Personal suffering, be it physical or psychological, happens at particular times within one’s life. It often carries with it profound meaning and purpose, especially when it is viewed through a symbolic lens. Although we might be able to answer the ‘why’ of our pain, it’s fruitful to ask the ‘what for?’
Painful emotions attract our attention to further what C.G. Jung conceived as ‘a process of individuation’. Becoming the unique individual that you are includes sorrow and joy, suffering and grace, clumsiness and refinement. Problems that breed symptoms of anxiety and depression can become opportunities for increased consciousness, growth of character and fresh choices.
As a therapeutic modality, Jungian analysis engages symbols that arise from the creative unconscious during times of great need and great growth. These symbols appear through dreams, body symptoms and synchronicities. They hold energy, emotion and meaning. Actively relating to these personal and universal images can have a transformative effect. They show us where one is stuck in life, what the issues are that maintain the problem and what needs to develop inside one’s self to heal and grow. Energy that once was held captive becomes available. Vitality returns.