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Jung's Methods in Psychotherapy

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Jung himself once said: "Thanks God I'm Jung and not Jungian." Statement that may seem strange. But it is not. What Jung meant is that the Jungians do not understand his theories and methods, or they have no flair and do not apply his techniques properly.

Indeed, if we read the writings of his disciples, we discover an obsessive inclination to play with words and deal with Jung's concepts only on a theoretical basis.

In other words, they miss the experience, the practice.

That is why it is necessary to write a few lines about Jung's analytical method.


Jung's method follows the Freud's one, as he often admitted. In very rare cases, when the Freud's method is not sufficient, Jung would apply also a complementary method that should guide the patient to a personal confrontation with the archetypes of the collective unconscious.

This confrontation aims at the assimilation of the archetypal information leading to the extension of consciousness. This is what Jung himself calls the individuation process aiming at directing one to the realization of the psychic wholeness.

In short, the Jungian wholeness consists in the conjunction of the consciousness and unconscious leading to the birth of a new personality that borrows from both ingredients.

On the plane of the psychotherapy, this new personality is better fit to cope with the outer and inner developmental requests.

Jungian psychotherapy makes use of the following techniques:

Free Associations Test
Test used in psychotherapeutic treatment that consists of recording the average response time to certain stimulus-words. The patient is asked to answer to the inducted words pronounced by the analyst with any word that comes to his mind. The response time can be an indicator of the activated unconscious complexes. Further discussion on the terms indicators of complexes helps the patient understand his/her actual psychic conflict.*

Dream Analysis
Up to a point, Jung's dream interpretation method follows the Freud's one, including the free associations, subject level, retrospective approach . But he later added several new concepts, such as the amplification of dream content, the idea that the dream brings a compensation to the one-sided individual ego, and its finality that aims at the the psychic wholeness. Learn more...

Interested in Jung's method of dream interpretation?

Would you like to treat your dreams
like Jung did?

Please check our course initiation into Jung's method here

Active Imagination
Jung invited his patients to let all the things flow in their mind. That is, the inner fantasies must flow freely while the patient must proceed not as a detached and contemplative viewer, nor as a psychotherapist, but as an actor that takes part in his/her fantasies, that plays a role in them. The fantasies are products of the unconscious and must be fully integrated consciously. Learn more.

Symbol Analysis
A large part of dream interpretation technique at Jung consists in symbol analysis. It aims at the integration of the unconscious contents and the extension of conscious mind. Learn more .

Playing, painting, building and other such activities may lead one to explore and manifest his unconscious feelings and images. In painting one may express a visual representation of the wholeness. Also in building, one may relieve his inner creative forces blocked or inhibited by his one-sided moral or ethical values. See also mandala.

* A Jungian personality test may be taken online
here. You'll learn what is your kind of personality, what is your Jungian type and how will your psychological type fit certain kinds of jobs.


Further resources

Several must-read works by Jung that illustrates his psychotherapeutic method:

- The Practice of Psychotherapy - a collection of essays related to this subject and its specific problems. -> Amazon link:

- Two Essays on Analytical Psychology - the best introductory study to the theory and practice of Jung's psychotherapy. -> Amazon link:

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