James Barrett

About me professionally.

I am a Jungian Analytical Psychotherapist

I trained and learned my craft as a psychotherapist in the 1980’s in the Jungian tradition and that remains my home ground.  Carl Jung provided  wonderful and paradoxical leadership. His  assertion that he was the only Jungian confronts each of us using him with the challenges, joys and pitfalls of being and becoming one’s own self.  At the same time he knew that becoming real in the world could only emerge from relationship with someone else, and with oneself at depth. He held conversations with spiritual companions who were as real to him and you and me. Perhaps I love him most for his confidence that imaginal world is as real as matter.   Matter matters as a wise companion commented, to which I would add matter natters.  In this courageousness engaged with the potential of quantum physics to offer theorisation of the comprehensive dynamism of psychological life.  He anticipated later developments in psychoanalysis of relationality, inter-subjectivity and spirituality.

A wonderful aspect of psychotherapy is that theory and practice are constantly evolving, there is always more to learn.  Over the past twelve years I have learned and benefited from intensive study in energy psychology, couples therapy, social dreaming, quantum field theory and Celtic Shamanism.  I find that they have enriched my understanding of the primacy of listening over speaking, and I hope made me a more effective therapist.  All these schools of theory and practice, including those of neuroscience, show  understanding and maturing to arise from a process between client and therapist in which the client’s innate wisdom becomes real and alive.  One of Carl Jung’s gifts to us was to understand suffering and illness as potentially meaningful, saying something that has not been heard, or cannot be said in any other way.

I  co-founded with my friend and colleague Shirley Wheeley, the training in Jungian Analytical Psychotherapy at the West Midlands Institute for Psychotherapy in 1991.   I have chaired the West Midlands Institute for Psychotherapy, the Confederation for Analytical Psychology, and the Training Standards and Membership Committee of the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis at the UKCP.