Carl Jung - Male & Female Archetypes - balance in life through Therapy
Carl Jung (1875-1961) Eminent Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalysis. Founder of analytical psychology and one time collaborator with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).
His ideas and psychology are still relevant today.
Jung had a life long interest in the ‘numinous’ i.e. spirituality, mythology. He coined the term the ‘collective unconscious’ this being something we are born with in the same way as our physical self. In the ‘collective unconscious’ we have “archaic residues” where we have a collective sense of archetypes like mother earth, the wise man, the warrior, etc. These would be recognisable in fairy tales, literature and film, for instance Marilyn Monroe was quintessentially the “lover.” These archetypes can filter through in our dreams, as intuition, or can be tapped into through creative play or meditation.
Jung felt the purpose of this ‘collective unconscious’ was to assist in our psychological development, which he saw as a lifelong process. He considered we should always be reaching for the unique Self, a process which he called ‘individuation’ and that as human beings we have to be aware of all the parts that make us, both good and bad, as we are unable to find balance if one or other is in supremacy.
It is impossible to explain the human psyche, it is hugely complicated. Beliefs such as spirituality, the supernatural and mythology are subjective. There are many things we cannot prove but that does not mean they have no meaning for us as human beings either individually or collectively.
As a psychotherapist, balance is a common theme, whether it be work/life balance, or balance in our thinking. For instance, negative thoughts can be a common and destructive force in our lives. Many of us use exercise regimes, online gaming, complementary therapies, self help books, visits to the beautician, nail bar or hairdresser looking for balance in our lives and ways to feel good.
For me as a psychotherapist, taking genuine care of ourselves, mentally is as important as taking care of ourselves physically. Spending time working on our inner self can be the ultimate place to find balance.