History of Therapy: Carl Jung

History of Therapy: Carl Jung

History of Therapy: Carl Jung

Carl Jung’s work left a notable impact on the field of psychology. His concepts of introversion and extroversion have influenced personality psychology and psychotherapy. His advice to a patient suffering from alcoholism led to the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous, which has helped millions of people recover from alcoholism.

History of Therapy: Carl Jung: Early Life

Carl Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland in 1875. His father was a pastor. He was the fourth, but only surviving child. Carl Jung was an introverted and solitary child. When he was 12 years old, Carl Jung was pushed to the ground by another child and lost consciousness. Afterward, he had fainting spells frequently. He later explained the experience as his first encounter with neurosis.

History of Therapy: Carl Jung: Career

Carl Jung studied medicine, but he also had an interest in spiritual phenomena while in school. Later, he would combine medicine and spirituality into his theories about the human psyche. He eventually began to study psychiatry.

Early in his career, Carl Jung worked with psychiatric patients at the University of Zurich asylum. He wrote Studies in Word Association in 1906 and sent a copy to Sigmund Freud. This was the beginning of a friendship between the two. They finally met in person in 1907.

Sigmund Freud had an impact on Carl Jung’s later theories. It was this influence that led to Jung’s fascination for the unconscious mind. However, Jung’s theories began to diverge from Freud’s. He rejected Freud’s emphasis on sex as the sole source of behavior. Carl Jung became increasingly interested in dreams and theories. He formed his own theory called Analytical Psychology.

In the following six years, Carl Jung started to explore his own subconscious. He recorded his experience in a book known as The Red Book. The book was not published until 2009.

History of Therapy: Carl Jung: Theories

Carl Jung believed there were three parts of the human psyche. These were the ego, the personal conscious and the collective unconscious. The ego is the conscious mind. The collective unconscious is the reservoir of all the experience and knowledge of the human species.

Carl Jung also believed in the process of individuation. Individuation is a process by which the various parts of the psyche (the ego, personal unconscious, and collective unconscious) become integrated. When this happens, Jung believed, the person becomes their “true self.” Carl Jung thought that this process was essential for a person to become whole and fully developed as a human being.

Carl Jung once treated an American patient, Rowland Hazard, who was suffering from chronic alcoholism. He worked with him for some time and did not achieve any significant progress. Carl Jung then told the man that his alcoholism was nearly hopeless, and the only possibility of recovery would be through a spiritual experience. He noted that occasionally a spiritual experience could help alcoholics when all else failed. The influence of Carl Jung indirectly found its way into the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Sources:

http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/jung.htm

http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/jungprofile.htm