Jung and Analytical Psychology
Analytical psychology is based on the life work of Carl Gustave Jung (1875-1961), an innovative Swiss psychiatrist who was its founder. As a young psychiatrist practicing Switzerland, C.G. Jung became an intimate friend and close collaborator with Sigmund Freud who is credited with the discovery of the personal unconscious. Jung greatly admired his older colleague Freud, and their friendship deepened as they worked together. However Jung's personality was strong, and he was an original thinker. Consequently, his work took on a new perspective from that of Freud's traditional psychoanalysis. Profound differences in their points of view arose which led to a break between the two men, one that was a deeply painful loss to both.
The Evolution of Jung's Thought
Jung's suffering and sense of fragmentation following his break with Freud led to a harrowing but intensely creative encounter with the deeper layers of his own unconscious. Through his careful work with the inner images arising from the unconscious, Jung consolidated a new level of understanding of psychic processes. This experience had a profound influence on his evolving understanding of the human psyche. He came to a realization that there was more to the nature and personality than he had previously imagined and more to the unconscious than the personal dimension that Freud had discovered. The unfamiliar images that often came to him in dreams, he later referred to as primordial or archetypal. He found through his researches that these images were symbolic representations of core experiences which constitute the fabric of meaning in human life and a pattern of potential wholeness. These core experiences are expressed in ancient mysteries, religious practices and beliefs and mythologies from epochs and cultures throughout time. They are mirrored today in artistic productions, creative imagination and the dreams of modern people. He realized there was a vast reservoir of being which mankind shares. He called this layer of the psyche, the "Collective Unconscious."
In the context of his discoveries, Jung gained perspective on his own suffering and on the suffering of others. He understood that a person's sense of wholeness and well-being comes about as a result of a conscious and heroic struggle to integrate parts of the personality that have been split off from awareness.
He noted that hidden aspects of the psyche operate independently of conscious intention. They operate as autonomous complexes which can and do create havoc and ruin both within the individual and in his outer world.
The Healing Factor in the Psyche
From Jung's point of view, one of the greatest sources of healing originates in the deepest layers of the personality-- in both the the personal and collective unconscious--and comes to the individual through the medium of dreams. In other words, the dream may point the way to the change needed for the individual to proceed toward becoming a more whole and responsible adult integrating more aspects of the Self and the positive development of their own personality.
The Role of the Analyst
The analyst creates an environment which facilitates healing and growth and assists the person in understanding their dreams or symbolic presentations in becoming aware of the more hidden aspects of their Selves that can then help them to become more mature, caring, whole individuals who can contribute to their families and communities.