I would like to preface this page with the disclaimer that I am not a Jungian Analyst. I intend to become one in the future, but at this time I am a clinician who often incorporates Jungian theory and influence into my psychotherapy practice. I personally have gone through my own analysis with a Jungian Analyst, and I am a participant in the local Jungian Seminar. I have done quite a bit of reading, podcast listening, and Jungian lecture attending, but I am by far still on the road of expansion and education.
I came to Jungian work through a series of events. As you've probably noticed on my other pages I am an Art Therapist. My training as an Art Therapist primed me for symbolic psychological work. From the time of being an Art Therapy graduate student I have always approached my work from an analytical standpoint. After graduating I began clinical supervision with a Jungian oriented Art Psychotherapist and Professional Counselor. During this time I picked up terminology, and framework inspiration in a very organic manner. This growth period led me in the direction of Spiritual and Transpersonal Psychology at first, and then landed me in my own analysis. From that point on I began to realize that Spiritual and Transpersonal Psychology were a close fit, but that Jungian Psychology was the missing puzzle piece in my framework of practice and life. This unfolding process was something like an improv comedy scene where relationships and environment were unfolding in a manner that painted a vivid picture. This process is what I would describe as my professional individuation process. Jung coined the term individuation which describes an individual's psychological growth process.
My personal description of Jungian theory is that it is a multidimensional and paradoxical way of approaching and looking at human growth and development, spirituality, history, culture, literature, religion, art, architecture, music, dreams, the world, the universe, etc. Jungian psychology (although he did not refer to his work as Jungian. He referred to it as Analytical Psychology) was developed by Swiss Psychologist/Psychiatrist Carl Jung. It creates a web of connection between all of existence through varying dimensions of consciousness both collective and individual. In simple terms it looks at all of existence both personal and collective through a symbolic, archetypal, and spiritual lens. There are various key terms that further define the theory such as individuation, ego, self, persona, unconscious, conscious, shadow, anima, animus, telos, archetype, alchemy, amplification, circumambulation, active imagination, archetypal image, complex, compensation, constellation, inflation, libido, numinous, synchronicity, projection, psychoid etc. I could spend time further outlining all of those terms and more, but I'd rather jump into the applied nature of what Jungian theory has to do with my clinical work because it is likely why you've landed on this page.
What does this have to do with our therapy work?
The biggest part of psychotherapy is relationship. Without relationship transformation cannot take place. We begin by bringing ourselves into the room. (I don't mean I tell you about personal content in my life, but that you get a sense of who I am, and that both of our psychic energies are swirling in the space.) This relationship container allows for complexes to be revealed, explored, and ideally transformed. We'll look at the symbolic nature of your dreams, artwork, and narative to highlight connections, patterns, and underlying psychic pathways. The purpose of all this is to help you find the unconscious answers within yourself, to integrate the fragmented bits, and to create space for wholeness to occur.
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." - C.G. Jung
Important links and resources:
Philadelphia Association of Jungian Analysts: http://cgjungphiladelphia.org
Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts: https://irsja.org
C.G. Jung Page: http://www.cgjungpage.org
This Jungian Life (Podcast): http://www.thisjungianlife.com
Speaking of Jung (Podcast): https://speakingofjung.com
Women in Depth (Podcast): https://lourdesviado.com/category/womenindepthpodcast/
Jungianthology (Podcast): https://jungchicago.org/blog/