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Historically, depth psychology (from the German term Tiefenpsychologie), was coined by Eugen Bleuler to refer to psychoanalytic approaches to therapy and research that take the unconscious into account. The term has come to refer to the ongoing development of theories and therapies pioneered by Pierre Janet, William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung. Depth psychology explores the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious and includes both psychoanalysis and Jungian psychology.
In practice, depth psychology seeks to explore underlying motives as an approach to various mental disorders, with the belief that the uncovering of these motives is intrinsically healing. It seeks the deep layers underlying behavioral and cognitive processes. Archetypes are primordial elements of the Collective Unconscious in the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. Archetypes form the unchanging context from which the contents of cyclic and sequent changes derive their meanings. Duration is the secret of action.
The initial work and development of the theories and therapies by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and Otto Rank that came to be known as depth psychology have resulted in three perspectives in modern times:
- Psychoanalytic: Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott (among others); Object relations theory; Neo-Freudianism
- Adlerian: Adler’s Individual psychology
- Jungian: Jung’s Analytical psychology; James Hillman's Archetypal psychology
Summary of primary elements
- Depth psychology states that psyche is a process that is partly conscious and partly unconscious and partly semi-conscious. The unconscious in turn contains repressed experiences and other personal-level issues in its "upper" layers and "transpersonal" (e.g. collective, non-I, archetypal) forces in its depths. The semi-conscious contains or is, an aware pattern of personality, including everything in a spectrum from individual vanity to the personality of the workplace.
- The psyche spontaneously generates mythico-religious symbolism or themes, and is therefore spiritual or metaphysical, as well as instinctive, in nature. An implication of this is that the choice of whether to be a spiritual person may be beyond the individual, whether and how we apply it, including to nonspiritual aspirations.
- All minds, all lives, are ultimately embedded in some sort of myth-making in the form of themes or patterns. Mythology is therefore not a series of old explanations for natural events, but rather the richness and wonder of humanity played out in a symbolical, thematic, and patterned storytelling.
- Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism
- Analytical psychology
- Archetypal psychology
- Individual psychology
- Complex (psychology)
- Depth Psychology List: Find or List depth psychology oriented therapists, coaches, and practitioners of various types
- Depth Psychology Alliance: Online Community for exploring Depth Psychology topics, news, discussion, events
- Depth Insights: Media for Depth Psychology including podcasts and the semi-annual scholarly e-Zine, Depth Insights
- The Institute for Cultural Change
- Pacifica Graduate Institute
- Sonoma State University M.A. program in Depth Psychology
- Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
- Integral Science
- Depth Psychology Explained
- What is depth psychology?
- Center for Depth Psychology. Newport Beach, CA. USA
- What is Jungian Psychotherapy?
- :: Psychology terms ::