The Process of Change

The goal of Jungian psychotherapy is to achieve an actualized life, where the person is integrated and living a balanced life, with congruence of body and mind (Casement, 1996). There are four nonsequential phases of Jungian analytical psychology. The first phase, catharsis, is the stage in which the client shares feelings and expresses emotions. In the second phase, the analytical stage, the therapist analyzes dreams, transference and countertransference, and other assessments such as word association tests, projective tests, or type indicators. In the third phase, the insight stage, the client and the therapist draw on information from the client's history, life experience, and emotional goals to bring the unconscious to the conscious. In the fourth phase, the transformational or individuation stage, the client utilizes insight to understand his or her complexes and to integrate the dissociated parts of his or her personality (Sharf, 2008).

Traditional Intervention Strategies

Dream Analysis

Jung viewed dream analysis as the primary means to the client's unconscious, creativity, and psyche. Jungian clients are instructed to record their dreams as soon as they awaken, so that they can remember important details. Jung was most interested in the "important dreams," which are representative of repressed material, are symbolic representations of traumatic experiences, or contain upsetting memories. There are four parts to dream narratives. The first phase is when the client tells the who, what, when, and where of the dream. In the second phase, the complexes are exposed and explored, and feelings associated with the dream are discussed. In the third phase, the turning point within the dream is identified. The fourth and final phase includes the conclusion of the dream. The goal of the Jungian therapist in dream analysis is to recognize the symbolic elements from the personal and collective unconscious and link it with the client's conscious experiences (Jung, 1945/1960).

Sharf (2008) wrote that most dreams relate to the client's past or current life (subjective), and some reflect archetypes and are significant because they reveal the collective unconscious and can be analyzed to expose the symbolic meaning (objective). In other circumstances, dreams function to compensate for "one-sided conscious attitudes toward life situations" (Wyly, 1995, p. 108). To draw meaning from dreams, the analyst needs contextual information about the client, the client's experiences, and the client's personality. The analyst relies on other assessment techniques to fully mine information and interpret dreams. Jung usually elicited information regarding the client's association with elements of the dreams. Clients are asked to say the first thoughts that come to their heads when they think about their dream. In another technique, known as amplification, clients are asked to expand on their dream images. Hall (1977) stated:

Amplification can take place on different levels. The most immediate level produces material from the personal unconscious of the analysand, from his own memories and feeling. The second level is of cultural material assimilated to the image. The third and most abstract level consists of archetypal; it brings in associations from folklore, mythology, religious traditions, and other systems of imagery that may not be known consistently to the dreamer, (p. 130)

Word Association

The word association test has its origins in Jung's early work with severely disturbed schizophrenic and hysterical patients. He reported that he often felt overwhelmed and did not know how to break into their private worlds. He believed that there are four main ways to understand clients: word association, case studies, exploration of the unconscious, and analysis of symptoms and dreams. Jung, in conjunction with Eugen Bleuler, Europe's leading psychiatrist, invented the word association test as a vehicle to tap into the unconscious and reveal the patient's complexes (Sander & Beebe, 1995). He stated that when he was young he was completely disoriented with patients. I didn't know where to begin or what to say; and the association experiment has given me access to their unconscious. I learned about the things they did not tell me, and I got a deep insight into things of which they were not aware. (Jung, as cited in Evans, 1976, pp. 119-120)

The word association test developed by Jung consisted of a combination of 100 neutral and emotionally laden words. He administered the test to hospitalized psychiatric patients and to a control group. He noted the patterns of responses including the word associations, the response ties, and other variables such as resistance. He found that unique responses, slow reaction time, perseveration, and refusal to respond indicated the presence of complexes (Jung, 1905/1973a, 1905/1973b; Sander & Beebe, 1995). When Jung published his findings on the use of word association tests to tap into clients' emotions, he achieved worldwide recognition, including the attention of Sigmund Freud. Jung integrated these finding with dream analysis for further illumination on complexes plaguing his clients. This was groundbreaking because Jung presented a means to understand and interact with patients who were heretofore unreachable. He was able to demonstrate that the psyche is constructed of complexes that are measurable and observable (Sander & Beebe, 1995.)

Psychological Attitudes and Types

In 1913, Jung presented his paper on typology, with Freud in the audience. This marked his public break with Freud. Nine years later, he published Psychological Types (Jung, 1923/1971). He came to believe that there are two psychological attitudes: introversion and extraversion. Neither of these in themselves is unhealthy nor healthy, positive nor negative, and the intensity of the attitudes falls along a continuum. Each person has a dominant function. In addition, Jung postulated that these polarities describe four psychological dominant function types (Spoto, 1995).

Jung stated that the energy and attention of the extravert is directed outward (toward the object), resulting in gregariousness, volubility, and social relationships. In contrast, persons with an introverted attitude perceive the energy as constantly flowing toward them, and they are always defending themselves from the almost overwhelming onslaught. The introvert may appear to be a deep thinker, shy, or timid (von Franz & Hillman, 1998). Jung, as quoted in Storr (1983) explained the extravert personality as

having an interest in the external object, responsiveness, and a ready acceptance of external happenings, a desire to influence and be influenced by events, a need to join in and get "with it," the capacity to endure bustle and noise of every kind, and actually find them enjoyable, constant attention to the surrounding world, the cultivation of friends and acquaintances, none too carefully selected, and finally by the great importance attached to the figure one cuts, and hence by a strong tendency to make a show of oneself. Accordingly, the extravert's philosophy of life and his ethics are as a rule of a highly collective nature with a strong streak of altruism, and his conscience is in a large measure dependent on public opinion, (pp. 140-141).

Jung, in Storr (1983), differentiated introversion from extraversion as being directed not by the object but to the subject, and not be oriented by the object, is not so easy to put into perspective. The introvert is not forthcoming; he is though in continual retreat before the object. He holds aloof from external happenings, does not join in, has a distinct dislike of society as soon as he finds himself among too many people. In a large gathering he feels lonely and lost. The more crowded it is, the greater becomes his resistance He is not a good mixer.... Under normal conditions, he is pessimistic and worried His own company is the best. He feels at home in his own world.. .. Crowds, majority views, public opinion, popular enthusiasm never convince him of anything, (pp. 142-143)

In addition to the introversion-extraversion attitudinal polarities, there are four functions: thinking versus feeling, and intuiting versus sensing (von Franz & Hillman, 1998). According to Evans (1976), Jung explained that sensing communicates that there is something there; thinking lets a person know what that something means; feeling communicates whether that something is agreeable or disagreeable; and intuition communicates that hunch or gut feeling that is known but unexplainable. People who are intuitive are more strongly influenced by their unconscious (Evans, 1976). The functions of sensing and intuition were identified by Jung as irrational functions because both are focused on actual or potential realities. Intuition should not be overly influenced by reality. In contrast, Jung considered thinking and feeling to be rational (Storr, 1983). Jung identified eight psychological types that were derived by combining the two attitudes (introversion and extraversion) and the four functions (thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuition).

Analysis of Transference and Countertransference

Transference refers to an ego defense whereby the client unconsciously projects his or her own thoughts and fears onto the therapist. When the therapist reacts to the client with projections of his or her own thoughts and feelings, this is countertransference. When transference improves the quality and insight, it has a positive impact; when it interferes with the accurate understanding of the client, it has a negative impact. Personal experiences, as well as archetypal projections from the collective unconscious, can become part of the transference. These are both unconscious and symbolic. It is the role of the therapist to analyze personal and archetypal elements of transference and countertransference. The therapist integrates information from the client's ego, neurosis, and complexes (Wyly, 1995). Analysis of transference and countertransference brings attitudes and patterns of behavior that interfere with functioning and full psychological development to conscious awareness (Kirsch, 1995). Transference and countertransference require the therapist as the object of projection. The therapist's reaction is like the negative upon which the photo image is projected.

 
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