Jungian Analysis, Analytical Psychology & Staying Real
CG Jung invented the method of Jungian analysis and founded the school of psychology known as analytical psychology. He was brilliant; many would say a genius. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t make some mistakes, or leave a lot for others to discover, as time would tell.
However, there’s vitality in Jungian analysis as an approach to case studies. It profoundly affected people in his time, as it still does. The unique strength of Jung’s approach is best lived out when we can stay grounded in the real wisdom that he brought to case studies work, while keeping open to the best of other influences.
Some Jungians want to assert that Jung had it all sewn up, that you don’t need to go beyond what he said. But Jung himself was surprisingly open, always sat loose to his theories, and welcomed new insights, sometimes from surprising sources.
Jung Focused Powerfully on Individuals & Individuation
This single-minded approach was Jung’s greatest contribution, and is the most important emphasis in Jungian analysis to this day. His ability to sit with people, and to make them feel that they were heard, and that their lives were unique and important, was legendary.
Jung Emphasized the Vitality of the Unconscious
Similarly, Jung saw the unconscious as a living reality, not full of only repressed materials, but also of elements that are seeking to help us to come to a more complete and fulfilling understanding of our lives. This remains a formidible and lasting contribution to case studies.
Keeping the Unconscious Connected to Real Life
Whatever your psychological theory is, it’s not enough if it doesn’t meet people where they live, and if it doesn’t make a concrete difference to the story of their lives. Modern neuroscience has only served to confirm the reality of the unconscious, and modern Jungian case studiess like Michael Fordham, Mario Jacoby, Donald Kalsched, and Andrew Samuels have helped to further develop a Jungian understanding of personal and social life that keeps things real.
Connected, Growing and Knowing
A Jungian or “analytical psychology” approach has a lot to offer 21st century people. But those of us who practice this type of case studies need to have the knowledge to be open to the perspectives of others, and to keep analytical psychology a growing, vital discipline. It’s also essential that we stay connected to the lived reality of people in 21st century North America.
Here’s hoping that your journey toward wholeness will bring you something living, unique and real.
PHOTO: © Boris Zatserkovnyy | Dreamstime.com
© 2011 Brian Collinson
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