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A Jungian Psychotherapist Respects Midlife Transition 1

July 30th, 2012 · No Comments · midlife, midlife transition, transition

A good Jungian psychotherapist has great respect for the psychological processes that make up the midlife transition in most people


This is because, for many, much of the course of life and of the value they assign to it will be determined during the period of midlife transition. Whether we’re aware or not, the middle of life is when we really work out, or determine what our attitude will be toward some key aspects of life.

These attitudes determine fundamentally how life gets lived out.

1. Have I Understood and Accepted My Identity?

It isn’t unusual for people to find that their understanding or sense of themselves starts to change with the midlife transition.  Oftentimes, this entails losing lots of illusions about our identity.  We start to understand that certain dreams and ambitions will never be fulfilled, while possibly other desires and ambitions that weren’t important earlier in our lives come to the fore.

This leads to a related subject…

2. My Attitude Towards the Shadow — the Parts of Myself That I Find Really Hard to Face

We all know that they’re there.  While we may have varying degrees of clarity about these aspects of ourselves that are painful or shameful to look at, they need our attention.  We need to face them as clearly as we can, and to assume responsibility for them.  The only way not to live life through the midlife transition as anything other than a bitter illusion is to let in those parts of ourselves which are exiled, yet contain our vitality.

 3. Open-ness

As life goes along, we can get more and more set into ruts we have travelled for so long. These may concern habitual concepts of ourselves, the rigid rightness of our own views, or the types of experiences to which we’re open.  A Jungian psychotherapist knows from training and experience that if we don’t find ways to stay open, and to experience new things during the midlife transition, we risk falling into greater and greater rigidity, and moving farther and farther from real life as we age.

 4. The Challenge of Accepting Life

In midlife, we face the challenge of moving into a creative acceptance of the totality of life.  This is no idle exercise: our ability or inability to do this may profoundly affect the whole remaining course of our lives.  The privilege and challenge of a creative psychotherapist is to work with the individual to bring a creatively receptive attitude into being.

PHOTO:  Attribution    Some rights reserved by Yellow.Cat

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