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  • My Inner Life: When the Unconscious Becomes Conscious


    Unconscious for Vibrant Jung Thing Here is a very evocative quote from Jung on the effect of integrating unconscious material into our conscious selves.  He stresses that what happens to us is fundamentally beyond description, and yet fundamentally real.


    “What happens within oneself when one integrates previously unconscious contents with the consciousness is something which can scarcely be described by words.  It can only be experienced.  It is a subjective affair quite beyond discussion; we have a particular feeling about ourselves, about the way we are, and that is a fact that it is neither possible nor meaningful to doubt.  Similarly, we convey a particular feeling to others, and that too is a fact that cannot be doubted….  Whether a change has taken place as the result of integration, and what the nature of that change is, remains a matter of subjective conviction.  To be sure it is not a fact which can be scientifically verified….  Yet it nevertheless remains a fact which is in practice uncommonly important and fraught with consequences.”


    “Travels” in Jung, C.G., Jaffe, Aniela, ed. and Winston, Richard & Clara., transs.,

    Memories, Dreams and Reflections (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), p. 287


    I think that what Jung is saying is that what happens in inner work, such as therapy, when we confront what is in the unconscious, is fundamentally beyond description — but nonetheless very real and important in its effect upon us.  Beyond achieving specific conscious goals, there is something that happens to us in therapy as we take in the reality of the previously undiscovered self.  There is a growth and a healing in this that can root us in our lives, and make us feel substantial and real as people and as individuals.


    Where does the reality of the unconscious seek to manifest itself in your life?  Sometimes it is in the least likely spot, the place where we seem least sure and weakest.  The journey of therapy is the uncovering of this reality.

    Thank you to those of you who comment on my posts and on the process of therapy, whether via comments on this blog, through emails, or even in face-to-face conversation.  As always I welcome your comments, and I would like to feel that this blog is a co-operative endeavour and a dialogue with you.  



    My very best wishes to you on your individual journey to wholeness,

    Brian Collinson


    Website for Brian’s Oakville and Mississauga Practice: 


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    PHOTO CREDITS:  © Anatoliy Zavodskov|


    © 2009 Brian Collinson    

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