypes was advanced by Jung in 1919 and generally adopted in the social sciences. In Jung's psychological framework, archetypes are innate, universal prototypes for ideas and may be used to interpret observations. A group of memories and interpretations associated with an archetype is a complex, e.g. a mother complex associated with the mother archetype. Jung treated the archetypes as psychological organs, analogous to physical ones in that both are morphological givens that arose through evolution.

Self-realization and Neuroticism
Reference Articles Self-realization Neuroticism

An innate need for self-realization leads people to explore and integrate these rejected materials. This natural process is called individuation, or the process of becoming an individual.

According to Jung, Self-realization can be divided into two distinct tiers. In the first half of our lives we separate from humanity. We attempt to create our own identities (I, myself). This is why there is such a need for young men to be destructive, and can be expressed as animosity from teens directed at their parents. Jung also said we have a sort of "second puberty" that occurs between 35-40- outlook shifts from emphasis on materialism, sexuality, and having children to concerns about community and spirituality.

In the second half of our lives, we reunite with the human race. We become part of the collective once again. This is when adults start to contribute to humanity (volunteer time, build, garden, create art, etc.) rather than destroy. They are also more likely to pay attention to their unconscious and conscious feelings. How often do you hear a young man state, "I feel angry." or "I feel sad."? This is because they have not rejoined the collective in their older, wiser years, according to Jung. A common theme is for young rebels to "search" for their true selves and realize that a contribution to humanity is essentially a necessity for a whole self.

Jung proposes that the ultimate goal of the collective unconscious and self-realization is to pull us to the highest experience. This, of course, is spiritual.

If a person does not proceed toward self-knowledge, neurotic symptoms may arise. Symptoms are widely defined, including, for instance, phobias, fetishism, depression.

The Shadow
Reference Article From Myths-Dreams-Symbols The Shadow

The shadow is an unconscious complex that is defined as the repressed and suppressed aspects of the conscious self.

There are constructive and destructive types of shadow.

On the destructive side, it often represents everything that the conscious person does not wish to acknowledge within themselves. For instance, someone who identifies as being kind has a shadow that is harsh or unkind. Conversely, an individual who is brutal has a kind shadow. The shadow of persons who are convinced that they are ugly appears to be beautiful.

On the constructive side, the shadow may represent hidden positive influences. This has been referred to as "the gold in the shadow." Jung points to the story of Moses and Al-Khidr in the 18th Sura (Chapter) of the Koran as an example.

Jung emphasized the importance of being aware of shadow material and incorporating it into conscious awareness, lest one project these attributes on others.

The shadow in dreams is often represented by dark figures of the same gender as the dreamer.

According to Jung the human being deals with the reality of the Shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation.

Anima and Animus
Reference Article From Myths-Dreams-Symbols Anima/Animus

Jung identified the anima as being the unconscious feminine component of men and the animus as the unconscious masculine component in women. However, this is rarely taken as a literal definition: many modern day Jungian practitioners believe that every person has both an anima and an animus. Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological growth. Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day.

Often, when people ignore the anima or animus complexes, the anima or animus vies for attention by projecting itself on others. This explains, according to Jung, why we are sometimes immediately attracted to certain strangers: we see our anima or animus in them. Love at first sight is an example of anima and animus projection. Moreover, people who strongly identify with their gender role (e.g. a man who acts aggressively and never cries) have not actively recognized or engaged their anima or animus.

Jung attributes human rational thought to be the male nature, while the irrational aspect is considered to be natural female. Consequently, irrationality is the male anima shadow and rationality is the female animus shadow.

Psychoanalysis
Reference Articles Psychoanalysis Dream Analysis

Analysis is a way to experience and integrate the unknown material. It is a search for the meaning of behaviours, symptoms, events. Many are the channels to reach this greater self-knowledge. The analysis of dreams is the most common. Others may include expressing feelings in art pieces, poetry or other expressions of creativity.

Giving a complete description of the process of dream interpretation and individuation is complex. The nature of the complexity lies on the fact that the process is highly specific to the person who does it.

While Freudian psychoanalysis assumes that the repressed material hidden in the unconscious is given by repressed sexual instincts, Analytical psychology has a more general approach. There is no preconceived assumption about the unconscious material. The unconscious, for Jungian analysts, may contain repressed sexual drives, but also aspirations, fears, etc.


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