Inner resources for self-awareness, transformation and understanding . . .
Can Jungian counseling and dreamwork help me?
There are no areas of human suffering that Jungian based analysis cannot address. The following is a short list of just a few of the issues that we can work with.
- Sexual and Emotional Abuse
- General dissatisfaction with life
- Lack of Meaning & Purpose and/or Direction
We live in a society that is so complex
It seems to demand performance, perfection and measurable success. The type of success calculated in terms of wealth, possessions, good health (both physical and emotional) and successful relationships. There are collective mythologies, expectations and paradigms around family, the social sphere and our working life. If, in our perception, our lives successfully reflect the aforementioned, then we feel we are living a successful life and all is well with us and the world.
But what if one of these fails? What if you are one of an increasing number of folks who have not ‘succeeded’ in one or more of these areas of life? What if you are unable to live up to the perceived demands of the world, society and the demands you place on yourself?
Over time, you may become beset by emotions, harsh inner voices and the judgments of others. You may feel ashamed, guilty. You may find yourself caught in a web of troubles – self-loathing and depression, relationships and life patterns that feel like Groundhog Day. Perhaps you struggle with obsessional and/or unhelpful behavioural patterns, substance abuse or addictions to alcohol, sex or food; destructive relationship patterns. Or you may simply feel disconnected from life; perhaps a gnawing, constant feeling of dissatisfaction with the world you live in and how you live in it. You may have been told that you “ill” in some way. You’ve received a pronouncement from an “expert” that you are a “….”. You can fill in the blanks.
But, what if this pathologizing of symptoms of simply isn’t true? What if these issues are actually symptoms of something awakening within your soul, psyche or unconscious? What if the symptoms are actual a symbolic manifestation of a “complex” or pattern within the unconscious that is demanding expression? What if these symptoms are actually a part of myself that I’ve repressed?
The answers are within you…
Dr. Carl Jung said, (and I paraphrase) “Here’s the thing … the unconscious really IS unconscious!” Sounds obvious but it is another way of saying that what we need to bring to a conscious knowing, is not available to us in our normal waking lives. It is repressed, it has been made unconscious. But it has a powerful effect upon our lives … it brings in situations, people, choice of career, physical symptoms, to name but few of these effects.
You may well ask, “For what purpose?” The answer is both simple and complex; to bring the person to “wholeness”; in other words, to facilitate the person to live in accord with ALL of who and what they are, CONSCIOUSLY. In other words, one starts to become one’s true self and lives accordingly. What we discover is that we have developed a false self that served its purpose when we were younger but may not be that helpful as we mature. We discover that we are actually a multiplicity of selves; we are multifaceted. We also come to see that we learned at an early age, that some of these facets of our personality were not acceptable to our primary caregivers, so we repressed them; made them unconscious. If we didn’t, then, as a child, we perhaps experienced the withholding of approval and love.
The result is that we live half-lives. But the parts we have repressed aren’t “gone”. They are alive and well in our unconscious, and surface via addictions, depression, compulsions; depending on the severity of the repression and the makeup of our souls. We try to find cures and fixes; try to make ourselves “well”. We treat these many and varied “aberrations” with pharmaceuticals, self-improvement courses, talk therapy. Another way of stating this is we try to cure ourselves, from ourselves. We don’t see these “neuroses” as our souls trying to get our attention. We see it as a nuisance
If this “true self” is largely unconscious, how do I make it conscious?
After many years of searching and struggling with similar thoughts, it was suggested to me to read the work of Carl Jung. In the course of his work, Dr Jung came to see that the answers to our perceived “problems” and “neuroses” are within each of us. For Jung, and subsequently many others, the way to access the answers is by working with our DREAMS. Undesirable personality traits that are perceived as our “problems”, are actually our psyche or unconscious trying to help us discover who we really are; what it means to be truly ourselves and how to live in the world as ONESELF.
This journey is completely “personal”. While one or more methods of counseling may be used, how it plays out is entirely centered on the individual. In other words, the inner self is the guide. My task as your counselor is to trust the nightly dreams and guide and facilitate you on a journey of self-discovery.