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?

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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.


The Breaks Between Freud And Jung

Carl Gustav Jung had a strictly psychoanalytic phase between 1909 and 1913, and during these years, he corresponded with Sigmund Freud with an alacrity that would have assumed the identical nature of their theories. But the theories of these two most renowned psychoanalysts would later diverge, and Jung himself would define the body of his work under the rubric of analytical psychology.

Image source: http://www.aceshowbiz.com
Image source: http://www.aceshowbiz.com

The so-called “intellectual break” between the two actually succeeded their common interest in the unconscious psyche. At some point in 1910, Jung was even president of the International Psychoanalytic Association, which he had formed with Freud. A bit after, they were disputing theoretical points such as:

  1. Sexuality as a primary motivator of behavior: Freud’s study and interpretation of the unconscious led to a focus on childhood experience, notably the sexual desires repressed during this phase of life. Jung, meanwhile, in a significant break from this line of thinking, stressed the concept of the “collective unconscious,” a sort of personal imprint of humanity’s memories. Thus, behavior for Jung would tend to have a more social motivation.
  2. Religion as either illusion or nature: Given Jung’s collective take on the unconscious, he understood religion as an inherent feature of humanity’s solidarity with each other. For Freud, meanwhile, religion had a personal flavor, and it took the form of illusion, or a repression of instincts or unsanctioned sexual desires. Religion, in the Freudian sense, is a form of hysteria.
  3. What dreams signify: In line with his reductive reasoning, Freud thought that dreams reflected suppressed desires. Jung, meanwhile, was more expansive in his interpretation of dreams, refusing to limit these to a predefined set of symbols and experiences, such as sexuality.

Whatever the scholarly leanings of psychologists, however, these two had

Image source: http://www.carl-g-jung.de
Image source: http://www.carl-g-jung.de

contributed greatly to the development of psychology as it is today.

Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist on the faculty of C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles’ analyst training program. For more articles on Jungian psychology, visit this blog.

The Role of Jungian Psychology in Mentoring Medical Professionals

Analytical psychology, or Jungian psychology, is a school of thought developed by Carl Jung which stresses the importance of the ego and the personal quest for wholeness. It also states that the psyche is yearning for a balance between the conscious and unconscious states.

This said balance can be achieved through the study of dreams. Training analysts believe that Jungian psychology is an appropriate means of supervising clinicians in their field of work. Below are some of ways how this psychological model is being utilized as a form of mentorship:

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1. Counter-transference
To understand their patients at a deeper level, clinicians must establish an emotional connection with them. In other words, they must redirect their feelings toward their clients. Counter-transference is of immense clinical utility as it allows the therapist to play a role congruent with his or her patient’s internal world.

2. Self-discovery
Among psychologists, it is presumed that psychopathology cannot be taught. Instead, it must be discovered in the apprentice’s own analytical experiences. Carl Jung’s theory explicitly points to the examination of the ego. This provides the analytical viewpoints that learners need in order to understand psychopathology.

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3. Jungian archetypes
Carl Jung’s theory identifies four cardinal orientations, namely ego, freedom, social, and order. In each orientation lies three archetypes, which are then used by the mentor. This will provide the learning clinical psychologist with knowledge on how to deal with patients.

Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist on the faculty of C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles’ analyst training program. He is a former instructor at the University of Southern California. More about him can be read here.