Carl Jung (1933) concept of individuation explains a process of self-realization, discovering one's meaning and purpose in life, and actualizing who one really is and capable of becoming (King & Nicol, 1999; Fordham, 1969; Schmidt, 2005)

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Without the awareness of the self, individuals are not able to truly actualize their fullest potentialities (Geller, 1982).


Similar to Maslow's theory of self-actualization, individuation is "an active on-going process and not a static state" (Schmidt, 2005).

As cited in Schmidt (2005), Jung proclaimed: "Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too -as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once." (Jung, 1961, p. 288, cited in Schmidt, 2005, p. 599)


Furthermore, according to Schmidt (2005), Jung viewed individuation and self-realization as differentiated from "Eastern mystical ideas of achieving Nirvana or Samadhi-a state of perfection attained by yogis" (Schmidt, 2005, p. 598). Self-realization is dependent on relationships with others. As cited in Schmidt (2005), Jung (1935) states: "The self is relatedness ... The self only exists in as much as you appear. Not that you are, but that you do the self. The self appears in your deeds and deeds always mean relationships." (Jung, 1935, p. 73, cited in Schmidt, 2005, p. 598


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Through Jung' s theory of self-realization (through the process of individuation), a distinct understanding of human potential is captured.

Theory of self-realization brings more meaning to life for an individual through seeking a higher purpose and bringing one closer to a state of being a whole and complete individual. It is only when an individual is in a state ofbeing a whole and complete that he or she can fully actualize (Patterson & Joseph, 2007).


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 The theory of self-realization through Carl Jung's (1933) individuation process provides a foundation for discovering one's true unique self. 

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