How to Become an Analytical Psychologist


Psychology is an interesting and exceedingly rewarding field. As an analytical psychologist, you will gain an understanding of how the human mind works- which is an advantage in virtually every social setting. Analytical psychologists use their clinical knowledge of human behavior to help others overcome serious emotional blockages, which have resulted in neurosis and other psychological conditions. As an analytical psychologist, you will work very closely with those suffering from bothersome emotionally-based symptoms.

Analytical psychology, though heavily influenced by the works and personality of Freud, breaks away from psychoanalysis in its treatment of patients and its views on the human mind and spirit. Analytical psychologists assume the presence of what is referred to as the collective unconscious, and gear treatment toward integrating darker, more primal states of existence with ego states that are more evolved. In other words, violent impulses are understood in a non-judgmental manner, and are effectively merged with more evolved human ideals like compassion and empathy to form a balanced self.

What are the Job Duties of an Analytical Psychologist

Analytical psychologists provide a type of psychotherapy based in part on the theories of C.G Jung. Psychologists who practice this specific approach to therapy help patients change their problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviors through discovering their unconscious motivations.

This type of therapy may be used to treat patients with a wide variety of   emotional and mental health issues including eating disorders, anxiety and other psychiatric conditions.

One duty of an analytical psychologist is often to help patients gain better self-understanding, which in turn may reduce problems, such as depression and substance abuse.

Analytical psychologists may vary the techniques they use based on the patient’s problems, personality and interests. They may administer personality assessments, such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help patients develop insight into their behavior.

In some instances, analytical psychologists may ask patients to discuss their dreams and fantasies to gain a better understating of unconscious thoughts affecting their life.

Analytical psychologists may also use additional techniques depending on the patient. For example, they may instruct patients to keep a diary of their feelings or to express emotions and creativity through art, music and poetry. Each technique is used to gain a window into the unconscious mind and achieve better self-knowledge.

As patients learn more clearly what forces are influencing their behaviors and emotions, analytical psychologists help them develop ways to change negative thought processes.

Since analytical therapy can be a lengthy process, based heavily on talk therapy, the relationship between the psychologist and patient is critical. As part of their responsibilities, analytical psychologists need to create an environment for patients to be open and relaxed in order to express themselves. Creating this type of professional relationship involves a number of factors, such as listening closely in a non-judgmental manner and being empathetic.

Analytical psychologist aim to help patients discover their own unconscious worlds by unpackaging the messages decoded within unconscious material- both collective and personal. There is even some emphasis on analyzing common cultural religious practices, fine arts, and folklore- all with the eventual goal of personality integration and individuation. The term individuation refers specifically to the gradual increase in self-awareness, experienced by patients as they begin to understand their inner lives. This self-knowledge is used to increase overall productivity and happiness. The goal of analytic therapy also includes maturation of the personality (Jung, 1959).

What are the Educational Requirements?

The law deems that in order to become an analytical psychologist, certain educational requirements must first be met. Prospective psychologist typically must achieve a doctoral degree from an accredited institution. State-specific licensure requirements must also be met.

In addition to these two requirements, various Jungian institutes provide post-graduate training. These post-graduate programs are usually highly specific and enormously competitive. Most psychology programs require that students achieve at least a grade of 1300 on the GRE. Additionally, the majority of schools require an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5. Some schools also encourage students to take the Miller Analogies Test, and the GRE Psychology.

Although not every program requires personal analytical therapy, students are certainly encouraged to undergo their own analysis. You would regularly be required to look inward and understand what motivates you, your fears, your failures, and your strengths.

What are the Training Requirements?

Psychologists are required to complete demanding internships, conducted under the supervision of licensed psychologists. As a student of analytical psychology you will be required to undergo a tremendous amount of testing, and self-exploration. You will also be asked to successfully complete an internship. These internships are often conducted in low-cost clinics run by their respective educational institutions. Training is both experiential and intellectual. Students must read and review case-studies conducted by established analytical psychologists.

Many schools also offer courses on creative clinical solutions, which remind students to refer their patients to medical doctors when certain physical symptoms are experienced. Additionally, students can expect to devote many hours to the intense study of Jung’s writings.

What Personal Skills are Required?

The qualities and skills needed to become an analytical psychologist include empathy, compassion, a clear understand of boundaries, creative thinking, emotional health, administrative skills, deductive reasoning and much more. The United States Department of Labor, additionally suggests that psychologists be, “ good at dealing with people, sensitive…strong leaders, capable of working independently, detail oriented, willing to work as a team, [and] patient” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010).

What are the Licensure Requirements?

Licensure requirements vary from state to state. Analytical psychologists must complete a certain number of supervised clinical hours in order to become licensed psychologists. The number of hours needed, depends on the state you intend to practice in.

What is the Salary for an Analytical Psychologist?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020 the median pay for a psychologist was $95,610 per year, and $45.97 per hour.

What Careers are Similar to Analytical Psychologist?

Analytical psychology is a highly specialized field of work that is based on the teachings and theories of Carl Jung. However, despite its specific focus, there are several psychology careers that are closely related:

Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology: Like analytical psychology, cognitive-behavioral psychology explores the links between the way people think and the way people behave. Cognitive-behavioral psychology techniques are often highly structured. These techniques are designed to challenge a client’s thought patterns, make them aware of negative or inaccurate thoughts, and make the appropriate cognitive changes such that a positive impact on behavior is the result.

Developmental Psychology: One type of analytical psychology is the developmental approach, which shares its focus with developmental psychology. Individuals that work as developmental psychologists are concerned with how people learn, grow, and develop from birth, through childhood and adolescence, into adulthood, and then into late life. Also like analytical psychologists, developmental psychologists seek to help their clients realize their fullest potential by working through roadblocks to self-actualization.

Psychotherapist: Psychotherapy and analytical psychology are closely related because of their shared foundation in the work of Sigmund Freud. As a result, both emphasize talking as a means of therapeutic change. Likewise, both disciplines focus on the unconscious and its role in the development and expression of thoughts and engagement in maladaptive behaviors. Psychotherapists will analyze their clients as well, diving deep into their thoughts and dreams, in order to make sense of what’s going on in the client’s life, reveal repressed material, and facilitate positive change.

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