About Jung & Analytical Psychology
Analytical or Jungian psychology is based upon the ideas of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist (1875–1961). Jung had a working relationship with Freud from 1906–1913 and was the first elected President of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Their collaboration ended when Jung developed psychological theories that departed from Freud's view.
Jung agreed with Freud about the basic concepts of psychology. However, Jung's emphasis was different: Jung saw the unconscious as complementary to and communicating with consciousness, rather than as a mere repository of repressed experience. Jung believed that analysis or psychotherapy should be a dialogue between two people, working together to alleviate the client's psychic condition through a process of discovering and integrating the unconscious aspects of the personality.
Disagreeing with Freud, Jung felt that we had many motivations other than the sexual drive, and that one of these motivations was actually for the process of psychological growth. Jung's idea was that we develop symptoms when we fail to integrate the many potential aspects of our personality. Failure to do this is often what causes the psychological problems that bring us into therapy. If we don't understand these deeper causes, the problems are likely to resurface in other ways, such as relationship problems or emotional blocks.
The focus in Jungian analysis is less on a reductive understanding (for instance, how our parents' shortcomings led to our difficulties), and more on a prospective understanding: What are we trying unconsciously to work out through our problems? It is certainly important to understand how the deficits or trauma of our history affects us, but it is just as important to understand our inner need to grow into the unique person we potentially are.
The basic goal and attitude of Jungian analysis is to build an ongoing relationship with the unconscious. Rather than seeing it merely as the repository of repressed memories, Jung viewed the unconscious as a source of direction and healing. At the same time, this unconscious also contains our dark side, which is important to face directly and come to terms with.
One of the ways that Jungians actually do this is by working with symbols—images that come up in dreams, imagination, creative projects, and the events of our lives. Symbols carry enormous energy because they connect unconscious and conscious layers of the mind, and they represent the universal, human developmental processes that Jung called archetypes. Recognizing these patterns of experience can help us to facilitate our growth as humans.
You may wish to use the links below to read more about Jung and a Jungian approach to psychotherapy.