The active imagination is a method of analytical psychology , theory created by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung . The method consists in giving a sensitive form to the images of the unconscious and thus expanding the consciousness. It is thus a question of fixing its attention on the moods, and, more generally, on the unconscious fantasies brought to the conscience, then to let them develop freely, without the conscience not determining them, but while interacting with them. It therefore leads to "connecting the conscious planes and the unconscious planes" or to giving life to spontaneous images.
According to Elie Humbert , continuator of Carl Jung, the active imagination is a “method of confrontation with the unconscious, developed by Jung in 1913. It consists in bringing an affect to take shape so that the conscious can enter directly into contact with it. She uses all spontaneous means of expression: imagining, painting, writing, modeling, playing, dancing, speaking etc. It does not content itself with provoking the emergence and does not seek to interpret. It aims to allow an "active explanation" with the unconscious factors and, for this, emphasizes the need for the subject to then treat the imaginary partners according to all the conditions of reality and to behave as in a real situation. "
The active imagination is one of the pillars of the practice of Jungian psychotherapy , based on the confrontation of the subject with its unconscious contents, in an open dialogue. It is based on an essential function of the psyche: the transcendent function. To sum up: “The images coming from the unconscious place a man in front of a great responsibility. Not understanding them or fleeing ethical responsibility deprives him of his totality and imposes a painfully fragmentary character on his life ”. The active imagination thus becomes “the solitary experience of a free individual brought into contact with himself”.