Carl Gustav Jung
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The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung founded analytical psychology at the turn of the last century. This discipline emphasizes the value of one’s creative forces and one’s development toward wholeness.
Jung’s contributions include: a theory of the structure and dynamics of the psyche, both conscious and unconscious, and of the way the unconscious manifests itself in dreams; a theory of personality types which has gained broad acceptance; a thorough study of the purposive nature of individual psychological development, as articulated in his concept of the "individuation" process; and a description of the universal images (archetypes) deriving from the deepest layers of the psyche, the collective unconscious.
This concept of the collective unconscious gives analytical psychology its unique dimension of meaning in comparison with other traditions of psychotherapy. It moves the practice of psychotherapy from a focus on psychopathology and its symptoms to a consideration of the meaning and purpose of these symptoms when understood symbolically, by placing them in the larger context of the evolution of the human psyche in all its imaginative and cultural manifestations.
In his effort to understand and engage the whole person, Jung viewed his analytical psychology as a therapy which releases creativity and promotes individual psychological development. Thus, far from being just another theory, Jungian psychology embraces the universe in all its manifestations: art, history, myth, philosophy, and spirituality are all essential components of Jung’s worldview.
Jung’s psychology is compatible with a religious attitude toward life and recognizes humankind’s religious instinct. At the same time, it is just as compatible with a secular perspective and fosters the individual’s appreciation of one’s own creativity and sense of responsibility toward the world.
* written by Dr. James Hollis, and re-printed with permission from the webmaster, Sean Fitzpatrick, of The Jung Center of Houston website: www.junghouston.org