Analytical psychology

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Analytical psychology (sometimes analytic psychology), also called Jungian psychology, is a school of psychotherapy which originated in the ideas of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist. It emphasizes the importance of the individual psyche and the personal quest for wholeness.[1]

Important concepts in Jung's system are individuation, symbols, the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, archetypes, complexes, the persona, the id, ego, and super-ego, the shadow, the anima and animus, and the self.

Jung's theories have been investigated and elaborated by Toni Wolff, Marie-Louise von Franz, Jolande Jacobi, Aniela Jaffé, Erich Neumann, James Hillman, and Anthony Stevens.

Analytical psychology is distinct from psychoanalysis, which is a psychotherapeutic system created by Sigmund Freud.


Jung developed a foundational approach to the study of the human mind. Jung began his career as a psychiatrist in Zurich, Switzerland. There, he conducted research for the Word Association Experiment at the world-renowned Burgholzli Clinic. Jung's research earned him a worldwide reputation and numerous honours, including an honorary degree from Clark University, Massachusetts, in 1904; another honorary degree from Harvard University in 1936; recognition from the University of Oxford and the University of Calcutta; and appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, England.

In 1907, Jung met Sigmund Freud in Vienna, Austria. For six years, the two scholars worked together, and in 1911, they founded the International Psychoanalytic Association, of which Jung was the first president. However, early in the collaboration, Jung observed that Freud would not tolerate ideas that were different from his own. In 1912, Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious (Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido) was published (re-published as Symbols of Transformation in 1952)(C.W. Vol. 5). The work's innovative ideas contributed to a new foundation in psychology as well as the end of the Jung-Freud friendship in 1913. The two scholars continued their work on personality development independently: Jung's approach is called Analytical Psychology (German: analytische Psychologie), and Freud's approach is referred to as the Psychoanalytic School (psychoanalytische Schule), which he founded.

Unlike most modern psychologists, Jung did not believe that experiments using natural science were the only means to gain an understanding of the human psyche. He saw as empirical evidence the world of dream, myth, and folklore as the promising road to deeper understanding and meaning. That method's choice is related with his choice of the object of his science. As Jung said, "The beauty about the unconscious is that it is really unconscious".[2] Hence, the unconscious is 'untouchable' by experimental researches, or indeed any possible kind of scientific or philosophical reach, precisely because it is unconscious.[citation needed]

Although the unconscious cannot be studied by using direct approaches, it is, according to Jung at least, a useful hypothesis. His postulated unconscious was quite different from the model that was proposed by Freud, despite the great influence that the founder of psychoanalysis had on Jung. The most known difference is the assumption of the collective unconscious (see also Jungian archetypes), although Jung's proposal of collective unconscious and archetypes was based on the assumption of the existence of psychic (mental) patterns. These patterns include conscious contents—thoughts, memories, etc.—from life experience. They are common for all human beings. His proof of the vast collective unconscious was his concept of synchronicity, that inexplicable, uncanny connectedness that we all share.

The overarching goal of Jungian psychology is the attainment of self through individuation. Jung defines "self" as the "archetype of wholeness and the regulating center of the psyche." Central to this process is the individual's encounter with his/her psyche and the bringing of its elements into consciousness. Humans experience the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits. Essential to this numinous encounter is the merging of the individual's consciousness with the collective consciousness through this symbolic language. By bringing conscious awareness to what is not conscious, unconscious elements can be integrated with consciousness when they "surface."

"Neurosis" results from a disharmony between the individual's (un)consciousness and his higher Self. The psyche is a self-regulating adaptive system. Humans are energetic systems, and if the energy gets blocked, the psyche gets stuck, or sick. If adaption is thwarted, the psychic energy stops flowing, and regresses. This process manifests in neurosis and psychosis. Human psychic contents are complex, and deep. They can schism, and split, and form complexes that take over one's personality. Jung proposed that this occurs through maladaptation to one’s external or internal realities. The principles of adaptation, projection, and compensation are central processes in Jung’s view of psyche’s ability to adapt.

The aim of psychotherapy is to assist the individual in reestablishing a healthy relationship to the unconscious: neither flooded by it (characteristic of psychosis, such as Schizophrenia) or out of balance in relationship to it (as with neurosis, a state that results in depression, anxiety, and personality disorders).

To undergo the individuation process, individuals must be open to the parts of themselves beyond their own ego. The modern individual grows continually in psychic awareness (attention to dreams), explores the world of religion and spirituality, and questions the assumptions of the operant societal worldview rather than just blindly living life in accordance with dominant norms and assumptions.



The basic assumption is that the personal unconscious is a potent part — probably the more active part — of the normal human psyche. Reliable communication between the conscious and unconscious parts of the psyche is necessary for wholeness.

Also crucial is the belief that dreams show ideas, beliefs, and feelings that individuals are not readily aware of but need to be, and that such material is expressed in a personalized vocabulary of visual metaphors. Things 'known but unknown' are contained in the unconscious, and dreams are one of the main vehicles for the unconscious to express them.

Analytical psychology distinguishes between a personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. The collective unconscious contains archetypes common to all human beings. That is, individuation may bring to surface symbols that do not relate to the life experiences of a single person. This content is more easily viewed as answers to the more fundamental questions of humanity: life, death, meaning, happiness, fear. Among these more spiritual concepts may arise and be integrated into the personality.

Collective unconscious

Jung's concept of the collective unconscious has often been misunderstood. To understand this concept, it is essential to understand Jungian archetypes.

The archetypes of the collective unconscious could be thought of as the DNA of the human psyche.[citation needed] Just as all humans share a common physiological pattern determined by DNA, archetypes are psychic elements that determine the shared psychological pattern Jung called the collective unconscious.


The use of psychological archetypes was advanced by Jung in 1919. In Jung's psychological framework, archetypes are innate, universal prototypes for ideas and may be used to interpret observations. A group of memories and interpretations associated with an archetype is a complex, e.g. a mother complex associated with the mother archetype. Jung treated the archetypes as psychological organs, analogous to physical ones in that both are morphological givens that arose through evolution.

The archetypes are collective as well as individual. One can create their own archetypes, based on an ideal one wants to emulate (e.g. respect or fear)[citation needed].

Archetypes can grow on their own and present themselves in a variety of creative ways. Jung, in his book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, states that he began to see and talk to a manifestation of anima and that she taught him how to interpret dreams. As soon as he could interpret on his own, Jung said that she ceased talking to him because she was no longer needed.

Self-realization and neuroticism

An innate need for self-realization leads people to explore and integrate these disowned parts of themselves. This natural process is called individuation, or the process of becoming an individual.

According to Jung, self-realization is attained through individuation. His is an adult psychology, divided into two distinct tiers. In the first half of our lives, we separate from humanity. We attempt to create our own identities (I, myself). This is why there is such a need for young men to be destructive, and can be expressed as animosity from teens directed at their parents. Jung also said we have a sort of “second puberty” that occurs between 35-40- outlook shifts from emphasis on materialism, sexuality, and having children to concerns about community and spirituality.

In the second half of our lives, humans reunite with the human race. They become part of the collective once again. This is when adults start to contribute to humanity (volunteer time, build, garden, create art, etc.) rather than destroy. They are also more likely to pay attention to their unconscious and conscious feelings. Young men rarely say "I feel angry." or "I feel sad.” This is because they have not yet rejoined the human collective experience, commonly reestablished in their older, wiser years, according to Jung. A common theme is for young rebels to "search" for their true selves and realize that a contribution to humanity is essentially a necessity for a whole self.

Jung proposes that the ultimate goal of the collective unconscious and self-realization is to pull us to the highest experience. This, of course, is spiritual.

If a person does not proceed toward self-knowledge, neurotic symptoms may arise. Symptoms are widely defined, including, for instance, phobias, psychosis, and depression.


The shadow is an unconscious complex defined as the repressed, suppressed or disowned qualities of the conscious self. According to Jung, the human being deals with the reality of the shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation.[citation needed] According to Analytical psychology, a person's shadow may have both constructive and destructive aspects. In its more destructive aspects, the shadow can represent those things people do not accept about themselves. For instance, the shadow of someone who identifies as being kind may be harsh or unkind. Conversely, the shadow of a person who perceives himself to be brutal may be gentle. In its more constructive aspects, a person's shadow may represent hidden positive qualities. This has been referred to as the "gold in the shadow". Jung emphasized the importance of being aware of shadow material and incorporating it into conscious awareness in order to avoid projecting shadow qualities on others.

The shadow in dreams is often represented by dark figures of the same gender as the dreamer.[3]

The shadow may also concern great figures in the history of human thought or even spiritual masters, who became great because of their shadows or because of their ability to live their shadows (namely, their unconscious faults) in full without repressing them.[4]

Anima and animus

Jung identified the anima as being the unconscious feminine component of men and the animus as the unconscious masculine component in women. However, this is rarely taken as a literal definition: many modern day Jungian practitioners believe that every person has both an anima and an animus. Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological growth. Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day.

Often, when people ignore the anima or animus complexes, the anima or animus vies for attention by projecting itself on others. This explains, according to Jung, why we are sometimes immediately attracted to certain strangers: we see our anima or animus in them. Love at first sight is an example of anima and animus projection. Moreover, people who strongly identify with their gender role (e.g. a man who acts aggressively and never cries) have not actively recognized or engaged their anima or animus.

Jung attributes human rational thought to be the male nature, while the irrational aspect is considered to be natural female (rational being defined as involving judgment, irrational being defined as involving perceptions). Consequently, irrational moods are the progenies of the male anima shadow and irrational opinions of the female animus shadow.

Wise old man / woman

"After the confrontation with the soul-image the appearance of the old wise man, the personification of the spiritual principle, can be distinguished as the next milestone of inner development."[5] As archetypes of the collective unconscious, such figures can be seen as, "in psychological terms, a symbolic personification of the Self".[6]


Analysis is a way to experience and integrate the unknown material. It is a search for the meaning of behaviours, symptoms and events. Many are the channels to reach this greater self-knowledge. The analysis of dreams is the most common. Others may include expressing feelings in art pieces, poetry or other expressions of creativity.

Giving a complete description of the process of dream interpretation and individuation is complex. The nature of the complexity lies on the fact that the process is highly specific to the person who does it.

While Freudian psychoanalysis assumes that the repressed material hidden in the unconscious is given by repressed sexual instincts, Analytical psychology has a more general approach. There is no preconceived assumption about the unconscious material. The unconscious, for Jungian analysts, may contain repressed sexual drives, but also aspirations, fears, etc.

Psychological types

Analytical psychology distinguishes several psychological types or temperaments.

According to Jung, the psyche is an apparatus for adaptation and orientation, and consists of a number of different psychic functions. Among these he distinguishes four basic functions:[7]

  • Sensation – Perception by means of the sense organs
  • Intuition – Perceiving in unconscious way or perception of unconscious contents
  • Thinking – Function of intellectual cognition; the forming of logical conclusions
  • Feeling – Function of subjective estimation

Thinking and feeling functions are rational, while the sensation and intuition functions are irrational.

Note: There is ambiguity in the term 'rational' that Carl Jung ascribed to the thinking/feeling functions. Both thinking and feeling irrespective of orientation (i.e., introverted/extroverted) employ/utilize/are directed by in loose terminology an underlying 'logical' IF-THEN construct/process (as in IF X THEN Y) in order to form judgments. This underlying construct/process is not directly observable in normal states of consciousness especially when engaged in thoughts/feelings. It can be cognized merely as a concept/abstraction during thoughtful reflection. Sensation and Intuition are 'irrational' functions simply because they do not employ the above-mentioned underlying logical construct/process.


Early in Jung's career he coined the term and described the concept of the "complex". Jung claims to have discovered the concept during his free association and galvanic skin response experiments. Freud obviously took up this concept in his Oedipus complex amongst others. Jung seemed to see complexes as quite autonomous parts of psychological life. It is almost as if Jung were describing separate personalities within what is considered a single individual, but to equate Jung's use of complexes with something along the lines of multiple personality disorder would be a step out of bounds.

Jung saw an archetype as always being the central organizing structure of a complex. For instance, in a "negative mother complex," the archetype of the "negative mother" would be seen to be central to the identity of that complex. This is to say, our psychological lives are patterned on common human experiences. Interestingly, Jung saw the Ego (which Freud wrote about in German literally as the "I", one's conscious experience of oneself) as a complex. If the "I" is a complex, what might be the archetype that structures it? Jung, and many Jungians, might say "the hero," one who separates from the community to ultimately carry the community further.

Clinical theories

Jung's writings have been studied by people of many backgrounds and interests, including theologians, people from the humanities, and mythologists. Jung often seemed to seek to make contributions to various fields, but he was mostly a practicing psychiatrist, involved during his whole career in treating patients. A description of Jung's clinical relevance is to address the core of his work.

Jung started his career working with hospitalized patients with major mental illnesses, most notably schizophrenia. He was interested in the possibilities of an unknown "brain toxin" that could be the cause of schizophrenia. But the majority and the heart of Jung's clinical career was taken up with what we might call today individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, in gross structure very much in the strain of psychoanalytic practice first formed by Freud.

It is important to state that Jung seemed to often see his work as not a complete psychology in itself but as his unique contribution to the field of psychology. Jung claimed late in his career that only for about a third of his patients did he use "Jungian analysis." For another third, Freudian psychology seemed to best suit the patient's needs and for the final third Adlerian analysis was most appropriate. In fact, it seems that most contemporary Jungian clinicians merge a developmentally grounded theory, such as Self psychology or Donald Winnicott's work, with the Jungian theories in order to have a "whole" theoretical repertoire for actual clinical work.

The "I" or Ego is tremendously important to Jung's clinical work. Jung's theory of etiology of psychopathology could almost be simplified to be stated as a too rigid conscious attitude towards the whole of the psyche. That is, a psychotic episode can be seen from a Jungian perspective as the "rest" of the psyche overwhelming the conscious psyche because the conscious psyche effectively was locking out and repressing the psyche as a whole.

Post-Jungian approaches

Andrew Samuels (1985) has distinguished three distinct traditions or approaches of "post-Jungian" psychology – classical, developmental and archetypal. Today there are more developments.


The classical approach tries to remain faithful to what Jung proposed and taught in person, and in his 20-plus volumes of work. Prominent advocates of this approach, according to Samuels (1985), include Emma Jung (C.G. Jung's wife, who was an analyst in her own right), Marie-Louise von Franz, Joseph Henderson, Aniela Jaffé, Erich Neumann, Gerhard Adler and Jolande Jacobi.


The developmental approach is primarily associated with Michael Fordham and his wife, Frieda Fordham. It can be considered a bridge between traditional Jungian analysis and Melanie Klein's object relations theory. Laings and Goodheart are also often mentioned. Samuels (1985) considers J. Redfearn, Richard Carvalho and himself (Andrew Samuels) as representatives of the developmental approach. Samuels notes how this approach differs from the classical by giving less emphasis to the Self and more emphasis to the development of personality; he also notes how, in terms of practice in therapy, it gives more attention to transference and counter-transference than either the classical or the archetypal approaches.


One archetypal approach, sometimes called "the imaginal school" by James Hillman, was written about by him in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its adherents, according to Samuels (1985), include Murray Stein, Rafael Lopez-Pedraza and Wolfgang Giegerich. Thomas Moore also was influenced by some of Hillman's work. Developed independently, other psychoanalysts have created strong approaches to archetypal psychology. Mythopoeticists and psychoanalysts such as Clarissa Pinkola Estés who believes that ethnic and aboriginal people are the originators of archetypal psychology and have long carried the maps for the journey of the soul in their songs, tales, dream-telling, art and rituals; Marion Woodman who proposes a feminist viewpoint regarding archetypal psychology. Some of the mythopoetic/archetypal psychology creators either imagine the Self not to be the main archetype of the collective unconscious as Jung thought, but rather assign each archetype equal value.[citation needed] Others, who are modern progenitors of archetypal psychology (such as Estés), think of the Self as the thing that contains and yet is suffused by all other archetypes, each giving life to the other.

Robert L. Moore has explored the archetypal level of the human psyche in a series of five books co-authored with Douglas Gillette, which have played an important role in the men's movement in the United States. Moore studies computerese so he uses a computer's hard wiring (its fixed physical components) as a metaphor for the archetypal level of the human psyche. Personal experiences influence the access to the archetypal level of the human psyche, but personalized ego consciousness can be likened to computer software.[citation needed]

Process-oriented psychology

Process-oriented psychology (also called Process work) is associated with the Zurich trained Jungian analyst Arnold Mindell. Process Work developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was originally identified as a "daughter of Jungian psychology".[citation needed] Process work stresses awareness of the "unconscious" as an ongoing flow of experience. This approach expands Jung's work beyond verbal individual therapy to include body experience, altered and comatose states as well as multicultural group work.

See also


  1. Anthony Stevens, Jung: A Brief Insight p.190 Oxford 1994
  2. Jung on film
  3. Jung, C.G. (1958-1967). Psyche and Symbol. (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. (Published 1991).
  4. Arena, Leonardo Vittorio (2013). The Shadows of the Masters. ebook.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Jolan Jacobi, The Psychology of C. G. Jung (London 1946) p. 115
  6. M.-L. von Franz, in C. G. Jung ed., Man and his Symbols (London 1978) p. 208
  7. Jung, C.G., Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol.6), ISBN


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