Jungian analysis is a form of “depth psychology” in which the analyst and analysand (the person in analysis) work together to achieve greater wholeness and healing. It is a process of psychological growth that leads to a profound transformative experience. Its purpose is to free the analysand to realise his or her own unique potential as fully as possible.
In a Jungian analysis, the analyst and analysand are interested not only in what is happening at a conscious level, but also in the unknown part of the psyche – the unconscious. This is viewed not merely as a repository of repressed memories, but rather as a wellspring of psychic energy, potential and meaning. By strengthening the relationship between the unconscious and conscious parts of the mind, new possibilities emerge.
Much of what we seek to understand lies in the unconscious and is therefore, to an extent, unfathomable. Jungians are therefore particularly interested in the symbols and images that emerge spontaneously during the process, whether in dreams, fantasies, creative work or daily experience. Many of these images will be archetypal, connecting us to the realms of mythology, religious traditions, alchemy and the arts. Symbols enable us to experience something deep and meaningful in a way that the rational mind alone cannot. Jung described this as living the “symbolic life” – living in a way that allows us to connect, on an on-going basis, with the healing, inspirational and life-giving depths of our psyches.
Jungian analysis is a deep personal journey and so requires a longer-term commitment. It is suited for those seeking better understanding of themselves and their relationship to the world. It is for those in search of personal growth and healing – mind, body and soul.
Catherine Cox is a fully qualified Jungian analyst and a member of the Guild of Analytical Psychology and Spirituality (GAPS).