My Approach to Psychotherapy ~Brian Collinson, RP
Why Jung’s Depth Psychotherapy Is Important Today
Although initially a colleague of pioneer psychotherapist Sigmund Freud, Jung developed his own highly original psychology. Unlike Freud, Jung emphasized what he called individuation, the force in life that moves an individual to become truly and uniquely themselves. Jung stressed that this was a journey towards wholeness, not perfection, and that it is a distinctive, one-of-a-kind journey for every human being. An important part of that journey is coming to terms with the unknown and unacknowledged parts of ourselves that are in the unconscious mind. For Jung, the meaning and healing we are seeking are within us…but we need the right kind of help to free it up, and to make it part of our conscious selves.
The unconscious, unacknowledged parts of ourselves can appear in dreams, as Jung definitely believed (in company with most human cultures.) Dreams can be more intelligent and more perceptive than the conscious mind. Jung was also ahead of his time in realizing that the unconscious can reveal itself in artwork and products of the imagination. That’s why Jungians encourage psychotherapy clients to try to remember their dreams, and to draw, paint or sculpt clay as a part of the process of Jungian therapy. The depth psychotherapist knows that the unconscious can reveal itself just as truly through the very basic drawings and paintings of a non-artist as through a Da Vinci, Michelangelo or Picasso.
Dreams, art and the varied religious and cultural expressions of humanity all utilize symbols. A true symbol is a very personal, unique expression that emerges from the unconscious, but which also has its roots in the common experience of all human beings, like the “Enso”, or circle, which appears in this site’s logo. A depth psychotherapist is highly attuned to watch for the very individual ways in which symbols point the way on the journey towards the wholeness for which the psyche strives.
For Jung, becoming aware of parts of the self in the unconscious is essential on the journey to wholeness. Many suburban individuals will find it to be the vibrant approach to psychotherapy that Mississauga, Oakville and similar communities need.