Non-traditional Approaches to Therapy: A Jungian Approach Carl Jung The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of non- traditional forms of therapy as part of the Jungian Approach. In Jungian psychology, the focus is on understanding the relationship between the unconscious and the conscious. Carl Jung investigated people and believed that we are complex and have several qualities. Some of these qualities include introversion and extraversion, rational and irrational drives and masculinity and femininity.
Jung believed that the unconscious has a profound influence on our thoughts, feelings and resulting behaviors. In this, he advocated that abstract forms of communication allows for more freedom of expression. Jung used drawings, metaphors and other unconventional forms of communication to help clients understand their unconscious desires (Hauke, 2000). In this, it is important that clients understand the purpose of this treatment method and use this unconventional method to explore their unconscious in a way that reflects meaning for the client.
The following sections of the paper will elaborate on the core beliefs of Jung and then proceed to explain some therapeutic methods that help to explore his beliefs. Active Imagination A big focus of of Jungian therapy was bridging the gap between the conscious and unconscious mind. One method that Jung used to bridge this gap was called active imagination and this involved clients divulging all of the information from a dream without trying to explain why those details were actually occurring in the dream.
If the client is able to use their imagination in this way, they have the ability to bring their unconscious outward and display it narratively or through action. The use of active imagination opens up the opportunity for unconventional methods to help the healing process(Jung nd Chodorow, 2015). The use of metaphors or drawings could be the actions in this process that assist clients in making that connection between their conscious and unconscious. By expressing their feelings using illustrations or pictures, the client could uncover or repair inner turmoil that is tormenting them(Bergeron, Rosen, Arnau and Mascaro, 2003).
Archetypes Carl Jung believed that some of the unconscious traits that individuals have are present in all human beings and are not personal at all. He referred to these traits as Jungian archetypes and stated that these were advanced components of the ollective unconscious. He believed that these Jungian archetypes are inherited and will only become present when they are provoked by stimulants from the outside world. Depending on these physical or social stimulants and the adaptations made by each individual, some of these archetypes will develop and some will lay dormant. Laughlin and Tiberia, 2012).
These archetypes could present themselves in dreams, visions or fantasies and are present throughout an individual’s entire life, from childhood all the way to adulthood. There was an emphasis placed on dreams in childhood therapy because Jung was fairly unconcerned with children’s conscious minds. One of the archetypes that Jung believes is present in everyone that metaphor or drawing therapy attempt to extract is the self healing archetype(Green, 2014).
Use of Metaphors The use of metaphors in therapy can allow the client and counsellor to communicate feelings or experiences in a way that may not be possible otherwise(Edwards, 2014). Metaphors can be used to communicate by both the counsellor and the client. A client can use it to describe the way they are feeling or an experience they have had and a counsellor can use it in an ttempt to help the client make a connections while discussing unfamiliar topics during therapy or to make a point of emphasis in a session.
Counsellors can also use them to in place of topics that could be traumatic for their clients as a way of easing into the healing process. The counsellor-client relationship should be developed before metaphors are used because the counsellor should have an understanding of the clients mental capacity and ability to understand the metaphors that they plan on using. The counsellor should be wary when using them and if they sense any confusion on the part of the client after using a etaphor, they should do their best to explain what was meant and why they used it.
Counsellors should have a plan for their therapy sessions and these metaphors that are used should hold significant value in their pre-plan if they are going to be used(Barker, 2013). When using a metaphor in a session, the counsellor should be vigilant in observing the physical and verbal reaction that is given by the client (Kottman, 2014). In any instance where a metaphor is used, regardless of the reaction from the client, it is of the utmost importance that the counsellor check for understanding with the client before ontinuing with therapy.
There are some primary types of metaphors that can be used during therapy which can include intricate stories that correlate with clinical settings. Anecdotes can be used for smaller issues within therapy sessions. Similes or analogies can also be used to get a point across when looking at smaller specific pieces in a broader therapeutic issue. Artistic metaphors are seen as being more beneficial when performing therapy with children(Barker, 2013). Jung? s approach involves a specific focus on imagery and imagination which lines up nicely with metaphor therapy.
There are several similarities between the two approaches to therapy. The images produced in the two therapies are much more compelling than those that could be produced simply using regular language. The significance that these images hold cannot be communicated using traditional language or the usual form of reflecting. The emotions that can be evoked because of these images can have a symbolic meanings for the client. These two theories also align in their emphasis on the idea that inage-thinking is established well before language and its structure are acquired(Kopp, 2013).
Use of Drawings Drawings or visual metaphors allow clients to express themselves in ways that would be difficult to put into words and this could be as simple as a colour in a drawing representing a specific feeling(Edwards, 2014). Many individuals who seek counselling cannot find the words to get their point across and through drawing they are able to represent their inner self without struggling to find the right words to convey what is going on with them. Drawings can also be shown by therapists to help assist clients in expressing their feelings or unconscious going ons.
One such method that is used in Jungian psychology s called the quadrant schema. A picture is divided into four different parts and each part contains a different meaning. The precise areas of the drawings should have a distinctive and important meanings based on archetypal patterns (Bergeron, Rosen, Arnau and Mascaro, 2003). The client will then look at the picture and identify which parts of the pictures stand out to them and why. Symbols Jungian therapy emphasizes the importance of symbols which can be used in a similar manner to metaphors because they can both be used to stand for or represent something else. lt is the mprecise nature of symbols that provides the source for much of their emotive power? (Edwards, 2014).
They can be used in a similar manner but it must be understood that symbols and metaphors can have very different meanings. When looking at symbols is is important for the counsellor to explore them completely because of their potential to have multiple meanings. The Use of Drawings and Metaphors with Children The use of metaphors or drawings can be effective for children because their imaginations are still very active and this is a good way to explore what is going on in their unconscious mind.
Generally, imagery works well with children because a majority of kids have not developed an extensive vocabulary or an advanced syntax that they can use to express themselves in a manner that would justify what they experience in an unconscious mental state. Imagery based therapy gives children the ability to convey their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment (Bratton, Ray, Rhine & Jones, 2005). A safe atmosphere can be created through the use of metaphors by creating a less intimidating way of relaying information that could be potentially damaging to the child (Brooks, 1985).
If the hild is eased into the problem with metaphors, they could be able to eventually discuss the real problem without it being a damaging occurrence for them. Each individual experience that a child has is influential to a child? s sense of self and these experiences can continue to enhance that sense of self (Taylor, 2012). If a child has to relive a traumatic experience over and over again and is not comfortable doing so, it can have destructive consequences on their sense of self. It is important to be careful when using metaphors with school aged children because the message can be difficult to get across.
If the child does not have the mental capacity to understand metaphors or simple language is not used, the message could get lost in translation. (Trad, 1992). Play Therapy Jungian play therapy is a type of therapy that is used for younger children and it reiterates the importance for a child to feel safe while in a counselling environment. Using this type of therapy, the place where counselling occurs is not looked at as a therapists office but as a play room instead. The use play allows the children to explore potentially traumatic issues without having to actually relive these experiences.
Play can also be used to ease the child into the issues slowly so they do not become upset by these prior experiences being brought up. While the child is playing they are working within themselves and the hope is that they will have some form of self realization through their playing experiences. Through play, it is thought that they can battle with inner conflicts that would not become present otherwise (Birch and Carmichael, 2009). The children can be asked to draw as a part of their therapy. Drawing allows for communication between children and therapist that may not be attainable through discussion.
This drawing can take place throughout an entire session or in some scenarios, may only occur at the end of a session. Another way that children can express themselves in this play therapy model is through sandplay or role playing. After the play has occurred the clients are asked to communicate what was meant by their actions or illustrations and what it symbolizes (Connor and Braverman, 2009). In play therapy, the therapist wants the child to be free to explore but wants to guide their exploration process so that they are able to express themselves fully in a creative manner.
Whatever way the represents their issues can be interpreted by the counsellor. Looking specifically at drawing in play therapy, it is a way for the counsellor to get a child to represent their inner thoughts and feelings in the best that they can. Serial drawing is a technique that is directly related to Jungian therapy and it uses drawing throughout entire sessions to assist in self-healing. In play therapy sessions involving serial drawing, the child is asked to draw while they are talking to the counsellor.
The child is encouraged to draw spontaneously and this allows the childs mind to wander in the hope that it will allow the child to symbolize unconscious feelings. Through this spontaneous serial drawing the therapist can choose to be direct in what they have the child draw or they can have the child draw whatever comes to mind as they have a discussion. If the therapist observes something significant in a drawing, they can ask the child to draw it again, in the hope that this image is related to their current issue and by drawing the image again they will have the opportunity to experience self-healing.
The use of play therapy is not meant to be a shorter form of therapy and the client should be able to explore at a pace that is comfortable for them. In the early sessions the counsellor should be trying to discover the source of suffering for the child and how the child views the counsellor-client relationship. Eventually the child should begin to reveal emotions in their images and the therapeutic relationship should deepen to the point where the child beings verbally discussing the experiences that have occurred that would require therapy.
The goal of the final sessions is for the child to begin to display optimistic or humorous images, the representation of self and to show that they are beginning to feel alright with the counselling relationship coming to an end(Green, 2014). If these images are occurring in the final sessions, the use of Jungian play therapy could be viewed as successful. By progressing through each session, the therapist would have allowed the child to identify and externalize the selfhealing archetype by having the child provide inner-dialogue to accompany their visual representation.
Through the entire serial drawing process the therapist should be supportive in everything that they do so that the child feels comfortable with all the images that they come to represent in their drawings. This type of supportive therapeutic relationship will maintain the safe environment that is so important in Jungian play therapy. Conclusion The focus of the Jungian approach to therapy is using imagery or the clients imagination because these images are seen as the most powerful indicator for feelings and behaviour.
This is where counsellors are able to see the effect their clients unconscious mind is having on their problems. Through the use of illustration and metaphors these images can be extracted from the client? s psyche and displayed in a way that fully represents their importance and communicates the significance to the counsellor. There is still an emphasis on the importance of relationship when using drawings or metaphors because there is still a great deal communication and trust that goes into these strategies.