Carl Jung was very much focused on the symbolic nature of our inner world. The symbolic, as it is revealed particularly in dreams, allows for a bridging to new awareness which takes us beyond inner conflict, and can help us in developing a firmer sense of our true identity. Engaging with your dreams, and understanding the inner drama you are caught up in can greatly facilitate personal development. Our dream world is with us all the time. But like the stars in the night sky they are obscured by the solar nature of our waking consciousness. Access to our inner dream world during our waking experience requires a dimming of this waking consciousness. This dimming of consciousness can allow you to use art to express themes from our inner world, a process I encourage in your personal journey of self discovery both within and between sessions.
Jungian analysis is a long-term process of personal development with usually at least two sessions per week. It is not always easy, and although there are often moments of humour during this journey, looking at what you have come to consider normal in your life can uncover painful recognition of issues you have avoided, and aspects of your self you have consigned to shadow. But the prize to be gained through this process of personal development is greater depth, groundedness, confidence, purpose, direction, and meaning which often brings in a spiritual dimension to your life in whatever way is meaningful to you. This spiritual dimension is at the heart of Jung's psychology, and it's development is what he meant by the individuation process. Your relationships will also become healthier, because you are no longer confusing your partner with aspects of your inner world and unresolved conflicts from childhood, you are able to have a relationship with the person they really are – which is more satisfying for both of you.
Jungian analysis is not something that’s done to you. It is a joint effort by two people focused on trying to understand your inner world. The healing potential of Jung's method can only really be appreciated by embarking on this journey of self discovery. The process itself is potentially healing because it allows the corrective ability of your unconscious to be fully engaged with to address the issues which are affecting your waking life.
Jungian analysis involves a depth exploration of the unconscious. It is the hero's or heroine's journey into the underworld. The aim is to recognise and resolve whatever issues are blocking the 'individution process'. This process involves developing a closer relationship with the Self... your true identity at depth. As with the entrance to underworld of Greek mythology which warns “abandon hope all ye who enter here” the depths of your psyche is a domain in which your conscious waking self holds no sway... and indeed it may undergo a symbolic death in order to facilitate a new conscious perspective. Analysis can feel scary – but the threat is imagined rather than real. It can always feels difficult to let go of what we are familiar with, even though what is familiar might involve an internal imprisonment.
Behind your individual personal psychology are general patterns of thought and behaviour that have been experienced and expressed since the beginning of mankind. An understanding of these patterns, found the world over in myths, fairy tales and religions, manifestations of what Jung called the archetypes, gives one a perspective on mundane reality. A knowledge of archetypes and archetypal patterns is a kind of blueprint which can be overlaid on an individual situation. It is an indispensable tool, and an overtone that fundamentally distinguishes Jungian analysis from any other form of therapy.