What is Jungian Psychotherapy?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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Jungian psychotherapy is a type of analytical psychology based on the theories of Carl Jung, who was a student of Sigmund Freud, the man largely credited with founding modern psychology. Jung is believed to have broken away from Freud due to fundamental professional disagreements between the two men. Jungian psychotherapy generally seeks to help patients resolve the psychological and emotional blocks that may be causing their life problems and feelings of distress. The Jungian psychologist usually seeks to guide the patient through an exploration of his own subconscious mind in order to help the patient live a fuller and more productive expression of his own human potential. Jungian psychotherapy often places a heavy emphasis on deciphering the messages of the subconscious mind as they appear in dreams, fantasies, creative expression, and memory.

Psychoanalysis, or analytical psychology, as Jung called it, is considered different from other forms of cognitive psychology because it places a heavy emphasis on the impact of the subconscious mind on mental health. Jung believed that many parts of the psyche can remain repressed or unexamined, and that these unexplored regions of the mind can have a profound impact on one's personality and mental health. Jungian psychotherapy seeks to help patients perceive, acknowledge and understand those parts of the psyche that have remained unexamined. It claims to help patients gain a greater awareness of their underlying, unconscious motivations in order to empower them to lead fuller lives.


The process of Jungian analysis can take many years. Patients are often advised to attend therapy sessions at least three to five times a week. It is generally believed that a strong bond must form between patient and analyst for the psychotherapeutic process to have the optimum effect. Patients may discuss their daily lives, memories, feelings, dreams, and creative expressions with the Jungian analyst.

Freudian psychoanalysis may be largely based on the theory that subconscious mind is almost entirely made up of repressed memories, desires, and feelings. Jung believed that the subconscious mind is instead largely composed of the creative spiritual energy that can help one reach one's full potential as a person. Jung believed that understanding and resolving conflicts and blocks in the subconscious mind could free that spiritual energy to help patients achieve profound personal growth.

Good candidates for Jungian psychotherapy include those suffering from depression or anxiety disorders. Artists, mystics, and other creative personalities may be drawn to this type of therapy as a means of furthering personal growth and self-expression. Many people who pursue Jungian psychotherapy do not have a mental disorder, per se, but instead seek simply to develop and grow on a personal level, and deepen their relationships with others.


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