The name: Does Carl Gustav Jung tell you anything? Have you ever heard of him? Did you know who he is? Well, it will be the object of our article, but more precisely of one of his theories or branches which are specific to him to know: the Jungian psychoanalysis. Who is Carl Gustav Jung? What is Jungian psychoanalysis?

I – Biography of Carl Gustav Jung

The Wikipedia presents his biography. Carl Gustav Jung is a Swiss psychiatrist who was born on 26 July 1875 in Kesswil (canton Thurgau) and died on 6 June 1961 in Küsnacht (canton of Zurich), in German-speaking Switzerland.

Founder of analytical psychology and influential thinker, he is the author of many books. His work is related to the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud, of which he was one of the first defenders and from which he subsequently separated due to theoretical and personal differences.

In his works, he mixes metapsychological reflections and practices about the analytic cure.

Jung has dedicated his life to clinical practice and the development of psychological theories, but has also explored other areas of the humanities: from the comparative study of religions, philosophy and sociology to the critique of art and literature.

Carl Gustav Jung was a pioneer in the psychology of the depths: he emphasized the link between the structure of the psyche (that is, the “soul” in the Jungian vocabulary) and its cultural productions and events . He introduced into his method notions of human sciences drawn from fields of knowledge as diverse as anthropology, alchemy, dream studies, mythology and religion, which enabled him to grasp the reality of the soul “. While Jung was not the first to study dreams, his contributions in this area were instrumental.

He is also responsible for, among other things, the concepts of “collective unconsciousness”, “archetypes”, “individuation”, “psychological types”, “complex”, “active imagination”, “determinism” psychic “and” synchronicity “.

II – An Overview of Carl Gustav Jung’s Philosophy

Let’s go to the discovery of a thought too often unknown.

It’s clear, we must hang on! Jung’s work is difficult to read, full of confusing ideas, plunging into psychology, spirituality, traveling from alchemy to astrology, from Buddhism to Kabbalah, from the Bible to Grimm’s tales. But the stakes are worth it. Contrary to Freud’s pessimism, for whom the human being is destined to permanent inner tears, Jung proposes a path to positivity and harmony, paradise destinations in times of crisis, where we want to dream, to escape hard laws of reason, to tell us that the true power is that of the mind. Jung responds perfectly to these needs. Hence the usefulness of discovering or rediscovering it today. We selected just 4 points.

1 – Beyond Reason

To follow Jung, we must abandon our good old materialism and open ourselves to poetry, to the imagination, to what is beyond us. For him, indeed, no successful life without spiritual nourishment and good relations with all those mysteries that escape reason. “Body and mind are for me only aspects of psychic reality,” he writes. The body is as metaphysical as the mind. “Better:” The psyche is not entirely subject to space and time, “he told British journalist John Freeman in 1959. We can have dreams or visions of the future. Only ignorance denies these facts. For Jung, intuition, this “non-rational function of the psyche,” is as important as rational thought, emotion, or sensation.

2 – “I” Is Four

Our inner reality, in a Jungian perspective, is organized around four elements: the ego, the persona, the self and the shadow. The ego, the center of consciousness, sensations, emotions, allows me to feel me at any time of day and night. The persona (Latin word meaning “mask”) is the social personality that each person endorses to adapt to the expectations of others and to be accepted. The self makes us a whole body-mind: a human being. This Jungian self is not that of classical psychology: it is related to the soul, it is our “divine part”, whatever the meaning we give to this adjective: “We can as well call it God as the ultimate mystery of life, says Juliette Allais, therapist and dream analyst. Impalpable but omnipresent, it reigns over our lives. Finally, there is the shadow, which “understands all the aspects of our personality that we do not recognize as ours, because unacceptable with regard to the image that we would like to have of ourselves and to give to others”.

3 – An Unconscious Peopled with Deities

Unlike Freud, Jung says that we have two unconscious: the individual, where our neuroses and personal conflicts speak; and the other collective, which tells us a universal story, populated by heroes (Oedipus, Icarus or Sleeping Beauty) and symbols common to all humanity. In a Jungian perspective, dreaming of an apple, I find myself alongside Adam and Eve, I symbolically revisit the founding myth of earthly paradise. Transmitted from generation to generation, psychic reality but also biological, cellular, the collective unconscious is the depository of all the typical reactions of the human species: fear, the intuition of danger, love, anguish of death. We are here in a very different world of the inner life according to Freud, with his erotic, scatological, unmentionable obsessions. “It is more pleasant and rewarding to see oneself immersed in an unconscious peopled with deities than in the universe of sexual fantasies springing from the reptilian brain”, remarks Jean-Jacques Antier, author of an excellent biography of Jung. In any case, in these times of disenchantment, it feels good.

4 – From the Ego to the Big Self

According to Jung, the purpose of a life is to move from the ego, our little person, to the great self through the “process of individuation”. It is an inner journey through which we will try to become as conscious as possible in order to “self-generate” as a particular individual, a man among men, but unique. A second birth, in a way.

For Jung, the issue is important. Because “to become conscious of oneself is to allow the universe to become conscious of itself “. “In general, individuation becomes possible after the crisis of fifty, in the second half of life, the first being monopolized by the overactive ego.”

To achieve this, we must confront our shadow (that part of which we are ashamed), with our persona (our social image), with our anima and our animus. We must stop lying to ourselves and reject what is bothering us. We will never succeed totally, of course, the essential thing is to try.

More than a large household, it is an effort to integrate and assimilate the different aspects of our personality that we must undertake. But, warns Jung, we are not angels: “A life under the sign of total harmony”, without asperities, would be “very boring and depressing”.

Worse, “inhuman”. This initiatory journey can go through a work on oneself, the analysis of dreams, meditation, prayer, contemplation, writing … This approach is mystical, idealistic, naive even, but pure and hard rationality makes it more happy ? Does it provide answers to our existential questions: how to be happier, to overcome suffering, to love, to be loved, to face disease, mourning, death? In 1946, to an old friend who asked him what attitude to adopt to complete his life with dignity, Jung replied, “Live your life. ”

To live is everything.

III – Jungian Psychoanalysis

Analysis is a work where both analyst and analyst are involved in an inner search and a confrontation with the contents of the unconscious. “The therapeutic work requires the whole man,” writes Jung.

1 – Origin of Jungian Psychoanalysis and Practice of the Psychoanalytic Cure

There are two ways to use the psychoanalytic cure:

– to treat particular disorders or blockages;

– to know each other better and to facilitate our understanding of ourselves and others.

Psychoanalysis, first experimented by its founding father Freud, was then oriented towards different axes according to the work carried out by other psychoanalysts (Lacan, Jung).

If Jungian psychoanalysis has its source in Freud’s theories, it deviates from it in other respects.

*** Carl Jung: father of Jungian psychoanalysis

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) is a Swiss who has trained as a doctor and psychiatrist:

– he is known to have founded analytic psychology;

– first close to Freud, he will separate afterwards some differences of opinion: they disagree in particular on the conception of the Unconscious;

– much appreciated by some, he is also sometimes criticized for his ideas which, for some, rely too much on the metaphysics: one speaks also about metapsychology.

*** Jungian psychoanalysis: peculiarities of the concepts

It is in 1913 that one begins to speak about Jungian psychology, this one largely elaborated by Jung which is distinguished from its precursors by various aspects:

– intervention of the “psyche” (soul): very important for Jung who writes: “To have a soul is the adventure of life”;

– concept of self development;

– concept of the collective unconscious: novelty in that until then, we spoke only of the individual unconscious;

– concept of psychological types, or archetypes, which are the basic structures of the psyche, and which explain the symbols, myths and religions;

– appearance of ideas of introversion and extraversion.

Jungian psychoanalysis is thus a true psychology of the depths. It is more open to the religious phenomenon than Freudian psychoanalysis.

2 – Conduct of a Session of Jungian Psychoanalysis

Jungian psychoanalysis is a good method in the following cases:

– the search for a better knowledge of oneself;

– the treatment of neuroses, depression and other psychosomatic disorders;

– the analysis of dreams …

Other practical information on the progress of a session of Jungian psychoanalysis:

– sessions can be held with or without a couch, sometimes face to face;

– the duration of the session can range from 20 minutes to 1 hour;

– cost: 50 to 80 euros depending on the case, the psychoanalyst, the number of sessions, etc.

1 – The Man to Discover His Soul

“To have a soul is the adventure of life.” (C.G. Jung)

Modern man, drowned in false collective ideologies, disoriented by a lack of values to cling to, has forgotten that he had a soul. He desperately looks for something that can animate him, make him alive. Cults and other charlatans of all kinds, manufacturers of prefabricated happiness, have understood this well. Yet it is in him that he could seek to regain contact with the unconscious forces that animate him, confronting them.

That, in essence, is Jung’s message. A message of astonishing topicality in a supersaturated period of rationality and mired in the present moment.

2 – A Psychology of Creativity

Jungian psychoanalysis is first, as its name indicates, a psychoanalytic approach, in the classic sense of the term, in that it is based on the creative and liberating power of the word. Beyond the past, which remains a thing of the past for everyone, recourse is possible through the word in this particular relationship that is the analytic relationship, where the listener remains neutral. Talking to a friend or relative is not enough, it is necessary, for a change to begin, that one speaks to a stranger. Analytical distance is therefore above all a distance of respect.

To undertake an analysis is to accept that we are acting by forces in us that we do not control. It is a question of daring to look at our dark side, to plunge into the well of the past and face the wounds of our childhood. Two verbs can characterize a Jungian analysis: to confront the unconscious and to decipher meaning.

Jung’s message is that, as long as we accept to look inside ourselves, a change is possible. According to him, the unconscious contains living forces that allow a dynamic process of transformation of the personality. Jung names this process individuation.

This is because he emphasized the “prospective” dimension of the unconscious that Jung had to separate from Freud. For Jung, there is in man a deep desire to return to the womb of the unconscious to live a kind of inner “re-birth”. This aspiration has a spiritual dimension. Jung insists on a dynamism of transformation and creation present in the human psyche.

Marie-Louise Von Franz, in her book “Deliverance in fairy tales”, summarizes in an illuminating way the specificity of the Jungian approach: “Most contemporary psychological schools”, she writes, “develop their theory of the man from a tacit presupposition which claims to know what psychic illness is and to know the rules or collective criteria of human normality, and thus inserts a more or less important element of manipulation in the whole. medical therapies (…) Contrary to this view, therapy according to CG Jung could be described as “homeopathic.” Indeed, we do not think we know what is good for the patient; we rely on the natural self-healing tendencies of the psyche, which is why this therapy pays full attention to the understanding of these self-healing forces and strives to promote them, no more. we are not would have understood these tendencies of the soul towards the cure without being able to “decipher” the dreamlike language by which the psychic nature is expressed. This is a hard work to which Jung has devoted all his life and all his work. ”

3 – A Search for Meaning

Two verbs can characterize a Jungian analysis: to confront and clear the meaning.

To confront oneself to the unconscious is to accept that its contents direct us without our knowledge. It is then to enter into dialogue with them. As a saying goes, if you have to meet the devil one day, you have to face him at the table as well as in the back … because he is less likely to play bad tricks! Not understanding why one suffers is sometimes more painful than suffering itself. The Jungian approach aims to release the meaning of suffering.

4 – Open to Change

For Jung, neurosis is above all a disunity with oneself. But she carries with it an attempt at healing. Indeed, suffering (a depression for example) does not only have negative aspects, but often, on closer inspection, is an invitation to change, to broaden our horizons, a kind of obligatory passage for metamorphosis of the personality (a little like the caterpillar goes through the chrysalis before becoming a butterfly). The unconscious thus implements a process of transformation capable of breaking the infernal circle of repetition.

There are, therefore, within the human unconscious forces of self-healing and transformation. Jung named these forces “unconscious organizers” or “archetypes”. To make it clear that these structures are a characteristic of the human, he speaks of the collective unconscious.

By way of example, the archetype could be compared to the basic structure of a crystal, which is the same for any crystal (particular axial system), whereas each crystal is different, both in its color and in its shape. .

Archetypes or unconscious dynamics can be a remedy when personal structures are lacking (when there have been significant emotional shortcomings early on in life). They are then able to repair and restart. Hence his clinical interest, which Jung was very interested in, having been led, during his career as a psychiatrist, to treat many difficult cases.

To understand the human psyche thus opens up new perspectives for a psychoanalysis respectful of the soul, close to an “art of giving birth”, which is never painless but carries life and hope.

5 – And in Practice?

Jungian psychoanalysis does not only address neuroses, depressions, psychosomatic disorders. It is also addressed to any person “in research”, eager to understand himself; to anyone who suffers within themselves from a feeling of emptiness, for whom life has lost its flavor. And this without limitation of age.

The Jungian approach is characterized by a particular attention to the analysis of dreams.

There are many reasons to undertake an analysis, but more often than not, it is the realization of living in a confinement in things that are repeated, invariably, according to the same scenarios, without being able to change them (by example of sentimental or professional failures repeated). Not understanding why one suffers is sometimes more painful than suffering.

In the Jungian analysis, the therapist does not remain silent, he is involved, while remaining at a distance. The transformation linked to the therapist-patient encounter is similar to a chemical transformation in which the two bodies in combination combine. Jung used an alchemical image on this subject.

The use of the couch is frequent but not essential. The frequency of sessions varies from 1 to 2 per week. Like any therapy aimed at a profound change, it is considered in a relatively long term, but there is no general rule on this subject, each analysis being different.

This dive into the inner world, agonizing but oh so hopeful, Jung made the first experience, without guide or benchmarks. He tells in his autobiography (“My Life” at Gallimard) how it was both stirring and rich in meaning.

As a Conclusion

To find meaning, to listen to one’s intuitions, to connect oneself with the most irrational things in us: these contemporary goals, at the root of personal development, we owe to Carl Gustav Jung, the psychiatrist who invented “psychology” analytic “. Let Jung himself conclude this brief overview: “Medical practice is, and has always been, an art. The same is true of analysis: true art is creative, and what creates is beyond That’s why I say to any beginner: “Learn theories as well as you can, but leave them alone as soon as you touch the wonders of the living soul. These are not theories, but your creative personality will be decisive.

If you want to deepen your knowledge of Carl Jung, then you can read some of his books. Click here to buy.

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