The process of Individuation

Woman in green top sitting at desk in her office

Individuation is the process of becoming who you really are and requires balanced ego function. Through the individuation process, the individual learns to develop the right relationship with the Self, complexes and the multiplicities of his/her/they/them lived experience. 

Individuation is a lifelong process; a journey that leads you away from the crowd and herd mentality, and towards a more authentic path to life and way of living. 

While individuation is a deeply personal process, there are three key steps that everyone must undertake towards his/her/they/their individuation journey.

The first step is to develop a greater awareness of your inner world. This means paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, emotions and intrapsychic unconscious processes. It also means getting in touch with your shadow side, – the dark side of the personality – the parts of yourself that you have hid, repressed, rejected or denied. It is helpful to pay attention to what you reject or deny in yourself and see it in the “Other”. Despite the black and dense quality of the shadow, one often finds hidden talents, creative ideas, and generative resources from within the shadow. 

The second step is to embrace an attitude of empowerment, self respect, self acceptance and cultivate or nurture your unique abilities, gifts, skills, and talents. This is about more than just developing your skills and abilities. Emphasis is placed on how to use these talents to create something that is uniquely yours. 

The third and final step is to find your own value system. This involves discovering what you believe in and what really matters to you on a depthful level. It’s about creating a set of principles that will guide you through life. These principles govern your decision. 

Individuation is a challenging process, yet, it is ultimately rewarding. By taking these three steps, you can begin to live a more authentic and fulfilling life.