December 15th, 2011
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Summary of Book
This book is about Carl Gustav Jung, who lived from 1865 to 1961, and who has had such a dramatic impact on modern psychology. Written mostly by his own hand, this is not a list of dates and events, but a personal history of the internal images, thoughts and feelings that led Jung to develop the insights that have made him so famous. Born into a religious family, Jung at a very early age had dreams and visions that conflicted strongly with the religious beliefs and discussions that surrounded him. He elaborated on the internal conflicts and the ways in which he dealt with them, giving himself the labels Personality # one and Personality # two. He suggests that conflict exists within all of us, but many people are not conscious of it.
Church became a place of torment for him as he listened to his father’s sermons, becoming more and more skeptical at this way of preaching the will of God. It seems that in Jung’s view, the will of God was an obscure and unknown thing, different for each individual, and to be explored daily, not just issued as jargon that people took for granted, without thought. in the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, C. G. Jung undertook the telling of his life story. At regular intervals he had conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffe, and collaborated with her in the preparation of the text based on these talks. On occasion, he was moved to write entire chapters of the book in his own hand, and he continued to work on the final stages of the manuscript until shortly before his death on June 6, 1961.
Analytical psychology (or Jungian psychology) is the school of psychology originating from the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. His theoretical orientation has been advanced by his students and other thinkers who followed in his tradition. Though they share similarities, analytical psychology is distinct from Freudian psychoanalysis. Its aim is wholeness through the integration of unconscious forces and motivations underlying human behavior. Depth psychology, including archetypal psychology, employs the model of the unconscious mind as the source of healing and development in an individual. Jung saw the psyche as mind, but also admits the mystery of soul, and used as empirical evidence, the practice of an accumulative phenomenology around the significance of dreams, archetypes and mythology.
Carl Gustav Jung was the founder of analytical psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as being "by nature religious" and to make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and symbolization. While he was a fully involved and practicing clinician, much of his life's work was spent exploring divergent areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts.
Jung considered individuation, a psychological process of integrating the opposites including the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining their relative autonomy, which he believed was necessary for a person to become whole and where individuation as being the central concept of analytical psychology. Many psychological concepts were first proposed by Jung, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity.
His interest in philosophy and the occult led many to view him as a mystic although Jung's ambition was to be seen as a man of science. His assistant, Aniela Jaffé, wrote that "nevertheless, the clear analogies that exist between mysticism and Jungian psychology cannot be overlooked, and this fact in no way denies its scientific basis."
Jung developed his own distinctive approach to the study of the human mind. In his early years when working in a Swiss hospital with schizophrenic patients and working with Sigmund Freud and the burgeoning psychoanalytic community, he took a closer look at the mysterious depths of the human unconscious. Fascinated by what he saw (and spurred on with even more passion by the experiences and questions of his personal life) he devoted his life to the exploration of the unconscious. Unlike many modern psychologists, Jung did not feel that experimenting using natural science was the only means to understand the human psyche. For him, he saw as empirical evidence the world of dream, myth, and folklore, as the promising road to its deeper understanding and meaning. That method's choice is related with his choice of the object of his science
Fits into framework of personality theory
Jung's writings have been studied by people of many backgrounds and interests, including theologians, people from the humanities, and mythologists. Jung often seemed to seek to make contributions to various fields, but he was mostly a practicing psychiatrist, involved during his whole career in treating patients. Jung started his career working with hospitalized patients with major mental illnesses, most notably schizophrenia. He was interested in the possibilities of an unknown "brain toxin" that could be the cause of schizophrenia. But the majority and the heart of Jung's clinical career was taken up with what we might call today individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, in gross structure very much in the strain of psychoanalytic practice first formed by Freud.
It is important to point out that Jung seemed to often see his work as not a complete psychology in itself but as his unique contribution to the field of psychology. Jung claimed late in his career that only for about a third of his patients did he use "Jungian analysis." Freudian psychology seemed to best suit some of the patient's needs and for others, Adlerian analysis was most appropriate. In fact, it seems that most contemporary Jungian clinicians merge a developmentally grounded theory, such as Self psychology or work, with Jungian theories in order to have a "whole" theoretical repertoire to do actual clinical work.
The "I" or Ego is tremendously important to Jung's clinical work. Jung's theory of etiology of psychopathology could almost be simplified to be stated as a too rigid conscious attitude towards the whole of the psyche. That is, a psychotic episode can be seen from a Jungian perspective as the "rest" of the psyche overwhelming the conscious psyche because the conscious psyche effectively was locking out and repressing the psyche as a whole.
Importance for further development
The classical approach is an approach which tries to remain faithful to what Jung himself proposed and taught in person and in his 20-plus volumes of work. Prominent advocates of this approach include Emma Jung (C.G. Jung's wife, who was an analyst in her own right), Marie-Louise von Franz, Joseph Henderson, Aniela Jaffe, Erich Neumann, and Gerhard Adler. The developmental approach is primarily associated with Michael Fordham and his wife, Frieda Fordham. It can be considered a bridge between traditional Jungian analysis and Melanie Klein's object relations theory. It is noted that this approach differs from the classical approach by giving less emphasis to the Self and more emphasis to the development of personality and in terms of practice in therapy, it gives more attention to transference and counter-transference than either the classical or the archetypal approaches.