Last Updated 24 Jul 2020

Jungian Analytical Psychology and the Process on Individuation

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The process on individuation is central to Jungian analytical psychology, as Jung believed that individuation is the driving force behind humans’ “yearning for completeness within the human experience, and the search for wholeness” (Russell, & Ryback, 1996, p. 2) in their life-long conquest to achieve a distinctive but coherent and balanced personality.

Besides the genetics and the psychosocial environment, Jung believed that a third force influences the dynamic formation of human individuality and that is the ‘collective memory’ of previous civilizations, memory stored and available to humans, in the ‘collective unconscious’ (Munteanu, 2012; Douglas, 2011). While hard to prove scientifically, quantum physics does not refute this concept (Science Channel, 2011; Munro, 2011).

As a therapist, I believe that I should be the open-minded guide and facilitator of client’s individualized explorations and life experiences, supporting client’s pursuit of holistic self-realization; guiding client’s exploration of his/her archetypes, the attitudinal type and the preferential decision making mode, would facilitate client’s understanding of own psychic energy flow, and would empower the client to address and develop his/her unconscious/conscious balance, advancing the individuation process (Munteanu, 2012; AtheneWins, 2011; Russell, & Ryback, 1996).

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The counselling methods I would use to sustain this process, while client centred, would also need to be very creative and interactive on my part, as the counsellor; I would be making use of a variety of strategies within an environment of customised but constantly challenging and supportive at the same time.

I would need to maintain myself on an perpetual self-development and self-reflection ‘carousel’, in order to ensure that I continuously upgrade my skills to the levels required to provide that balance of challenge and support, to all of my clients; within my practice, I would use a variety of methods, such as instructional interventions, questioning, clarifying, hypothesising, silences if/as required (to allow the process of assimilation and internalisation), dream interpretation or sequential drawings, journaling, art and sand therapies (especially for clients who have difficulties verbalising feelings), mandalas, mask making, etc.

I could see how my teaching experience will serve me well in Jungian counselling, since I already use many of these methods, to provide personalised learning, to my students. I have always thought of myself as ‘work in progress’, and therefore I learn something new every day from my students; hence, learning from and alongside my clients I see it as a continuation of my own holistic individuation (Dehing, 1992; Russell, & Ryback, 1996).

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