Psychological issues are real with symptoms as debilitating as the broken bones we get after a car wreck. The difference is that psychological issues are usually invisible with symptoms that at best are difficult to understand, such as:
- I feel someone is going to see through me, but I don’t know what they will see.
- If I could just get it exactly right, I’ll be ok.
- Nothing is physically wrong. I’m just tired all the time.
- I don’t have ideas anymore so I gave up doing art.
- Why can’t I just be happy like I used to be?
- I have horrid nightmares, but it’s the cucumbers I eat at dinner.
If we recognize the symptoms as a problem we may give them names like anxiety, narcissism, alcoholism, depression, anorexia, or simply stress. These diagnostic labels can be useful as a way of finding connections and commonalities with others, but labels themselves are not solutions. Symptoms tell an individual story. Reclaiming strands of our story while unraveling strands that have become problematic; can be a way through the symptoms to a more satisfying life.
As a writer interested in mysteries of the mind and a Jungian analyst, I work with people to explore the underlying causes and potential for growth in their stress, depression, anxiety and difficulties in relationship with themselves and others.
How Jungian Analysis Can Change Stress, Depression, and Self Esteem
We all have needs, hopes, dreams and fantasies that often conflict. Relationships with diverse aspects of ourselves are as real and vibrant as any other relationship. Like any relationship these relationships with ourselves require time, attention, negotiation, even compromise. Becoming more fully who we are is as much a process of learning what our impulses and hungers are telling us, as it is giving into those impulses and hungers.
Small things matter, particularly in formative years. Family, culture, society and economics all influence this. With the advent of neuroscience we can now see ways the brain shifts as we develop coping mechanisms in response to our environment that shape our lives. Our particular set of coping mechanisms affects our responses to stressors as well as how we see ourselves and others. And when our coping mechanisms fail to give us the results we think they should, we get anxious, stressed and terribly unhappy, perhaps trying harder, perhaps overusing food or medications, perhaps not bothering to get out of bed.
Over a hundred years ago Freud wrote about the power of the unconscious to alter our lives. Since then scores of brilliant minds from Jung and Adler to Ogden and Benjamin have learned from him, challenged him, and furthered our understanding of our inner worlds. Jung’s primary way of challenging Freud was to see the unconscious as linked directly to that which is beyond us, as well as within us. Jungian analysis is a process of exploring the conflicts and conversations within as they are influenced by our past, events of our day, and factors we are unaware of – all to better understand who we are, and who we can become.
I am a former president of the Houston Psychoanalytic Society, have been a Jungian analyst for ten years, in private practice for over twenty, and have over fifteen years of experience with adult inpatient settings. I’ve also taught classes on a variety of psychodynamic topics from dream work to issues of countertransference, as well as poetry and psychotherapy. To find out more about who I am click here.