Jason E. Smith, Jungian psychotherapist writes on his blog on healing in Jungian therapy:
Jung believed that the symptoms of an individual’s illness were part of the psyche’s attempt at healing — an expression of a deep psychological need, albeit in a distorted form. To eliminate the symptom without understanding it would be to “pluck out” an essential aspect of a person’s psyche.
Healing, says Jung, is not the same as being cured. It is the development of new, more resilient attitude with which to face one’s life:
There is a widespread prejudice that analysis is something like a ‘cure,’ to which one submits for a time and then is discharged healed…Analytical treatment could be described as a readjustment of psychological attitude achieved with the help of the doctor.
Ultimately, for Jung, healing does not involve treating one’s symptoms as foreign intruders to be removed at all costs. Difficult though they are, such experiences can serve to deepen one’s experience of life, to open a person to the fullness of their being.
Henry David Thoreau once declared that it was only when we become lost that we finally can find ourselves, a sentiment with which Carl Jung is in complete agreement:
People always suppose that they have lost their way when they come up against these depths of experience. But if they do not know how to go on, the only answer, the only advice that makes any sense is ‘Wait for what the unconscious has to say about the situation.’ A way is only the way when one finds it and follows it oneself. There is no general prescription for ‘how to do it.’
Jason E. Smith is a Jungian psychotherapist, Jungian career counselor, and workshop leader based in Manchester, MA. With over a decade of clinical experience, he have worked in many settings. He have led career counseling groups and offered individual career counseling from a depth perspective; he have facilitated dream groups and taught workshops on dream interpretation; he have run a support group for hospice workers; and he have provided mental health and substance abuse counseling to low income individuals in a clinic setting.
He hold a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and am currently an Analytic Candidate at the C.G. Jung Institute-Boston. He run a private practice in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA and online via Skype, offering individual therapy and career counseling from a Jungian perspective.