Individuation, Individual Therapy & Work Related Stress
People expect work related stress to be a subject for individual therapy, but think less commonly about work and individuation — especially for today’s pressurized workers. Individuation is the term Jung used to describe “the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.” Particularly in the last 10 – 15 years, as anxiety has crept more and more into the work place, the experience of work for many people may seem to be about anything but genuine individual development.
Yet… Something in Us Seeks Wholeness — Even at Work
For Jung, the human psyche is always in process, seeking to bring all the parts of our self into relatedness with each other. Even at our work. In our work experience, with specific tasks, co-workers, clients, etc., some aspect of our self is confronting us, trying to come into awareness. There’s truth about ourselves that we need to take in — even in work related stress.
Vocation — What if It’s Not Just a Word?
Vocation can be overly spiritualized and dramatized, or trivialized, as in the so-called “vocational test”. But what if there actually is something specific that life and my own nature has suited me to do? That may be a matter of the job I do, or a vocation that I live out over and above my job.
Connecting Point recorded archetypal psychologist Jame Hillman on the subject of “What is Your Calling?”
Work Related Stress: Message from My Deep Self?
The fundamental question for individual therapy is, “What does my work stress tell me about my true self?” Perhaps in relation to fellow workers? Or about my trouble with saying “No” or setting boundaries? Or the ways that I have been kidding myself about the type of work that suits me, or about my own true abilities or inclinations? Or maybe my own deepest motivations, or compulsive need for success or status? Or my driven-ness or workaholism as avoidance of life? Or my fear to move on?
The Shadow in Working Life
My work may express who I really am, and allow me to give from my deepest self to the world. Alternately, it might be that I’m really alienated from myself at work, unable to show anyone who I really am or what I really care about, and that this disconnect is a real source of work related stress.
If shadow is the unacknowledged part of the self, what is in your shadow that concerns work?
PHOTOS: © Maria Paula Coelho | Dreamstime.com
© 2012 Brian Collinson