EAST WEST PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING - for East Devon, West Dorset & South Somerset - by Skype, FaceTime & Phone Worldwide

Jungian Psychoanalysis

woodland road

I use psychoanalysis and Jungian analysis integratively and I provide this psychotherapy and counselling by Skype, FaceTime and Signal worldwide. I also work in person providing outdoor walking therapy in the area around Seaton, Devon.

The foundation of psychoanalysis is the idea that our conscious decisions are often influenced by unconscious habitual responses, which we to a great extent remain unaware of.

These unconscious habitual responses are often formed in childhood as a consequence of our interaction with our caregivers. For example, experience of neglect in childhood may make it more difficult for us to form close, trusting relationships in adulthood.

These unconscious habitual responses consist mainly of defence strategies, such as denial - turning a blind eye to a feeling or situation, because it is frightening or painful.

The methods used in psychoanalysis for making these unconscious habitual strategies available to conscious thought include the following.

Freud said that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious and argued that dreams present a surface text and a subtext. He suggested that the subtext or underlying narrative of the dream represents the unconscious mind mulling over pressing - often denied preoccupations. By understanding this unconscious narrative and making its content conscious and thinking about it openly and honestly, we can improve our relationship with ourselves and the world around us.

Another method of gaining access to unconscious material is by understanding the dynamic of the relationship between the therapist and the client. This is called the transference - because a person’s unconscious habitual strategies often manifest themselves in the relationship with the therapist. By talking openly about the dynamic of this relationship and its resonances with the client’s earlier relationships - particularly in childhood - something can be learned about the client’s habitual ways of relating to people.

Another therapeutically useful aspect of the therapeutic relationship is called containment. This is the feeling of safety the client can develop within the psychoanalytic work. This safe feeling is in part the result of being able to face difficult feelings and truths about life, being able to name these feelings and , often unpalatable, truths.

The main thrust of psychoanalysis therefore is making the unconscious preoccupations, habitual strategies and defence mechanisms conscious, so that the client becomes more able to manage their lives in a positive and wholesome way.

Freud and Jung had a serious disagreement about the theory of therapy, so that, after 1913, they never spoke again- Freud insisting that the main cause of psychopathology is sexual repression, Jung disagreeing with this position. Over the last 110 years, psychoanalytic and Jungian theories have changed so much that, were Freud and Jung alive today, there would be little for them to disagree about - the two theories having so much in common.

Nowadays Jungian and psychoanalytic theories both privilege:

The unconscious Self understanding Self realization The understanding of dreams The harmful effects of childhood trauma The value of positive social interaction

Contemporary Jungian theory diverges from psychoanalysis mainly in terms of the overall perspective. Psychoanalysis has more of a rigorous almost scientific medical model feel, having an emphasis on seeing the patient as being ill and therapy as a process of helping them become well. Jungian therapy, on the other hand, has much more tolerance for divergence from the norm - an acceptance of personal development as being almost a spiritual quest - with a theoretical paradigm which includes: alchemy, the I Ching, visualization techniques, etc. Jung proposed the distinction between extravert and introvert, arguing that we have a genetically determined personality. This theory underpins the very popular Myers-Briggs personality test and theories around neurological divergence - particularly about the highly sensitive person - as described by the American Jungian analyst - Elaine Aron. As a consequence of this theory of an underlying, genetically derived personality type, Jungian therapy gives perhaps more emphasis to the process of self realisation than psychoanalysis does. Within Jungian analysis this process is termed, individuation. It is a search for personal integrity and is partly about finding the true self and partly about having fewer barriers and secrets between the unconscious and the conscious. This is, again, very similar to psychoanalytic theories and the difference seems to be more a question of emphasis - Jungian theory seeing this as almost a spiritual quest, whereas psychoanalysis tends to see it more as a process of becoming healthier.

I see these two theoretical frameworks as being potentially complementary and, in my work and own personal development I use the insights and methodology of both. Why not use the saw and the hammer?

I subscribe to the nowadays very common theory of how we become ourselves - the biopsychosocial approach. I prefer to call it the multi factorial dialectic, meaning that genetic influences, psychological factors (such as which defence strategies we chose to use) and social influences (the impact of our parents, societal context, etc.) all get continuously thrown into the pot and meld together in an ever changing process. I see the process of personal development as one where the therapist and client work collaboratively as 2 fellow suffering human beings to help the client in their process of self realization, endeavouring to identify the unhelpful biopsychosocial elements, diminish their power and identify and nurture the more helpful biopsychosocial elements. In this process I use Jungian theories, psychoanalytic theories and methodology derived from modern psychological theory and from traditional theories such as yoga, meditation and visualzation.