Analytical Psychology

Analytical psychology is that discipline established by, and founded upon, the work of Carl Gustav Jung. In his view of the world, human beings find themselves situated between two vast realms of experience; an outer world and an inner world, and depending on mood or disposition, emphasise “taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other”. This is the fundamental situation and condition of being human. Consequently, we must adapt to each, for each, in opposition to each other, make demands upon us as human beings. Adaptation to the outer world, Jung asserts, requires adaptation to the inner world, and conversely, adaptation to the inner world requires adaptation to the environmental conditions of the outer world.

Standing between the inner and outer worlds, encapsulating the personal equation, is the human psyche. For Jung, the psyche is the fundamental condition of human existence, and an essential part of the mystery of life and being. It has its own structure and form like every other organism. Jung does not contend that only the psyche exists, but that in terms of perception and cognition, humans cannot transcend the psyche. Our experience of world is bounded by the psyche, and for Jung, the psyche contains the mystery of Being, and it is from the psyche that everything human exists and everything human comes to be.

Analytical psychology extends upon the notions of the collective unconscious and its constituent archetypes that pre-form and condition behaviour, thoughts and feelings. Human adaptation for Jung was therefore a dynamic and teleological process directed towards the goal of human individuation. As the primary mechanism of adaptation, the psyche according to analytical psychology in constituted of functions with orientations towards either the internal or external world. This dynamic mix of functions and attitudes gives rise to the theory of psychological type.

Analytical psychology is an effective framework through which to understand life’s many challenges, whether they be personal, organisational or social. John applies his understanding of analytical psychology to promote a deeper understanding and engagement with wilderness experience, as well as establish insight into personal and organisational development.

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Posted: September 14, 2014


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