What is Jungian Psychotherapy?

Jungian Psychotherapy is a form of advanced psychological therapy that utilises the theories of Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung. It is a talking therapy in which the client is encouraged to become more aware of ‘underlying’ or ‘unconscious’ psychological factors influencing their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Jung called one layer of these unconscious factors, ‘complexes’, of which the most obvious are the Mother and Father complexes. In the first phase of Jungian psychotherapy the client is helped to understand how their parental complexes may be hindering the development of their own individuality (or individuation).

When we experience unhelpful, irrational, self-defeating thoughts or behaviours it is likely that our complexes are the cause. When these psychological disturbances are beyond our conscious control and we are unable to rationalise them away with Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) then a deeper treatment such as Jungian psychotherapy may be needed. In Jungian psychotherapy clients are often encouraged to engage with their dream material to shed light on these underlying issues. As Jung suggested, when we become conscious of psychological material that was previously unconscious, there is an easing of inner tension and we are able to accept our particular individuality and live a more complete or ‘whole’ life.

Jung’s psychological theories are based primarily on dispositional factors in which our behavioural patterns are determined by inherited traits or ‘archetypes’. His theories therefore emphasise the role of both ‘nature’ as well as ‘nurture’ in the development of personality.

Jung’s theories form the basis of the widely used personality test, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and he coined the terms ‘extrovert’ and ‘introvert’.

Michael Peyton has had extensive post-graduate training in Jungian Psychotherapy at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. Michael also has special interest in the work of James Hillman who is considered one of the most influential of the post-Jungians.

Literature on the efficacy of Jungian (a form of psychodynamic) psychotherapy can be found below:

Roesler C. (2013). Evidence for the effectiveness of jungian psychotherapy: a review of empirical studies. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 3(4), 562–575.

Shedler J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. The American psychologist, 65(2), 98–109.

Leichsenring, F., & Leibing, E. (2007). Psychodynamic psychotherapy: a systematic review of techniques, indications and empirical evidence. Psychology and psychotherapy, 80(Pt 2), 217–228.