Journeying Toward Wholeness

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Jungian Psychotherapy & Personal Growth

July 15th, 2011 · 1 Comment · growth, individual psychotherapy, Jungian, Jungian psychotherapy, personal growth, Psychotherapy

personal growth

Personal growth isn’t something you hear Jungian psychotherapy speak about very much.  I got to really wondering, “Why not?  You hear it all the time from self-help gurus, etc.”  That got me thinking.  It’s not that depth psychotherapy opposes personal growth — far from it.  I think that the real reason is that what personal growth means from this perspective is very different from what lots of other people mean when they use the term.

“Personal growth” now has quite a conventional meaning — but the reality may be something rather different.

  • Real Personal Growth Isn’t What Everyone Expects

Often, when people talk about “personal growth”, you sense  that they have a very definite idea of what everyone has to do.  A definite roadmap that everybody has to follow.  Actually, growth is much more individual than that.  Each person has a unique path that they have to uncover and follow.  It’s not “what everyone expects“: it’s a very individual discovery.

  • True Growth is Not Ego Centred

Depth psychotherapists are wary of the “PG” phrase, fearing that people will think they refer to something that just involves the conscious mind and ego.  But real personal change involves more than an ego project, like “I will conquer my shyness and become a top salesperson”, or, “I will quit smoking”.  Real growth involves encountering parts of ourselves which we don’t acknowledge — and letting them change our self-perceptions, and our actions.

  • Personal Growth Involves Major Psychological Change

When people talk about “PG”, it often sounds like the change involved is measured and incremental.  But depth work can result in a major change of perspective, and a different relationship to the fundamental things in your life.

  • Personal Growth May Mean Never “Having It All Together”, but it Will Mean, Well… Growing!

In much self-help literature, you get the sense that, even though the author may not explicitly say so, there is a bright line distinction between those who have “arrived” at the new understanding / condition / awareness, and others.  Actually, it’s not that way.  There may be a distinction between those who are growing, and those who are not, but there is no “arrival”.  So long as we’re alive, we’re on a personal journey.

What does personal growth really mean to you? I’d welcome your comments.

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst | Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Ontario

1-905-337-3946

PHOTO: © Yuri Arcurs | Dreamstime.com
© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

 

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