Jungian Psychotherapy: Tools & Applications
By Zur Institute
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Jungian psychotherapy has further reach than the therapy office and one-on-one relationships between clients and practitioners. It can be taken into prisons, into coming-of-age wilderness excursions, and used in groups, with grief process, and even... marketing. Many psychotherapists will (rightly) balk at the idea of using their psychotherapy training for marketing purposes. Isn't that "the dark side"? We answer, as we often do, "It depends."
In this course Jungian psychotherapist and marketer Dr. Sharon Livingston discusses two archetypes, the Rescuer and the Liberator. Which of these archetypes a client feels called towards tells us a great deal about what they are looking for. The Rescuer is embodied in the firefighter who picks up a person from the floor of a burning building because they are not able to do it themselves. The Liberator frees a person from, for example, adverse economic conditions so they can then help themselves. Learning these distinctions through the use of archetypes can aid the psychotherapist in working with the client. In terms of marketing psychotherapy, insight can be made into what the client wants rather than the marketer (psychotherapist) imposing what they want the client to consume.
Marketing often takes advantage of psychology, traditionally in ways that are not always above board. It is possible to use psychology for marketing in an ethical way; however, a couple of things must be in place. First, the product must be helpful and not harmful. Second, psychology should not be used to sell people what they do not truly need. As we all know, advertisements work on the unconscious in attempting to make people think they cannot live without the product. It takes a conscious mind to filter out the subliminal messages.
In addition to being harmful to consumers, selling people what they do not need ultimately isn't good for businesses either. Sooner or later customers figure out that a certain product is not having the impact on their lives they thought it would, and they stop buying it. Ethical marketing needs to work for business, too. This means helping connect people to businesses (e.g., your psychotherapy practice) that they do need, will appreciate, and come back to.
That's a taste of how Jungian psychotherapy can be used in marketing. Of course, there are many other fascinating, compelling, and provocative uses for Jungian psychotherapy, such as:
- Prison group work
- Dream work
- Grief work
- Finding meaning in everyday archetypes
- Shapes, symbols, and the unconscious
Did you know that in Jungian terms . . .
- Gangs are an ineffective way to initiate into manhood because everyone is a peer.
- Many male convicts have unclaimed animas.
- Evil can be understood as a destructive force that can work through people; the less conscious people are, the more prone to being an instrument of evil.
- Asking someone to talk only about the last 24 hours can be an effective way to call them out of childhood and into presence.
- Many young people, of both genders, separate from the feminine by denying their bodies and difficult feelings.
- The perceived split between mind and body can also be understood as a separation between achievements and relationships. (The notion that anyone needs to choose just one of each is incorrect.)
- Effective grief work involves tapping into the rhythm of the soul, rather than the rhythm of the machine.
- Depression can be understood as living with the sorrow of untouched grief.
- The United States' cultural emphasis on keeping pain private and hidden is incredibly damaging - pain is not meant to be private.
- Effective grief process requires community holding and the license and invitation to let loose with grief.
- Grief is an aliveness, an expression of love. Only in a grief-repressed culture does it become an experience to "check out" of or disassociate from.
- Intense grief rituals can culminate in ecstatic joy.
Some quotes from the course:
"I want to play my drum and tell mythological stories." - Dr. Kwame Scruggs
"People like to talk about the past, but the psyche is actually pushing them towards the future." - Dr. Dana Houck
"The mark of the truly mature human being is that they hold grief in one hand, gratitude in the other. To deny either one diminishes the range of our lives" - Francis Weller
"Water picks up the sediments of the sand in which it travels." - Dr. Kwame Scruggs
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