The Role of Jungian Psychology in Mentoring Medical Professionals

Analytical psychology, or Jungian psychology, is a school of thought developed by Carl Jung which stresses the importance of the ego and the personal quest for wholeness. It also states that the psyche is yearning for a balance between the conscious and unconscious states.

This said balance can be achieved through the study of dreams. Training analysts believe that Jungian psychology is an appropriate means of supervising clinicians in their field of work. Below are some of ways how this psychological model is being utilized as a form of mentorship:

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1. Counter-transference
To understand their patients at a deeper level, clinicians must establish an emotional connection with them. In other words, they must redirect their feelings toward their clients. Counter-transference is of immense clinical utility as it allows the therapist to play a role congruent with his or her patient’s internal world.

2. Self-discovery
Among psychologists, it is presumed that psychopathology cannot be taught. Instead, it must be discovered in the apprentice’s own analytical experiences. Carl Jung’s theory explicitly points to the examination of the ego. This provides the analytical viewpoints that learners need in order to understand psychopathology.

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3. Jungian archetypes
Carl Jung’s theory identifies four cardinal orientations, namely ego, freedom, social, and order. In each orientation lies three archetypes, which are then used by the mentor. This will provide the learning clinical psychologist with knowledge on how to deal with patients.

Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist on the faculty of C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles’ analyst training program. He is a former instructor at the University of Southern California. More about him can be read here.