Journeying Toward Wholeness

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Jungian Psychotherapy & Baby Boomer Midlife Transition

September 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments · baby boomer, boomer, Jungian, Jungian psychotherapy, midlife, midlife transition, Psychotherapy


baby boomer midlife transition

The baby boomer generation is entering the later part of midlife transition.  Jungian psychotherapy has a lot to say about what happens at that time in life.  Much has happened during the course of the baby boomer generation.  Even more is happening at present, and will continue to occur.

This is true society-wide, and even more so on the level of the personal journey.  Reflecting on our journey at 45, 50 or 60, we are stunned at how different life is for us than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

Life is Very Different

In our 20s, for many of us, the challenge was to move out on our own, complete our education, start a career, find a life partner, and have children.  Now, we’ve done most of those things.  So we ask, “What’s important and meaningful now in my life?”  Challenges may be much less clear cut than they were earlier in life.

The World is Very Different

Since our teens, and earlier adulthood, the world has changed tremendously, and we have been carried along with it.  The generation before the boomers had a whole set of established assumptions about the world; baby boomers have seen those assumptions fade with ever increasing rapidity.

I am Very Different

Clearly I am different now than I was in my 20s.  Challenges and things that motivated me then likely don’t motivate so much now.  Perhaps I’ve done many things in my life that I would never have believed that I could.  My body is not the same as it was.  Where what life wanted of me may have been clear at earlier points, it may well not be clear now.  It’s up to me to find what is meaningful to me at this stage in my life, and to devote myself to that.

The Symbol of the Night Sea Journey

The journey now may well not be laid out in advance: it is very individual.  It’s like the journey of a vessel on the sea at night.  I must find my own path, finding what is meaningful to me and living that out.  To do that, I must get to know myself in ways that I never have before.  I’m looking for something real and unique, that lasts, and Jungian psychotherapy may be key in helping me find what I need.

PHOTO: ©  All rights reserved Mirage a.k.a ĈħoCõħŏľíç
© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, ON (near Mississauga)

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Velva Lee Heraty

    Brian, As a Jungian certified depth-psychotherapist I agree with the principles in your article. I practice them too. What I add is this. “Pay attention to your real dreams and the other one’s (aspirations, goals, desires, etc.) will come true. The task for the BB is to go inward now and I believe that means a personal intention to work on one’s dreams.

  • Brian C

    Thank you for your comment, Velva. Certainly, as a Jungian, I agree with your emphasis on dreams, and I emphasize the importance of looking at them very carefully. In my personal analysis, training as an analyst and experience working with clients, I have learned that dreams, in the sense of the true dreams that occur in sleep and that represent the “comments” of the unconscious on our waking life, carry a very great deal of importance.

    Where I think that we have to be careful, though, is to not let what the self is trying to do, and what it wants to express, be subsumed to the projects of the ego. As Jung himself puts it, “It is therefore of the utmost importance in practical treatment to keep the integrity of the personality constantly in mind. For, if the collective psyche is taken to be the personal possession of the individual, it will result in a distortion or an overloading of the personality which is very difficult to deal with.” (CG Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, Collected Works, vol. 7). Aspirations, goals and desires must often be completely re-visited and revised in the second half of life. You cannot harness the unconscious and greater self to the projects of the ego at this phase in life — the relationship must be the other way round, if the individual is to come to any sense of completeness or wholeness in her or his life..

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