Carl Gustav Jung's psychotherapeutic concept is closely related in its basis with the concept of Sigmund Freud, and at the same time very different from the latter. This can be explained by the personal peculiarities of Jung, the creator of analytic psychology. Being not only a psychiatrist and psychoanalytic but also a philosopher, Jung has left a lot of unique and practically applicable legacy whose importance is being constantly rediscovered in many of the spheres of human thinking - psychology, literature, education, culture, philosophy, sociology and many others.
This research paper will provide a brief overview of the peculiarities of Carl Gustav Jung's concept, especially those that make them different from orthodox psychoanalysis, and see how his theory is nowadays applied in various areas of science, and how his personal interests and views influenced the concepts that he developed.
Carl Gustav Jung was born on 26 July 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland, in a family Paul Achilles Jung, a poor pastor in Swiss Reformed Church. His mother, Emilie Jung, was a daughter of Samuel Preiswerk, one of the wealthiest men in Kesswil. Regardless of poor financial state of the family, the relationships between Carl’s parents were more than unpleasant for his psychological development. He remembered his mother as depressive and eccentric, as she always spent most of her time in her bedroom alone telling her family that some spirits waited for her there (Jung, 1963). Moreover, his mother’s behavior shaped his attitude towards women, as they were associated with something unstable and unreliable for him; in addition, mother’s behavior contributed to his patriarchal views about women (Jung, 1963).
Carl never had any plan to be a psychiatrist because such specialization was neither popular, nor prestigious then. Although, once studying a textbook on psychiatry, he discovered about the reasons of the majority of the psychoses, and such discovery excited him so much that he devoted the rest of his life studying psychiatry, as this field of science combined the biological aspects of medicine with the spiritual ones. That’s why, in 1895, Carl Jung entered University of Basel as a student of Medicine (Jung and Campbell, 1976). In 1900 he started working in Zurich with Eugen Bleuler at the Burgholzli psychiatric hospital. As Bleuler was a friend of Sigmund Freud, Jung could easily send his works for Freud’s assessment, what he did in 1906. That year, he published one of his first books “Studies in Word Association”, which was sent to Freud. Consequently, Jung has developed a great association with Freud professionally, as they have been working on the correlating projects for six years. Afterwards, with the publication of Jung’s “Psychology of the Unconscious” in 1913, there appeared a considerable theoretical difference between Freud and Jung in their attempts to describe the same psychological aspects. Moreover, both of them never accepted the fairness of each other’s views in terms of psychology. Therefore, 1913 has become the year of their official break (Jung and Campbell, 1976).
That year has also become a year of the so-called “confrontation with the unconscious”, as he started hearing voices and seeing various visions. They horrified him to the state that he started thinking that he had had schizophrenia. Although, afterwards he decided that such strange hallucinations could become a great experience and a great field for his future research. Therefore, he started recording and registering each occasion of a hallucination, gathering the notes into a big red book (Nytimes.com, 2009). He has been working on the notes for sixteen years and, having the book finished, he called it simply the “Red Book”. Nevertheless, it was published only on 7 October 2009, upon the approval of his grandson, who needed some additional funds. Till then, each publication request was declined (Nytimes.com, 2009).
Jung kept on publishing his books till his death on 6 June 1961. The last publications include “Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies” of 1959, in which he described and gave a detailed analysis of the archetypal meanings of the registered appearances of UFO, providing potential psychological significance of them, as well (Clemens, Jung and Rothgeb, 1978).
He died at his villa in Kuessnacht at the age of 85 due to various heart and circulatory problems. He had a son, four daughters, nineteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren (Nytimes.com, 2015). In addition, he has left great scientific legacy for the future psychologists and psychiatrics, which will be described in the next paragraphs.
Carl Jung was one of the first psychologists to introduce terms “extraversion” and “introversion”, defining them in a psychiatric context. His “Psychological Types” states that each and every person can be defined either an introvert or an extravert; moreover, both of them are mutually exclusive, as one person cannot be both an introvert and extravert. He explained both psychological types with the help of two ancient archetypes, Dionysus – an extravert, and Apollo being an introvert. The last is described as insightful and thoughtful, being concentrated on his inner world of dreams and thoughts. On the contrary, Dionysus is interested more in the outside world, as he is full of energy and interest in joining each activity of the outside world (Jung, 1971). Jung’s definition of introversion and extraversion can be considered as classic and the most informative. On the contrary, modern psychologists tend to divide introverts and extraverts only on a behavioral basis, which cannot always be considered an adequate evaluation of a personality (Arild, 2015).
Jung has also become famous due to his theory of archetypes. He believed that these archetypes appear in the collective unconscious. The overall theory is being explained in detail in his work “The Structure of the Psyche”. First, he accepted that the theory has much in common with various religious ideas; however, he also noted that various fundamental scientific and philosophic concepts have been developed the same way. Thus, he offered four main archetypes that are applicable to reality, as “it is the function of consciousness, not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us” (Jung, 1969). It should also be noted that the archetypes that Jung has analyzed in the book are not limited to these four, although, they are the dominant ones. First archetype is The Self, which represents the combination of the consciousness and unconsciousness within an individual and their unification. The appearance of this archetype is described through individuation, a process of integration of different aspects of individual’s personality. The second main archetype is The Shadow, which represents unconscious mind of an individual and is usually being constructed of restrained weaknesses, desires and ideas. It is usually described as the dark side of the personality, as it represents chaos, mystery and wilderness of the psyche. It is the archetype, which is usually being denied by an individual as a part of his psyche and being projected onto others. Jung assumed that the Shadow appears in visions and dreams as a mysterious and/or dangerous figure. The third archetype is The Anima or Animus. In the male psyche the anima is a feminine image of the archetype, while the animus is the male image for the females. This archetype describes the “true self” of an individual and usually acts as the dominant source of the communication with the collective unconscious. The fourth is The Persona, which is the representation of an individual to the outside world, as it is the combination of all the social roles within different social groups. It also acts as the protection for an individual’s ego from negative influences of the outside world. All these archetypes are layered within an individual’s personality, where the Ego remains the lowest and the deepest layer of the personality, while The Persona is the upper layer of it. Other archetypes include various images that represent different qualities and characteristics of an individual, which may be combined and overlapped (Fordham, 2002).
It should also be noted that the theories of Jung are not limited to these two; however, these remain the most important in his scientific career. The next paragraphs will be devoted to the evaluation of these theories, giving main strengths and weaknesses of each theory.
While Jung’s theory of introversion and extraversion remains one of the fundamental in psychology, it should be accepted that the description of introverts and extraverts with the help of archetypes cannot be considered comprehensive enough, as the archetypes exclude the behavioral factor in defining individual’s intro- or extraversion. Moreover, apart from behavioral factors, there is a variety of other factors that may affect the individual’s type. Thus, it should be accepted that the introversion and extraversion of a person should be defined only after a complex evaluation and a long-term study of an individual’s behavior in various situations.
As for his “Archetypes”, his most famous theory has also become one of the most analyzed and criticized theories in psychology. His critics pointed out that his thoughts were mostly metaphysical or even mystical and had nothing to do with scientific psychology. As his archetypes had been represented and described mostly vaguely, he was always accused of scientific inaccuracy due to the fact that the lack of exact definitions made it harder for the psychologist to define each archetype for each person (Shelburne, 1988). In addition, even Jungians reported and researched wide variety of archetypal images, which they could not generalized in a standardized and exact way. Therefore, it should be stated that Jung’s theory avoids any methodic study. Although, Jungians usually explained the difficulty of giving the standardized definitions as not a problem of archetypal theory alone, as various psychological systems, which are meant to explain and understand complex processes in an integrated way lack rigor in their definitions, as well (Shelburne, 1988). Archetypal psychology and its aspects have also been criticized by the feminists because of stereotyped views on masculinity and femininity (Reed, 1988); however, it should also be accepted that the archetypal theory was developed long before the feminist movement, thus, the theory described views of femininity and masculinity, which were actual for Jung and his contemporaries.
It should also be noted that due to Jung’s point of view, which was mostly subjectivist, he represented a concept similar to Neo-Kantian skepticism perspective, as according to his theory, inner experience of an individual is more preferable and more important that empirical data. Such point of view made Jung’s theory similar to reductionism, as well, as the theory simplifies everything to subjective and personal psychological interpretation, based mostly on mystical symbols (Gundry, 2006). Moreover, modern psychologists and psychiatrists tend to claim that Jung’s theory and its application may turn their patience interested more in mythical and mystical symbols, while producing archetypal material, than in psychiatric treatment. The imagery and mystical descriptions of the archetypes can be treated more as the example of folklore rather than a psychiatric tool (Samuels, 1985).
Nevertheless, the archetypal theory remains one of the fundamental in modern psychiatry and psychology; moreover, it gave birth to archetypal psychology, which effectively explains various psychological processes and is being successfully used in psychiatric measures. It is easily applicable to casual life of any individual and describes individual’s personality successfully. Although, just like with his introversion/extraversion theory, Jung’s archetypal theory should be applicable in combination with another psychological practices in order to achieve the most exact and adequate result.
Just like it was said before, both theories are applicable to life of everyone and I am not an exception here. Having read about Jung’s concept of intro- and extraversion, I have identified myself as an introvert rather than an extravert. As his theory describes introverts as the people, who identify the world subjectively, according to their own vision and perception. Behavioral identification is more vague and according to it, I could be both an introverted and an extraverted person at the same time. Therefore, I have found Jung’s theory more effective in identification of introversion and extraversion of a personality.
As for the archetypal theory of Jung, in my opinion, it explains an individual’s personality profoundly and comprehensively. I agree that for each individual there is The Self, which is the center of personality of an individual, with his or her Shadow, hiding his inner fears, complexes and desires. The last is also accompanied by the Anima or Animus, which is the natural personality, hidden by The Persona, an individual’s social role. The theory explains the structure of a personality exactly as it is, and I agree that the structure of my own personality can be characterized exactly according to this theory with the respective details from my personal life.
Summarizing everything that was mentioned above, it should be stated that Carl Gustav Jung’s life was more than influential in the field of psychology. His theory of introversion and extraversion has become one of the turning points in typization of individual’s personality. Another theory that has been described and discussed here is the famous theory of archetypes that has given a new structure of individual’s psyche and personality. It has become a great competitor to Freud’s theory, as it contradicted all the fundamental characteristics of the last. It has also developed a new sub-field in psychology, the archetypal psychology with its concepts and characteristics being successfully used both in theoretical and practical psychology.
Arild, S. (2015). 5 Basic Facts about Jung and Types | CelebrityTypes. Celebritytypes.com. Retrieved 3 July 2015, from http://www.celebritytypes.com/blog/2014/04/5-basic-facts-about-jung-and-types/
The article provides the description of 5 main facts about Jung and his archetypal theory. The author also compares Jungian extra- and introversion to the respective definitions of the behaviorists. The author also provides an explanation of Jung’s empirics and compares to its classic definition. There are also religious influences on Jung’s works being described. The article’s last fact about Jung is that he had generous and influential sponsors and claims that without them it would probably not easy for him to develop his psychological ideas.
Clemens, S., Jung, C., & Rothgeb, C. (1978). Abstracts of the Collected works of C(arl) G(ustav) Jung. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Gov. Print. Off.).
The book provides us with the abstracts of the most important and influential works by Jung. It gives us short and brief descriptions of each project that he was into. Nevertheless, the abstracts themselves remain very informative and comprehensive enough to get some reference for scientific works and researches. The book also provides us with the abstracts of Jung’s critical reviews on the work of his colleagues. The abstracts are structured according to the author’s decision and are given links to the full works.
Fordham, M. (2002). Explorations into the self. London: Karnac Books.
It is one of the well-known works that analyzed Jung’s creation, giving the readers various reflections on it. First, it gives an analysis and evaluation of Jung’s definitions about the self. Second, it analyzes the correlation of the self and the ego. Finally, the author gives an exploration of the self’s presence within alchemical and religious experiences. Therefore, it gives a clear distinction between Jung’s theories and the theories of his contemporaries.
Gundry, M. (2006). Beyond psyche. New York: Peter Lang.
The book defines the various criticisms of Jung’s works, especially based on the claim that they exclude the divine transcendence in understanding psyche. The author identifies the underpinnings of such claims. He states that this was done intentionally and examines the reasons for this. The book also gains reference for author’s statements from the scientific works of various psychologists.
Hayman, R. (2001). A life of Jung. New York: W.W. Norton.
Despite Jung’s achievements and failures, the author gives the objective evaluation of the events in Jung’s biography. He neither neglects Jung’s failures nor overdoes them, describing the most crucial facts in Jung’s life. It is the most popular and is considered to be the most actual biography of Jung due to author’s detached way of narration. It gives the readers the deep and rare understandging of how Jung’s ideas were born.
Jung, C. (1963). Memories, dreams, reflections. New York: Pantheon Books.
It is an autobiography of Jung that is widely recommended as the first book to read about his life. He described his life from his childhood to the date of 1957, when he was 81 years old. He also has given a description of how his ideas came to life, how he communicated with Freud, how experienced long-lasting hallucinations etc. The book is also easy to read and represents him as a great writer, as well.
Jung, C. (1969). The structure and dynamics of the psyche. [Princeton, N.J.]: Princeton University Press.
The book gives the description of one of the most important periods in Jung’s professional life. It describes the development of his thought from 1912. The book gives the examples of earlier works of Jung that were influenced by Freud’s creation. Nevertheless, with each of his next works, Jung declines the traditional psychological hypotheses one by one. The book also contains the first reference to archetype concept.
Jung, C. (1971). Psychological types. Princeton University Press.
The book gives the readers the detailed and profound representation of the psychological types developed by Jung. The first terms “introversion” and “extraversion” appear in this book. He also defines two perceiving functions and two judging functions that are present in every individual’s personality. The author claims that all these functions are combined differently in each personality and gives us 16 main types of the individual’s personality.
Jung, C., & Campbell, J. (1976). The portable Jung. New York: Penguin Books.
It is a profound and comprehensive collection of Jung’s works that was gathered and edited by Campbell, one of the Jungians. It represents Jung’s fundamental researches on psyche and its structure. It gives the description of one of the main archetypes, the Anima/Animus and the Shadow. The book also gives some writings about creativity and spirituality from the psychological point of view. The editor’s introduction complements the book and places the creation of Jung within the context of his lifetime.
Nytimes.com,. (2009). Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious - NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2 July 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20jung-t.html?_r=0
It is the article about one of the most influential and mysterious books in Jung’s career. The article provides the readers with the description of the development of his “Red Book” with the analysis of the main source for it. The article states that the book is also one of the most controversial, as some critics state that it is a must to read it, while the others state that it should never be read. The article also describes how Jung fought the occasions of hallucinations, being afraid that he had gone insane.
Nytimes.com,. (2015). Dr. Carl G. Jung Is Dead at 85; Pioneer in Analytic Psychology. Retrieved 2 July 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0726.html
It is an article that was published right after Jung’s death, giving the readers last notes from him. It is written in peaceful and sad manner, describing Jung not only as a great psychologist and psychiatrist, but more of a family man, a loving father and grandfather. The article describes his life in more poetic way, does not want to include any exact figures apart from the date of his death. The article also describes his last years, also in a very calm and peaceful way. It ends with the explanation of what legacy he has left after his death.
Reed, T. (1988). Demon-lovers and their victims in British fiction. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky.
The book partially refers to the archetypal psychology of Jung, despite the fact that it never appeared to criticize the archetypal psychology directly. The book has its own research limitations and tends to contradict its own points and claims. The main motif of the book was inspired by the ballads of the end of the 17th century. The flow of the book and its narration have been designed to expose sexism within these ballads.
Samuels, A. (1985). Jung and the post-Jungians. London: Routledge & K. Paul.
This classic book remains one of the most descriptive and profound observations of what has happened after Jung’s death in psychology and what has exactly been changed in Jungian psychology. Just like any other book about Jung’s psychology, it provides the critical summarization of the most important clinical contributions of Jung, accompanied by his most important theoretic works. Another exclusive feature of the book is the list of various contrasts and comparisons with psychoanalysis.
Shelburne, W. (1988). Mythos and logos in the thought of Carl Jung. Albany: State University of New York Press.