Characters on the Couch (Part 17)

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

This Follows on from: Characters on the Couch (Part 16). The first part can be found at: Characters on the Couch (Part 1).

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)

Born in 1875 Jung (pronounced young) was trained in medicine in Basel. His early years of practice were at the BurghÅ¡lzli Mental Hospital in Zurich. He was influenced by Freud’s writings on mental illness and dreams. From 1907 to 1913 they maintained close ties. In 1911 he became the first president of the Internationale Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft (International Psychoanalytic Association). Theoretical disputes with Freud, chiefly concerned with the significance of sexuality led to the end of their relationship when in 1912 their differences became irreconcilable.

Jung went on to originate the concept of introverted and extroverted personalities. In his major work, Psychology of the Unconscious (1912), Jung described how the mind contained both individual experiences and common inherited cultural experiences buried in our "collective unconscious". He suggested that every human has a shared pool of memories, ideas and modes of thought from the life experiences of our ancestors and in effect the entire human race. In effect this acts as an immense store of ancient wisdom. Within the collective unconscious experiences archetypes, symbolic pictures or personifications represent these. They appear in our dreams and in literature, myths and fairy tales. He later went on to apply his theories to historical studies of religion and to dreams.

He also made valuable studies of mental disorder, including schizophrenia. His other works included Modern Man in Search of a Soul (1933), autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961).

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