The goal as process: music and the search for the Self


  • Patricia Skar


This paper explores and compares the processes of music and analysis from the author’s experience as a musician, piano teacher and analyst. It explains how the use of music improvisation in analysis (with simple percussion instruments) can powerfully enhance the dialogue between the unconscious and conscious psyche, as well as deepen the relationship between analyst and analysand. This is connected theoretically to Jung’s active imagination and Winnicott’s concept of play within the analytic encounter. Finally, the question is raised whether analytic trainings could do more to expose trainees to the possibility of using music within the analytic encounter. This touches on the more basic and controversial issue (which often separates analytical psychology and psychoanalysis) of whether expressive therapy should be used in analysis at all.