What is Depth Psychology?
Depth Psychology is an interdisciplinary field in which a therapist seeks moments when psyche speaks to us through synchronicities, dreams, interpersonal engagements, images and symptoms.
It is the field of study and practice that takes seriously the relationship between the conscious and unconscious minds.
Enlightenment is not a matter of imagining figures of light, but of making the darkness conscious. -C.G. Jung
Depth psychology acknowledges the significance of and dynamics between our conscious and our unconscious mind. It seeks to find ways to understand and connect our varied behaviors, particular thought processes, and relationship patterns with unresolved or unprocessed emotional experiences in our lives.
Certain behaviors we call “symptoms” are often ways we try to keep a sense of self alive and whole, attempting to maintain a balance. Throughout the course of therapy, as clients explore their emotions, thoughts, patterns and behaviors, previously ignored feelings and parts of the self can emerge to be acknowledged and explored with the therapist who acts as a safe and containing presence.
A primary goal of depth psychotherapy is to understand the underlying dynamics that keep one stuck in destructive patterns and limit the choices of behaviors and expressions. As awareness grows, we are more free to choose healthier behaviors and align with more authentic ways of being, with a greater capacity for intimacy and an increased ability to accept and adapt to change.
Does it work?
Research continues to prove efficacy for depth psychological approaches in therapy and shows outcomes to be longer-lasting, and more profound in terms of positive impact than cognitive or behavioral therapies alone.