The answer is simple. It’s because there are just over 3,000 Jungian analysts in the world today. Getting to be a  New York Jungian therapist is no easy task as there are difficult hurdles you must cross before being certified as one.

You will have to undergo a compulsory 4-5 years of comprehensive training. Add this to the intense academic work and research and individual analysis – it’s no small task. Yes! Every aspiring New York Jungian therapist must first undergo a very extensive period of Jungian and Training Analysis in the course of his study before being one.

Why Does the Analyst Have to be analyzed?

This is answered by the process involved in Jungian analysis itself. With Jungian analysis, the conversation isn’t between the analyst and the patient; rather it is really between the psyches of both.

It is therefore imperative that a Jungian therapist must have first gotten an in-depth understanding of his/her own unconscious material.

The analysts must have a firm grasp on their own complexes and the way their unconscious influences their behavior before they can be able to interact with the psyche of their patients.

Unconscious Material

These are developed in three ways during analysis:

  1. Explication: This is basically isolating unconscious materials, explaining them and assigning names to them. The problem here is what Jung aptly points out when he refuted Freud fixed representation of certain symbols and objects. He suggested that Freud’s method of interpretation rather places a limit on what a symbol could represent. He rather opines that for symbols and objects to be fully understood and interpreted, one must find out how it fits in the experience and life of the patient in question. In this manner, the interpretations of symbols are unique to the dreamers and thus more correct.
  2. Amplification: this method draws on other sources to ascribe meaning to a particular image. This method compares images gotten from a dream to similar images found in myths, fairy tales, folktales, art, literature, and culture and tries to draw meaning from them. Jung calls these images the “archetypes” of the “collective unconscious.”

As Jung posits, the real definition of a symbol is solely dependent on how one relates to the symbols; thus there is no one definition for a symbol. Here are a few examples for you to work on, try coming up with explanations for the following symbol and then crosscheck your answers with a symbol dictionary.

  • The Zodiac symbols
  • Animal symbols
  • Earth, water and fire symbols
  • Garden symbols
  1. Active Imagination: according to Jung, active imagination is “a dialogue between yourself and the unconscious figures”. This method unlike a dream where you are a passive observer involves having to interact and actively participate with the images. It is for the sole reason of engaging in a conversation that the individual calls up the images from his/her unconscious.

In so doing, the individual treats the imagination as though it were a reality. In this case, these images appear as figures or personification that the individual can ask questions to which it must respond.

By Skyler West

Piper Skyler West: Piper, a sports medicine expert, shares advice on injury prevention, athletic performance, and sports health tips.