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The Jungian Psychotherapist & the Power of the Image

December 1st, 2012 · Jungian, Jungian psychotherapist, psychotherapist

If you work with a Jungian psychotherapist, he or she is going to want to know about the images at work in your life.

Jungian psychotherapist

For a Jungian psychotherapist, inner images have far more lasting and influential power over the way that you or I live our lives than do the concepts tossed about on a daily basis by the conscious mind.

Images?  What images?

The Image as Fantasy

What does Jung mean by an image?  As he says, “the image has the psychological character of a fantasy-idea… it never takes the place of reality, and can always be distinguished from sensuous reality by the fact that it is an ‘inner’ image.” [CW 6, para. 743]  So, he’s not referring to hallucinations, but to the images stirred up within us by fantasy, particularly unconscious fantasy.

Unconscious fantasies?  Do we have such things?  Yes.  How we react to people and situations, what we “project” or put on them is constantly conditioned by images that reside in the unconscious.  If you have ever had a violent emotional response to a person, place or thing come upon you out of the blue, it’s likely rooted in an unconscious image or fantasy.  Sometimes, we may even be aware of these images, or “fantasy ideas” being present in the background, as we confront various situations in our lives.

Images: Where Conscious and Unconscious Meet

As Jung says, “the image is an expression of the unconscious as well as the conscious situation of the moment.”  For the Jungian psychotherapist, those inner images coming up from the unconscious are interpreted and understood in a definite way.  They represent the way that our unconscious mental situation is interacting with our consciousness, as it deals with the situations in our lives.  If we can surface these images, we can understand a lot about what is going on within us as we encounter the situations in our lives.

Jungian psychotherapist

The Power of the Image Goes Beyond Language

Often incredible emotional power is associated with inner images and fantasies, and they can often be associated with a major complex. Consider an individual who has the semi-conscious image of sitting down across the kitchen table from his abusive, alcoholic father, every time he sits down in his bosses office, .  Or, on the other hand, the individual who cannot help the images of his lost first love that arise every time he sees his children’s nanny.  Individuals confronted with such compelling inner fantasies may find that the emotions generated in the situation powerfully affect their responses to life situations.

What are the Images in Your Life?

Becoming conscious of inner images may be a major, very important piece of soul work.  It can be very important to be aware of how these inner images affect the way that we experience and respond to outer reality.  What are the emotionally charged images that underlie the characteristic situations in your life?  Working with a Jungian psychotherapist is, in part, a journey into the emotionally charged images that structure our lives.

Attribution   Some rights reserved garlandcannon

 

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Jungian Therapy and the Meaning of Dreams : Houses

November 27th, 2012 · dreams, Jungian, Jungian therapy, meaning of dreams, therapy

Jungian therapy abounds with house symbols, because they are often central to the meaning of dreams — the house is one of the most common dream symbols.

Jungian therapy

It’s a very rich symbol, archetypal in fact.  Humans seek a secure place that is fundamentally their own in which to live, whether it is the troglodyte’s cave, or the King’s palace.

Our earliest home is the maternal womb, and all our subsequent physical homes carry its shades and tones.  In mythological traditions from all over the world, our first home is a paradise, and we are ever seeking to return to it.

 The House as Symbol of Personality

In dreams, the home often symbolizes the dreamer’s entire psyche or personality.  Is the dream house well-kept, or does it appear neglected?  Is it made of solid stuff or shoddy materials — and thus perhaps in need of renovation?  Does the house seem well proportioned?  Are its internal spaces cramped or spacious?

House as “Space” I Occupy

In waking life, some houses clearly symbolize and embody the people who live in them.  So it is in the dream symbolization of the inner world, where houses reflect the person that they contain / are.  Often a house can have different levels, which may reflect different periods of time, or different aspects of the being of the dreamer.  There may be different “rooms” in the house; some familiar, and some unknown, waiting to be discovered.  Jungian therapy knows that the meaning of dreams about houses partakes in the house as a universal symbol, and also in the experiences of the individual relative to the house.

Emotional Power of the House Symbol

Jungian therapy

Houses engender deep emotions in their occupants.   We can have a loving and intimate relationship with a house — or sometimes what seems like an anger or even hate-filled grim struggle.

Dream houses may reflect our inner psychic state — or we may project our inner psychic conflicts onto our outer house in the waking world.  Most of us know the terminally “house proud” individual, whose identity has completely fused with the outer house.

Jungian therapy fully recognizes the deep feelings at play around the house.

The Inner Housing Crisis: Where Will I Dwell?

jungian therapy

We all have to dwell somewhere; this is a truth in the inner world, as much as the outer.  And, as in the outer world, so in the inner: our house has characteristics, and our relationship to it is changed by our choices.

Often it’s a matter of greatest importance for an individual to pay attention to their inner “house”.  Its dimensions and proportions often fill our dreams.  Jungian therapy is very attuned to the theme or motif of the house in the dreams of the individual — especially at times of tension or crisis.  In addition to many other therapeutic techniques, work on the house as part of the meaning of dreams can be a powerful element in Jungian therapy.

How has the symbol of the house appeared in your dreams?

Next in series: Jewels

 

Attribution  Noncommercial Some rights reserved Andypiper ; hockadilly ; chicagogeek  | VIDEO: “Awesome tree houses” by ricsil2037

 

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Jungian Psychotherapy for Spiritual Crisis: Matter

November 20th, 2012 · crisis, Jungian, Jungian psychotherapy, Psychotherapy, spiritual crisis

Jungian psychotherapy is aware of a profound and paradoxical truth: to understand spirit, and, often, to move beyond spiritual crisis, we must experience — take in, accept — the reality of matter.

Jungian psychotherapy

For Jungian psychotherapy, spirit and matter are not fundamentally opposed, but profoundly related.  Many a spiritual crisis erupts from a disconnect between the two.

Here in the Material World

Madonna sings the lines, “For we are living in a material world /  And I am a material girl.”  And the reality is that we are all material people.  The body is not an illusion.  It’s substantial, and real — it is what we are.

Our entire psyche is shaped by the fact that we are embodied creatures, living in a physical world.  It is virtually impossible to conceive what it would be like to live in an unembodied way.  Our whole manner of mental functioning stems from being in a body, and even the images generated by archetypal psyche are images of embodied existence — of physical being.

Matter, My Nature

To be human, we have to come to terms with animal life.  One of the great spiritual lessons to come out of the work of Charles Darwin and evolution has to do with recognizing that we live in continuity with all that lives in the material world, rather than existing in a separate and god-like apartness.  We are a part of the whole great living reality of the earth.

An important part of the journey of the spirit for us is a journey into accepting our own material, animal existence.  Accepting the simple, humble, yet wondrous organism that each of us fundamentally is.

To approach this simple, wondrous, poor, yet infinitely rich, fearful yet courageous, humble and yet deeply dignified being, our own animal self, with compassion and self acceptance, is a huge journey.

Dust, Perhaps, but Enchanted Dust

We are matter, surely, yet we move with a strange enchantment.  Looking at ourselves, we cannot help but wonder: do we have even the beginning of an understanding of the nature of matter — our own matter?  The fact remains that, of all the things that humanity has encountered in the universe so far, we ourselves are the most intricate and wondrous.

The matter which forms us, and by which we are surrounded is infinitely variable, subtle and complex.  We swim in it, we are it, and yet we cannot even take in the complete fullness of the mystery of matter in the apparently smallest and most insignificant of things.  A magnificently simple and eloquent scene from the film American Beauty (dir. Sam Mendes) captures this:

Living in the Flesh of the World

We live with and in the flesh of the world, subject to its necessities, its weaknesses and its wonder.  When we move away from material existence, and from our body existence, we move away from life, and from others.  Spiritual crisis?  Jungian psychotherapy knows that, without relationship to matter, there is no relationship to spirit.

Next in series: Spirit

PHOTO: Attribution Some rights reserved nilsrinaldi ; familymwr  |   VIDEO: “American Beauty” © 1999 Paramount Pictures

 

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Jungian Therapy & the Meaning of Dreams, 5: Water

November 12th, 2012 · dreams, Jungian, Jungian therapy, meaning of dreams

Water: a powerful, multi-faceted symbol, often vital to the meaning of dreams, as interpreted by Jungian therapy.

meaning of dreams

I couldn’t possibly catalogue all the symbollic and psychological meanings of water in dreams!  But here are some of its many aspects.

Bodies of Water and the Unconscious

Often in dreams, large bodies of water (oceans, lakes, pools) symbolize the unconscious.  As with bodies of water, we often see the surface, but cannot easily see into the depths.

Also, the vastness of the ocean symbolizes the vastness of the unconscious mind.  Jung observed long ago that the unconscious mind was much vaster than the conscious portion.  His insight has been confirmed by fascinating developments in neuroscience, where new technologies, such as particularly sophisticated MRIs have enabled brain scientists to see that the unconscious processes in the brain dwarf the conscious mind in magnitude.

In those regions of the brain/mind lies the meaning of dreams.  Jungian therapy is always aware that, for each of us, much goes on in the depths of those oceanic waters…

The River

One of the most frequently encountered of water symbols in dreams is the river.  One of the most impressive characteristics of a river is the power of water flowing in a definite direction.

The river as symbol embodies the flow of life: the “teleology”, as Jungian therapy says, or goal-directedness of the psyche.  It also embodies the fatefully powerful direction of that flow — the flow of our lives.

meaning of dreams

Niagara River

Water as Rain — Fertility

In dreams, we also encounter the symbol of water as rain, blessed bringer of fertility to earth, crops, vegetation and ultimately all animal life — a crucial aspect of our experience of water.  In many cultures with limited rainfall, there is a god of rainfall, who is often a key member of the pantheon — such as Chac, the Mayan god of rainfall.

For such cultures, rain is the quintessential symbol of fertility, streaming down onto the earth.  This symbolic fertile abundance is often part of the meaning of dreams.

The Water of Life

One of the most important aspects of water is that we basically are water.  It’s essential for life, a fundamental human need.  Most North Americans don’t regularly live with thirst.  However, this relentless yearning should not be underestimated.  Many in the world know its power all too well.

A famous scene from the movie “Ben Hur” provides a gripping illustration of the symbolism of the “water of life” in both its physical and psychological sense.  Whether you accept the Christian premise of the movie, or not, William Wyler’s depiction is powerful.

The water of life for which we yearn relates directly to the waters of the unconscious.  Often, only by coming to terms with the meaning of dreams embodied in the unconscious can we find the vitality for which we yearn.

Jungian therapy is aware that the meaning of dreams is concerned with approaching and taking in this reality.  How does the symbol of water appear in your dreams, or imagination?

PHOTO: Attribution Some rights reserved David Sifry , Francisco Diez |   VIDEO: “Ben Hur” © 2011 Warner Brothers Entertainment

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Jungian Psychotherapy for Spiritual Crisis 3: Belonging

November 3rd, 2012 · Jungian, Jungian psychotherapy, Psychotherapy, spiritual crisis

Belonging, or as modern psychology might refer to it, attachment, is a key element in spirituality; its absence can lead to spiritual crisis as Jungian psychotherapy affirms.

rose as symbol in jungian psychotherapy

Belong in the World

For many people, feeling a sense of truly belonging in the world is a deep issue.  Jungian psychotherapy stresses that uncertainty about belonging is central to many a spiritual crisis.

We come into the world ready to belong, to attach — we might well say that this instinct has something archetypal about it,   Yet, starting even from a very early age, it may be our experience that the world seems to offer little hospitality or welcome for who we actually are.  That, at least, is the experience of many individuals.

It may be essential to the resolution of any spiritual crisis for an individual to experience a sense of rightness to his or her life — a sense of genuinely belonging in life.

Belonging in the Self

Jungian psychotherapy refers to “relativization of the ego” as the process by which the individual ego comes to realize that it is not the sum total of who we are.  That role belongs to the Self, the fullness of all that we are, conscious and unconscious.  There are unconscious processes working themselves out in our lives, going on without conscious control, and even without consciousness.  This can be a very humbling realization, but it can also provide healing to the  individual in spiritual crisis to realize that the ego does not exist in splendid isolation– it is part of something greater, rather than heroically alone.

Jungian psychotherapy affirms that the Self has a sense of purpose it that goes beyond that of the ego.

The Numinous

What Jung stated about the numinous is very important for those in spiritual crisis.   The numinous is what gives religious experience its compelling power — but it is  found in many other places than organized religion.  As Jung said, the numinous is:

“a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will…. [that grips] the human subject.”

As Andrew Samuels added:

“The numinous cannot be conquered; one can only open oneself to it.”

This experience is at the root of spirituality.  In addition to contact with something greater, it also implies contact with “a not-yet-disclosed, attractive and fateful meaning” (Samuels).

It’s not often put this way, but the numinous conveys profound connectedness and belonging, especially to those in spiritual crisis.

Destiny and the Love of Fate

Jung often spoke of “amor fati”, the ability to love one’s fate.

It may be a life’s work to come to the point where an individual can begin to have this kind of self acceptance and acceptance of life, and of the direction that life has taken.  It is no small thing, to say the least, and should never be spoken of lightly.

Yet, to love one’s fate, to be able to accept one’s life, can be central to the sense of belonging, and the journey to wholeness.

PHOTO: Attribution Some rights reserved ~suchitra~ |   VIDEO: Rumi,  “There is A Field”  aeneb1

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A Jungian Psychotherapist Looks at Hallowe’en as Symbol

October 30th, 2012 · Jungian, psychotherapist

Hallowe’en is one of the most enjoyable nights of the year in my opinion; as a Jungian psychotherapist, I’m also fascinated with its symbolism.

Jungian psychotherapist and Hallowe'en

As the young go around with their treat bags, dressed as ghosts, witches and fantasy figures, they’re have a great time, as all can see.  But are they also symbolically living out something important in psyche, for all of us?

What is this Hallowe’en thing, after all?  Why do 21st century people do it?  Its roots are a matter of great interest to a Jungian psychotherapist…

How Did Hallowe’en Get Started?

The most important root source of Hallowe’en is probably the pagan feast of Samhain, celebrated across the Celtic world. At Samhain it was believed that the ‘door’ to the Otherworld opened to allow the souls of the dead, fairies, and other beings to enter this world. It was expected that dead kinsfolk would revisit their former homes on Samhain.   The souls of dead kin were invited to feasts, and a place set at table for them.

Ghosts

Recently, on Twitter, I quoted Salman Rushdie:

“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.”

For a Jungian psychotherapist, those ghosts may be things from our individual past with which we simply haven’t dealt.  They may  be issues of pain or sorrow, or unresolved longings in our early life.  They may be unrealized possibilities in our later lives.  But whatever they are, if they come to us, we probably need to deal with them.

Ghosts may also be something other than personal.  Some of the ghosts that come back to us can belong to our family, our ethnic group, or the society as a whole.  The ghosts of racial and sexual attitudes, bigotries, collective fears, family or community complexes.  And even beyond this, there are the archetypal factors that dwell in the collective unconscious of the human race, and demand our attention.

Setting a Place at the Table

The ancient Celts knew that their ghosts would come back from the other side, and would need to be met and dealt with. The Celts knew that the ghosts had business with us.  Their myth and legend told them that the ghosts would be hungry, would  need a place at table, and would need the fellowship of breaking bread.  In essence, they showed their ghosts hospitality.

Hallowe’en As Symbol

Hallowe’en reflects to us our own need to show our “ghosts” hospitality, to break bread with them, feed them.  A Jungian psychotherapist sees this symbolism as reflecting an aspect of our own need for soul.  There are vital elements that need to come to life in our lives, and elements of the unconscious that we need to uncover for the first time.

So, give food to the ghosts, goblins or fairies at your door; in addition to being a good neighbour, you’re symbollically opening the door to your own soul, and to the journey of soul work

 

PHOTO: Attribution Some rights reserved Fifikins |   VIDEO: OdessaWest  “Dead Man’s Party”  Oingo_Bingo © 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

 

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Jungian Therapy & the Meaning of Dreams, 4: Shadow

October 27th, 2012 · dreams, Jungian, Jungian therapy, meaning of dreams

Why does the Shadow have such an important part to play in understanding the meaning of dreams — and why does Jungian therapy care about it so much?

the meaning of dreams

What is the Shadow?

Jung once described it as “the thing a person has no wish to be”; Andrew Samuels describes it as “the negative side of the personality, the sum of all the unpleasant qualities one wants to hide, the ‘inferior, worthless and primitive’ side of man’s nature, the ‘other person’ in one, one’s own dark side.”  It’s easy to persuade ourselves that our Shadow doesn’t exist; but it does!

Shadow amounts to all those aspects of our personality that we don’t want to acknowledge, and that we wish weren’t there — but which are anyway.  The Shadow is, and particularly as we move through midlife and beyond, we increasingly have to deal with it.  That’s why it often shows up so powerfully as part of the meaning of dreams.

A brilliant, very humourous portrayal of the relationship of ego and the Shadow, and the ways ego often tries to “dress up” Shadow is embedded in a famous scene from the movie “Young Frankenstein“:

 

Some manifestations of unconscious, repressed Shadow are humorous; as in the notorious “Mr. Guilty” case ;

meaning of dreams

 

some are unspeakably tragic.  If the Shadow is not acknowledged by the conscious ego, we can pay a great price.

How Does It Appear in Dreams?

Jungian therapy knows that Shadow appears in dreams in many forms.  It may indeed appear as “Frankenstein’s monster”, something almost inhuman and threatening.  Or as a person of unfamiliar race or ethnicity. Or in the form of those stigmatized by our culture, such as criminals, prostitutes, addicts, or ne’er-do-wells.  Also, there may be Shadow elements in a character from your past whom you disliked, or dismissed — but who secretly shows you something important about an aspect of self.

Why Does It Matter?

What our dreams reveal about Shadow can be a of great importance, if we are able to understand it.  We really need to know about, and to come to terms with, the Shadow aspects of our personalities, especially in the second half of life.  There comes a point in life where the repressed thoughts and feelings, ways of perceiving reality, hard to face truths and possibilities in ourselves that have not been lived out demand our attention.  To have any sense of wholeness, completeness or integrity in our lives, we have to come to terms with the unacknowledged and devalued aspects of the self — the Shadow.

What Do I Do?

In some way or other, if we seek wholeness, we will have to confront and come to terms with the Shadow, and that portion of our lives that is held within it.  The journey of Jungian therapy affirms that the meaning of dreams has a lot to do with confronting the Shadow.

Next post in the series: Water

PHOTO: Attribution Some rights reserved  JaneRahman |   VIDEO: “Young Frankenstein” © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (1974) (USA)

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Jungian Psychotherapy for Spiritual Crisis 2: Reality

October 20th, 2012 · Jungian, Jungian psychotherapy, Psychotherapy, psychotherapy for spiritual crisis, spiritual crisis

Issues of spirituality, and particularly, around psychotherapy for spiritual crisis, often confront us as questions about what is fundamentally real or important

psychotherapy for spiritual crisis

— questions which often are front and centre in Jungian psychotherapy.

 The Quest for the Real

We often deal with disconnect between what others — friends, employers, advertisers, the society as a whole — are telling us is real, and the disquieting sense that there must be something more.

We sense that what we are looking for is missing from what the society as a whole perceives as real or significant. The media and Internet do not often point us to things of substance or lasting value.

Often, psychotherapy for spiritual crisis encounters individuals experiencing a sense of emptiness, flatness, or even “vertigo”.  For such individuals, the quest for reality is not something “fluffy” or academic: it can well become fundamentally, even crucially important.

Experiencing Reality

When are we experiencing reality?  One indicator would be when we feel most alive or aware.

Meaning, value, significance and even joy: these are the things that make reality — and make it important.  This doesn’t mean that experiencing reality in our lives is always painless or easy, by any means.  Many experiences connecting us to a sense of spiritual reality may in fact involve pain.  But invariably, they bring with them the sense that we are living our lives, in a way connected to something bigger than the consci0us self.

To Live Here and Now

Psychotherapy for spiritual crisis concerns opening up for individuals a way of living that feels full of aliveness, radically in the here and now.  A spirituality that is only for the next life is no real spirituality at all.

It’s also more than living in the moment in a shallow way.  It involves connection to our unconscious depths, finding meaning in life, and rooting in archetypal reality.

It also entails being rooted in self-awareness of all the differing ways in which we experience life, whether it be through our feeling, our thought, the awareness of our senses, or the promptings of our intuition.  Often psychotherapy for spiritual crisis involves opening the “shut down” aspects of ourselves.

To Live My Reality in Depth

Living in a way that is open to everything in us involves being open to myth: to the true story of our lives.  Real myth, our own story gives us the true context for who we are, and  enables us to know that we belong in our lives.

In the following video, psychiatrist and Jungian Analyst Anthony Stevens reads from his book “Jung: A Short Introduction“:

“C.G. Jung and Reinvesting in Our Real Life”

The real healing that emerges from the psychotherapy of spiritual crisis entails the sense of being truly rooted in my life.  It is connected with my sense of feeling at home in my life and in the world… that there is a rightness to my being here and now.

Jungian psychotherapy for spiritual crisis involves opening to the call of my deepest being,

PHOTO:  © Bortn66 | Dreamstime.com  VIDEO: “Jung: A Very Short Introduction” © Anthony Stevens 1994

 

 

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Jungian Therapy & the Meaning of Dreams, 3: Symbols?

October 13th, 2012 · dreams, Jungian, Jungian therapy, meaning of dreams

From the perspective of Jungian therapy, a good deal of the significance and meaning of dreams is carried by those very unusual creatures called symbols.

meaning of dreams

But what exactly is a symbol, the way that Jungian therapy uses the word?  How do symbols create the meaning of dreams?

A Symbol is Not a Sign

You can’t just translate a true symbol into words.  They aren’t like a stop sign, for instance ,or a skull and crossbones emblem which amount to alternate ways of saying “Stop” or “Poison”.  A symbol has far more depth that that.  It isn’t that what the symbol seeks to communicate is hidden, or in code.  Rather, it’s something extremely hard to express in the ordinary everyday language of consciousness.

As Jung states:

“Their pregnant “language” cries out to us that they mean more than they say.” 

 -Jung, CW 15

Not Created by the Conscious Mind

The meaning of dreams isn’t shaped by the kinds of thinking found in the conscious mind.  Also, the symbols that we find in dreams don’t communicate the same perspective on our personal reality that we find in our waking life.  One good way of looking at each symbol in a dream is to see it as a if it were a picture painted by the unconscious, showing what the unconscious “thinks”, for lack of a better word, of the attitude and perspective that the conscious mind or “ego” has, at any given point of time.

Jung sums it up by saying that a dream symbol is “An unconscious invention in response to a conscious problematic”.

Beyond Language

The symbols in dreams are more like art or poetry than they are like the articles in your morning newspaper.  They show us dimensions of ourselves that we can’t easily or simply put into a few words or paragraphs.  To dream is often to contact an amazingly eloquent portrait of your life situation, created by the genius of the unconscious.

meaning of dreams

Symbols Encapsulate Our Psychological Situation — and Show the Way

Very often, symbols in dreams capture conflicts with which we are confronted in our psychological situation.  As Andrew Samuels puts it, “The symbollic process begins with a person feeling ‘stuck’, hung up, forcibly obstructed in the pursuit of his aims and it ends in illumination, “seeing through”, and being able to go ahead on a changed course.” (Andrew Samuels CDJA, 145)  To enter this symbollic process in its fullness is often a key part of the journey of depth psychotherapy and Jungian therapy.

Next post in the series: Shadow.

PHOTO:  The Red Book © 2009 Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung

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Jungian Therapy & The Meaning of Dreams, 1: Why Care?

September 14th, 2012 · dreams, Jungian, Jungian therapy, Meaning, meaning of dreams

Why does Jungian therapy care about opening up the meaning of dreams?  Some think that they’re nothing but the brain clearing up its hard drive.

meaning of dreams

Can a dream show us anything very important?

This is the first part of a series on why Jungian therapy emphasizes the importance of dreams — and why you might want to, as well.

The Meaning of Dreams… Rarely What You’d Expect

It’s important to realize that the meaning of dreams generally does not accord with the dominant conscious attitude, or what our ego expects.  In the vast majority of cases, the perspective that a dream is trying to present compensates our conscious attitude.  We can think of the meaning of dreams as representing a commentary on some aspect of the conscious mind’s attitude to a life situation, a relationship, or values held by consciousness.

Dreams are important because they are not what consciousness would expect.  We need a perspective that supplements that of consciousness.

A Window into Soul

For Jungian therapy, exploring the meaning of dreams opens up a new window into soul, the inner, unconscious reality of the human being.  By this, I am not making a philosophical, metaphysical or religious claim about the existence or non-existence of an immortal soul in humans.  As neuroscience is increasingly showing us, the unconscious aspect of the brain is by far the greater part of the brain, and of the psyche.  Soul, as used here, refers to connecting with the deepest levels of our psychic being.

The “Dreaming Genius”

Those who explore the meaning of dreams are often staggered by the detail and subtlety in dreams, and the ways in which they speak so powerfully and directly to the life situation of the dreamer.  One stands in awe, sometimes, of the blinding intelligence that lies behind these creations of the nighttime hours.  There are depths in each of us that contain an incredible wisdom, and, for our health and sanity we may well need what they bring to us.

Jungian Therapy and the Power of Symbols

The symbols which are interpreted by Jungian therapy in determining the meaning of dreams are not shorthand for something that can be readily expressed in English language.  They reflect powerful realities in the unconscious mind that cannot be easily turned into simple statements.  The process of Jungian therapy includes understanding the meaning of dreams as they present themselves, and using that insight to change the ways in which we relate to our lives.

PHOTO:  AttributionSome rights reserved by Per Ola Wiberg

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