Who Was The Real Carl Jung?

Almost every college major who paid attention in class, who took up Psychology 101, knows a thing or two about the Jungian approach to psychology, or analytical psychology as it is called. But who is Carl Jung, really? Who was he before becoming world-renowned?

Image source: http://www.junginscotland.org/

Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland on July 26, 1875. As an only child, there was a feeling of isolation and loneliness that hung over him. He spent his early years observing the much older people around him. His mother checked herself in to a psychiatric institution when Jung was three.

Jung did not follow in his father’s footsteps to become a protestant pastor. Instead, he left for the University of Basel, where he became fascinated with sciences and philosophy. He later on chose to take up medicine.

Carl Jung moved from the University of Basel to the University of Zurich where he earned his MD. It was in Zurich where he met Eugene Bleuler at the Burgholzli Asylum. Bleuler, who was avant-garde in his theories of psychology at the time, would soon become Jung’s mentor. It was Bleuler who would later on be responsible for what psychologists today know as the classical studies of mental illnesses.

It was in Burgholzli Asylum that Carl Jung learned and formulated the groundwork of what was to be analytical psychology. Through his observations, he came up with the term “complex,” which refers to human emotions.

Image source: http://www.uq.edu.au/

Paul Gabrinetti has a doctorate in counseling psychology. He was also on the board of directors in the Los Angeles-based CG Jung Institute. To learn more about Gabrinetti and the Jungian approach, read his blogs here.


Developing Mental Strength Through Analytic Psychology

Analytic psychology is based on the ideas formulated by Carl Jung. The Jungian school of thought is somewhat similar to the Freudian approach, in that it stressed the importance of the inner psyche, but differed in several distinct ways. Understanding this nuance is important for both mental health practitioners and patients. Any form of treatment, be it physical or mental, should be taken with a basic overview of how the plans are made and the underlying foundations for its strategies.


Image source: psychologytoday.com

All schools of psychotherapy aim to develop mental strength or what others would call enlightenment, peace of mind or the highest form of transcendence. Each field will have their specific term for it, but the main essence of psychology is becoming mentally strong to counter the inevitable challenges one will experience. Different schools of psychology, thus, only differ in the specific action plans to battle daily challenges.

Those who prefer Jungian psychology appreciate the importance of the unconscious. It is believed that all actions are influenced by hidden areas of a person’s psyche. Carl Jung divided the psyche into three different components: the conscious, personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. How these three factors interrelate vary per individual as each person experiences and perceives life differently. It creates an infinite number of possible Jungian conditions.

Developing mental strength in Jungian psychology, therefore, is founded on understanding how these three factors affect a specific individual. Psychologists trained under the Jungian school of thought typically try to design a relationship chart that shows how these factors manifested themselves. The patient will then be assigned a treatment plan that will address the entire issue at once (it is rare for analytic psychology treatments only to tackle one factor at a time). Patients are expected to be able to practice their own self-assessment and strength-training once they become mentally stronger.


Image source: theabundanceproject.com

Paul Gabrinetti is a certified clinical psychologist trained under Carl Jung’s school of thought. Learn more by following this Twitter account.