What are the key concepts of Jungian Analysis?

In Jungian analysis, the analyst and patient work closely together to bring unconscious elements of the psyche into conscious awareness. The end goal is typically to improve the life of the patient by helping them on a journey towards self-discovery.

The successful implementation of Jungian analysis has several benefits, including relief from psychological suffering, improvements to work-life balance, and release from addiction.

Within the approach, there are a number of key concepts. Some of the most noteworthy include the following:

Complexes & archetypes

During his lifetime, Jung distinguished between two types of unconscious: the personal and the collective. For him, the personal unconscious are what we now call “complexes”, in which a person shows a core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes organised around a common theme, such as power or status.

The collective unconscious, on the other hand, are what is known as “archetypes”, the idea that while there can be numerous different kinds of complex, at the core of all of them is a universal pattern of experience.

Anima & animus

According to Jungian analysis, the anima and animus are the indwelling masculine and feminine energies possessed by all people. The anima is an archetype that expresses feminine qualities in men, while the animus expresses masculine qualities in women.

Jung believed that the anima and animus appear in dreams and influence a person’s attitudes and interactions with the opposite sex. He said that the suppression of either one is a form of complex.


Individuation is the process by which a person achieves a sense of individuality separate from the identities of others and begins to consciously exist as a human in the world. It’s often seen as part of a quest to reach his or her fullest potential.

The process occurs when the personal and collective unconscious are brought into consciousness to become part of the whole personality. This can be achieved by various means, including through dreams, active imagination, or free association.


Used to describe the occurrence of a meaningful coincidence of outer and inner events that are not themselves causally connected, synchronicity is a key Jungian concept first outlined by the Swiss psychiatrist in 1952.

It is closely linked to the concept of the collective unconscious, having been rooted in the idea that there is a governing dynamic which underlines the entire human experience. Jung believed that synchronicity could guide people in life by revealing the importance of seemingly unconnected events and symbols.

The Self

For Jungian analysts, the Self is the sum total of the psyche with all its potential included. Described as the archetype that represents the unified unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual, it is closely related to the process of individuation. Jungian analysis teaches that creating the Self takes place through a process known as ‘individuation’. It is often symbolised as a circle, square or mandala.


Of all the Jungian terms that have entered into common use, “projection” is one of the most well known. Put simply, it describes the process by which one unwittingly ascribes one’s own traits, emotions, and dispositions to another.

Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung believed projection could act as a window onto the unconscious and allow people to gain awareness of the elements residing within it. He taught that the only way one could ever hope to take corrective measures was to withdraw one’s projections and become aware of the faults previously projected onto others.

To find out more about Jungian analysis and how it can be applied to improve your life, book a session with Philippe Jacquet & Associates. We’re based in Harley Street, London, and have decades’ of experience in using key Jungian concepts to approach everything from eating disorders to gambling addictions.


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