Analytical Psychology was the name chosen by Carl jung. It is also called Jungian psychology. Jung’s philosophical background, his experience in psychiatric hospital, interest in various religions, as well as the study of comparative mythology, anthropology were fundamental construction of Analytical Psychology.
Jung was the subject of his own experiments in the investigation of the unconscious. Everything that happened to him, including dreams, fantasies, intuitions, etc., which for most people would go unnoticed, was for Jung a source of research and analysis. An extremely intuitive man, he has always been interested in psychic phenomena.
What is Psyche in Jungian Analytical Psychology?
Among Jung’s most important works is his in-depth analysis of the psyche, which explained as follows: “By psyche I understand the totality of all psychic processes, both conscious and unconscious.” Jung separates the concept of the psyche from the conventional concept of the mind, which is usually limited only to the processes of the conscious brain.
Jung believed that the psyche is a self-regulating system, somewhat like the body, which seeks to maintain a balance between opposing qualities, while constantly seeking growth, a process Jung called ” individuation.
Jung saw the psyche as something that can be divided into component parts such as complexes and archetypal contents, personified in a metaphorical sense, and functioning somewhat as secondary selves that contribute to the whole. His concept of the psyche is divided as follows:
The Jungian Ego
For Jung, the ego is the center of the field of consciousness , the part of the psyche where our consciousness resides, our sense of identity and existence. The Jungian Ego organizes our thoughts, feelings, senses, and intuition, and regulates access to memory. It is the part that connects the inner and outer worlds, forming as we relate to that which is external to us.
How a person relates to the external world is, according to Jung, determined by their levels of extroversion and introversion and how they make use of the functions of thought, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Some people have developed more than one or two of these facets than the others, which gives way to how they perceive the world around.
The origin of the ego resides in the self archetype , where it forms along the precocious development with the brain trying to add meaning and value to its various experiences.
The ego is only a small portion of the self; however, Jung believed that consciousness is selective, and the ego is the part of the self that selects the most relevant information from the environment and chooses which direction to take based on them, while the rest of the information sinks into the unconscious. It may, therefore, appear later in the form of dreams or visions, thus entering into the conscious mind.
The personal unconscious
The personal unconscious arises from the interaction between the collective unconscious and personal growth of each, and was defined by Jung as follows:
“All that I know, but in which I am not thinking in the least; all of which I was once aware of, but now I have forgotten; all perceived by my senses, but not observed by my conscious mind; all that, involuntarily and without paying attention, I feel, I think, I remember, I want, and I do; all future things that are taking shape in me and will at some point come to consciousness; all this is the content of the unconscious … Besides these, we must include all more or less intentional repressions of painful thoughts and feelings. I call the sum of these contents of the ‘personal unconscious’ “.
Unlike Freud, Jung saw repression as just an element of the unconscious , rather than all of it. Jung also saw the unconscious as the home of future development potential, the place where the undeveloped elements merge in a conscious way.
Complexes, in the Jungian sense, are thematic organizations in the unconscious mind centered around patterns of memories, emotions, perceptions and desires, patterns that are shaped by experience and by an individual’s reactions to that experience. Unlike Freud, Jung believed that complexes can be very diverse, rather than simply individuals having a complex with sexual nucleus.
Complexes often behave quite automatically, which can lead a person to feel that the behavior that arises from it is out of their control. People who are mentally ill or mistakenly “possessed” often have complexities that regularly and sharply assume their behavior.
Complexes are strongly influenced by the collective unconscious, and as such, tend to have archetypal elements. In a healthy individual, complexes are rarely a problem. If the person is mentally ill, however, and unable to regulate himself, the complexes may become evident and yet another problem. In these cases, the ego is damaged and therefore is not strong enough to make use of the complexes through reflection, granting them a full and undisciplined life of their own.
To treat these people, Jung looked more for future development than simply dealing with his past; he tried to find what the symptoms meant and hoped to achieve, and work with them from that angle.
The collective unconscious and archetypes
The theory of the collective unconscious is one of Jung’s most original theories; Jung believed, unlike many of his contemporaries, that all elements of an individual’s nature are present from birth, and that the person’s environment brings them out (instead of the environment creating them). Jung felt that people are born with a “project” already in them that will determine the course of their lives, something that, although controversial at the moment, has enough support these days due to the amount of evidence that exists in the animal kingdom of which several species are born with a repertoire of behaviors adapted exclusively to their environments. It has been observed that these behaviors in animals are influenced by environmental stimuli, in the same way that Jung felt that human behaviors are presented in the foreground.
According to Jung, “the term archetype is not meant to denote an inherited idea, but rather a mode inherited from functioning, which corresponds to the innate way in which the chicken comes out of the egg, the bird builds its nest, a certain type of wasp pica the caterpillar’s motor ganglion, and eels find their way to Bermuda. In other words, it is a ‘behavior pattern’. This aspect of the archetype, the purely biological, is the proper concern of scientific psychology. ”