What Is Jungian Psychology?

  Jungian psychology is based on the work of the great Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung, who lived from 1875 to 1961. Jung’s thought spanned not only psychotherapy, but the fields of anthropology, mythology, and religious studies. Jung is known for his work on complexes, typology, archetypes and the discovery of the collective unconscious. For Jung, the human psyche was a vast unexplored territory. He felt it imperative that we explore the unconscious and create more consciousness within the world. How do we make ourselves more conscious? For Jung, this meant looking at the material our unconscious presents to us. In this process, we develop a living, dynamic relationship with our unconscious material, which appears in the forms of dreams, images, and synchronicities.

     Jung believed that the psyche has an innate means for self-regulation. In other words, when we are facing problems in our world, psyche has an innate archetypal process to bring balance to our lives. He felt that if we tended to the unconscious, and held the tension of opposites that arise in life, then a symbol of great meaning appears to us. This symbol of meaning emerges from what Jung called the transcendent function. The result of this journey into our inner world is a life that is more whole and one filled with more meaning. Jung called this journey, the path of individuation. It is a path that leads us to living a more soulful life.

© Jeffrey Kiehl 2016