Journeying Toward Wholeness

Vibrant Jung Thing Blog

Restless: Help for Anxiety Through Depth Psychotherapy

February 3rd, 2013 · No Comments · Anxiety, depth psychotherapy, help for anxiety, Psychotherapy

One kind of help for anxiety is to take the restless character of anxiety seriously, and to fully explore it, as depth psychotherapy does.

help for anxiety

Restlessness is a very frequently described symptom of anxiety.  There are many individual experiences of anxiety in which restlessness is prominent — even the most prominent symptom.

What if we were to really examine the restless aspect of anxiety, and approach it from the point of view of depth psychotherapy?  What might we learn about the nature of our restlessness?

E-Newsletter-CTA

I Cannot be at Rest

In anxiety,  restlessness may be a continual companion.  It may be an inability to focus, or the sensation that I simply cannot be at peace, or relax.  In a restless state, we search for something that we never find.

From a depth psychotherapy perspective, such restless anxiety can often be rooted in what is going on the the unconscious, and the best help for anxiety may well be to help the individual to find what it is that is restless within the more fundamental parts of the self.

Denial of our Instinctual Grounding

Like all things in depth psychology, help for anxiety comes from understanding the uniqueness of the individual and his or her situation.  The roots of our restlessness may not be immediately obvious.  It may stem from living in a way that is fundamentally at odds with who we are in our individual nature.

As we examine ourselves in depth, we may well find that we subject ourselves to inhuman demands.  We may well be living in a manner where we are not listening to our deepest and most fundamental feelings, longings and yearnings — and may not even have the freedom to admit these things to ourselves.

What is it that I’m really feeling, or, really restless or longing for?  What part of me is it that believes that I must “suck it up”, and deny these feelings and realities in my life?

Truths of the Blood

Jung wrote about the the need to align our lives with the fundamental truths of our lives that lie at the basis of the human psyche, which he called the truths of the blood.  As he put it,

Deviation from the truths of the blood begets … restlessness, and we have had about enough of that these days.  Restlessness [in turn] begets meaninglessness… (Jung, CW 8)

I know of no better musical portrayal of the psychological reality of that restless meaninglessness than “The Good Life” by the avante-garde jazz musician Ornette Coleman:

 

So long as we are not listening to the reality of our own lives, our own feelings and our own instinctual reactions, we may experience our lives as restless and devoid of meaning.  The help for anxiety that we need may well be rooted in self-acceptance, and discovering the vitality in ourselves that lies out of sight in the depths — and that is the key work of depth psychotherapy.

PHOTO:  Attribution Some rights reserved bee wolf ray  VIDEO: “The Good Life” © Ornette Coleman © Verve Music Group, UMG Recordings Inc.
© Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

 

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment