„My deep belief is that there is always someone there, always somebody home who can be reached.”

Stan Tomandl

Psychology is mainly preoccupied with the definition of “psychological disorders”, which are most often associated with deviations from the norm. In trying to understand more about psychological health, we can avoid this dilemma. It is frequently assumed that psychological health means to have passed through life without trauma. But, on the other hand, trauma is nothing else than a very natural reaction to a world with lots of possibly harmful influence. 

Carl Gustav Jung sees the healthy person as the one that automatically engages in a process of individuation over their life course – a rocky road to consciousness and becoming a Self. This process is interrupted in many people or even doesn’t exist which may cause negative outcomes for their psychological wellbeing. The fewer people set out on that path, the more problematic the society is going to turn out in which those people live – craving for power will serve as a compensation for resulting sensations of meaninglessness and inferiority.

The impulse for individuation might come up naturally when we get more acquainted to ourselves but it shouldn’t be forced upon anyone from the outside. This process can become dangerous when we’re unprepared or proceed too quickly. There are principles of psychological health that can be learned, though. They are going to protect us and help us with inner and outer challenges: Healthy boundaries, centering and grounding. The aim is not to remain in an ideal state. Life challenges us every day, everything is pulsating and changing. However, it is helpful to know how we can reestablish our boundaries, centering and grounding when it is necessary – or that we can have a first experience of how those “functions” feel that can be heavily impaired by trauma. 

Boundaries, centering and grounding are very physical concepts. Psychological health starts with how and if we are present in our bodies, how and if we sense our bodies. We need boundaries to protect ourselves from harmful influence and to be autonomous when it is time for it. Boundaries are healthy when they aren’t either constantly thick nor permeable – thus when we can flexibly adjust them in order to open up or separate us – whatever the situation and our needs ask for. If we decide to open our personal boundaries, we need centering, i.e. solidity and firmness in the center of our bodies in order to not dissolve and get lost in our openness. Grounding is our contact to the ground and to the base – to what carries us as well as binds us to reality and gravity. Through further developing the mentioned abilities, it becomes easier to stay in touch with ourselves as well as to experience compassion and empathy more spontaneously. 

Dieser Vortrag beschreibt Carl Gustav Jungs Perspektive auf das „spirituelle Problem“ – die grundlegende Bedeutungslosigkeit, Hoffnungslosigkeit und Minderwertigkeit, die viele Menschen in unserer Zeit empfinden – sowie Ursachen, Folgen und mögliche Auswege.