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Compensation (Analytical Psychology)

COMPENSATION (ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY)

Compensation (transcendent function) finds its origins in the delineation of dynamics of the complex.

In 1907 Carl Gustav Jung notes the pathogenic complex posses a quantum of libido which grants it a degree of autonomy that is opposed to conscious will. Though this dynamic has a pathological cast, it conveys the essence of what Jung termed compensation; namely, the capacity of the unconscious to influence consciousness.

Jung noted the ego identifies with a preferred set of adaptive strategies, and thus tends to restrict the range of adaptive response and hamper individuation. In "The Importance of the Unconscious in Psychopathology" (1914), he introduced the idea, saying, "the principal function of the unconscious is to effect a compensation and to produce a balance. All extreme conscious tendencies are softened and toned down through a counter-impulse in the unconscious." (1914a). This assertion ascribes a different role to unconscious dynamics, i.e. one that is purposive and intelligent, and not restricted solely to wishing.

In 1917, Jung expanded his notion of an intelligent unconscious further when he asserted the existence of a "supraordinate unconscious" as a common human inheritance, viewed as the source of compensatory activity.

Later, Jung referred to compensation as "an inherent self regulation in the psychic apparatus." Jung's assertion of an intelligent unconscious culminated in his concept of the self (1928a), understood as the personality's central organizing agency that instigated and guided individuation. Paired with the concept of the self, compensation was seen as the core process in realizing selfhood.

Given this core value, Jung sought a means to maximize its efficiency and benefits. He termed this means the "transcendent function," described as a joining of the opposing tendencies of conscious and unconscious that would produce a synthesis in the form of a "uniting symbol" in order to release compensatory contents of the unconscious. Jung, noted the transcendent function facilitated a transition from one attitude to another and held the person skilled with understanding of conscious and unconscious interaction and its symbolic products could accelerate individuation.

Peter Mudd

See also: Animus-Anima (analytical psychology); Interpretation of dreams (analytical psychology); Projection and "participation mystique" (analytical psychology).

Bibliography

Jung, Carl Gustav. (1907). The psychology of Dementia præcox. Coll. works, vol. III, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1914a). On the importance of the unconscious in psychopathology. Coll. works, vol. III, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1917-18-26-43). The psychology of the unconscious processes. Coll. works, vol. VII: London, Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1928a [1935]). The relations between the ego and the unconscious. Coll. works, vol. VII, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1928b [1948]). On psychic energy. Coll. works, vol. VIII, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1928c [1948]). General aspects of dream psychology. Coll. works, vol. VIII, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1928d [1948]). Instinct and the inconscious. Coll. works, vol. VIII, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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compensation

com·pen·sa·tion / ˌkämpənˈsāshən/ • n. something, typically money, awarded to someone as a recompense for loss, injury, or suffering: seeking compensation for injuries suffered at work | [as adj.] a compensation claim. ∎  the action or process of making such an award: the compensation of victims. ∎  the money received by an employee from an employer as a salary or wages. ∎  something that counterbalances or makes up for an undesirable or unwelcome state of affairs: getting older has some compensations. ∎  Psychol. the process of concealing or offsetting a psychological difficulty by developing in another direction. DERIVATIVES: com·pen·sa·tion·al / -shənl/ adj.

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compensation

compensation (kom-pen-say-shŏn) n.
1. the act of making up for a functional or structural deficiency. For example, compensation for the loss of a diseased kidney is brought about by an increase in size of the remaining kidney, so restoring the urine-producing capacity.

2. monetary payment in redress for injury or loss, the amount of which usually corresponds to the degree of harm suffered.

3. (in psychoanalysis) the act of exaggerating an approved character trait to make up for a weakness in an opposite trait.

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Compensation

COMPENSATION

A pecuniary remedy that is awarded to an individual who has sustained an injury in order to replace the loss caused by said injury, such asworkers' compensation. Wages paid to an employee or, generally, fees, salaries, or allowances. The payment a landowner is given to make up for the injury suffered as a result of the seizure when his or her land is taken by the government througheminent domain.

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