Psychology for Lawyers

jung's theory of individuation


"How can we reconcile the person we are with the person we could be?"

—Robin Robertson, Beginner's Guide to Jungian Psychology 196 (Lake Worth, Florida: Nicolas-Hays, 1992)

"[Our] undiscovered self, this 'isness,' is always, even in childhood, trying to make itself manifest through the life of the individual in a process of growing self-realization. To discover and live out the meaning of the self through choice of awareness of the hidden movement of non-ego forces is the journey into wholeness. . . . This self [this undiscovered self is a] source of dynamic energy out of which consciousness is born."

—Francis G. Wickes, The Inner World of Choice 272 (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1963)

"A patient seeks therapy because something unpleasant has arisen in his or her life, and the patient's first thought is how to get rid of the burden and assume a normal life. However, Jung believes that the psyche has another perspective, and a different objective. The psyche rarely shares the ego's point of view, but asks for an altogether different outlook, a higher expectation and a more profound goal. The psyche's objective is not normality or social adjustment, but individuation, namely, encouraging the ego to embark on an adventure, to take part in a quest, and to make an effort to understand the breath and depth of life.

* * * *

A general rule of individuation is that psychic life that is not being lived 'coagulates' into various oppositional form, and confronts us as a hostile opponent. . . .

The whole of Jung's theory of individuation can be seen as a management of conflict and opposition. Whether we refer to the shadow . . . or any other archetype, all greet the ego as formations of psychic energy that at first seem opposed to the ego's directions. Through psychological awareness, the ego realizes that these strangers are parts of its larger personality, and that they must be welcomed to the banquet of life—or accommodated on the island of consciousness."

—David Tacey, How To Read Jung 76-77, 80 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., First American ed., 2007)

"[B]e human, seek understanding, seek insight, and make your hypothesis, your philosophy of life."

—C.G. Jung, "Is Analytical Psychology a Religion?" in William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull (eds.), C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters 94-98, at 96 (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1977)


"Neurosis, Therapy, and Individuation," in David Tacey, How to Read Jung 74-83 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007)

"Neurosis and Individuation," in Daryl Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant 76-80 (Toronto: Inner City Books, 1998)

"Journey Toward Wholeness," in Frances G. Wickes, The Inner World of Choice 271-277 (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1976)

Josef Goldbrunner, Individuation: A Study of the Depth Psychology of Carl Gustave Jung 119-145 (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1964)

Martin Schmidt, Individuation [online text]

Relating Maslow's Self-Actualization to Jung's Individuation

"Maslow's conclusions [about self-actualization] fit closely with Jung's concepts of the individuation process, and the relationship between the ego and the Self. Perhaps Maslow over-emphasized the light and forgot the dark, perhaps he failed to sufficiently appreciate the difficulties of self-actualization. . . .

Maslow failed to realize that the wholeness which drew him to self-actualized people had its source in the darkness."

—Robin Robertson, Beginner's Guide to Jungian Psychology 198 (Lake Worth, Florida: Nicolas-Hays, 1992)

Class Videos

Class Viewing 1: What is the Individuation Process? [11:03 mins.] [end presentation at 5:14 mins.]

Class Viewing 2: Individuation [2:59 mins.] [Jan Mojsa is a transpersonal psychotherapist]

Class Viewing 3: What is the Self [1:55 mins.] [Jan Mojsa]

Class Viewing 4: Understanding Your Shadow [5:45 mins.] [Jordan Peterson]

Class Viewing 5: What is the Self? Buddhism, Jung & Freud on the Self [8:44 mins.] [John Vervaeke, Tony Toneatto & Jordan Peterson] [University of Toronto Jungian Society] [John Vervaeke is a professor at the University of Toronto since 1994 where he currently teaches courses in the cognitive science and courses in the Buddhism, psychology and mental health program on Buddhism and Cognitive Science, the Science of Mindfulness Meditation, and the Cultivation of Consciousness] [Tony Toneatto is the Director of the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health undergraduate program at the University of Toronto]

Class Viewing 6: Journey Toward an Undivided Life [6:45 mins.] [Parker J. Palmer]

Class Viewing 7: Beyond the Small Life [4:24 mins.] [Roberto Mangabeira Unger]

Reference (Academy of Ideas)

Class Viewing 1: What is the Individuation Process? [11:03 mins.] [end presentation at 5:14 mins.]

Class Viewing 2: Individuation, Persona, and Shadow [13:09 mins.] [in-class viewing, begin at 9:44 mins., end at 13:09 mins. (end of the video)]

Class Viewing 3: The Psychology of Self-Transformation [10:38 mins.]

Class Viewing 4: Carl Jung and the Achievement of Personality [6:31 mins.]

Reference (Murray Stein)

Class Viewing 1: Individuation [9:34 mins.] [Murray Stein] [presenting individuation as a map of development ("level of psychological development")]

Class Viewing 2: Symbolic Meaning on the Path to Individuation [11:45 mins.] [Murray Stein] [Stein's presentation ends at 3:36 mins.] [Stein's presentation continues at 6:13 mins. and continues to 8:56 mins. This part of the presentation will not be viewed in class.]

Reference (Individuation)

Carl Jung & the Variations of Self [28:04 mins.] [Alan Watts] [Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience] [begin class presentation at 7:54 mins., end at 18:20 mins.]

Ken James: On the Transcendent Function [6:54 mins.] [comments on ego & self (and the ego-self axis); complexes and their relationship to archetypes] [a brief survey of the basics of the Jungian perspective]

C.G. Jung and Individuation
[3:48 mins.] [audio]

Carl Jung on Individuation
[3:48 mins.]

Individuation: The Function of the Unconscious
[31:12 mins.] [a reading from Jung's work]

Jung on Mandalas and the Self in "The World Within: C.G. Jung in His Own Words"
[1:02:19 mins.] [Jung's comments begin at 31:50 mins., end at 35:50 mins.]

A Reading from Jung's Man and His Symbols
[5:38 mins.]

Jung Singer: Boundaries of the Soul
[7:30 mins.] [commenting on individuation] [Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove] [class presentation of the video can end at 4:02 mins.]

Individuation: A Lifelong Journey
[9:34 mins.] [Murray Stein is a Jungian analyst] [if this video is used, class presentation can end at 3:18 mins.] [poor quality video]

Stephen Farah on Carl Jung
[43:54 mins.] [commentary on individuation begins at 15:48 mins.; end at 18:54 mins.]

Stress, Individuation and Developing Inferiors
[13:00 mins.]

Alchemy: A Path to Individuation
[16:16 mins.] [Thom F. Cavalli] [commenting on Jung's concept of individuation; relating individuation to alchemy]

Individuation and Buddhism
[4:33 mins.]

The Authentic Self and the Ego
[9:29 mins.] [Andrew Cohen]

Individuation: A Myth for Modern Man
[1:30:05 mins.] [audio] [Edward Edinger]

Jung Individuation
[42:46 mins.] [Martha Beck] [reference to "transformation of the complexes"]

John Betts Podcast on Individuation
[41:35 mins.] Pt2 [41:12 mins.] Pt3 [38:58 mins.]

Jung, Individuation, and Buddhism
[4:33 mins.] [Buddhist teacher and former monk, Stephen Batchelor]

Jung for Laymen Lecture: Individuation
[41:03 mins.]

Introduction to Carl Jung: Individuation, the Persona, the Shadow, and the Self
[13:09 mins.] [audio with slides; sounds like someone reading from a written text]

Consciousness in Jungian Psychology
[19:29 mins.] [using the film The Matrix to illustrate Jung's concept of "individuation"]

Freud on Sublimation
[9:00 mins.] [School of Life]

How to Work with Your Shadow Self
[4:21 mins.]

Reference (The Self in Jungian Psychology)

"The Self, according to Jung, was the sum total of the psyche, with all its potential included. This is the part of the psyche that looks forward, that contains the drive toward fulfillment and wholeness. In this, the Self was said to drive the process of individuation, the quest of the individual to reach his or her fullest potential."

—"The Jungian Model of the Psyche," Journal Psyche [online text]

"Jung's term ego is virtually identical to Freud's; it is the centre of our conscious identity and selfhood. However, for Jung, the task of the ego is to transform itself by integrating as many contents of the unconscious as possible, in which case it begins to function as an ancillary organ of the Self.

* * * *

The Self is an archetype which expresses the totality of the psyche and includes the ego and the unconscious . . . .

* * * *

Jung postulated a transcendental element that facilitates our journey towards wholeness. This element, or archetype, Jung calls the Self, and it acts as an invisible guarantor of the ego as it makes its journey through life. . . . For Jung, the ego is the centre of consciousness, the focus of our personal identity, whereas the Self is the centre of the entire psyche, conscious and unconscious, and thus the focus of our transpersonal identity. . . .

[The Self] has no equivalent in the Freudian system . . . .

The Self is virtually a transcendental concept, and it cannot be known directly by the ego, but only indirectly through symbol, dream and myth."

—David Tacey, How To Read Jung 17, 25, 47, 48 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., First American ed., 2007)

| Course Assigment: Archetype of the Self |

C.G. Jung, Self
[5:38 mins.] [a reading from C.G. Jung's Man and His Symbols]

Self in Jungian Psychology

Carl Jung Letter: Ego and Self

Carl Jung: Taking Inner Life Seriously
[Mark Vernon, The Guardian] ["Achieving the right balance between what Jung called the ego and self is central to his theory of personality development."]

A Note on the Transcendent Function

"In contrast [to Freud], Jung believed the unconscious to be not only the territory of repression but also a mysterious landscape of autonomous, teleological intelligence that compensates for, supplements, even opposes consciousness. . . . Jung's idea was that the unconscious guides us in a purposeful way. This theoretical leap required Jung to enunciate a psychic mechanism through which such guidance takes place. He called the core of that mechanism the transcendent function, a dialogue between the unconscious and consciousness through which a new direction emerges. The concept of the purposive unconscious operating through the transcendent function became the hub of Jung's psychology and represented an irreparable break from Freud. Jung eventually came to believe that one cannot individuate, that is, cannot become the person he or she is truly meant to be, without conversing with and coming to terms with the unconscious. The transcendent function is the primary means thorugh which that reconciliation is accomplished. Conceived and explored quite early in the development of Jung's psychology, the transcendent function is implicated in many of his other kep concepts (e.g., the role of symbol and fantasy, individuation, the archetypes, the Self), indeed may be the wellspring from whence they flow.

* * * *

The transcendent function has to do with opening a dialogue between the conscious and unconscious to allow a living, third thing to emerge that is neither a combination of nor a reject of the two. It has a central role in the self-regulating nature of the psyche, individuation, and the Self's drive toward wholeness."

—Jeffrey C. Miller, The Transcendent Function: Jung's Model of Psychological Growth through Dialogue with the Unconscious 2-3, 5 (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2004)

Reference (Perspectives)(Michael Meade)

Soul: Light and Darkness
[3:01 mins.] [Michael [Meade tells the Sufi story about Nasruddin and his lost keys] [The Sufi master Mullah Nasruddin was on his hands and knees searching for something under a street lamp. A friend who visits Nasruddin sees what is going on and asks Nasruddin, "What are you looking for?" "My house key," Nasruddin replied. "I lost it." The friend joined Nasruddin to look for the key, and after considerable fruitless searching, the friend asks, "Are you sure you lost the key here?" Nasruddin replied, "Oh, I didn't lose it here. I lost it over there, by my house." "Then why," the friend asked, "are you looking for it over here?" "Because," Nasruddin said, "The light is so much better over here."]

Living Philosophy
[14:30 mins.] [audio]

Soul: Light and Darkness
[3:01 mins.]

Reference (Perspectives)(Misc.)

Path of the Human Being
[9:15 mins.] [a Zen approach to individuation]

To Find Your Way: "Follow Your Bliss"
[2:25 mins.] [a Joseph Campbell collage]

Spirit Matters: Individuation
[2:48 mins.] [Michael Steven Gregory]

The Hero's Quest
[10:36 mins.] [audio]

The Hero's Journey
[13:30 mins.] [David Hartment] [Wellness Institute]

Obstacles Posed by the Ego
[12:09 mins.] [audio]

The Individuation Process: A Tarot Journey of the Major Arcana
[9:31 mins.]

Beyond False Necessity
[8:07 mins.] [Roberto Mangabeira Unger]

From Emotionally Crippled to a Loving Personality
[19:12 mins.] [George Vaillant, TED Talk]

Reference (Book)

Daryl Sharp, Live Your Nonsense: Halfway to Dawn with Eros--A Jungian Perspective on Individuation (Toronto: Inner City Books, 2010) [online text]

Murray Stein, Transformation: Emergence of the Self (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 1998) [online text]

Reference (Web Resources) (Articles)

[Murray Stein]

Major Archetypes and the Process of Individuation
[Eric Pettifor]

Critique of Individuation
[Mats L. Winther]

Reconciling Humanistic Ideals and Scientific Clinical Practice
[American Psychological Association D12, 2003] [outlining a self-determination theory]

Can Psychological Type be a Barrier to Individuation?
[Steve Meyers, article in Typeface, the quarterly magazine of the British Association for Psychological Type (BAPT)]

Ambiversion and Individuation
[Steve Meyers]

An Introduction to Jung's Psychology: Religion and Individuation
[Frieda Fordham]

Conceptualization, Construction and Validation of the Existential Fulfillment Scale
[Bert Loonstra, 7 (1) European Psychotherapy 5 (2007)]

Reference (Web Resources)

The Individuation Process: Journey To Wholeness


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