Analytical Psychology

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Analytical Psychology

Structure of personality


Jung’s method of treatment



Analytical psychology, also called complex psychology, is identified with the work of Carl Gustav Jung, who founded it. It is an attempt to expand Freudian psychology, from which it developed. Jung’s doctoral dissertation, written in 1900 and published in 1902, reflects his acquaintance with one of the earliest of Freud’s writings, The Interpretation of Dreams, although he drew equally on the books of Pierre Janet and F. W. H. Myers. Jung had read widely, not only in medicine and psychiatry but also in philosophy. Long before he found his way into the new movement of psychoanalysis, he wrote to Freud: “If there is a psychoanalysis there must also be a psychosynthesis” (Jacobi [1957] 1959, pp. 24–25). It was this search for a synthesis that was Jung’s aim throughout his life and that first led him into closer association with Freud and later forced him to break away again.

From the very beginning of his career, Jung was interested in phenomena of the unconscious, a concept known to him not only from Freud’s writings but also from his acquaintance with a long line of German philosophers and physicians (Schopenhauer, von Hartmann, Carus, etc.). Indeed, even in his student years at the University of Basel, 1895–1900, he became interested in occult phenomena and the psychological significance of dreams, largely as the result of personal experiences. This led him to specialize in psychiatry; his doctoral dissertation dealt with the psychology and pathology of so-called occult phenomena and bears witness to this early interest. In 1900 he become assistant to Eugen Bleuler, director of the Burghölzli, the psychiatric clinic of the University of Zurich. In 1905 he was made lecturer and psychiatrist-in-chief at this clinic, where he established a laboratory for experimental psychopathology. There he developed his word association experiments (later published as Studies in Word-association, 1904–1909), which were the first scientific studies to confirm some of Freud’s findings, notably those relating to the concepts of repression and inhibition. In this experiment, a number of words were read to the patient, who had to reply to each with the word that came first to his mind. Jung found that often a response was unduly delayed, or the stimulus word was misinterpreted or answered by an apparently irrelevant association; and in some cases there was no answer at all. When-ever such response peculiarities occurred, the stimulus word seemed to have touched on some emotional memories, an affective “complex” that apparently was unconscious. This word association test is still a standard diagnostic procedure and was later developed into the so-called lie detector test.

Although at this time Jung seems to have had no difficulties interpreting these complexes in terms of sexuality, he was wary of accepting Freud’s notion of the exclusive role of sexuality in psychic life. However, his first personal meeting with Freud, in 1906, seems to have convinced him, at least temporarily, of its primacy. In 1909 he was asked, together with Freud, to lecture at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Soon after his return, he resigned from his post at the Burghölzli, apparently because of increasing tension between him and Dr. Bleuler, who had at first been interested enough in the new science to join the International Psychoanalytical Society but who later withdrew because he came to disagree more and more with Freudian theory.

Jung, one of the few non-Jewish members of the circle around Freud, was favored by the master, often to the chagrin of his Viennese supporters. Freud felt, not unreasonably, that the always present anti-Semitism in German-speaking countries might seriously retard the spread of psychoanalysis if it were thought of as a Jewish enterprise. In 1910, largely for this reason, Freud made Jung the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Society.

In the next few years, Jung seems to have been continually torn between his interest in establishing the broader nature of the unconscious and his loyalty to the Freudian approach. Not unexpectedly, his essay “Theory of Psychoanalysis” (1913a) suggested a number of modifications in psychoanalytic theory; and after another two years of uncertain allegiance and nagging doubt, Jung finally resigned the presidency of the society in 1914. The Psychology of the Unconscious (1913b) made this step inevitable. The transformations of the libido, as he described them, are far removed from psychosexual development as Freud understood it.

Divergences from Freud. Jung uses the Freudian term “libido”; but while Freud conceives of libido as a set of component instincts (oral, anal, genital) combined into the adult sexual drive, Jung sees it as the product of the tension between conscious and unconscious. For Jung, energy flows ceaselessly between these two poles and manifests itself in every activity, including sexual activity. It is not composed of part instincts but is unitary, neutral, ever the same. For Freud, energy is essentially sexual because its aim, sexual pleasure, is considered the prototype of all pleasure. For Jung, however, pleasure can result from any activity. Sucking and eating are pleasurable, but these pleasures have no necessary connection with sexual pleasure. The Oedipus complex, that bulwark of Freudian theory, in Jung’s thinking becomes a name for the child’s desire for food and protection, which orients him toward the mother. The prohibition of incest, far from being the sign of a repressed universal urge, is for Jung only the expression of the fact that daily companionship from childhood on does not make for powerful sexual attraction. Infantile repression can be merely a sign of the child’s biological immaturity and not necessarily a sign that instinctive forces are threatening from the unconscious. Indeed, even in his early writings he asserts that the cause of neurosis is not to be found in such repression. Neurosis may be the result of man’s inability to face his life task here and now; and out of inertia he turns his life force (libido) back to the past (regression) instead of using it to cope with the difficulties of the present. As for the unconscious, Jung stresses its complementary function. For Freud, the “primary process” provides in fantasy the desired fulfillment of a wish; for Jung, fantasy serves to draw attention to significant inner realities.

Development of Jung’s own system. As Jung moved farther and farther away from Freud, his interest in unconscious symbolism increased. He devoted a large part of his time to the study of alchemistic texts and discovered in them parallels to the images and symbols that recurred in the analyses of his patients. He came to believe that Western man has lost the intuitive comprehension of symbolism that is universal in the East, and therefore is at a grave disadvantage in his search for maturity. After several works in which he used mainly early Christian and medieval symbolism in his interpretations, he published, with Richard Wilhelm, a translation of an old Chinese text, The Secret of the Golden Flower (1929), in which he interpreted Chinese symbols on the basis of his system. Later, he collaborated with the Hungarian philologist and mythologist Karl Kerényi (Essays on a Science of Mythology, 1941) and edited Heinrich Zimmer’s Der Weg zum Selbst (1944). In 1948 he founded the Jung Institute in Zurich for training students in his methods of treatment and interpretation. The institute has been carrying on his work since his death in 1961.

Structure of personality

Jung seems to conceive of human personality as wider in scope than is usually assumed.

Conscious and unconscious

Of the conscious mental contents that man acquires in the course of his life, some are later forgotten, others are actively repressed; all fall back into the personal unconscious. This personal unconscious is continuous with the collective unconscious, also called the objective psyche. The collective unconscious represents the inherited basis on which the individual conscious and unconscious life is built. The larger personality, the total self, comprises both conscious and unconscious (individual and collective); but consciousness is the spearhead of activity, and the unconscious is the ground out of which action is born. Normally this is not one-way traffic. The conscious is continually replenished and nourished by the unconscious; and an increase in energy flow to the conscious always implies a compensatory flow to the unconscious.


Personality is developed through a movement out into the world and a temporary withdrawal, in a succession of cycles of progression and regression. This goes on from childhood, through the turbulence of adolescence, to maturity and old age; there is no standing still. Even in neurosis and psychosis, only the direction of energy is changed, flowing more strongly toward the unconscious than the conscious.

Jung distinguishes two main directions of activity. It may be turned toward outer objects, the world in all its forms; this he calls extraversion. Or it may be turned toward the inner world, the world of thought and imagination; this he calls introversion. These are both normal directions of activity and interest, but each is preferred by different types of people. The extravert is interested in the outer aspects of things, the world of sights, shapes, sounds, odors. As a scientist, the extravert is interested in facts, not theories; as an artist, in the forms or sounds or colors he uses, not in the meaning he wants to express. The introvert, on the other hand, is interested in what can be made out of the things he encounters. He is interested in the products of his own activity, in the shapes he gives the world according to his own inner dictates. The introvert scientist is interested in theories, not in facts. The introvert artist is passionately intent on giving shape to his convictions. He does not experiment with form or color for their own sake; he uses them solely as vehicles for his thoughts.

Normally, man spends his childhood years in exuberant extraversion until this is compensated by the period of adolescent introversion. In maturity, he has settled on one of these modes of reaction, although ideally the other should be available to him as circumstances require.

Four functions

Within his preferred mode of conscious activity, each person also has preferred functions. Jung distinguishes four main functions: thought, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Thought evaluates whether things are true or false; feeling, whether they are agreeable or disagreeable. Because this pair of opposite functions imposes our concepts of true/false, good/bad on reality, Jung calls them rational functions. Sensation and intuition, on the other hand, simply acquaint us with things. Whether we find that “this is red” or “1 and 1 is 2,” we simply apprehend what is there. Jung calls intuition “a perception based on self-evidence,” which illustrates his notion that both sensation and intuition help us apprehend reality. Since, in his view, outer reality is thus received without the imposing of reason upon it, he calls this pair of functions irrational.

As the child uses his functions, he will find one to be more adequate than the others. This becomes his “superior function.” The function that is next most adequate becomes his “auxiliary function.” In Jung’s system, all energy (and thus all activity) is the product of the tension between two opposites, the one conscious, the other unconscious. This holds for the two pairs of functions also. Thought is the opposite of feeling; when thought is the superior function, the inferior (and unconscious) function will be feeling, and vice versa. With thought as the superior function, either sensation or intuition may become the auxiliary function, consciously employed in encountering the world. The remaining function will be partly conscious, partly unconscious. Ideally, with increasing maturity the inferior function also should become available, with the result that a man should finally be able to use all four functions with almost equal ease—an improbable event. For instance, the introvert for whom thought is a superior function should be able to comprehend something quickly, intuitively grasp its potentialities, sense its various aspects, and correctly evaluate it.

When a man uses his superior function exclusively and refuses to acknowledge other modes of action, the repressed inferior function will influence his actions indirectly and often disastrously. Therefore, an introvert thinking type might find himself fatally attracted to a girl with whom he has nothing in common and who is not even particularly attractive: his repressed feeling function has remained primitive and now exacts its revenge for long neglect.

The ego

That part of personality that represents the individual as he experiences himself and adapts to external reality is called the conscious ego. Each human being begins his life as a member of a family, a nation, and the human race and he draws on a heritage of experience and conduct that comes to him from the past. He lives on the conscious level as an ego, but is also an embodiment of the collective psyche and draws on the energy created by the tension between conscious and unconscious.


During the years prior to maturity, each man overemphasizes the conscious. Since he is master of his fate only on the conscious level, he will tend to neglect and even to deny everything that cannot be handled by means of his superior function. He lives his life on the surface: he takes a job, gets married, becomes a family man and taxpayer, and establishes himself in his world. He acquires what is called the persona—the face he turns toward the world. The persona is a real, even necessary, attribute, for without it a man would never achieve frictionless adjustment. The persona is not the total self. When a man consciously identifies himself with the persona, when he denies the unconscious aspect of his personality, the unconscious will have its revenge by breaking through into conscious life, either in the form of disquieting dreams or in the form of neurosis and even psychosis. Since energy flows between the conscious and the unconscious, there will be a backlash into the unconscious whenever the conscious is overcharged by identification with the persona.


For the sake of his mental health as well as his maturity, a man must transcend his conscious ego, must relinquish his unthinking identification with the persona and try to reach his true self, the “midpoint of his personality,” which makes both poles of his personality, conscious and unconscious, accessible to him. Such individuation is a natural, even instinctive, process. But if it is made conscious, the individual gains insight and enlarges his consciousness. If he does not take part in this process consciously, individuation will still occur; but it will victimize him ([1952] 1958, p. 460).

The process of individuation can be observed in therapy, where the personal unconscious is analyzed. But as soon as the patient begins to become aware of his unconscious inclinations, says Jung, there will arise images that clearly point beyond the personal to the collective unconscious. In the analysis of the personal unconscious, Jung, like Freud, used dreams and fantasies. But unlike Freud, Jung found himself unable to reduce dreams to the fantasied fulfillment of a libidinal wish. Indeed, actual sexual dreams often seegmed to point to a meaning deeper than sexual desires.

The archetypes

Thus, Jung was led toward one of his more difficult conceptions, the archetype. Over and over, in the dreams of his patients he found images that have held meaning for men throughout the ages. The individual dreamer may not understand the significance of these images and so could not have acquired them either through personal experience or through reading. Myths and fairy tales employ such archetypal images with the same meaning that they have in dreams, e.g., the fish, water, and particularly the mandala, a symbol of unity in Quaternity. Better known archetypal images are those of the hero, the savior, the magician, and the king. These images are not archetypes themselves; they are the experienced expression of the archetype. The archetype itself is “an inherited mode of psychic functioning” analogous to inherited behavior patterns. But, Jung adds, this is merely the biological aspect of the archetype. When experienced by an individual, the archetype appears fundamentally important. Whether or not it is expressed in symbols, the archetype “possesses” the individual (Jacobi [1957] 1959, pp. 43–44). Here it becomes clear that the archetype is an unconscious force expressed in images through which the collective unconscious influences the individual.

For Jung, the comprehension of reality is not confined to sense perception and logical understanding. The symbolic, imaginative apprehension of the world is another avenue of knowledge, just as natural, just as spontaneous. Indeed, the child seems more at home in this world of imaginative perception than he is in the world of logical understanding. According to Jung, the psyche meets the world with a symbolic archetypal image which apprehends the inner meaning, just as the biological organism uses the eye to see and the eye catches the light. “And in the same way as the eye bears witness to the peculiar and independent creative activity of living matter, the primordial image expresses the unique and unconditioned creative power of the mind” (Jung [1921] 1959, p. 557).

Since these are two equivalent ways of apprehending the world—one giving us physical reality, the other psychic reality—it is possible to project, that is, to ascribe our own unconscious tendencies to the outside world. Consequently, a man must learn to distinguish reality from projection. He must become conscious of the archetypal world by integrating and assimilating the archetypal images that he experiences.

The shadow. The first step in this process of integrating and assimilating is to transcend the conscious persona and face the shadow in the personal unconscious, if the person wants to tap the energy of the unconscious. The shadow represents the psychic aspects that are denied in conscious living. As long as his shadow side remains unacknowledged, man suffers a ceaseless conflict between conscious intentions and unconscious inclinations, between the persona and the shadow. The presence of such a conflict is betrayed by the complex, a set of emotionally charged ideas. And the complex can be discovered by the word association experiment, as we have seen above. Jung claims that every complex consists of a “nuclear element” that is unconscious and archetypal and a set of associations around this nucleus. If we consider, for instance, the archetypal image of the father as such a nucleus, we may find that a son’s years of actual experience with his father have clothed this nucleus with a complex of highly emotional memories made virulent by the opposition between the hostile or resentful impulses created by these situations and the genuine love and gratitude he feels for his father.

Such a complex may remain unconscious, in which case it will grow unhindered. Sometimes it is intellectually known: the son may know that he has a “father complex.” But it can be resolved only when he realizes that some of his negative feelings are his own projections. The father has not really earned all the resentment and hostility the son may feel. This projection of the shadow is unconscious; when it is withdrawn through the conscious realization that it is a projection, the complex is resolved and a realistic relationship to the father can be established.

In its envelope of acquired attitudes, the shadow represents the negative side of a man’s persona and the effects of its projection can be resolved in therapy without too much difficulty. It is even possible to do this without therapy, provided the individual has a modicum of insight and can exercise some self-criticism. But it is next to impossible to realize and acknowledge the archetypal nucleus of the shadow. “It is quite within the bounds of possibility for a man to recognize the relative evil of his nature,” says Jung, “but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil” ([1951] 1959, p. 10).

Anima, animus. When the projection of the shadow is resolved, what is next encountered in analysis is a personification of the collective unconscious in the figures of the anima (in men) and the animus (in women). According to Jung, both anima and animus consist of three elements: “the femininity pertaining to the man and the masculinity pertaining to the woman; the experience which man has of woman and vice versa; and, finally, the masculine and feminine archetypal image” ([1951] 1959, p. 21). Although the contribution of a man’s or a woman’s personal experience can be integrated in the process of analysis, the archetypal nucleus of anima and animus remains autonomous. Thus, they have often been projected as gods (Hermes, Aphrodite, Persephone). These archetypes are again encountered in our Western culture as the symbols of Christ and the church.

According to Jung, the less a person is aware of these forces, the more powerful they become, and the more their influence will be negative. A man’s anima will give rise to irrational moods while the animus of women produces irrational opinions, the feminine substitute for masculine logic. A man who denies his own femininity and so devalues women becomes the prey of his anima, suffers from her destructive aspect, and is the plaything of unreasonable likes and dislikes. But if he becomes aware of the anima, he will discover her positive aspect and be inspired by the eternal feminine. If a woman overemphasizes her femininity, plays up to men, depends on her seductiveness to get what she wants, her animus will show its negative side: she will become a shrew in her aggressive argumentativeness. (Jung, like so many great men of past generations, seems to assume that logic and rationality are altogether masculine, while emotionality and deviousness are a feminine heritage.)

According to Jung, the father acts as protection against the dangers of the outside world and so becomes a model persona for his son, while the mother protects him against the dangers that threaten from his unconscious and so becomes the model for his anima image. Primitive religions, as well as Christian rites (particularly in the Roman Catholic church), used to provide effective anima symbols (Virgin Mary, Mother Church) for the difficult transition from adolescence to maturity. But modern man has lost access to the meaning of such symbols and flounders in his attempt to become aware of his anima and thereby reach maturity.

The magician and the great mother. When the anima is encountered and acknowledged, there is a new danger: the newly available anima energy may give rise to a spurious feeling of power. A man who has faced his anima now feels himself divinely chosen, a hero, a prophet. But his seeming abundance of power is merely the sign of another invasion from the unconscious, represented by the archetype of the hero—saint, superman, magician —which must be made conscious in turn. For women, the corresponding archetype is the great mother. Identification with the magician or great mother invariably ceases, according to Jung, when man has differentiated himself from his unconscious and is able to use its energy without inflation.

The God image. The last and most powerful archetypal image to be encountered in the process of individuation is that of the Divine. For Jung, “the idea of God is an absolutely necessary psychological function of an irrational nature, which has nothing whatever to do with the question of God’s existence” ([1913b] 1953, p. 70). God must be acknowledged as a psychic reality, whether we are theists or not. The God image represents the archetype that is most powerful. If it is not an image of God, it will be that of some substitute, just as powerful but possibly malignant. Hence “the gods cannot and must not die” ([1913b] 1953, p. 70). As long as the human being either worships these archetypal symbols or denies them, he has not yet recognized them as being what they are—symbols of unconscious forces. As soon as the God image is experienced in dreams or fantasies, says Jung, the awakening of the larger self is at hand, the individuation process has reached its final stage. For this reason, he considers the God image the symbol of the total self in action, the self that includes the conscious and the personal unconscious and reaches into the collective psyche.


According to Jung, the religions of mankind, from the most primitive to the most highly developed, have a deep significance. In symbolic form they map out the path of salvation and so make it possible for the believer to embark consciously on the process of individuation. Among primitive peoples, the God image is still entirely a projection from the unconscious. As gods and demons, these projections protect the primitive from the inroads of the unconscious. Since the primitive is all persona, he is helpless against the sudden uprush of emotion from the unconscious. As an example, Jung mentions the case of a primitive who came home from an unsuccessful hunt and, full of rage, strangled his small son, only to mourn him bitterly the moment after. To think that his rage meant that he was possessed by an evil spirit made it possible for him to devise means of propitiating the spirits and so gain control over his emotions.

In the West Christianity had fulfilled a similar function. Through dogma and ritual, the church provided a blueprint for man’s growth toward maturity. At baptism, the child was received into the church, thus releasing him from exclusive dependence on his parents and protecting him from the unknown by giving him a heavenly father. At confirmation, he was not only formally initiated into the world of men but was also confirmed in his membership in a spiritual family (church and pope as mother and father). Although the church was, and is, a positive factor, Jung feels that it has kept the individual confined in a collective world that should be abandoned as soon as self-confidence permits. With the Reformation, which exalted individualism, the unity of doctrine and symbolism gradually disappeared; and meaning has been bleached out of the sacred symbols until modern Protestantism is left with little more than the historical figure of Christ and an ambiguous and problematical idea of God.

This rootlessness of modern man has sometimes tempted him to look to Eastern religions for meanings as yet undiluted by usage, for newly minted symbols that might bring back an experience long forgotten, if ever known. This attempt will not succeed, says Jung, for religion must be firmly rooted in experience; it cannot be transplanted. For modern man, Jung sees only one remedy: to become aware that God is an archetype that is rooted deep in our collective unconscious and that conveys an experience of the numinous (in Rudolf Otto’s term), of something that arouses awe and inspires deeds far surpassing everyday aims.

Jung and Christianity

Jung has so often been accused of reducing religion to psychology and has so often protested that he is not guilty of such naive psychologism that it will be well to discuss this facet of his system.

Our Western Judaeo-Christian tradition assumes a dualism of matter and spirit. God, the creator of all that is, sustains what he has created and so is “in” his creation; but as pure spirit he immeasurably transcends his creation. Man, partly material, partly spiritual, can come to know him after a fashion, can love, worship, and serve him, but can also turn away from God and choose his own willful destiny. In contrast, Jung sees a duality of matter and psyche or mind. Indeed, the “objective psyche” is, if anything, more real than the physical world. Since he believes that even animals share archetypes ([1913b] 1953, p. 67), the archetypal organizing forces seem to regulate the activity of all living things. The objective psyche seems to penetrate everything ([1937–1944] 1955, p. 132). If living organisms are thus so grounded in the objective psyche, then it is really the spaceless, timeless realm out of which the material universe was somehow precipitated. Jung actually draws an analogy, admittedly speculative, between the nature of the atom and the nature of the archetype and defends this analogy insistently (Jung 1951).

In Jung’s universe, the objective psyche is the ultimate reality. For this reason, he cannot understand the objections of theologians who accuse him of equating God with psychic reality—for is not psychic reality all there is? For Jung, the personified archetypal forces are the only real forces, and the God image is their most powerful expression. Why, then, should anyone accuse him of psychologism? Jung’s is not a Christian world view; it is far closer to that of Carus and von Hartmann, for whom the supraindividual unconscious psyche, absolute and eternal, is the source of consciousness, “the Divine within us.” Jung’s process of individuation is really the reclamation of matter by the divine unconscious, and man has only the choice of going along or being dragged along.

The problem of evil

This divergence of Jung’s world view from the Christian tradition is at the root of the heated debates, engaged in by Jung and some of his theologian disciples, on the problem of evil.

For Jung, evil had to be substantial, a real archetypal force. Lucifer, Satan, the shadow, are archetypal images for him, the expression of psychic realities. In his system, they must be equally potent, equally real, opposites of the good—of God. Without opposites, he cannot conceive of energy, power, or any movement, even the movement toward individuation. For the Christian, on the other hand, everything has been created by God and so is good. Some creatures, having been given free will, broke away from God and set their will against his. They have become evil. But their substance, being God’s creation, is good; only their will is evil and so works evil. The devils’ sin is in having perverted God’s good creation and having turned it against him. They are rebels, not evil gods. Consequently, the Christian can believe in the final victory of the good, while Jung is caught in his universe of absolute good and absolute evil, in which the increase of one always requires the increase of the other.

Trinity versus Quaternity

Jung’s view that the archetypal forces are the only reality also seems responsible for his often expressed conviction that the Trinity, as conceived by Christians, is incomplete without a fourth member. This is sometimes the feminine principle to complement God the Father, sometimes the principle of evil to complement God as the principle of good. He actually claimed that the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary adds the needed fourth to make a Quaternity ([1902-1959] 1958, vol. 11, p. 171).

In this interpretation, Jung has found a way to impose his own mold of thinking on Christian beliefs. For him, the Quaternity is the symbol of individuation, as he has found it in his analysis of patients. Here he has seen the emergence of the foursquare man who has faced shadow and anima, God and the devil; conceiving these images as expressions of the personified powers of the unconscious, the only realities, it was easy for him to believe that these must be the realities behind Christian dogma. So he interprets the Mass as “the rite of the individuation process” which “transforms the soul of the empirical man, who is only a part of himself, into his totality, symbolically expressed by Christ” ([1942] 1958, p. 273).

Possible objections

Once the collective psyche is given the status of absolute reality, Jung cannot be charged with psychologism. But perhaps the logic of his own system would require a realization that the identification of the God image with the total self is also a projection. Just as other archetypal images do not merely symbolize unconscious forces but are ways of apprehending reality in the persons of real men and women, so the God image might be a way of apprehending extraindividual and extrapsychic reality. In Jung’s system, a dangerous inflation follows if the archetypal energy is appropriated by the ego, as we have seen above. Might there not be a similar, even more dangerous, inflation if the God image is appropriated by the total self? After the unconscious projections of the shadow, the anima, and the magician are recognized and withdrawn, would not the logical last step be a resolution of the God complex through a withdrawal of the unconscious projection on the total self? Jung’s philosophy does not allow him to take this last step toward individuation, and so he is left with a completely autonomous self, a veritable half-god.

The growing God

This inflation is perhaps most noticeable in Jung’s Answer to Job (1952), one of his most recent books. Here he explores the character of Yahweh in his treatment of Job. Yahweh is a combination of opposites: he is omniscient and omnipotent, yet he demands praise, worship, and sacrifice. He is total justice—but also total injustice, as demonstrated in the way he treats Job. Such an aggregate of opposites implies lack of insight, lack of self-reflection, total unconsciousness. Man, dependent and defenseless, had to compensate by a “somewhat keener consciousness.” Thus, the creature has surpassed the creator in morality and wisdom, and God must become man to regenerate himself and become conscious ([1952] 1958, pp. 405–406).

With this notion of man as superior to God, Jung’s thinking has completed a full circle: the conscious ego is but a tiny part of the total self, and its energy depends on the tension of conscious and unconscious; God is an archetype in the unconscious, symbolizing the total self; this total self has to be achieved by a process of individuation in which one archetypal projection after another must be faced and transcended; but the archetypal force (God), symbolizing the total self, is inferior to the conscious ego. Apparently, this “most powerful” archetype is in need of constant regeneration through constant incarnation, first through Christ in one man, then through the Holy Ghost in many. Jung admits that “such a transformation [into complete God-men] would lead to insufferable collisions between them, to say nothing of the unavoidable inflation to which the ordinary mortal … would instantly succumb.” His solution? “… even the enlightened person remains what he is, and is never more than his own limited ego before the One who dwells within him, whose form has no knowable boundaries, who encompasses him on all sides, fathomless as the abysms of the earth and vast as the sky” ([1952] 1958, p. 470). In other words, man affords regeneration to the unconscious God, is even superior to him, but still is not God. Is this perhaps a belated recognition that the identification of the total self with the God image is a projection?


In his later works, Jung suggested that the principle of causality should be complemented by the principle of synchronicity. This is the notion that events that occur apparently by chance may actually be the result of a common inner meaning. In Jung’s own experience, on a day devoted to exploring the fish symbolism, he had fish for lunch, found an inscription that referred to fish, was shown pictures of fish and told a dream about fish ([1937–1944] 1955, p. 14). This principle is easy to explain in terms of Jung’s system, in which the objective psyche interpenetrates the physical universe and pursues its own aims through the individuals it produces and nourishes.

Jung’s method of treatment

Jung diverged as far from Freud’s technique as he did from Freud’s theory. He used dreams to discover the root of the patient’s problem, as did Freud. But unlike Freud, he depended on dream sequences rather than on single dreams and used amplification rather than free association to arrive at the meaning of the dream. The difference is fundamental. Freud used the patient’s associations to uncover buried memories; Jung asked for the meaning of the dream figures to arrive at the meaning of the dream story. He quotes the dream of a woman patient to illustrate his method: ”She is about to cross a wide river. There is no bridge, but she finds a ford where she can cross. She is on the point of doing so, when a large crab that lay hidden in the water seizes her by the foot and will not let her go” ([1913b] 1953, p. 80). The meanings are as follows: River—a boundary difficult to cross; she must reach the other side. Ford—a possible crossing; treatment is a way to health. Crab (German Krebs means crab and cancer)—an incurable disease; something is stopping her (a row with a woman friend). Interpreted on the objective level, the dream says that her friend is the obstacle that prevents her from getting well. But Jung also interprets dreams on the subjective level, treating dream contents as symbols of inner tendencies. On the subjective level, “the dream shows the patient that she has something in herself which prevents her from crossing the boundary, i.e., from getting out of one situation or attitude into another” ([1913b] 1953, p. 84). The relationship with her friend is sentimental and demanding, used as a defense against heterosexual entanglements. Objectively, this relationship is the “cancer”; subjectively, it is her unconscious need of such a defense that prevents her progress. The dream also suggests a remedy: to free herself from the cancer if she is to progress.

It is Jung’s conviction that the therapist can bring the patient only up to the point in the process of individuation reached by the therapist himself. The therapist is a helper, a coexplorer in the discovery of the unconscious. In helping the patient, the doctor gains insights about his own personality and is transformed, together with the patient.


Jung’s books are difficult to read because they are weighed down by references to mythology, alchemy, and Christian and Eastern symbolism, with which the reader has little firsthand acquaintance. Thus, it is next to impossible to assess the validity of Jung’s inferences from these sources. Moreover, Jung’s system has grown over many years and is not stated in full in any of his books. Consequently, it is necessary to read the better part of his writings before one can form a good notion of the scope of his theories.

Jung’s empirical results represent a broadening of psychotherapy and personality research, which will continue to bear fruit now that the strictly mechanical view of man is beginning to be superseded by a more humanistic approach. Jung’s conception of human personality is incomparably richer than that of Freud or his successors. Like Freud, he began by exploring memory (free associations) but soon realized that fantasy and imagination are the “royal road to the unconscious.” Jung’s findings demonstrate that man has aspirations as well as lusts and that his imagination is not restricted to fashioning disguises for libidinal wishes.

His clinical explorations seem to make it clear that the dreams and fantasies of his patients refer to something beyond the immediate situation, to a human desire for perfection or self-realization. However, the inference of a collective unconscious projecting its archetypal images in dreams and fantasies is not required by Jung’s evidence. Strictly speaking, all our functions are unconscious. We do not know how we produce fantasy images, but neither do we know how we draw logical inferences. To explain fantasy images that express the same meanings, whether they occur in dreams of modern man or in myths and fairy tales, we need no more than the assumption that like human structure will mediate like human experiences pictured in similar images. Imagination is normally used for planning action. When released from such use, in dreams and fantasies, it still functions to picture a man’s life situation, and his attitudes, as expressed in his actions, and their possible consequences. Imagination, then, is an adjunct to deliberate planning and conduct, well suited to draw attention to aspirations not acknowledged in conscious life. To go beyond this function of imagination and suggest a direct connection with an extraindividual “objective psyche” seems to have been dictated by Jung’s personal philosophy rather than by his scientific training or clinical experience.

Magda B. Arnold

[Other relevant material may be found inDreams; Literature, article onthe psychology of literature; Psychoanalysis; Religion; and in the biographies ofBleuler; Freud; Jung.]


Goldbrunner, Josef (1949) 1956 Individuation: A Study of the Depth Psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. London: Hollis & Carter; New York: Pantheon. → First published in German.

The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche. 1955 New York: Pantheon. → Contains two essays: “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle” by C. G. Jung and “The Influence of Archetypal Ideas on the Scientific Theories of Kepler” by W. Pauli.

Jacobi, Jolande (1957) 1959 Complex, Archetype, Symbol in the Psychology of C. G. Jung. New York: Pantheon. → First published in German.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1902) 1957 On the Psychology and Pathology of So-called Occult Phenomena. Pages 3–88 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 1: Psychiatric Studies. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Zur Psychologie und Pathologie sogenannter occulter Phänomene.”

Jung, Carl Gustav (1902–1959) 1953– Collected Works. Edited by Herbert Read et al. New York: Pantheon. → Volume 1: Psychiatric Studies, 1957. Volume 3: The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease, 1960. Volume 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis, 1961. Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation, 1956. Volume 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, 1953. Volume 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, 1953. Volume 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, 1959. Part 2: Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self, 1959. Volume 10: Civilization in Transition, 1963. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East, 1958. Volume 12: Psychology and Alchemy, 1953. Volume 14: Mysterium coniunctionis, 1963. Volume 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy, 1954. Volume 17: The Development of Personality, 1954. Forthcoming volumes include Volume 2: Experimental Researches; Volume 6: Psychological Types; Volume 13: Alchemical Studies; Volume 15: The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature; and final volumes on his miscellaneous works, bibliography, and index.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1904–1909) 1918 Studies in Word-association: Experiments in the Diagnosis of Psychopathological Conditions Carried Out at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Zürich, Under the Direction of C. G. Jung. London: Heinemann. → First published in German.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1913a) 1961 Theory of Psychoanalysis. Pages 83–226 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Versuch einer Darstellung der psychoanalytischen Theorie.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1913b) 1953 The Psychology of the Unconscious. Pages 1–117 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Neue Bahnen der Psychologie.” In 1917 revised and expanded into Die Psychologie der unbewussten Prozesse.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1921) 1959 Psychological Types: Or the Psychology of Individuation. London: Routledge. → First published in German.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1922–1931) 1959 Modern Man in Search of a Soul. London: Routledge. → First published as Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1929) 1962 Commentary. Pages 77–137 in T’ai i chin hua tsung chih, The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. New York: Harcourt. → “Commentary” first published in German.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1932–1936) 1939 The Integration of the Personality. New York: Farrar. → Originally published in German in the 1932–1936 volumes of Eranos Jahrbuch.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1937–1944) 1955 Psychology and Alchemy. London: Routledge. → First published in German. Also appeared as Volume 12 of Jung’s Collected Works.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1942) 1958 Transformation Symbolism in the Mass. Pages 201–296 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Pantheon.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1951) 1959 Aion. Volume 9, part 2 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. New York: Pantheon.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1952) 1958 Answer to Job. Pages 355–470 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Antwort auf Hiob.”

Jung, Carl Gustav; and KerÉnyi, Karl (1941) 1949 Essays on a Science of Mythology: The Myth of the Divine Child and the Mysteries of Eleusis. New York: Pantheon. → First published in German.

Zimmer, Heinrich 1944 Der Weg zum Selbst: Lehre und Leben des indischen Heiligen Shri Ramana aus Tiruvannamalai. Edited by Carl G. Jung. Zürich: Rascher.

Analytical Psychology

views updated May 17 2018


Founded by Carl Gustav Jung, the field of analytical psychology is the descendent of the "Zürich School" of psychoanalysis which Jung spearheaded while still the heir apparent to Freud and the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association (1910-1914).

The first written occurrence of the name "analytical psychology" is in a lecture delivered by Jung to the Psycho-Medical Society in London on August 5, 1913 ("General Aspects of Psychoanalysis"). Conceived by Jung as a general (depth) psychology, the field grew in size and developed in complexity both during Jung's lifetime and after his death in 1961. By 1997 it had come to embrace some two thousand professional analysts on five continents.

In the years 1907-20 Jung worked out the main outlines of his theory, which set the course for analytical psychology. By the end of this period, the theory included psychological types, the theory of complexes and archetypes, the notions of persona, shadow, and anima/animus, and the individuation process.

Among the factors that have distinguished analytical psychology are: (a) a synthetic/symbolic component in analytic treatment; (b) a view of libido that includes a broad range of instinct groups, as well as a theory of culture that sees it based not on sublimation of sexuality but on symbolic transformation processes native to the psyche; (c) a notion of the unconscious that includes strivings toward growth and development, intelligent purpose, and orientation to meaning rather than narrowly limited to a pleasure orientation and a drive to tension release; (d) minimization of the psychosexual stages of development in childhood in favor of lifelong psychological development.

Technique also contributes important distinguishing features to analytical psychology: (a) while retaining a strong sense of the importance of transference and regression, Jung placed patients in a chair vis-à-vis the analyst and asked them to interact and maintain a dialogue; (b) frequency of sessions is variable from twice to five times per week, depending on the need; (c) the personality of the analyst as well as the analyst's associations ("amplifications") to dreams and other unconscious material come into play in a more open and explicit fashion, and the analyst seeks to be somewhat transparent and self-disclosing of emotional reactions.

Already when Jung broke with Freud at the end of 1912 he enjoyed an international reputation and quickly attracted his own students from many parts of Europe and the United States. These men and women typically returned to their countries of origin and began Analytical Psychology Clubs or similar study groups in their home cities: London (1922), Paris (1926), New York (1936), San Francisco (1939), Los Angeles (1942), Tel Aviv (1958). Interest in Jung's ideas was strong also in Berlin, but since many of the physicians drawn to him were Jewish (Gerhard Adler, Ernst Bernhardt, Werner Engel, Jean Kirsch, Ernst Neumann) and fled to the United States, England, Italy, and Israel during the 1930s, and because of the Nazi rise to power and the outbreak of World War II, the founding of a Jungian organization in Germany was delayed until 1962.

Gradually these Analytical Psychology Clubs fostered professional analyst societies which, after theSecond World War, began sponsoring training institutes. The Society of Analytical Psychology, London (1945) led by Gerhard Adler, Michael Fordham, and Edward A. Bennett founded the first training program. Next came the Carl Gustav Jung Institute/Zürich (1948) with Carl A. Meier as President. In the 1960s, training institutes appeared in many parts of the world: Italy (1961), New York (1962), Germany (1962), San Francisco (1964), Los Angeles (1967), and France (1969). In the following decades, professional societies and training institutes also developed in Austria, Australia/New Zealand, Brazil, Israel, South Africa, and many urban centers in the United States. By 1996 there were twenty-three training institutes in existence worldwide.

The International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP), founded in 1955 to serve as an international umbrella organization for all professional analyst groups within the field of analytical psychology, provides a network of communication and collegiality for Jungian analysts throughout the world. There are presently thirty-two member groups of IAAP. Every three years the IAAP sponsors a Congress and publishes the papers presented. The ZürichCongress of 1995 was the thirteenth to be held.

As the field of analytical psychology developed, it experienced a vigorous display of diversity and polarization. The issue that has most divided it is the same one that originally caused the rupture between Jung and Freud: a symbolic, prospective approach to interpretation and clinical practice vs. a reductive one. Within analytical psychology this has been referred to variously as the Zurich vs. London, the classical vs. developmental, or the symbolic vs. clinical tension. In every version of this debate, the questions revolve around whether to give more prominence to working synthetically and symbolically with dreams and other direct manifestations of the unconscious or to devote one's efforts exclusively toward technique and the analysis of personal issues involving early childhood and developmental traumas, resistance, and transference. The classical school bases itself centrally on the writings of Jung and his close followers such as Marie Louise von Franz, Carl A. Meier, and Edward Edinger, while the developmental school incorporates many ideas from modern psychoanalysis, particularly object relations theory. The leading figure of the latter movement was Michael Fordham. The most recent generation of analysts has attempted to synthesize these two opposing trends and to find a balanced approach. Some have carried out investigations of the character disorders, dissociative states, and the interactive field (transference-countertransference). There have also been movements in recent decades to apply analytical psychology to the analysis of children and adolescents, society and politics, art and popular culture, small groups and large corporate organizations, and marriage and family dynamics.

Scientific studies testing the hypotheses of analytical psychology continue in many universities and institutes throughout the world. Journals of analytical psychology appear regularly in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. The most important of these are: The Journal of Analytical Psychology (London, est. 1955), the Cahiers Jungiens de Psychanalyse (Paris, est. 1974), and the Zeitschrift für Analytische Psychologie (Berlin and Zürich, est. 1969).

Murray Stein

Notions: Active imagination (analytical psychology); Alchemy (analytical psychology); Amplification (analytical psychology); Animus-Anima; Archetype (analytical psychology); Collective unconscious (analytical psychology); Compensation (analytical psychology); Complex (analytical psychology); Ego (analytical psychology); Extroversion/introversion (analytical psychology); Individuation (analytical psychology); Interpretation of dreams (analytical psychology); Midlife crisis; Numinous (analytical psychology); Projection and "participation mystique" (analytical psychology); Psychological types (analytical psychology); Self (analytical psychology); Shadow (analytical psychology); Synchronicity (analytical psychology); Transference/counter-transference (analytical psychology); Word association (analytical psychology).

See also: Belgium; Brazil; France; Germany; Great Britain; Jung, Carl Gustav; Netherlands; Switzerland, (German-speaking).


Dyer, Donald. (1991). Cross-currents of Jungian thought: An annotated bibliography. Boston-London: Shambhala.

Henderson, Joseph L. (1995). Reflections on the history and practice of Jungian analysis. In Murray Stein (Ed.): Jungian analysis. La Salle, IL: Open Court.

Jung, Carl Gustav. (1966). Memories, dreams, reflections. London: Routledge. (Original work published 1962)

Samuels, Andrew (1985). Jung and the Post-Jungians. London-Boston: Routledge.

Stein, Murray (Ed.). (1995). Jungian analysis. La Salle, IL: Open Court.