In Jungian psychology, self-realization – the ultimate ideal – is achieved through individuation. According to Jung, the “self” archetype is the regulating core of one’s psyche. Instabilities and abnormalities within this center are what causes disorders or illness. An individual experiences the self through subconscious symbolism, usually in the form of dreams and religious attachment. Psychology, thus, becomes a tool that brings the subconscious to consciousness. It is only through the integration of these two concepts can self-realization be found.
Many analytic psychologists say that the process of self-realization is not difficult, only requiring diligence, patience, and practice. The first recommendation is starting a dream diary. As mentioned earlier, dreams carry hidden messages and meanings. These symbols project unknown fears and desires – fundamental concepts that need to be known. However, most people forget their dreams within a few minutes of waking. There is difficulty in keeping an accurate record of one’s dreams. The journal becomes a way for people to record their dreams accurately. From this, patterns can be found. These can be dissected and discussed with one’s psychologist. Effective therapy plans are now designed.
Another good practice is to question one’s beliefs constantly. Again, beliefs are said to be the conclusion of subconscious feelings. By questioning these beliefs, people actively force introspection. This process though is met with success in various forms. Some patients find it to be beneficial, others not so much. Still, it is important for patients to try their hand at it for at least two weeks to see how much introspection can move forward conscious-subconscious awareness.