Robert M. Black

RP, Jungian Analyst

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My Approach

It comes down to whether we’re going to heed “inner” or “outer” influences.

If you're discontent and have tried “outer” stuff – applying self-help techniques, or allying yourself with strong personalities and ideologies, or submerging yourself in a religion, or medicating yourself – and had no lasting relief, it’s entirely possible that a Jungian analysis is for you.

The Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung (1875-1961) spoke of external influences as being applied “like an ointment” (CW 12: 126). It’s true that some ointments can work. But when they don’t, or don’t have a deep enough effect, what next? So most of these remedies, being the products of our modern mind, are rational, scientific, clear, logical – and often (for many of us) fairly useless.

If this has been your experience, maybe it’s time to really listen to your suffering; to pay attention to it, and the unconscious imagery that accompanies it. In that imagery, such as from dreams and in imaginative work, we can trace a way out of the maze that keeps us confined.

The unconscious mind is different from our conscious one. It’s organic, instinctual, spiritual, and rather mysterious. It can be frustrating. It can be opaque. It usually takes someone trained in its ways to help the individual to connect meaningfully with it and its wisdom.

Once you’re launched, you should find that analysis is grounded in Jung’s notion that the core of our personality (he called it the Self) is healthy, and that it communicates with us through symbolic imagery, and that a central task of analysis is to draw us closer to that footing.

Jung’s finding was that its wisdom is “coded” for the individual and communicated through their dream images. When understood, it facilitates a process called “individuation,” by which the innate uniqueness of the individual gradually matures, released from the various conditions that had previously impeded its development.

Jungian analysis can and hopefully will develop a quality of immediacy that gives a weary, worn soul new hope and life. By working with this inner process, we follow a path that remains our own, and we become ourselves.