The dynamics of symbols : fundamentals of Jungian psychotherapy

by Verena Kast

Book, 1992



Call number


Call number



New York : Fromm International Pub. Corp., c1992.

Physical description

x, 220 p.; 22 cm

Local notes

According to Carl Jung, the goal of human life is self realization; we have to strive to become whole. Deep down, we are all creative beings, and we have to make use of our creativity to become what we really are. Kast explores Jung's concept of the human being and describes the path to wholeness which, since Jung, is known as the individuation process.
It becomes clear that wholeness is only possible through the interplay between conscious and unconscious. However, the two have different languages: consciousness uses word-logic, whereas the unconscious uses dream-logic. Both languages would be forever foreign to each other, were it not for symbols, which mediate between the two: our unconscious encodes its knowledge in symbols, which we then have to translate into the language of our consciousness. Thus symbols are focal points of psychic development, and it is through them that we can become whole human beings.
Jung taught us the techniques with which we can make the creative core of the unconscious available to consciousness. Kast explains them by using numerous examples from her daily work as a therapist. She shows us how psychological problems can be overcome by working on the symbols in which they express themselves.
In a language that can be readily grasped by the general reader, Kast goes on to explain the basic thought of Jungian psychotherapy, covering the correlation between symbols and complexes, with a special emphasis on the ego-complex; the healing function of the archetypes and how they appear in, and interact with, symbols; and symbols in transference and countertransference, powerful tools in psychotherapy. Kast also discusses the interplay of psychosomatic diseases and symbols.
The Dynamics of Symbols is not only of immediate interest to all psychologists and their patients. It is of direct concern to everyone who has the desire to become a whole human being.

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