Dissertation Title:

Exploring the Interaction of Personal and Cultural Complexes in Jungian Analysis


Juliana Dors Tigre da Silva

Date, Time & Place:

May 2, 2023 at 10:00 am


Although the Jungian concept of cultural complexes added an essential layer to the understanding of the unconscious, research regarding how cultural complexes contribute to psychological suffering is still lacking. It is crucial to explore how the individual psyche is influenced by the group psyche in order to break crystalized worldview assumptions and improve clinical practice. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how Jungian analysts observe and experience the interaction of personal and cultural complexes during the analysis of their patients. This study utilized Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as a method and interviewed four Jungian analysts. The findings demonstrated that analysts and patients cooperated in each other’s process to become conscious of their personal and cultural complexes. The analysts had to commit to examining their cultural complexes to achieve a clearer view of the analysis, thus promoting a stronger therapeutic relationship that could withstand the confrontation with shadow content. The analysts’ experience demonstrated that personal and cultural complexes occur in parallel, and the analyst is responsible for making space to analyze cultural complexes constellated in the analytic process. An honest engagement with the clinician’s experience is crucial to understanding the challenges of clinical practice, as well as its improvement. The inclusion of cultural complexes in the analytic process is also necessary to address social injustice and collective suffering.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology, A, 2017
  • Chair: Dr. Juliet Rohde-Brown
  • Reader: Dr. Fanny Brewster
  • External Reader: Dr. Samuel Kimbles
  • Keywords: Jungian Analysis, Jungian Psychology, Complex Theory, Cultural Complexes, Cultural Unconscious, Analyst’s Experience