Phone: (213) 880 8262

Jungian Methodology

Mandala Bridge

In the Jungian paradigm, “problems” which motivate people to seek out therapy and are labeled “symptoms” or “disorders” to be cured by the Western Medical Model are rather viewed as “calls” from psyche. These “symptoms” such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems, relationship issues, trauma, career/life path confusion, crises of meaning, sexual orientation issues, etc. are regarded as entry points into the psyche which may be using these phenomena to announce the arrival of something new. This “something new” may include a capacity, new information, new life direction, it’s time to open and process early/old traumas, time to address other repressed material, etc. In other words, the current homeostasis or state of accommodation needs to be upset or “disturbed” as one is called to begin the next phase of one’s life journey.


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The life one is currently living may include or encompass only a part of the totality of one’s potential. Something new is “breaking through” and pressing for emergence and acknowledgment. One might respond to these often uncomfortable phenomena by engaging in behaviors geared to somehow suppress, bypass, reduce, or medicate them in the absence of other tools or means of addressing/responding to them. These behaviors often include overeating, alcohol/drug use, prescription medication, sexual acting-out, escape into sadness and depression, anxiety and fear, anger, lashing out at friends and/or family, spiritual crisis, and their myriad life-threatening and relationship/career damaging and destructive results. In the absence of the knowledge or experience of how and where to meet, hold, host, and process these psychic eruptions, these usually unbearable feelings and/or destructive behaviors may temporarily serve to suppress and wall them off or partially siphon-off/release them.

Like Jung, my approach when a patient comes to me with a particular life difficulty or “symptom” is not to immediately identify or label his or her experience as “pathological”, “bad”, or “wrong” with an aim to “fix” or “cure” it or my patient. Instead, I aim to provide a welcoming and attentive environment and attitude to convey to the psyche that we—that is, the patient and myself—are now ready and willing to create and maintain a respectful and open container wherein communications/messages from psyche, be they in the form of sadness, anxiety, other difficult emotions, fantasies, or dreams may be received and hosted. This gives the unconscious part of the psyche an opportunity where what is being expressed is able to unfold in a safe and non-judgmental setting. Jung noted that the unconscious shows us the same face we show to it. I believe that when an individual becomes willing to acknowledge, open to, welcome, and work with his or her psyche (which is Greek for “soul”), an invitation to oneself is extended where previously-unknown parts of oneself may be born, known, and welcomed into the community of “me” and “us.”

This work is not always smooth or easy but its benefits are worth their weight in gold and more. As a therapist, I feel privileged to be called upon to accompany my patients on this deeply profound and meaningful journey.


What is Jungian-based depth work?

C.G. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who, through his work with many individuals labeled as “mentally ill” whether diagnosed as psychotic or merely depressed, developed his theories of psychic life. He worked by engaging the processes and figures of the unconscious in the healing process and introduced the concept of the Archetypes to Western Psychology. Archetypes are the basic forms and patterns which underlie all manifestations of human life. Some examples are “hero’, “mother”, “goddess”, “teacher”, “devil.” Some Jungian-based techniques of work include dreamwork, active imagination, shadow work, and archetypal engagement.


What is dreamwork and how can it help me?

Dreamwork refers to that practice whereby an individual begins to notice, remember, and record his or her dreams. Once noticed and acknowledged, dreams may deliver up their messages and guidance which may be needed at a particular time in one’s life. Dreams also may give information regarding one’s career, relationships, and have often been know to foretell the future.  Engaging figures and images which come to us in dreams often results in the initial connection with our guides. Dreams have been called the messengers of the gods. Jung called dreams the “royal road to the unconscious.” 


What is Sandplay?

Sandplay is a technique which uses figures of every imaginable kind found in life such as animals, human figures, natural features such as trees, and sand to create lifelike “scenes.” The constellation of a scene will often mirror the psychic condition of the individual at that time. The creation and expression of this psychic situation often facilitates the release of repressed material and the production of psychic energy necessary to progress to the next stage of development. A similar dynamic may be said to be in action during the creation of art. Unconscious material which cannot be cognitively or verbally conceived is given symbolic expression in the creations of individuals in the sand.

Psychotherapist in Honolulu, HI

If you would like more information on the dreamwork therapy or would like to speak to a psychotherapist at East West Therapy in Honolulu, HI, contact East West Therapy Hawaii today at (231) 880-8262.