Here is one of Jung’s diagrams of the interaction between the analyst and the analysand, which will help us to understand empathy from a Jungian perspective:
There are conscious and unconscious connections between the analyst and the analysand. Empathy depends on the analyst tuning into the unconscious of the analysand as well as resonating with the analysand’s conscious position. So, from a Jungian perspective, the interaction between analyst and analysand takes place on a rather complicated basis. The analyst must have the capacity for dealing with these complications as well as the skill to separate his or her own shadow from the analysand’s shadow in order for the work to move forward effectively. (It is also important for the analyst not to over identify with the analysand.) In the next blog entry we will examine these six connections in more detail.