Analytical psychology (also known as Depth Psychology or Jungian Analysis) is based upon the movement started by Carl Jung and his followers as distinct from Freudian psychoanalysis. Its aim is the personal experience of the deep forces and motivations underlying human behavior.

The basic assumption is that dreams are meaningful. They express contents of which individuals may not be readily aware. The material that did not reach conciousness is contained in the unconscious. An innate need for self-realization leads people to explore and integrate these rejected materials. This natural process is called individuation, or the process of becoming an individual.

If a person does not proceed toward self-knowlege, neurotic symptoms may arise. Symptoms are widely defined, including, for instance, phobias, feticism, depression. Symptoms are interpreted to be similar to dreams in that is there is a concealed meaning in the apparently useless symptom.

Analyis is a way to experience and integrate the unknown material. It is a search for the meaning of behaviors, symptoms, events. Many are the channels to reach this greater self-knowlege. The analysis of dreams is the most common. Others may include expressing feelings in art pieces, poetry or other expressions of creativity.

While Freudian psychoanalysis assumes that the repressed material hidden in the unconcious is given by repressed sexual instincts, Analytical psychology has a more general approach. There is no preconcieved assumption about the unconcious material. The unconcious, for Jungian analysts, may contain repressed sexual drives but also aspirations, fears, etc. In particular analytical psychology distinguishes between a personal and a Collective Unconcious.

The Collective Unconscious contains material common to all human beings. That is, individuation may bring to surface symbols that do not relate to the life experiences of a single person. This content is more easly viewed as answers to the more fundamental questions of humanity: life, death, meaning, happiness, fear. Among these more spiritual concepts may arise and integrated into the personality.

Giving a complete description of the process of dream interpretation and individuation is complex. The nature of the complexity lies on the fact that the process is highly specific to the person who does it.

Psychological Types

Analytical Psychology distinguishes several psychological types or temperaments.

  • Extravert
  • Introvert

The attitude type could be thought of as the flow of libido (that is psychic energy). The Introvert's flow is inward to the subject and away from the object, ie. external relations. The Extravert's is outward toward the object, ie. towards external relations and away from the inner, subjective world. Extraverts desire breadth, while introverts seek depth.

The Introversion/Extraversion attitude type may also influence mental breakdown. Introverts may be more inclined to catatonic type schizophrenia and extraverts towards manic depression.