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Glossary of Jungian Terms

Some of the Jungian terms and concepts are explained below. More entries may be available soon, so please register with our newsletter to keep in touch with our news and updates.

Active imagination. Method of assimilation of unconscious contents through their experimentation as fantasies in the wakeful state. 

Amplification. Method of association in the interpretation of dreams based on comparative studies of mythology, religion, fairy tales, alchemy, astrology etc.

Anima. The archetype of female in man.

Animus. The archetype of male in woman. 

Anthropos. Primordial man, archetypal image of -> wholeness in alchemy, religion, and Gnostic philosophy. 

Archetype. Primary structural element of human psyche. The archetype equals biologist's pattern of behavior as it rules the functioning of the psychical (mind) processes.

Archetypal image. The form or representation taken by the archetype in dreams, fantasies, cultural and religious (mythical) products.

Assimilation. The process of conscious integration of the contents of the personal and collective unconscious. The assimilation is the result of conscious elaboration (insight) in the psychotherapeutic process.

Collective unconscious. Distinctive from the personal unconscious, consists in archetypes or primordial images. See also -> personal unconscious. 

Compensation. A natural process of reestablishing a certain balance in the psyche.

Complex. An emotionally charged group of ideas or images.

Coniunctio. Or "conjunction", term used in alchemy to define the union of opposites. From the Jungian's psychological point of view, it means the union of the conscious and unconscious, process that is also called individuation. See also individuation.

Constellation. Activation of a psychic personal complex or an archetypal content. 

Dream. Spontaneous and natural manifestation of the psychic.

Enantiodromia. According to Jung the path to individuation leads one through  opposing attitudes. See also Compensation.

Free associations - Freudian method in dream interpretation consisting in asking the dreamer to provide his own ideas and memories related to the fragments of the dream. The method has been used by Jung himself and later on completed with his own amplification approach.

Individuation. Complex process of synthesis of the Self which consists mainly of the union of the unconscious with the conscious.

Inflation. Following the identification with an archetypal image, the effect of this identification is to exaggerate the proportions of the Ego.

Libido. Tendency towards, lust, psychic energy that can be transmitted to other drives as well. For Jung the libido is not only sexual, while Freud considers it is only sexual.

Numinous. It defines the quality of archetypal images to inspire powerful feelings of panic, devotion etc.

Mystical participation. Term taken from anthropology - it defines the process of identification of the human subject with external phenomena, objects and beings with the aim of taking over or determining specific effects. 

Persona. Mask of the Ego, its social expression, the way the others see us.

Personal unconscious. The Freudian unconscious, made of repressed wishes, distinctive from the -> collective (archetypal) unconscious.

Philosophical stone. Alchemist term identified by Jung with the process of individuation and accomplishment of the Self.

Projection. Autonomous process by which features (usually repressed) of the Ego are assigned to other people (external objects).

Quaternity. A visual representation of the psychic totality through square images.

Self. The archetype of psychic Totality, according to Jung.

Shadow. Containing repressed parts of the human personality, the shadow is the counterpart of the Freudian unconscious. The shadow is an archetypal content. 

Symbol. Unlike the Freudian definition, the symbol for Jung is the representation of something unfamiliar in the psychic, usually an instance of the Self (or the central archetype). 

Synchronicity. A non-causal connection between two or more various phenomena (psychic and/or physical).

Teleology. Jung's approach of teleology is based on his immense experience with his patients and dream analysis. He said he found psychic processes leading to a goal which is not influenced by outer causes. This goal is related to the archetypes and more especially to the realization of the -> Self or the psychic -> wholeness.

Totality. See Wholeness.

Transcendent function. Arises from the meeting of the consciousness and the unconscious. It is a psychic process of transition from the stagnant attitude of the patient to a new and better one inspired by the constructive (symbolic) analysis of the unconscious contents that manifest in dreams. The psychotherapist mediates this process.

Unconscious. Basic concept in the Jungian psychology, including both -> personal and -> collective unconscious, denotes a psychic strata that is not immediately accessible to the conscious mind.

Wholeness. Psychic stage in which the union of the -> unconscious with the consciousness has been achieved. It is the final aim of Jung's psychotherapy. 

Wise Old Man. Archetypal image that embodies wisdom. In the -> individuation process, the Wise Old Man embodies the collective unconscious.

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