What contribution did Jung’s studies give to the pastoral counseling? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Seeing that there were two specific thinkers included, moving this question into two different realms, I had to narrow this one down.  I strongly invite you to post the question on Freud separately, as I think that his view on pastoral counseling and religion, in general, might be a nice complement to Jung's analysis.  I think that Jung's primary assertion of individuation is critical to pastoral studies.  Jung asserted that the individual did not remain in an isolated condition. Rather, the struggle of consciousness was to seek ways in which the individual can belong to a larger whole.  Jung understood this to include a religious dimension, striving to integrated the individual who might see themselves as alienated and separate into a condition of being where unity with a larger other can be evident.  Pastoral counseling embodies this.  The purpose of the pastoral counselor is to listen to the individual and seek to broaden their own experience into something larger, namely a religious tradition.  The atomized view of counseling as devoid of anything larger might have a tendency to further alienate in the individual into something unnecessarily negative.  For Jung, seeking to widen this experience into something larger becomes vital.  It is here where I think that Jung's understanding feeds the larger construction of pastoral counseling, a measure in which the individual is counseled within the framework that there is a wider configuration into which individual experience feeds. 

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