Analytical psychology and Jungian psychoanalysis

sie 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Information

analytical psychologyThe meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

C. G. Jung


Jungian psychoanalysis is a modern name for the clinical application of analytical psychology, originated with Carl Gustav Jung. From its beginnings until today, analytical psychology is being characterized by diversity marked not only by its international character, but also by cooperation between different scientific disciplines. It has been a part of what analytical psychology was and is, from the beginning of its history, until the present day.

Modern thought in the field of Jungian psychoanalysis is still centered on the figure of C. G. Jung. Twenty volumes of his Collected Works with several additional volumes of his published letters, seminars (which took place in Zurich and abroad), and the collection of his other writings, they all constitute the basis for theory and understanding of Jungian practice. Jung’s innovative intuitions, an understanding of psyche as ever-evolving, constantly transforming, and goal-orienting – aiming at individuation – remains the key assumption for all the others. It is Jung’s painstaking and attentive exploration of psyche – understood as purposeful and holistic, directed by the Self, which is a guide and directs life processes – that has become the key inspiration for thousands of publications by others (Stein, 2010).

Those ideas are still the guiding thoughts in Jungian psychoanalysis, as they were in the first two generations of Jungians. The idea of the Self and the meaning of its activity in the course of therapy are crucial in modern Jungian psychoanalysis. This idea distinguishes it from other approaches and gives way to the uniqueness of this particular approach to clinical work. The idea of the Self also connects different currents within analytical psychology (Astor, 1995).

A Jungian psychoanalyst is trying to follow the natural unfolding of the Self rather than to impose any kind of program of improvement in ego functioning or some kind of surgical elimination of pathological structures. The assumption of the goal-oriented element in patient’s psyche allows for an attitude of creating the conditions for this element to come to voice. Jungian psychoanalysis uses many methods oriented towards such a goal. It is not concerned with the creation of the state of total consciousness but rather with its gleams and with the development of the freedom in thinking and using one’s imagination. Even though oftentimes this means a hard labor, the work of working through the resistance and many kinds of defenses, particularly more primitive ones, it is assumed that healing factors can operate on the deep unconscious level and that the patient needs the space to find access to them. The role of the analyst is to create the space in which such factors can become activated (Colman, 2010).

Jungian psychoanalysis is then a dialectic process, between conscious and the unconscious, and between two people partaking in it. It allows for the gradual creation of the feeling of totality in personal and archetypal areas. Its end does not mean just a “better functioning” or “improvement in coping”, nor does it mean an increment of happiness, well-being or self-esteem. These are important byproducts, which meaning however should not be underestimated. The most important result of analysis is the consciousness of the patterns of individual life, deeply rooted in psyche seen as totality, in the Self, that brings broader perspective to personal, cultural and historical context of one’s own life (Stein, 2010).

Jung in making his theory accentuated the significance of individual responsibility and individual action. He pointed at the meaning of the creative relationship with unconscious process and his own personal devotion to this path is the most beautiful exemplification of what can be discovered in psyche, when psyche meets itself (Salman, 2008).



Astor J. (1995) Michael Fordham: Innovations in analytical psychology, London: Routledge.

Colman, W. (2010) The analyst in action: An individual account of what Jungians do and why they do it, w: International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 91:287–303

Salman S. (2008) The creative psyche: Jung’s major contributions, w: The Cambridge Companion to Jung, Cambridge University Press

Stein, M. (2010) Editor’s preface, w: Jungian Psychoanalysis – working in spirit of C. G. Jung, ed. Murray Stein,


author: Małgorzata Kalinowska, 2010

translation: Tomasz J. Jasiński

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.