Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Happiness As a Lifestyle: Life-Changing Habits To Cope With Depression

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Depression is difficult to overcome and often requires professional help. To complement therapy, there are some simple habits that depressed people can learn to aid recovery.

Staying in touch. Even if the tendency is to withdraw from social contact, staying connected is essential during times of depression. The hardest but most important step is to let a few trustworthy people know about the depression so that they can listen and provide companionship in times of need.

Get moving. Exercise is a proven mood-booster and powerful means to fight depression. It is one way to form a regimen that diverts a person's focus towards something productive and which improves the self.

Eat and sleep well. Going back to basic healthy habits such as getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet improves the body's energy and chemical balance that would affect a person's mood. Likewise, 
depressed people should avoid substances that dampen the mood such as alcohol and drugs.
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Boost self-image. Doing things one enjoys or is good at is another way to keep the mind from being idle and also helps in developing confidence.

Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst and a core faculty member of the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. Visit this LinkedIn page to learn more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Selective mutism: Children suffering in silence

Some children are naturally talkative and are more likely to dominate conversations, while others prefer to be silent and find it difficult to express their ideas freely. 

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However, other children are also chatty at home but are hushed when faced with someone outside the family. Mostly, parents and teachers seem to link this behavior with shyness. Experts could go further, perceiving that the child is suffering from an anxiety disorder resulting in the child’s inability to speak effectively in social situations. This is called selective mutism. 

Selective mutism is more than just a speech problem, as it involves a child struggling through social communications. Psychologists 
 and psychiatrists are now trying to integrate therapies for the disorder through classroom immersions. This kind of approach provides various activities that help children gain more confidence in conversing with other people. 

Activities include arts and crafts lessons, simulation classroom exercises, sports, board games, and other exercises that require the children to socialize, answer questions, and speak up. Through classroom immersions, children are given the time to learn and adjust to different situations with repeated exposure. 

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These activities help the children with the disorder feel more relaxed until they are able to conquer their fears and build self-esteem and social confidence. Children then develop necessary coping skills for better social, emotional, and academic functioning. However, psychosocial interventions provided to a child with selective mutism should first come with an understanding of the stage of social situations with which the child should be helped. 

 Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst who has worked on research grants through NIMH, consulted in children’s services, and is currently a core faculty professor at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpenteria, California. More about him and his field can be read here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Stacking Stones: Carl Jung On Artists And Creativity

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For psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, the unconscious is an important part of the self. This commonly misunderstood part of a person is essential for an individual’s wholeness. Getting to know people’s shared stories through myths was the narrative where Jung discovered the seat of desire and the cause of tension. 

During a crossroads in Jung’s life, he resorted to stacking stones, drawing, and painting. Instead of overthinking his next studies as a psychoanalyst, he chose to be creative. This return to creativity led him to realize more about his work. In the process, he discovered more about the artistic impulse. From Jung’s examination, this made artists consciously act on what their subconscious is dictating despite convictions and limits. 

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The famed psychoanalyst knows the value of artists. These people are the ones who can bring primordial images back into society’s consciousness. Jung believes that creative works can also link the conscious and unconscious, while transcending time. To fully appreciate art, the individual has to accept emotions and thoughts that come with it. 

Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst currently teaching at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. He specializes in Jungian analysis and has over 40 years of mentoring psychology scholars. Get to know more of Dr. Gabrinetti’s career in this page.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Jung’s Archetypes: Exploring The Self

Carl Jung has made a significant impact on the complex world of psychology. His works on the analogies of conscious and the unconscious mind, introversion and extraversion, and dreams, among others, still influence how psychologists and other professionals in the field of mental health work today.
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In Jung's theory of the human psyche, the concept of archetypes was introduced. He described archetypes as themes and thoughts with universal meanings in various cultures that may show up in dreams, films, novels, other forms of literature, and religion. One of the main forms of archetypes is the self.

Jung described the successful creation of self as bringing together all the aspects and potentials of the psyche as one; it unifies the consciousness and unconsciousness. This creation of self means undergoing the process of individuation, which is the soul and body's way to achieve self-actualization. Furthermore, Jung also discussed that achieving selfhood does not just constitute "me" but also God, which may also mean nirvana or ecstatic harmony for other people. These concepts are considered to be spiritual concepts and are also parts of the universe. According to Jung, the self embraces other archetypes such as the shadow, ego-consciousness, anima, etc. Thus, integration of all the aspects of personality is achieved. Jung symbolizes the self as circle, square, or mandala.
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Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist. He received his certification from the CG Jung Institute in Los Angeles, California. He has worked on research grants through NIMH. He is also in private practice in Woodland Hills. For more news and updates on psychology, follow this Twitter account.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Analytic Psychology: Why People Feel Incomplete

Carl Jung was an only child. During his younger years, there was a feeling of isolation and loneliness. Such phase would later on influence his approach to psychology.
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Jung observed throughout his life that people were more complicated than they actually thought their selves to be. They had moods, behaviors, and complexes. They had unexplained emotions, such as the feeling that something is lacking in their lives.

This feeling of being incomplete may be explained through the Jungian principle of individuation.

Individuation happens when the elements of a person’s unconscious affect his personality. Some of these elements include parts of the person’s past. It’s important that the person comes to accept all these parts over time in order for him or her to become both “whole” and different. This may explain the feeling of being incomplete some people get when they find themselves trapped in office jobs, doing routine tasks every day, as hundreds of other people do the same thing. The lack of being different, or the lack of being an “individual,” magnified by the reality of how their everyday lives are set up leads to a craving for something more for them – something they believe they deserve.
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Paul Gabrinetti is a doctorate degree holder in psychology and a counselor. He applies Jungian psychology in his profession. Find out more about Paul Gabrinetti by checking out this LinkedIn account.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Using Jungian Psychology to Enhance Goal-setting Strategies

One of the biggest differences between Jungian psychology and traditional psychotherapy is the importance placed on future aspirations. Carl Jung was heavily influenced by the teachings and ideas of Sigmund Freud. Jung agreed that the past, the unconscious, and the inner psyche play an important role in personal development as well as how an individual experiences and perceives the world. Jung stressed that the past couldn’t be the sole factor in an individual’s decision-making process. Jung believed that what and how a person sees his or her future is also a strong determinant in his or her behavioral manifestations. It has heavy implications for certain mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

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Goal-setting strategies are an essential part of any form of Jungian therapy. Typically, these treatments are a two-step process. The first is examining one’s inner self. It includes a thorough discussion of the components of the psyche, which are the conscious, personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. Dream interpretation and dialogues about archetypes may also be brought up, depending on the patient and how the psychologist plans on designing the therapy. It can take anywhere from a few sessions to several months. The process may seem taxing and tedious, but it sets the foundation for step number two which is future planning.

After the patient understands the whys and wherefores of his or her condition, he or she can now focus on what can be done when (or if) certain events happen. It serves two purposes. The first is that patients set personal goals that are tangible and concrete. Once each milestone is achieved, the patient feels good and continues treatment. The second is that future planning also mentally prepares the patient for the worst-case scenario. If these situations occur, people are less likely to panic or crumble.

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Paul Gabrinetti, is a recognized Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist. Like this Facebook page for more on his credentials.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Exploring Eros: From Greek Mythology To Analytical Psychology

In Greek mythology, Eros is the god of love, the counterpart of the Roman Cupid. In the earliest myths, Eros was depicted as one of the primordial gods born from Chaos, responsible for Creation. In these traditions, Eros perhaps represented universal love. In other, later myths, Eros was depicted as either a winged acolyte of Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love and beauty, or, more famously, as her son from Ares, the god of war. 

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Perhaps the most famous stories of Eros involved his ability to make people either fall in love by hitting them with his golden arrows, or make them feel aversion towards their suitors by hitting them with his lead arrows. On one occasion, Eros shot a golden arrow at the great Apollo after the latter mocked his archery skills, causing him to fall in love with the nymph Daphne.
In stories about Eros and his arrows, the outcome of the passionate love he triggers is others is often tragic. 

“Eros” is one of the four Ancient Greek words for love that can be translated into the English language, and the only one that specifically refers to romantic, intimate love. In psychology, the word “eros” has been used to describe concepts and theories about the nature and purpose of love. 

In later years, the ancient philosopher Plato developed a theory of Eros that allows the possibility of love without physical attraction by removing the carnal, which would later become the basis for the concept of platonic love.

Sigmund Freud named his concept of a life force “eros.” According to Freud, eros is the life instinct, concept which encompasses sexual instincts as well as basic biological drives such as hunger and thirst. In line with the concept of duality, Freud also conceived of an opposing drive, Thanatos, the drive to death and self-destruction. 
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Carl Jung, however, used the word “eros” to name the feminine principle present in all individuals, and “logos” to name the masculine principle, representing an extreme pair of opposites, i.e. syzygy or the division between male and female. According to Jung, Anima, the archetype of reason, is characterized by eros, while Animus, the archetype of rationality, is characterized by logos. 

Paul Gabrinetti is an analytical psychologist certified by the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. For more discussions on Jungian analysis, follow this Twitter account.