Mid Life Crisis & Jungian Therapy

Midlife crises is an imprecise term for changes that tend to occur any time between the ages of 35 – 60.  If you:

  • feel emotionally flat, low and possibly a bit depressed,
  • have little energy for things that used to please you,
  • have low motivation
  • get little satisfaction from things that usually satisfy you
  • are doing irrational things like cheating on your partner or spending too much money

then you might be having a midlife crisis.  But don’t despair, it might be possible to see what’s happening as relating more to a need to change the way we live, a kind of wake-up call from the psyche, and Jungian therapy may be able to help you.

Jungian psychotherapy and mid life crisis

If you have come to a point in your life where you know you need to make changes but are not sure where to begin, a Jungian approach might be for you.  It is a talking therapy that helps you find a way of engaging with the problems you are going through.

Jungian therapy sees mid life as a natural time for change.

Is a mid life crisis normal?

Yes. In a Jungian approach it is natural that we reach a mid-point in our lives when we realise that the identity that has been meaningful to us in the first part of our lives has reached a natural time for change.

Different people will experience the sense of mid-life change at different times to others, for some it occurs around 35, and for others it might not happen until you are in your 60s.

Mid-life change is personal and individual to each of us. But, in a Jungian approach, it is a given that the second half of life will be different from the first. It is natural that there will be a mid-point when we change, when our priorities will change, when we start to want different things from our relationships and our work from those that were important to us in the first half of life.

It is natural to think that you might want different things from the next phase of your life.

Will talking to someone about my mid-life crisis help?

Change can be bewildering, and frightening, it can be hard to know where to begin, which is why it can be helpful to speak about the changes that you feel need to be made.  You don’t have to face these kind of worries alone.

A Jungian approach supports the idea that we all naturally change and develop throughout life.  This means that it sees what you are going through as normal, difficult perhaps, but normal. A Jungian approach would see avoiding change as more likely to cause us harm than embracing change.

This approach is interested to know more about the questions that have brought you to this point in your life.  It is a therapy that does not want to shut your inquiry down or limit you, it is interested to support you to find out more about the questions that are on your mind.

It was Elliott Jaques who first coined the term mid-life crisis.  You might find Jung’s autobiography a useful read.  Here is a link to an online copy of ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections‘.

But how can I change? How can we transform our lives?

If you come to Jungian therapy feeling that you have reached your mid-life point, you will be supported to think not just about what you may be losing about the first part of life, your energy and virility and so on, you will be supported to engage with new opportunities too.  Opportunities that are to do with aging, getting older, and growing maturity and wisdom.

In the grip of a mid-life crisis these opportunities may currently be overshadowed by the sense of loss and possibly a depression you feel about losing your earlier youth.  But, as I say, in Jungian thinking the mid-life change is natural.

Our imagination, our wish to play and create are vital parts of our identities that modern living tends to overlook. When we let our imaginations speak to us, we see vital possibilities for change that we generally ignore.

This work may help you understand and connect with the patterns of how you live, and to see how those patterns can develop further.  This means that it will help you start to see the pattern beyond your mid-life anxieties.

In the Jungian tradition, dreams, myths, and fairy tales, from mythology to Star Wars, are all part of the eternal human psyche’s desire to develop and transform itself.

The work is in finding meaningful ways to engage with the energy that will help the change happen.

All of this means that Jungian work helps you reconnect with your natural capacity to transform from one state and identity to another.  Jungian work pursues the possibility of your life transforming like a story from Ovid’s Metamorphosis.  Joseph Campbell‘s books are a useful source of material in these areas.

Jungian therapy helps you find out more about the changes you need to make

Where as some psychotherapy and counselling interventions work by trying to squeeze the client into a pre-established template, in Jungian work the client is encouraged to let their imagination emerge and develop their individual nature.

There is life beyond your midlife crisis, there is more to you than you currently are aware – Jungian work may help you engage with that

A Jungian approach sees your potential to transform, and to be reinvigorated as natural.  At its best it can feel like a very organic approach to understanding and changing things about your life.

If for whatever reason you feel that you have come to a point in your life where change is required but you are not sure of how to let that change develop, then a Jungian-based therapy might be a useful approach for you.

Though now your life may feel stalled and flat, Jungian therapy may help you reconnect with your capacity to develop and transform yourself.

Contact me

Having the chance to speak in a confidential setting is often the key to developing a clearer understanding of ourselves, of where we are in life and what might need to change now.

By giving yourself a safe space to look at these things you may start to discover a greater sense of possibilities, and this may be the beginning of developing a greater sense of understanding how to relate to yourself and others, how to start living more fully again, and how to start to have healthy relationships with yourself and other people.

The chance to reflect on ourselves, our feelings and experience can be powerful and transformative. Out of this, you may be able to develop a clearer understanding of how you and your sense of your problems have developed, and what you can change.

I have been working with people on issues such like this for more than twenty years.  My work is built around helping you to develop greater insight into who you are, and how you live. 

Contact me to arrange a free telephone consultation to discuss how my approach might help you.

Email: toby@tobyingham.com