Dreams As Therapy|
How is Jungian analysis different from other forms of analysis?
The fundamental goal of Jungian analysis is to build a vital relationship between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind so that psychic development can be ongoing. Rather than regarding the unconscious merely as the repository of repressed memories, Jung viewed it as the wellspring of psychic energy and healing. He acknowledged the importance of understanding how the deficits and trauma of our history influence us, but stressed the need to look to the future as well, to understand our inner urge to become the unique individuals that we each have the potential to be. Like other forms of analysis, Jungian analysis recognizes the important roles of sex, aggression, and human relationships in our daily lives, but it also respects our needs for creative expression, meaning, spirituality, and growth as essential aspects of the human psyche.
Jung believed that we develop symptoms when we are stuck in old patterns and fail to integrate creative potentials within our personality. Often such symptoms motivate us to begin analysis. If we do not understand the deeper causes underlying those symptoms and focus merely on their relief, problems are likely to resurface in other ways, such as difficulties in relationships or emotional blocks.
To forge a connection with the unconscious Jungians utilize symbols that emerge spontaneously in patients fantasies, dreams, creative projects and daily experience. Many of these images are archetypal and also appear in myths and religious traditions. Concentrating on such images generates energy that catalyzes impulses to explore new realms of possibility and action that leads to personal transformation.
Who can benefit from Jungian analysis?Jungian analysis can help most people who have a genuine desire to learn about themselves and are willing and able to commit to regularly scheduled meetings over a sustained period of time. Those who suffer from a range of emotional problems, including depression and anxiety, those who seek better relationships, and those who seek growth and deeper meaning in their lives can benefit richly from Jungian analysis. Many people engaged in spiritual exploration and the creative arts are attracted to Jungian work and find analysis quite rewarding. But because Jungian work seeks balance, and respects the many parts of our psyche, a particular way of thinking or personality type is not required for the process to be effective.
Do l need to remember my dreams to work with a Jungian?Although dreams often play a central role in Jungian analysis, it is not necessary to remember them to begin the process. There are many ways to access the unconscious; fantasies, memories, imaginative and creative projects, movement, the events of our daily lives, and analytic interactions themselves can all foster a symbolic approach to the psyche. Many patients discover, however, that Jungian analysis itself stimulates them to remember dreams even if they have not done so previously.
Next: The Language of Dreams