About Psychotherapy and Jungian Analysis
"Psychotherapy" derives from the Greek words psyche (soul) and therapeuein (the care of). It describes an interactive, emotional, intuitive, and imaginative process of sustained attention to the soul's sufferings and creative manifestations. Jungian analysis represents an extension of psychotherapy into the individual's depths, a practical application of the discoveries of Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). Our familiar ideas about complexes, symbols, creative regression, rebirth, the inner child, archetypes, the collective unconscious, synchronicity, and the role of dreams in the individuation process - all these stem from Jung's seminal works.
Individuals enter psychotherapy owing to current crisis, longstanding maladjustment, severe psychopathology, or out of an intense desire for personal growth. In any case, a fundamental perspective of Jungian work consists in moving beyond mere clinical description and the diagnosis of symptoms to an understanding of those symptoms as statements from the depths of the individual's psyche. Here, compulsive behaviors, disruptive emotions, troubling memories, intrusive fantasies and the like figure as raw materials in the therapeutic process. In the deep reflective working-through of emotional conflicts, such prima materia come to reveal their interior symbolic and transformative contents in images and sequences of images - the very stuff of psychic life.
A systematic exploration of dreams is an especially useful and fruitful means of gaining insight into the deeper currents of one's inner life. Explorations of memory, intuitive visual impressions, active imagination, and creative artistic expression all contribute to the same deepening insight.
The orientation of Jungian work align historically with those of the Pre-Socratic philosophers, with the initiatory practices of the Greco-Roman Mystery traditions, gnostic speculations of the first and second Centuries CE, the symbolic approaches of Alchemy, Hermetism, Shamanism, German Naturwissenschaft, as well as the art and science of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Contemporary Jungian analytic work is thus congenial with the Archetypal Psychology of James Hillman, the depth psychological research and therapeutics of Stanislav Grof, and with Transpersonal Psychology and related holistic arts and sciences.
"Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine"