What is Depth Psychology?
The term “depth psychology” is a German term (Tiefenpsychologie) that came about in the twentieth century by Eugen Bleuler, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Zürich and director of the Burghölzli Asylum in Zürich, where C. G. Jung (1875-1961) began his career as a psychiatrist. The term refers to the ongoing development of theories and therapies later popularized by Freudians and Jungians who recognize the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious. This holistic approach focuses on the psyche, human development, personality formation, and individuation.
Depth psychology recognizes the unconscious and is a psychology of the soul or psyche. The inner world and creative process of the client is taken into consideration as a “living thing” with its own agenda which is outside the usual boundaries of waking consciousness. Together we take into account that which is “hidden” below the surface of our logical thinking which predominates our waking state of being. The way we access the hidden or unconscious realms of being is through the analytical examination of dreams, synchronistic events, active imagination, complexes, shadow qualities, transference/countertransference, projections, “slips of the tongue,” free association, and archetypal forces at play. “All depth psychologists believe in the reality of the unconscious and take the whole psyche, which includes both consciousness and the unconscious, as their primary datum” (Coppin and Nelson, p. 42).
“The essential claim of depth psychology is that there is much about being human that remains hidden to the eye. . . .Depth psychology is simply that kind of psychology that takes seriously the invisible, the secret, the unthought, and, even, the unthinkable and unspeakable. Depth psychology is nothing other than a psychology of the invisible, a psychology of the secret, a psychology of concealment as such” (Craig, E., 2007, p. 317).
On dreams. . .
Since much of our waking life is spent upholding the egoic expectations of family and society, fulfilling conscious desires, and doing what needs to be done in order to meet basic needs for ourselves and others, our inner world often gets overlooked. Our waking life or “consciousness” is the living breathing relationship between the ego and our psychic contents. Depth psychology aims to examine that which is the unspoken. How is it that someone “has everything” and yet is so unhappy? It is interesting to ponder how we live in a country of such material wealth, however, many are spiritually starving. On the other hand, those who are very comfortable in the introverted and imaginative life experience may struggle with the demands and disappointments of day-to-day life. Psychological imbalance in the form of depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction, and mood disorders may come about due to an alienation from our deeper or more natural personality or what Jung refers to as “The Self.” Symptoms show us the weed in the garden, and depth psychology is the tool used to identify the root of the symptom. Psychological imbalance often leads to physiological imbalance, and these symptoms are ways by which the psyche tells us we are not listening to its deeper voice.
One of the primary tools I use in our work together involves dream analysis. I start by encouraging clients to keep a dream journal so that we may explore these precious jewels in session. Dreams show our innermost thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are longing to come up from the unconscious into waking life expression. They allow us to “go deep sea diving” and explore unconscious psychic processes such as memories, unknown talents, repressions, and the formation of complexes that have been long since forgotten yet are unknowingly playing a role in our life. I use dreams much like a map as a means of navigating the terrain of the psyche and a client’s path toward Individuation.
“A good therapist can help with the process of revealing the shadow to their client, but this often takes time — even years. Dream incubation, however, spears to accelerate this process of self-understanding, reveal elements hiding in the shadow of the psyche, and help a dreamer to bring about new information that actively promotes personal growth and evolution, thus allowing consciousness to see itself.” Excerpt from “Dream Incubation: A Two-Part Method of Inquiry to Reveal the Shadow,” by Kelly Lydick (Paper presented at the 16th Annual PsiberDreaming Conference, International Association for the Study of Dreams, October 1, 2017.)
sama dosah samagnis ca sama dhatu mala kriyah
prasannatmendriya manah svastha ityabhidhiyate ll
~ (Sushruta Samhita, 15.38)
“One who is established in Self, who has balanced doshas, balanced agni, properly formed dhatus, proper elimination of malas, well functioning bodily processes, and whose mind, soul, and senses are full of bliss, is called a healthy person.”
Ayurveda translated literally means “the knowledge” (veda) of “life” (ayu). The practice of Ayurveda is said to go back several thousand years and was brought forth by the great rishis (sages) of the times. These rishis provided us with holistic remedies to alleviate human suffering brought on by imbalances within the individual and the collective mindset. Ayurveda acknowledges the unique constitution of the individual, the genetics of the ancestors, the influences of nature upon the individual, and the current environment in which the native is currently living. It seeks to bring balance where there is imbalance and promote medicines and practices that actively cure disease as well as prevent disease before it settles too deeply into the tissues.
Ms. Catrelle acknowledges the mind-body-spirit-soul connection recognizing that many diseases have their root cause in the mind. For example, many people who suffer from anxiety simultaneously have digestion-related problems, such as IBS and food intolerances. Interestingly, these same imbalances show up in one’s astrological natal chart. As is customary in classical Ayurvedic consultation, Ms. Catrelle will consult the birth chart, take the native’s pulse, and conduct a complete Ayurvedic and Biopsychosocial assessment to determine the root causes of physical, emotional, and psychological imbalances. Herbal, aroma, and food preparation suggestions; seasonal routines; and remedial measures combined with depth psychological principles will be incorporated into the treatment phase.
Therapy as Alchemy
“One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth.” ~ Maria Prophetissima
Individuation, as Jung explained, is the process of becoming a whole individual through the integration of mind, body, soul, and spirit. Much like the alchemists of old, we can view alchemy both practically and spiritually wherein lead (Saturn) is transmuted into gold (Sun). For the purposes of our work together, we will utilize the metaphorical process of alchemy, thus, psychologically transforming ego into the Self and ultimately uniting the unconscious (Divine) with the conscious (Human). This is also referred to as the Magnum Opus or “Great Work.” We find man stepping onto the path of transformation through “a calling” or, in more modern terms, a spiritual awakening or spiritual crisis. The therapeutic process (Solve et Coagula ) mirrors the steps in Alchemy which are as follows:
Stage 1: Calcination – Examination and acknowledgment of the Ego; where we break down that which stands in the way of our truer sense of Self.
Stage 2: Dissolution – The acknowledgment and reintegration of Emotion through the examination of our lives and choices up to this point in time; an encounter with the Unconscious.
Stage 3: Separation – We examine the head and the heart; logic and intuition and the fears residing within both; examine what is of value and what is not.
Stage 4: Conjunction – We explore our contribution to our difficulties without judgment and unify the ego with the unconscious; unify spirit with soul (mysterium coniunctionis).
Stage 5: Putrefaction/Fermentation – We relinquish our “old self” to make room for our true Essence to take center stage in our life.
Stage 6: Distillation – Here we have reached a point of maturity and are free and more independent to Be; we take what is left and go back into the World better than when we entered It. We value humility over hubris.
Stage 7: Coagulation – Integration of mind, body, spirit, and soul; we now see nirvana (the absolute, or formless) is samsara (the world of form). A new journey begins.
“Some profound inner experience of the Self does occur to most people at least once in a lifetime. From the psychological standpoint, a genuinely religious attitude consists of an effort to discover the unique experience, and gradually to keep in tune with it. . . so that the Self becomes an inner partner to whom one’s attention is continually turned.” ~ M.-L. von Franz
For more on the Evidence-Based Research for Depth Psychology, please visit:
Areas of practice (LGBTQIA-friendly practices):
- Psychotherapy (Individuals, Couples, Families) ~ emphasis in Jungian Depth Psychology
- Vedic Astrology Consultation (Jyotisha)
- Relationship Coaching
- Relationship Astrology (compatibility counseling for couples)
- Dream Analysis
- Professional Tarot Consultation
- Ayurvedic Consultation, Assessment, & Treatment Planning (incl. Pulse Diagnosis & Vedic Astrology Analysis)
- Eastern Tantric Guidance and Education
- Gender Reassignment
- Spiritual Guidance
- Transgender & Intersex Wellness Program
- Open/Poly/Alternative Relationship Counseling
- End-of-Life Counseling
- Meditation & Relaxation
- Corporate Health & Wellness Consultation and Plan Implementation
- Life Coaching & Consultation
- Pre-Marital/Commitment Counseling
- Divorce/End-of-Commitment Mediation
- Conscious Approach to Business Consultation
- Group Counseling
Consultation & Treatment, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Relationship & Intimacy Concerns
- Depression & Anxiety
- Chronic Pain & Fatigue
- Financial Issues (Debt Relief & Building Wealth)
- Gender Fulfillment/Transition (Transgender Wellness Program)
- Kundalini Awakening
- Career Change
- Sleep Disturbance
- End-of-Life Concerns
- Mid-life Crisis
- Life Purpose
- Spiritual Emergency
- Auto-immune Disorders
- Sexual Identity Concerns
Ms. Catrelle is available for in-person or phone sessions, as well as some group events. Please contact her via phone at 828.505.7091 or email her at [email protected]