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About C. G. Jung

About Jung & Analytical Psychology

Analytical or Jungian psychology is based upon the ideas of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist (1875–1961). Jung had a working relationship with Freud from 1906–1913 and was the first elected President of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Their collaboration ended when Jung developed psychological theories that departed from Freud's view.

Jung agreed with Freud about the basic concepts of psychology. However, Jung's emphasis was different: Jung saw the unconscious as complementary to and communicating with consciousness, rather than as a mere repository of repressed experience. Jung believed that analysis or psychotherapy should be a dialogue between two people, working together to alleviate the client's psychic condition through a process of discovering and integrating the unconscious aspects of the personality.

Disagreeing with Freud, Jung felt that we had many motivations other than the sexual drive, and that one of these motivations was actually for the process of psychological growth. Jung's idea was that we develop symptoms when we fail to integrate the many potential aspects of our personality. Failure to do this is often what causes the psychological problems that bring us into therapy. If we don't understand these deeper causes, the problems are likely to resurface in other ways, such as relationship problems or emotional blocks.

The focus in Jungian analysis is less on a reductive understanding (for instance, how our parents' shortcomings led to our difficulties), and more on a prospective understanding: What are we trying unconsciously to work out through our problems? It is certainly important to understand how the deficits or trauma of our history affects us, but it is just as important to understand our inner need to grow into the unique person we potentially are.

The basic goal and attitude of Jungian analysis is to build an ongoing relationship with the unconscious. Rather than seeing it merely as the repository of repressed memories, Jung viewed the unconscious as a source of direction and healing. At the same time, this unconscious also contains our dark side, which is important to face directly and come to terms with.

One of the ways that Jungians actually do this is by working with symbols—images that come up in dreams, imagination, creative projects, and the events of our lives. Symbols carry enormous energy because they connect unconscious and conscious layers of the mind, and they represent the universal, human developmental processes that Jung called archetypes. Recognizing these patterns of experience can help us to facilitate our growth as humans.

Other Links

You may wish to use the links below to read more about Jung and a Jungian approach to psychotherapy.

The Making of The Red Book

Carl Jung's The Red Book is considered to be the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology. When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called his confrontation with the unconscious, the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories—of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation—that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.

While Jung considered The Red Book to be his most important work, only a handful of people have ever seen it. Now, in a complete facsimile and translation, it is available to scholars and the general public. It is an astonishing example of calligraphy and art on a par with The Book of Kells and the illuminated manuscripts of William Blake. This publication of The Red Book is a watershed that will cast new light on the making of modern psychology. The New York Times called The Red Book, ”the Holy Grail of the unconscious“. The Red Book may be purchased online at Amazon.com.

This link will take you to the comprehensive Wikipedia web page on Jung. This page also contains a discussion of Jung's influence in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps. The school of psychology based on C.G. Jung's ideas is called Analytical Psychology or Jungian Psychology. You may read about Analytical Psychology here.

The Philemon Foundation is a cutting edge of research and scholarship on Jungian psychology. It is currently preparing for publication the Complete Works of C.G. Jung in English and German. In distinction to the widely known Collected Works, it will comprise material hitherto unpublished or believed ”lost.“ Jung History is one of the foundation's publications. It provide accounts of some of the ongoing research supported by the Philemon Foundation and other news. In recent years, an increasing amount of new historical research on C. G. Jung has been undertaken, based on the study of hitherto unknown primary materials.

The Jung Society of Washington has an informative web site which includes a calendar of lectures and workshops. Some of our psychotherapists are regular presenters at the Society.

Our psychoanalysts and many of our therapists are members of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. The Society's web site contains a wealth of information, including details about their training program. By Robert Sheavly

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