Analytical Psychology: Definition, Theory & Practice

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Conducting Research on People: General Guidelines

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Analytical Psychology Overview
  • 0:46 History
  • 1:52 Major Tenets
  • 3:39 Therapeutic Approach
  • 4:16 Psychological Types
  • 4:46 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Analytical psychology is a unique theory of mind and therapeutic approach. This lesson will introduce you to the ideas behind analytical psychology as well as some of the history of the theory.

Analytical Psychology Overview

Analytical psychology is a theory of mind that emphasizes the importance of wholeness for each individual. As in traditional, Freudian psychoanalysis, analytical psychology suggests that early experiences are very important in personality development. At the same time, though, analytical psychology emphasizes the significance of the present, including the role that cultural shifts and archetypes (or underlying, universal symbols) play in individual psychology. By bringing together an understanding of individual experience with a recognition of the role played by broader truths and experiences, analytical psychology hopes to work toward an integrated human consciousness.


Analytical psychology is derived from the work of psychiatrist Carl Jung, in the early twentieth century. Jung worked closely with, and was heavily influenced by, Sigmund Freud; like Freud, he believed in the therapeutic value of talk and of the unconscious. Jung, however, saw more importance in mythology, folklore, and cultural experience in coming to understand human consciousness. Jung developed the idea of individuation, or the coming into being of an individual self who is able to integrate personal experience with historical and cultural symbolism. Since Jung, analytical psychology has branched off into three major groups. Classical analytical psychologists closely follow Jung's work. Developmental analytical psychology focuses on bridging Jungian psychology with object relations work, focusing more deeply on how personalities develop in the individual. Finally, archetypal analytical psychology takes a more spiritual approach to therapeutic work, looking for the origins of problems and neuroses in mythology and cultural history and experience.

Major Tenets

While analytical psychology is complicated and diverse, it does include some major tenets that can be helpful in understanding its overall approach.

The Unconscious

Analytical psychology believes that the unconscious is the most important aspect of each individual's psyche, and that making as much of the unconscious known as possible can help with healing and the attainment of wholeness. Dreams are thought to be a part of the unconscious. The personal unconscious of each individual is distinct from a collective unconscious that is shared by all human beings.


Jung believed that most human suffering, even on a large scale, is caused by neurosis. Neurosis in this context means the lack of integration of the self and the failure to bring individual and collective unconscious together. Under analytical psychology, people should move on a constant continuum toward better self-knowledge and, as a result, away from neurosis. In contemporary language, neurosis might include depression, anxiety, and more serious mental illnesses.


One of the many important archetypal figures, the shadow in analytical psychology stands for the parts of a person's self that are denied or projected onto others. Jung pointed out that in mythology, as in dreams, the shadow is often translated into dark figures or evil animals.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account