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Analytical Psychotherapy

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Analytical Psychotherapy


Analytical psychotherapy, as developed by Carl Jung, is a therapy that focuses on the effect the unconscious has on conscious life. Jung, from a very young age, had been fascinated with the unconscious. He studied the unconscious throughout his studies at medical schools and soon established a connection with Freud. Jung agreed with many of the precepts of Freud, but soon found his own niche within the field of psychotherapy, resulting in analytical therapy. The focus of analytical psychotherapy lead to a theory of the unconscious which argued that the symptoms, dreams, and fantasies of a person were signs of a deeper complex and should be treated in a way that leads to the resolution of the root of the problem, not just those visible symptoms.

To talk about analytical psychotherapy is to talk about the life of Carl Jung. Born in 1875, he was the fourth child born to his parents but the only one to survive. Jung was not close to his father. His mother was depressed and therefore spent much of her time away from home. Jung was a lonely child, with only the uneducated peasant children of his father's congregation to play with. Jung's first experience with neurosis came after another child had knocked him to the ground, rendering him unconscious. After this episode, Jung would faint each time he had to do homework or go to school. His parents and doctor feared that he had epilepsy. Jung's father thought that his son would never be able to hold a job because of this.

Jung did eventually overcome his fears and returned to school. He attended the University of Basel, earning a medical degree. Jung wrote dissertation was "on the Psychology and Pathology of So-called Occult Phenomena. Jung's interest in psychiatry led him to the Burgholzli clinic in Zurich. There, his doctoral paper was the study of a medium. Jung was fascinated with the phenomena of consciousness in a spectrum from conscious to unconscious; dissociation, trance state.

Jung's first book was Psychology of Dementia Praecox. Dementia Praecox, which assumed deterioration was the disturbance, is the term previously used for schizophrenia which literally means "split-mind." Jung was among the first to consider biological factors as part of the etiology of schizophrenia.

In 1906 Jung wrote his Studies in Word Association and sent a copy of this to Sigmund Freud. Freud and Jung became friends, finally meeting in 1907. They worked together for the next 5 years, Freud considering Jung to be his protégé. Eventually Jung rejected Freud's emphasis on sex as the sole source of behavior motivation and the two parted ways.

While working at the Burholzli asylum, Jung had a patient by the name of Bill Williams. Williams was an alcoholic and did well under Jung's care. After returning to the United States, however, he suffered a relapse and turned again to Jung for help. Jung told Williams that there was nothing more that he or psychology could do for him and he needed to seek spiritual guidance. Williams took Jung's advice, going on to become the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Carl Jung kept a memoir of his life, completing it in 1959. The Red Book went unpublished until 2009.

Jung believed that the human psyche consisted of 3 parts; the ego, the conscious and the unconscious. The unconscious consists of archetypal layers. Examples of the archetypes are the Inner Child, the Wise Old Man and the Maid/Mother/Goddess. He felt that people had 2 basic responses to the world, introversion which he felt was natural and basic and extraverted, connecting to reality through objects. From this point, he broke down personality into 4 functional types. The thinker likes rules, classifications and develops theories. The feeling person values reality. The sensing type uses the five senses to grasp their inner and outer reality. The intuitive type has hunches, being able to pick up accurate information from the unconscious of other people.

Jung was one of the first mental health professionals to acknowledge the relationship between patient and therapist as an important factor in recovery. He acknowledged the existence of transference as well as counter transference in therapy. Jung believed that more was going on in a therapy session than just the words being said. He emphasized the importance of non-verbal cues.

He saw the psyche as a self-regulating system. Unlike Freud, Jung did not believe a person's personality was formed in childhood, rather, it continued to grown and change throughout a person's lifetime.

When discussing Jung's analytical psychotherapy in relation to counseling practices there are many identifiable strengths. One such strength is the promotion of balance, growth, and integration between the opposing forces in one's nature. Analytical psychotherapy acknowledges that each person has these opposing natures and that true development comes from their acknowledgement and then through constructive action and personal responsibility. This point of view can be intuitively understood to lead to acceptance of one's strengths as well as one's weaknesses.

Another strength of this approach is the outlook it takes on complexes. The connotation surrounding a complex is negative; however, within analytical psychotherapy, complexes are viewed in a more positive light as an opportunity to grow and develop. Jung argues all people have issues that stem from childhood and affect them throughout their lives and his approach to psychoanalysis allows one to accept these issues and the complexes they create while at the same time recognizes the need to move towards healing and wholeness.

This discussion leads to the discussion of another strength of analytical psychotherapy. For this methodology, the resolution of complexes is most definitely a good thing; however, it is not the end goal. Analytical psychotherapy aims for self-actualization, or living up to your full potential (Corsini, 127). Jung calls



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