Jungian psychotherapy is a style of psychodynamic “talk therapy” which has the same theoretical basis as Jungian analysis. Carl Jung, the originator of this style of therapy was a contemporary of Freud and shared with him a belief in the power and importance of unconscious processes in shaping our responses… an understanding which has since been supported by cognitive research.
A Jungian approach to therapy combines the best current scientific psychological knowledge about human behavior and thinking habits and interweaves it with a respectful appreciation of philosophical and spiritual wisdom.
Compassion, non-judgmental attention and empathy create a therapeutic environment where, curiosity, self-revelation and self-exploration are safe and supported and where self-understanding can grow. Jungian therapy begins with a gentle but thoughtful discussion of the history of an individual’s experiences…in their family of origin, their social and work lives and in current intimate relationships. As the patterns and origins of past choices become visible, alternative directions can be considered, implemented and adjusted. Often new meanings can be ascribed to old experiences and a better relationship can be formed with the past and the people in it. Acceptance of the part that we play in creating the things we experience rekindles a sense of agency. Recognition or revival of deeply held personal values lends a sense of purpose and meaning to life.
Consideration of unconscious products like dreams or fantasies, and personal artistic productions such as drawings, paintings, photographs or poems are used by some individuals to deepen their understanding of their personal concerns and to develop a vocabulary of personal metaphors which describe their own, unique experience and aspirations. Comparison of personal experience with ancient human patterns of experience as they have been concentrated and refined for us in myth, legends, sacred texts and fairy tales from around the world, re-assures us as individuals of our essential humanity by showing, as we pass through the trials and triumphs of our lives, that others have walked this road before us and found solutions and resolutions.
Carl Jung once said, “We all walk in shoes too small.” By this he meant that we often had too limited a view of our own potential. It seems even more true today that we settle for too materialist and narrow an interpretation of what our lives can and should contain. Every human life is complex and fascinating and many people are deeply moved and touched in therapeutic conversation. They are surprised and enchanted to discover their own depths and re-discover their own potential.
Psychotherapy in a Jungian mode is a great adventure, a quest and an opening to a world of wonders.