What is individuation

C. G. Jung defined individuation, the therapeutic goal of analytical psychology belonging to the second half of life, as the process by which a person becomes a psychological individual, a separate indivisible unity or whole, recognizing his innermost uniqueness, and he identified this process with becoming one’s own self or self-realization, which he distinguished from “ego-centeredness” and individualism.

The self, the totality of personality and archetype of order, is superordinate to the ego, embracing consciousness and the unconscious; as the center and circumference of the whole psyche, the self is our life’s goal, the most complete expression of individuality.

What does it mean to reach individuation in practical terms? Each of us is destined to individualise, that is, to discover and develop our potential until we find our essence – unique and special – with which we can venture and return, in full consciousness, to the All or One from which we originated.

To individualise oneself is to wrest territory from the unconscious to reunite those parts that have been separated in structuring the ego. To individualise oneself is to release all the energies that are enclosed within oneself to the point of expressing a unique and unrepeatable heritage.

To individualise oneself is to heal one’s wounds and to overcome divisions and dichotomies until one reaches inner unity and wholeness.  Individuation means betraying the dreams of those who brought us into the world and the expectations and fantasies that others have placed on us. To individualise oneself means to become a complete individual, no longer divided.

Individuation is a deeply personal, lifelong process that can lead to profound changes in how one perceives oneself and the world. It promotes a sense of inner harmony, a deeper connection with one’s true self, and a more authentic way of being in the world. Through this process, individuals develop a more nuanced and enriched sense of identity, one that acknowledges the complexity of the psyche and embraces the full spectrum of human experience. A path worth taking.