There are short term clients who come to untangle their thoughts and feelings, to arrive at some practical measures during a crisis.
Other clients seek personal development, and would like to continue exploring deeper matters after the present crisis is settled.
There are also those who come with no significant psychological suffering, and are solely interested in exploring their psyche.
I will go as deeply or as lightly as the clients would like to.
JUNGIAN PSYCHOANALYSIS & PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY
My work is a combination of Jungian psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy. In reality, there are many intersections between the two. This is the reason why I use the terms psychoanalysis and psychotherapy interchangeably. Hence, I will be describing the general approach of my work using both principles.
We meet regularly in sessions whereby you are given space to reflect on thoughts, feelings, memories, and life events. Therapists often mirror and help you connect different elements of your personality, in order to better understand certain patterns of behaving and in relating with others. We also explore life stories, and in some situations, the stories of your ancestors.
The hope is to be less gripped by the automatic pattern, so that there will be more energy available to blossom and grow despite the unavoidable reality of the ups and downs. With the result that one could hopefully be free to live their own life and express their individuality within the context of earthly reality in the society that we live in.
This process is done at a cognitive and emotional level, within a working relationship between therapist and client. We explore the questions:
- To what purpose?
- What can we do with the adversity that has happened?
In Jungian psychology, we respect the nature of the unknown factor in our psyche, and the uniqueness and complexity of human beings. The way we work differs for one client to the other, and your collaboration to explore the healing potentials within, is paramount.
Jungian psychoanalysis was developed by the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung. His theories are based on psychological experiments during his early professional life, combined with his experience of working with patients, and his own confrontation with the unconscious following the break-up with his mentor figure, Sigmund Freud.
Jung also observed the parallels between the way the human psyche works, with the patterns found in the stories of mankind across all cultures, including fairy tales, myths, legends, Alchemy, and mysticism. When we are touched in an uncanny way by certain song lyrics, art works, movies, video games, or contemporary literature, we encounter a universal human experience that is found ubiquitously regardless of where we live and where we come from. We find common threads that connect different individualities and uniqueness. When we are significantly touched by that, this experience could serve as a portal to further exploration.
In Jungian analysis, we frequently work with dream interpretation. The symbols in the form of dream images could potentially give light to a part of us that we are not aware of. Dreams are potential tools that can be used for growth. At times, dreams might show us a snapshot of our psyche. At other times, a dream reveals parts of ourselves that need to be developed.
Dreams are not interpreted through the use of a dream dictionary or symbol manual – one person’s image could mean something different to another person. Dreams are therefore interpreted in the context of one’s situation at a particular time, and within one’s overall life. The process of interpretation involves a two-way discussion between you and the therapist.
Not everyone remembers their dreams, but it is not a contraindication to do this type of work with me.
When relevant, I also work with intuitive painting. Like dream interpretation, intuitive painting is more about accessing deeper parts of us, rather than a demonstration of artistic skills. Some clients opt to paint at home and then discuss their paintings during our sessions. Others paint during our face-to-face sessions.
Regular painting could serve the same purpose as writing a journal. It functions as a mirror into our deeper part, and it could help us to understand ourselves better.
Those who do yoga or regular mindful body movement practice might have noticed that certain insights, feelings, and memories surface during the execution of certain postures. Some patients find this relevant and would like to do body work during face-to-face sessions.