The Process of Individuation According the Jung

TheProcess of Individuation According the Jung

TheProcess of Individuation According the Jung

Theprocess of individuation refers to psychological concepts developedby Carl Jung, and it focuses on the tendency to achieve selfawareness and discover one’s inner truth. According to Jung, theprocess of individuation occurs in four major stages. The first stageis referred to as the persona, which describes masks that concealsthe unconscious and the self. Some people may identify with persona,which reduces their capacity to accept their weaknesses and mistakes(Frager&amp Fadiman, 2013). Fullacceptance identification with the persona, on the other hand, leadsto the attribution of tendencies that do not fit into one’s imageto other people. The two extremes hinder the process of growth andindividuation.

Thesecond stage is referred to as the shadow because it involves thediscovery of the dark side one’s psyche that had not yet beenbrought into consciousness in the past (Clooterman,2014). Theshadow comprises of repressed shortcomings, weaknesses, instincts.Failure to acknowledge the shadow reduces people’s capacity torecognize their impulses as wrong or become aware of their negativefeelings, and this acts as a significant obstacle to the process ofindividuation (Frager&amp Fadiman, 2013).

Theshadow phase is followed by anima (personification of femalepsychological tendencies) or animus (personification of masculinetendencies). In other words, this stage of individuation refers tothe unconscious feminine qualities possessed by a man or theunconscious masculine qualities in a female (Clooterman,2014). Duringanima / animus, an individual is likely to face either of the egoinflation that increase the tendency to claim all virtues ofknowledge and wisdom or ego impotence that increase the tendency tofeel that one has no capacity to take control over the collectivepsyche (Frager&amp Fadiman, 2013).

Thelast step involves the development of self, which is the culminationof the process of individuation. This involves the unification ofone’s conscious and unconscious, which signifies the coherent whole(Clooterman,2014). Theenergy unleashed during the anima and animus can result in thedevelopment of the mana-personality, which is characterized by theexaggeration of powers. This can hinder the process of individuationand the development of self.


Clooterman,A. (2014). Carl Jung: Individuation process. MindStructures.Retrieved August 26, 2014, from

Frager,R., &amp Fadiman, J. (2013). Personalityand personal growth (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.