Analytical Psychology – A Deep Look Into the Human Mind

     When you read about analytic psychology, Carl Jung’s name is always associated with it.

     The term ‘psychoanalyst’ is currently used to cover all those facts and theories presented in the works of Freud, Jung, and Adler. However it is often recommended that it should be applied only to the theory and practice of Freud and his disciples, and that the theory and practice of Jung should be designated ‘Analytical Psychology’, and that the theory and practice of Adler should be designated ‘Individual Psychology’.

‘     Psychoanalysis’ in this broader sense covers both a set of theories and a set of practices. Analytic psychology is the analysis of the human mind, psyche and the unconscious, as well as the conscious components of the mind. It is thought that man’s behavior and his conscious states can be explained only by unconscious sources of motivation. What is common in the practice of the psychoanalytic schools is the use of special techniques for bringing these unconscious factors into light. The practice of psychoanalysis has grown out of the treatment of mental illness.

     In one sense, the practice of psychoanalysis is prior to the theories, since the theories first were developed from experiences from therapeutic practice. These theories have, however, been extended and enriched by material derived from other sources.

     Jung believed that the mind could be divided into unconscious and conscious parts. He felt that the unconscious mind was made up of layers. The personal unconscious is the part of the unconscious mind in which is stored each person’s unique personal experiences and memories that may not be consciously remembered. Jung believed that the contents of each person’s personal unconscious are organized in terms of complexes – clusters of emotional unconscious thoughts. One may have a complex towards their mother or towards their partner. Jung referred to the second layer of unconsciousness as the collective unconscious. This level contains memories and behavioural predisposition’s that all people have inherited from common ancestors in the distant human past, providing us with essentially shared memories and tendencies. People across space and time tend to interpret and use experience in similar ways because of “archetypes” – universal, inherited human tendencies to perceive and act in certain ways. During analytic therapy, Jung may use certain archetypes to explain a persons unconscious thoughts that in turn affect their outward behaviour.

     He believed that there are certain archetypes that are important in people’s lives. These archetypes are as follows. The persona archetype is the part of our personality that we show the world, the part that we are willing to share with others. The shadow archetype is the darker part of a person, the part that embraces what we view as frightening, hateful and even evil about ourselves – the part of us that we hide not only from others but also from ourselves. The anima is the feminine side of a mans personality, which shows tenderness, caring, compassion and warmth to others, yet which is more irrational and based on emotions. The animus is the masculine side of a woman’s personality, the more rational and logical side of the woman. Jung posited that men often try to hide their anima both from others and from themselves because it goes against their idealized image of what men should be. According to Jung, archetypes play a role in our interpersonal relationships. For example, the relationship between a man and a woman calls into play the archetypes in each individual’s collective unconscious. The anima helps the man to understand his female companion, just as the animus helps the woman to understand her male partners.

     Jung felt that the “self” – the whole of the personality, including both conscious and unconscious elements – strives for unity among the opposing parts of the personality.

     Jung distinguishes two differing attitudes to life, two ways of reacting to circumstances which he finds so widespread that he could describe them as typical.

      The extraverted attitude, characterized by an outward personality, an interest in events, in people and things, a relationship with them, and a dependence on them. This type is motivated by outside factors and greatly influenced by the environment. The extraverted type is sociable and confident in unfamiliar surroundings. He or she is generally on good terms with the world, and even when disagreeing with it can still be described as related to it, for instead of withdrawing (as the opposite type tends to do) they prefer to argue and quarrel, or try to reshape it according to their own pattern.

     The introverted attitude, in contrast, is one of withdrawal of the personality and is concentrated upon personal factors, and their main influence is ‘inner needs’. When this attitude is habitual Jung speaks of an ‘introverted type’. This type lacks confidence in relation to people and things, tends to be unsociable, and prefers reflection to activity.

     In the West we prefer the extraverted attitude, describing it in such favorable terms as outgoing, well-adjusted, while the introverted attitude is dubbed self-centered and even morbid. On the other hand, in the East, at least until recent times, the introverted attitude has been the prevailing one. On this basis one may explain the material and technical development of the Western Hemisphere as contrasted with the material poverty but greater spiritual development of the East.

     Jung uses the term Analytical Psychology to describe his own approach, which is not only a way of healing, but also of developing the personality through the individuation process. Since individuation is not the goal of all who seek psychological help he varies his treatment according to the age, state of development, and temperament of his patients ‘ and does not neglect either the sexual urge or the will to power.

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