“Collective Unconscious” – Theory of Carl Jung

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Carl Jung did many contributions in the field psychology and the biggest one is “collective unconscious”.  Jung said that collective unconscious stays under person’s personal conscience, which is an important part of the human psyche and it has been there forever, also known as “archetypes” which helps to make the decision and to behave in society (Jung, 1947).

Archetypes can be seen in different cultures in the form of art, thoughts, literature, and music. Archetype include in female and male (animus/anima), hero or villain, father or mother, and enemies or friends.  It’s also called spirit guide in the metaphysical realm (Jung, 1948, part 1)

Jung said that because of human psyche a person self-regulate himself/herself; a person tries to reconcile the collective unconscious and conscious.  The individual’s process shows in a personal pilgrimage which can also be used in helping the patient to find out the unique archetypal energies. Jung’s main focus was to help the people to identify their meaning of their lives by focusing on free will and responsibility. He focused on seven archetypes (Jung, 1996).

1)      The mentor is the helper.

2)      The shadow who disguises as evil.

3)      The Herald is announced challenges.

4)      The hero, we experience the pilgrimage through eyes.

5)      The shapeshifter who hides motives and mislead the hero.

6)      The trickster who focuses on disrupting the status through ridicule.

7)      The threshold guardian who guards the secret and tests the hero.

The positive application of “collective conscious” can be found in everyday life. The idea of archetype can be used at the workplace by managers to build an effective workforce. The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) was developed by a psychologist Isabel Myers from Carl Jung’s publication (1921), Psychological Types. It helps managers in different ways.

1)      It helps the manager to understand different personality types of the employees. It can help them to understand how employees understand and process information and how they respond. This can help managers to make a good team for projects.

2)      It helps managers to motivate employee in the best way. An extroverted employee can do work outside of the office to make a good connection and Introverted employee can work inside of the office.

3)      The MBTI can also help organizations to hire netter leader/managers for the company by understanding their personalities.

Jung’s theory can help an individual to understand the process of aging, which can also be called “midlife crises”. Midlife crises became popularized by Freud and Jung. Carl Jung stated that later half -life is focused on a search of the meaning, instead of looking/searching for material accomplishment.   According to Jung, an individual must learn how to harmonize his true self with archetypes in order to be happy. According to Jung happiness is all about balance.  This theory can also be used to heal sexual abuse victims.  In the book, The Use of Art in Counseling Child and Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse, the author discuss that art can be helpful in order to help adult victims (Maslow, 1968).

Jung’s theory can be challenging to apply therapeutically because it’s not rational. The idea of collective conscious suggests that they are powerful, deep, unavoidable forces which affect our thoughts and behaviors.  According to Jung, an individual has more control over choices he/she makes and things do in life.  But still, his collective unconscious idea is very vague and difficult to support. Human beings try to live in the conscious and unconscious thoughts continue to come up on the surface of our minds and affect our lives (Maslow, 1968).

There are two ways in which Jung’s theory can be helpful to patients.

1)      Dream Therapy:  It helps the patient t understand and explain the dream and symbols in the dream to heal them from grief, anxiety, depression and other issues.

2)      Play Therapy:  This therapy is good for sexual abuse victims. In this therapy, victims are encouraged for drawing exercise to express emotions that are hard to express in words (Jung, 2001).

In multiculturalism, it can help the patients to find out more about the roots of racism.  Jung stated that collective unconscious is race-blind. He said that different racial unconscious doesn’t exist and in the whole world, there is only one racial unconscious.

However, Jung’s idea is not famous as Freud but in my opinion, I think still it’s very important in psychology because he is the first psychologist who explained major attitudes of personality which is an extroversion and introversion.  He also identified four major functions of human being which are feelings, thinking, intuiting and sensing.

I will definitely use this theory because it will help the patients to understand the true meaning of life. I will also help them to understand him/her to realize what self- actualization is. It will help the patients to heal them from depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issue.  It will help them to understand what is good and evil. Help them to make a better person in the world. 

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"Collective Unconscious" - Theory Of Carl Jung. (2021, Apr 07). Retrieved February 22, 2024 , from

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