Jungian Analysis: Deepening the Therapeutic Process
Jungian analysis (which is also called Jungian psychoanalysis, analytical psychology or depth psychology) is a form of psychotherapy, which focuses on difficulties, imbalances, stresses, traumas and or questions an individual might be struggling with in their outer and or inner life. Such challenges may arise from various life situations, experiences, traumas, feelings, thoughts, fantasies, dreams, disorders, and or psycho-physical occurrences. It is a therapeutic process, which embraces the whole individual, their life history, any unconscious material that comes forward into consciousness such as dreams, visions, fantasies, etc., and, which explores any emotions, thoughts, feelings, experiences or focusses the client brings from their lived history or daily life, to their analytical sessions.
In an analysis it becomes possible to work at uncovering the underlying dynamics that led to life challenges forming in the first place. This process, which supports the individual coming to understand the roots of their suffering and struggles, allows for deep growth to take place. It can be very helpful in exploring an individual’s dreams, to better understand the vital relationship between their conscious life and their unconscious material. The process of analysis can also work with larger existential inquiries, such as, the meaning of life, the individual’s path of life, illness, loss, death, love and the greater mystery.
The Jungian analyst is deeply trained to work with clients at the specific place they find themselves to be, and to support and facilitate their personal healing and growth. And while analysis often takes the form of talk therapy, when the imagination enters into the process, expressive forms such as writing, drawing, painting, sand tray, psycho-drama, voice dialogue, mindfulness practices, etc., can be used to support the therapeutic, healing process.
‘Jungian’ refers to the work of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the internationally acclaimed, Swiss psychiatrist and depth psychologist. And ‘analysis’, in this context refers to what is called ‘psychoanalysis’. By ‘psychoanalysis’ we generally mean a therapeutic method that addresses human problems, imbalances and suffering by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious material, and by bringing the latter into consciousness. An example of this would be, coming to better understand the underlying and not yet conscious meaning of a symptom or problem, such as depression or anxiety. In the process of becoming more conscious about a psychological dynamic and its roots; balancing, healing and growth begins to occur.
Jungian analytical sessions typically take place once per week, depending on the needs of the client. If an individual is experiencing a great deal of suffering and psychological pressure, it can be advisable to have a couple of sessions per week until they are able to gain some perspective and more balance. Individuals who have done enough analytical work to feel more grounded may choose to come to analysis every two weeks, and some clients who have done a great deal of work and have found enough well-being, might wish to have a session once per month or once in a while to stay connected to the deep inner process.
When a piece of psychological work has been completed, some clients terminate the sessions, and may or may not return at a later date to work through other issues when they arise. Each individual is unique, has their own needs, and thus the course of analysis can vary greatly in frequency and style.
In a session, the client and analyst explore what the client is searching to understand, balance, heal and or develop within themselves. The Jungian analyst brings their years of professional experience, insights from Jungian theory, from psychoanalytical and psychological theory, from philosophy, and from their own humanity, to bear on the client’s concerns.