Fluidity and Growth

Photo Credit: fluid by wiloma via Flickr CC BY 2.0

by Pat Cochran, PsyD

“My aim is to bring about a psychic state in which my patient begins to experiment with his [or her] own nature, as a state of fluidity, change or growth where nothing is eternally fixed, or hopelessly petrified.”

What an interesting approach: experimenting with one’s own nature.  I think most of us would consider our nature to be rather fixed, even inborn, yet Jung speaks here of it as something that can become fluid, can change and grow. 

This is an essentially optimistic point of view, but it was not derived from a shortage or evasion of suffering; rather Jung’s belief was honed out of his engagement with the psychological trials he faced over many years.  He speaks to the inescapable drive towards meaning and wholeness inherent in every human–a potential goal for all of us–what Jung described as the process of individuation. 

Individuation is the process by which the personal and collective unconscious are brought into consciousness to reveal one’s whole personality. This is no small task. It requires facing, wrestling with and ultimately integrating who we are, even those aspects we have denied , disavowed or rejected.

To do so, what individuation requires, more than anything else, is a respectful, and possibly even reverential, attention to the entire story.  How we develop an attitude of respect and curiosity for our own unique, multi-faceted nature is a process in itself. Therapy, Jungian analysis in particular, can be a way to develop the skills and attitudes needed to approach individuation.

If you are interested in learning more about Jungian analysis, or would like to talk to a therapist to learn more, please call 847-568-1100.

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