Journeying Toward Wholeness

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Psychotherapy for Depression: 5 Jungian Insights

September 30th, 2011 · depression, Jungian, Psychotherapy, psychotherapy for depression

psychotherapy for depressionDepression, and psychotherapy for depression are very big topics, and the following insights from a Jungian perspective certainly don’t exhaust them, but do show us some ways to begin.

1)  You are Not a Gadget

This is the title of a recent book by Jared Lanier, the basic point of which is that humans are quite dissimilar from computers.  Jungians would agree, emphasizing that dealing with depression in a way that takes human individuality seriously means that we can’t simply treat depression as faulty programming to be re-coded, or a faulty module to be replaced by a new one.  Depression requires us to take seriously the unique personality of the individual suffering from depression.  One-size fits-all “Cookie cutter” solutions don’t help.

2)  What Can’t I Acknowledge?

One thing that may be fundamental in addressing depression is the acknowledgement of the shadow, those aspects of our life and experience that we have been unable to accept.  This may concern past wounds, losses or the acceptance of my own nature.  We may even have learned at an early age to be fundamentally rejecting of basic aspects of who we are.

3)  Lost Vitality

A common aspect of depressive experience is a loss of vitality.  Jungians observe that frequently, when an individual is depressed, and has a sense of lost vitality in his or her waking, conscious life, the person’s vitality or energy has shifted into the unconscious part of the personality, where the person may be seeking to resolve conflicts, or come to some new insight or attitude.  An important part of healing may be to assist in this process, by finding ways to foster the emergence into consciousness of what is new.

4)  Lost Hope

A similar issue to 3) above is loss of hope.  Often, individuals can have experiences that “shut them down”, and can find themselves at a point in life where life lacks meaning, and thus hard to find any hope.  The recovery of hope can be vital, if the individual is not to turn into a shell of his or her former self.

5)  A Well with a Bottom

James Hollis tells us, “From a Jungian perspective, intrapsychic depression is a well with a bottom, though we may have to dive very deeply to find it.  In every case, one has to ask the fundamental question, what is the meaning of my depression?”  Jungian psychotherapy often provides the appropriate means to find a vibrant, vital and individual answer to that question.

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© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, ON (near Mississauga)

 

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Depth Psychotherapy for Depression: Five Key Truths

May 9th, 2011 · depression, depth psychotherapy, Jungian depth psychology, psychotherapy for depression

Often, people try depth psychotherapy for depression when other possible solutions haven’t helped — or haven’t helped enough.

depth psychotherapy

By depth psychotherapy, I mean those forms of therapy that are really prepared to look at the depths of the psyche, the deepest parts of our being.

From a depth psychotherapy point of view, there are a number of key facts about depression.

  • It is Serious; It Cannot be Ignorred

A depressive state is not some odd accident that has occurred to an individual.  It is something that is originating in the depths of the person, and it is emerging for a reason.  Addressing such a condition is going to take a deep level of commitment, in order to get to its source.

  • Depth Psychotherapy Goes Far Beyond “Happy Talk”

Jungians know that depression is rooted deeply enough within ourselves that mere attempts on the part of the conscious ego to “stay happy” or “keep positive” are not going to be enough.  Something deep and fundamental must change within us, if we are to get free.

  • Depression Has to do with “the Other” Within Us

A depth approach to depressive states often involves encountering the Other, or, as Jungians say, the Shadow, in ourselves, that part of our ourselves that we might prefer not to acknowledge.  Often, it is those unacknowledged parts of ourselves that wish to become alive, and to be incorporated, that carry the key to the healing that is needed in depression. Here’s Jungian Analyst Jame Hollis, at a recent event, on the Other:

  • Depression is Often About Seeking New Meaning

As Hollis says, it can often be that we encounter depressive states because something in us is searching for meaning.  Often a “down state” is tied to the desire in the depths of us for renewed value and significance in our lives.  To find what is personally meaningful to us is a deeply individual search that depth psychotherapy takes very seriously.

  • Something New is Trying to Emerge within the Individual

When we are in the grips of a depressed state, there is something that is trying to emerge within us.   This is a hopeful thought: that much of depression is connected with a striving on the part of something in our lives to emerge, and to be alive. A depth psychotherapy approach to depression takes individual persons and their needs very seriously, and involves encountering new aspects of the self.  What do you think about therapy? Wishing you new discovery of yourself on your journey toward wholeness, Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst   To Main Website for Brian’s Oakville and Mississauga Practice  1-905-337-3946

PHOTO CREDIT:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Leopard Print
© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Oakville / Mississauga border)

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