Will the post-Jungians survive?
Published in Post-Jungians Today
Key papers in contemporary analytical psychology
Edited by Ann Casement
When people first heard or read the title of this chapter, they tended to wonder what would happen if the answer to the question ‘Will the post-Jungians survive?’ were to be ‘no’. Would it merely mean that the ‘Jungians’ would survive? Or, if everyone nowadays is a post-Jungian, would it mean that no one at all connected to analytical psychology would survive? If the answer to the question were to be ‘yes’, would there still be Jungians surviving alongside the post-Jungians? Or would the survival of the post-Jungians mean the end for Jungians?
The ambiguity and nuanced tension of the relationship between Jungian and post-Jungian analytical psychology is not one I care to resolve simplistically either by bemoaning the fact that, unlike psychoanalysis, analytical psychology suffers from bearing the name of its founder – or, conversely, by regarding this as a special strength or feature of analytical psychology. Those who are proud to be Jungian often end by denigrating whatever is meant by post-Jungian, and vice versa. I share the frustration of those who want to be other than Jungian but can empathize with the conviction of those who seek to retain a kind of personal affiliation to Jung the man and what are sometimes referred to as his ‘teachings’.
I do not know how seriously the actual question of survival should be taken. I want to sound an alarmist note because that is what I both feel and perceive to be necessary. Perhaps the title exaggerates the sense of being at a crossroads but, as Adorno once said of psychoanalysis, the important bits of the chapter may lie in the exaggerations.
At the outset, let me say something about the spirit in which I have written this chapter. Then I will move on to try to construct a sort of balance sheet for Jungian psychology worldwide, in terms of credits and debits. The third section will be a description of what has come to be called the ‘post-Jungian decade’, meaning the ten or more years since I published Jung and the Post-Jungians in 1985. From there, I will move on to try to say something about the convoluted, diverse, conflict-ridden, post-Jungian scene today. After that, I will discuss the thorny problem of mourning Jung the man, which will be a basis for a discussion of whether we can make Jungian theory and practice truly ‘good enough’. Next comes a section on Jung in the university. Finally, I will present, for debate and discussion, as much as any sort of blueprint for survival, a ‘Jungian charter’, and conclude by showing how I personally try to ‘package’ Jung.
As far as the spirit of the chapter is concerned, I need to apologize in advance for the number of generalizations it contains. Inevitably, I will do violence to precious and sincerely held individual differences. However, I believe that one can preserve individual differences via the use of judiciousgeneralization. What I have to say is based on personal experience: my extensive travel to lecture in many countries, my friendships with Jungian analysts and candidates in many countries, connections with psychoanalysts in several of these countries, what I have learned from talking to academics in various disciplines.
I want to present in a public way, as frankly as possible, the kinds of issues that analysts usually discuss in private. The point is not whether I am right or wrong about these things, but whether readers have a sense of what I am getting at. Robert Musil once said: ‘I am convinced not only that what I say is wrong, but that what will he said against it will be wrong as well.’ So the spirit of the chapter involves error, all round. How do I feel about being Jungian? At the 1995 international congress of analytical psychology, I gave a presentation jointly with Polly Young-Eisendrath entitled ‘Why is it difficult to be a Jungian analyst in today’s world?’ It is difficult, for reasons that I will explain. But I did not say that it was impossible. Being a Jungian analyst in clinical practice has provided me with an extraordinarily useful, flexible and rich basis for work in related fields – politics, social action and the like. And for that I am extremely grateful.
A balance sheet for post-Jungian analytical psychology
Let me move on to talk about the balance sheet. On the credit side, we would find the great cultural penetration of Jungian psychology in some countries, to the extent that it is scarcely possible to talk about women, men, marriage, soul, politics, without having some idea in mind that stems from the Jungian or post-Jungian corpus or tradition. This is an extraordinary success which has brought its own particular problems. Also on the credit side, I think we can discern a certain acceptance that has hitherto been denied to ‘Jungians’ in clinical, cultural and academic circles. It is not an open-armed welcome, but there is an open-mindedness, stimulated not only by the cogent arguments and improved behaviour of the Jungians but also by shifts in cultural process, and in how we understand both clinical work and the nature of knowledge itself in contemporary culture.
Another credit stems from the fact that analytical psychology operates internationally. I cannot stress too strongly how important it has been for Jungian psychology that there has been an international free trade in ideas and practices. In particular what are ironically called the ‘frontier areas’ for analytical psychology are proving to be sources of all kinds of good ideas and creative energy. In the former communist countries, the Far East, Latin America and Australasia, post-Jungian analysts and scholars are doing and saying things which are valuable in direct proportion to their tendency to shock the old-timers in Europe and North America.
On the debit side, Jungian analysts cannot get round the ‘Jung cult’ argument started off by Richard Noll (1994) simply by attacking its author. The arguments of this book were rather flawed: Jungian analysis is not a pyramid selling system and clinical work does not depend in a tight way on one particular version of the theory of the collective unconscious. But there is sometimes excessive deference shown in Jungian groups to analysts in general, and to senior analysts in particular, a deference which it is quite often hard to justify in terms of the productivity and output of those individuals. I should perhaps observe that I myself have been the recipient, even the short-term beneficiary, of quite unwarranted positive and idealistic transferences, and I have to confess that sometimes I have not been sufficiently self-critical or assiduous in asking myself: am I riding a cultic wave here? There is also a gerontocratic problem, which definitely needs to be addressed. This means that something has got attached to seniority, chronological seniority, as much as professional seniority, which urgently needs critique.
Also on the debit side is the seeming inability of our particular branch of the psychotherapy profession to convince the wider public that Jungian analysts do not commit sexual misconduct any more than members of any other school of psychotherapy commit sexual misconduct. Twenty-five years ago, sexual misconduct was a definite problem in Jungian analysis. But we have put our house in order. Nevertheless, partly because of the legacy of Sabina Spielrein, Toni Wolff and Christiana Morgan – all analysands with whom Jung is thought to have had sexual relations – it has been hard to convince others that we are no worse than other schools of psychotherapy.
A further aspect of the debit side concerns what I see as the continuing inability of Jungian analysts to deal with the psychoanalytic ‘dirty tricks’ that are used against them. There is a history to this of course: Freud’s secret ‘committee’, set up right at the beginnings of psychoanalysis to ensure that defectors were not regarded as serious contributors to the psychoanalytic endeavour. The legacy of that committee is the often remarked upon tendency for psychoanalysts utterly to ignore Jung’s pioneering contributions (of which more in detail in due course) and what the post-Jungians have contributed as well. For example, a recent, absolutely excellent panoptic book by Steven Mitchell and Margaret Black called Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought (1995) contains but two references to Jung. They are, as it happens, quite positive references. For example, Mitchell and Black point out that it was Jung who anticipated spirituality as a serious psychoanalytic concern. But surely there were many more things in which Jung could be regarded as a pioneer? In Jung and the Post-Jungians (1985), I listed seventeen specific advances in psychoanalysis since the Second World War in which Jung might be referred to as the prescient pioneering figure. My purpose in raising this again is not to complain but to suggest that this state of affairs deserves an entry in the debit columns of the balance sheet.
There is even some evidence that the situation is getting worse. In a recent review of a book by a Jungian analyst in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, written by a psychoanalyst in London who was previously a Jungian analyst, the reviewer objected to the whingeing, complaining tone in this book, and in other Jungian books, that said: ‘Look at us. We thought about it first.’
Some Jungian analysts consider that this does not matter. But I do not have that degree of detachment and ‘maturity’.
Similarly, in 1988, at the International Psychoanalytic Association Congress, the then President, Robert Wallerstein, gave a talk entitled ‘One psychoanalysis or many?’ (Wallerstein, 1988). He concluded that they would really have to refer to ‘many psychoanalyses’. So everybody was in: Klein, Kohut, British object relations, interpersonal, interactional, relational, feminist. But Jungians were not, because, Wallerstein argued, Jungians deny ‘the facts of transference and resistance’. How does Robert Wallerstein know? Because he had read, and quoted extensively from, William Goodheart’s article (1984) about Jung’s behaviour in relation to his young cousin when he was doing the research work for his doctoral dissertation on occult psychology. Jung was 21 at the time. He had never heard of Freud, let alone become a psychoanalyst. His material was manipulated by Wallerstein into being a clear statement, or support for the statement, that Jungians reject the ideas of transference and resistance. What is particularly sad about this problem is that, instead of getting alongside our psychoanalytic colleagues, and defending depth psychology against the onslaught of the managed care revolution – and other anti-psychotherapeutic moves in several countries – we are at each other’s throats instead of standing shoulder to shoulder.
The public image of Jungian analysis is not good. In a way, this is strange. Books sell in the millions. But when one asks university students to play a simple associative game to the word Jung (and I have asked over 300), the overwhelming responses to the stimulus word ‘Jung’ are either ‘Freud’ or something referring to anti-Semitism, Nazism, Germany, Hitler. Archetypes come third, and mysticism, meant pejoratively, comes fourth. These answers suggest that we have an identity problem. Are we a profession? Are we a community? Are we a movement? Do we even have a settled history on which we all agree? The Jung scholar Sonu Shamdasani has published a number of papers (e.g. 1990, 1995) which in effect make it no longer possible for the Jungians to agree on the facts of their history. Miss Miller, the pseudonym that Jung uses in Volume 5 of the Collected Works (1956), was not a pseudonym. There really was a Miss Miller who was not at all ignorant of the mythological and cultural material that at that time constituted Jung’s version of the collective unconscious. Miss Miller was a performing artiste whose speciality was dressing up as a member of an exotic ethnic group and reciting poetry germane to that particular cultural grouping. You could say that she knew all about the idea of the collective unconscious long before she had beard of Jung. Shamdasani has also shown that Jung’s autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, is a drastically incomplete text, most of which was not written by Jung and which had chapters to do with Toni Wolff omitted at the Jung family’s insistence. A major chapter on Jung’s debt to William James was also omitted, which skews the perspective of intellectual history totally.
The post-Jungian decade
What does the tag ‘post-Jungian’ mean? I did not coin this term in the wake of ‘postmodern’. In fact, it was a take-off of a well-known Penguin book called Freud and the Post-Freudians (Brown 1961). Maybe this was just my bit of the Jungian inferiority complex. (Or maybe it takes about twenty years since the death of the pioneer for such books to be written – twenty-one years for Freud, twenty-four for Jung (Casement 1985).) However, I can now see that understandings of post-Jungian based on understandings of postmodernism do make sense because, just as one cannot possibly have postmodernism without modernity, one cannot have post-Jungian psychology and analysis without Jungian psychology and analysis. I meant a connection to and at the same lime a critical distance from Jung. The key word is ‘critical’, and if I were to write my book again, and had completely free rein as regards title, I should like to call it Critical Analytical Psychology.
I needed to find a way of describing the field because what existed before as classification was so problematic. People used to talk about ‘London’ and ‘Zurich’. But even in the 1980s and certainly in the 1990s there are what we used to call ‘London’ analysts in Chicago and in San Francisco, and there are ‘Zurich’ analysts all over the world who have never been anywhere near Zurich. Moreover, as there are four Jungian societies in good standing in the city of London, to refer to what goes on in all of them as ‘London’ is now semantically, and indeed in terms of politeness, quite impossible.
Another belief that I grew up on before I began working out the post-Jungian modes was that there was really a divide between the clinical and symbolical approaches to analytical psychology. I think Louis Zinkin got it right when he said that this division was a set-up, because no self-respecting Jungian is going to say that he or she is not ‘symbolic’ but rather ‘clinical’ (personal communication, 1983). And which practitioners would agree that they were not ‘clinical’?
What I did in Jung and the Post-Jungians was to assume that all of the schools of analytical psychology knew about and made use of all of the ideas and practices available to them under the heading of Jungian psychology. My method was to say that actually there is a priority and weighting going on within each of these rather different schools, which are connected by virtue of the fact that they are competitive with each other.
I also admitted that the schools are creative fictions, because there is a huge amount of overlapping, and that in many respects it was the patients who had constructed the schools as much as the analysts.
To summarize, I said that there were three schools: (1) the classical school, consciously working in Jung’s tradition, with a focus on the self and individuation. I made the point that one should not equate classical with stuck or rigid. There are evolutions within something classical that are quite possible. (2) The developmental school, which has a specific take on the importance of infancy in the evolution of adult personality and character, and an equally stringent emphasis on the analysis of transference-countertransference dynamics in clinical work. The developmental school has a very close relationship with psychoanalysis, although the word rapprochement that is often used is quite wrong, because psychoanalysis does not rapproche with analytical psychology, whereas analytical psychology makes frequent attempts at rapprochement with psychoanalysis. (3) The archetypal school plays with and explores images in therapy. Its notion of soul suggests the deepening that permits an event to become an experience.
‘Rat, basically, was the tripartite classification: classical, developmental, and archetypal. Jung’s colleague Joseph Henderson made gentle fun of me once at a conference in 1991. He said he really liked this classification, and he thought it was pretty much reliable, but he would like to assert that he personally was pre-classical! I think what I produced in 1985 was reliable. But I also realize it was a provocative thing to have done, because of the Jungian investment in individuality and authenticity that is a characteristic of our tradition. Moreover, there is the folk history that we have got, which is that Jung was not interested in being a leader, so that any Jungians can do what they like, and if they do what they like they are really true Jungians. There are all kinds of slogans attributed to Jung (‘Thank God I’m Jung and not a Jungian’). I thought this was just nonsense because I had no problem with Jung’s being a leader and trying to influence other people. It is only a part of human nature, after all. I could see many ways in which Jung was a leader, many ways in which all of the schools could even be seen as aspects of Jung and his way of thinking, so, for me, there was no problem with an exercise in professional self-reflexivity which was probably needed at that time.
Undoubtedly, a shadow element of my own was present in the book – there was an Olympian syncretistic fantasy perhaps in doing a classification like that. I hope that the usefulness of it has over the years outweighed the shadow features. Actually, I did not write the book out of Olympian clarity; I wrote out of the confusion of being a recently qualified analyst who needed to understand what my elders and betters got so agitated and divided over. If there was a God over the book it was Hermes rather than Zeus.
In the book, and subsequently, I have taken a much less literal stance in relation to the schools. What I would say now is that within each Jungian analyst there is a classical school analyst, a developmental school analyst, and an archetypal school analyst. This means that it is potentially open to any Jungian analyst or candidate, or Jungian-oriented psychotherapist, to access a very broad spectrum of ideas, practices, values and philosophies which constitute the overall field of post-Jungian psychology and analysis. This enables us to salute the emergence of what I call now the ‘new model Jungian analyst’. This is somebody who, because of the differentiating work that I and others did, is able to know when they work in any particular way which specific ideas and practices they are drawing on: classical (self and individuation); developmental (infancy, transference-countertransference); archetypal (soul, particular images). They can draw on all of them, some of them, and, as we will discuss in a moment, none of them. They can vary the mix throughout their practice; they can vary it in the analysis of an individual; and they can vary it within the confines of a single clinical analytical session. While I still think that I said something valuable on a factual, literal, scholarly, history-of-ideas level, I also think that the model says something valuable about the internal experience of being an analyst and the crisis of choice that today’s increasingly well-educated analysts face in the clinical context all the time.
The post-jungians today
I could stop here with everything seeming to be fine. But, of course, things are by no means fine – hence the title of the chapter. I want to move on to discuss certain problems that I see as afflicting and facing the post-Jungians today. What I want to offer now is today’s classification of the schools of post-Jungian analytical psychology.
As I see it, now, there are four schools of post-Jungian analytical psychology. The classical and the developmental schools have stayed pretty much as they were. The archetypal school has been either integrated or eliminated as a clinical entity – perhaps a bit of both. But there are two new schools to consider, each of which is an extreme version of one of the two hitherto existing schools, classical and developmental. I call these two extreme versions Jungian fundamentalism on the one hand and Jungian merger with psychoanalysis on the other. The four schools could be presented on a spectrum: fundamentalist, classical, developmental, psychoanalytic.
Like all fundamentalisms, Jungian fundamentalism desires to control who and what is in or out. Hence it tends to be cruel and stigmatizing. One hears this sometimes in the assessment for training situation. ‘He or she is not psychologically minded,’ it can be said. Or typology is used to settle complex interpersonal, cultural or social situations in an altogether unproductive, oracular way. Intellectual women may get short shrift. Jungian fundamentalism denies its role in the market place – it tries to convince us that it just is, that it does not have a persuasive project, looking for influence, like the rest of us. There is an attempt to deny this commercial aspect, including the financial aspect. Jungian fundamentalism stresses Jung the man and his prophetic and even, it is sometimes claimed, divinely inspired words. But what gets particularly stressed is how Jung lived. Sometimes this is called ‘the Jungian way’. I abhor the notion of there being ‘a’ or ‘the’ Jungian way, but Jungian fundamentalism trades off it.
Jungian fundamentalism exaggerates our undeniable needs for order, pattern, meaning and a presiding myth. I am not saying these needs do not exist. I am saying that they are being exploited and exaggerated, and frozen or fossilized. Other features of human psychology, to do with its evanescent, shifting, anti-foundational, anti-essentialist, playful nature cannot find a place in the Jungian fundamentalist Weltanschauung. Moreover, it is a worldview that tends to ignore everything else that is going on in psychotherapy generally, or in the worlds of ideas, politics, the arts or religion. I will never forget talking about Freud’s famous case of Dora with a leading Jungian analyst, whom I would regard as a Jungian fundamentalist, and she said to me: ‘Dora who?’
The positive aspect of Jungian fundamentalism is that there is something good and worthwhile in the idea of living in accord with psychological principles, and striving, perhaps against the odds, for authenticity of experience.
Let me move on to make a similar critique of the contemporary Jungian tendency towards merger with psychoanalysis. I wish to emphasize that I am not against Jungian usage of psychoanalysis, as in the developmental school. How has this tendency towards an actual merger with psychoanalysis come about in the Jungian world? First of all, I think it has often been based on something exceedingly personal in that many Jungians who have had classical or even developmental school Jungian analysis were not satisfied by their experiences therein. Hence their espousal of a Jungian merger with psychoanalysis may be based, in my view, on anger and on an idealization of psychoanalysis as being in some way clinically superior, as possessing exquisite and superior clinical skills when compared to ours.
This leads to Jungians themselves overlooking the enormous clinical contributions that have been made by Jungians. I am not making the usual complaint (referred to above) that nobody acknowledges that ‘we’ thought of it first. My corn- plaint here is that Jungians themselves of the psychoanalytic school are not paying attention to certain ideas of ours, which are our birthright and our inheritance.
I think of the importance of the real relationship in analysis, the therapeutic alliance, and of the ineluctably interactional nature of analytical work. ‘You can exert no influence unless you are open to influence.’ ‘The countertransference is a very important organ of information.’ These are the pioneering statements made by Jung in the 1920s. Or there is the crucial non-literal understanding of regression in the clinical situation as implicated in processes of psychological growth and maturation; not necessarily regression to childhood in a literal sense but regression to a ‘something else’ that is difficult to name precisely. Or the role of personification in the human psyche, which so many humanistic and transpersonal psychologists depend on for their work. What about the quintessentially Jungian idea that there are other styles of consciousness than ego-consciousness? Or the notion that there is a whole-of-life psychology – not just a psychology of the nursery, the first three years, the first six months, pre-birth, birth, whatever? The notion of a whole-of-life psychology would give us a framework in which to discuss some of the collective and cultural psychological issues involved in the major changes in the workplace and in connection with provisions of welfare and pensions currently taking place worldwide.
We should not forget that there is a Jungian hermeneutic approach to clinical material: clinical material comes alive not because of its causal nature, notbecause of a deterministic understanding of the predicament the patient is in, but because of the way in which meaning emerges from the tracking of one’s past traumas and difficulties that goes on in analysis.
Too many analysts involved in the Jungian merger with psychoanalysis in some countries – Germany, Britain, the United States – have elevated the analytical frame over the analytical relationship, and sometimes have elevated a professional version of the analytical relationship, called transference-countertransference, over any kind of attention being paid to psychological contents such as fantasy images. The analytical relationship is understood mainly in terms of the mother-infant dyad – what I call mammocentrism – in which nutrition, and the relationship of mouth and breast, or mouth and nipple, is regarded as the paradigm for understanding what is going on between the analysing pair.
In this psychoanalytic school, there is a flight from the analyst’s disciplined use of self-disclosure to the patient of feelings, fantasies and bodily reactions to that patient. It is not merely fear of malpractice suits. We have actually gone quite deliberately in different directions from those which our tradition supports. We have adopted the psychoanalytic dogmas of neutrality and abstinence as rules to govern our work. This is what I mean by a merger with psychoanalysis.
I need to stress a positive point which I made above. I trained in the developmental school. It was different from any merger with psychoanalysis. It involved the use of psychoanalysis by Jungian analysts as Jungian analysts and not the merger of our identity as Jungian analysts with the larger and hence highly seductive one of psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis learning from post-Jungian analysis
There may be ways in which a post-Jungian perspective could illuminate problematics within contemporary psychoanalysis. For example, there is an intense debate in psychoanalysis over the status of ‘the baby’ or ‘infancy’ when it comes to the understanding and interpretation of clinical material. Is the baby in the patient a flesh and blood baby whose observed experiences have cultivated and coloured (and perhaps caused) the main features of the adult personality with whom the analyst is engaged? Or is it more a question of patterns and meanings, a hermeneutic justification for taking an infantocentric perspective on clinical material? Or is the baby a symbol of rebirth and regeneration, a metaphorical baby as in one of the alchemical illustrations presented by Jung? Or a combination of the above? The question of what analysts are doing when they introduce or extend the patient’s introduction of the baby is a perennial one.
Jung’s idea of amplification may be unfamiliar to some readers. It was first mentioned specifically in 1908 in an essay in a collection edited by Freud (Jung 1908: 186-8), in which Jung stated that he did not wish the process of interpretation to proceed ‘entirely subjectively’. In 1935, Jung spoke of the need to find ‘the tissue that the word or image is embedded in'(1935: 84). There he made the claim that amplification follows a kind of natural ‘logic’. By 1947, the value of amplification is to be found in the fact that it can enable us to reach, by inference, the archetypal structures of the unconscious mind which, by definition, are unrepresentative in and of themselves, must be distinguished from their representations in culture, and which can therefore only be accessed by means of techniques such as amplification.
As many other readers will know, amplification is a technique that involves the use of mythic, historical and cultural parallels in order to clarify, make more ample, and, so to speak, turn up the volume of factual, emotional and fantasy material that may be obscure, thin and difficult to attend to. Analysts wait for associations to dream imagery to reach its personal meanings. Amplification goes in the other direction. By amplification, the analyst enables the patient to reach beyond the personal content to the wider and or deeper collective, cultural and social implications of the material. The patient feels less alone and can locate his or her personal neurosis within humanity’s overall suffering and generativity.
For Jung, the method of amplification was also a means of demonstrating the validity of the concept of the collective unconscious. Jung’s early understanding of the collective unconscious was that it consisted of primordial images which were, to a large degree, consistent across cultures and epochs. As amplification involved the assembly of parallels from diverse sources, it could be regarded as performing this evidential function. Present-day Jungian analysts, especially those touched by postmodernism and its eschewing of metanarratives, are far less convinced that universal and eternal images exist.
Let us return to the question about the epistemological status of infancy in the interpretation of clinical work. I suggest that the thinking behind the idea of amplification (not its classical use as a technique which can sometimes be over- academic) can be extended to apply to what analysts do when they interpret in terms of infancy. The ordinary, everyday procedure of interpreting the patient’s material, especially the transference contents, in infantile terms may also be seen as a kind of amplification. his would be different from either hermeneutic or causal-positivistic appearances (whether hard or soft). Say the patient is upset at the analyst’s forthcoming vacation. Whether the interpretation is pre-Oedipal or Oedipal, whether it is couched in terms of abandonment, envy or jealousy, this may be seen as an amplification of the emotional content of relatively silent, ordinary material – as when the patient merely wonders where the analyst is going, without tears, pleading or symptom production. In addition, relating the material to general models of unconscious functioning and personality development has a very similar effect to that of amplification in its classical, Jungian sense: to expand the horizons and to deepen the patient’s experience in the here-and-now, turning the events of analysis into experiences in analysis. More primitive and infantile layers of meaning may be uncovered and understood, leading to a reduction of the patient’s sense of isolation and persecution.
Have we adequately mourned Jung? And what does that question mean? Obviously, one’s feeling function says that one should honour Jung the person and focus on Jung as a great man, the fount of enormous wisdom, and the founder of a school of psychology and psychotherapy. But to focus on him too much and honour him too much is also a defect of the feeling function. If the feeling function is about balance, evaluation, judgement, then too much stress on Jung is as much a defect of feeling as an arrogant disregard and throwing over of the old man. I think we do have a mourning problem. We are not the only ones. It is not just us. The aforementioned Robert Wallerstein said, in the presidential address to the psychoanalysts previously cited: ‘For so many of us, Sigmund Freud remains our lost object, our unreachable genius, whose passing we have perhaps never properly mourned, at least in an emotional fullness.’ What an incredible thing to say, on the part of the same president who used crude tribal loyalties and outrageous misrepresentation of the facts to leave the Jungians out so that he could include everyone and get away with it! In 1988 he actually had the courage to say to his psychoanalyst colleagues that they had not properly mourned a man who died in 1939.
If we had not properly mourned Jung, we would be depressed. And I do think that there is a depression in the Jungian world today which makes it difficult for us to value ourselves sufficiently to open ourselves up to other psychotherapists and intellectuals generally. What would mourning Jung mean? It would mean getting beyond an idealization-denigration split in relation to him, a split that I feel still infects some of our thinking and indeed our practices.
Making Jungian theory and practice good enough
My enquiry here concerns whether or not we have dealt as well as we should with the well-known problems of Jung’s elitism, sexism, racism and anti-Semitism – not in tenns of Jung the man, but in terms of us, the Jungian analysts, with our own responsibilities. Not his problem, but our problem. The answer, in my view, is ‘yes and no’. Things are on the move; there is a critical revisionary spirit abroad. Let me give an example from my own work. I started to write about Jung and his anti-Semitism in 1988. It almost cost me my emotional connection to the Jungian movement worldwide. Initially people were very upset with what I had to say. There may well have been failures of style or of tact on my part to account for some of this, but it really was as if I had committed a major betrayal. (This material can be read in Chapters 12 and 13 of The Political Psyche, 1993a.) Nearly ten years later, the change in response is remarkable. Not only do people outside the Jungian world look more kindly on us (for it was not just me) for having addressed this issue; within the Jungian community there are even signs of gratitude and approbation for our having opened up this particular can of worms. Facing the shadow, as we know, often leads to productive outcomes.
Let me make one quick point here. it is not enough to say, when we look at Jung’s racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and so forth, ‘Well, he was just a man of his time’. The problem with that, especially in relation to the anti-Semitism, is that he wasn’t. There was a wide acrimonious debate about what he was doing and saying in relation to Jews and Germans at the time. In 1936, when it was proposed to give him an honorary degree at Harvard, there were virtual riots. Henry Murray defended him. Gordon Allport, an equally great psychologist, attacked him. So it was not as if Jung could not have done anything else. People at the time knew that he had various options open to him.
Jung in the university
If there is any one setting wherein I see definite hope for the survival of post- Jungian analytical psychology, it is in the universities. We are currently witnessing a substantial increase of academic interest in Jungian and post-Jungian studies in many countries.
There are many possibilities. One concerns outcome studies and quantitative or qualitative approaches to issues of clinical efficacy. Most centres for depth psychological studies, as presently constituted and resourced, could not undertake the large-scale controlled trials that are required. However, I can see an interesting angle in a comparative and critical study of the various protocols or statements of intent that psychotherapy researchers usually set out in their published proposals or reports. We can explore from a meta-research angle some of the clinical assumptions (which, as Jung hinted, are usually images of a kind) that underpin the research projects themselves. The laying bare of these assumptions is of interest, not only in itself, but also in terms of the establishment of a series of outcome studies into the efficacy of long-term analytical psychotherapy. It is generally agreed that such studies are under-represented in the literature.
A second line of enquiry in clinical research concerns research into the clinical process. This would be mainly, though not exclusively, of interest to clinicians, and would focus, for example, on how practitioners employ the theoretical concepts with which they are equipped, or on how responses to particular kinds of material with which they are confronted by patients are managed differently by different practitioners on the basis of theoretical orientation and personal variables (for example, sex and ethnic background of practitioner and patient).
A third possible avenue of research concerns (in general terms) overall practice issues such as the advisability and desirability of the practitioner explaining or describing to the patient the likely nature, evolution and progress of the process he or she is undertaking. Classically, psychoanalysis has been reluctant to offer explanations to the patient of therapeutic principles and prognostications for many cogent reasons. When I proposed (Samuels 1993b) that clinical practitioners might consider a controlled trial in which initial explanatory procedures were or were not employed, there was an interested response. A possible use of such research would also be in creating clear and reliable ways of informing the public generally (not just patients) about the scope and experience of psychotherapeutic treatments.
It has been argued that research in ‘difficult’ areas such as analysis and psychotherapy is entering a new era. Following quantitative and qualitative research, we are now in the stage of ‘collaborative research’. This implies (but is not restricted to) involvement of patients in the research at every point and at every level. Feminist empirical research and oral historical research might also inform such a project, which would be congruent with the dialogical and dialectical traditions of Jungian analysis.
Many of Jung’s central ideas underwent extensive revision in the course of his working life. However, because he was less concerned than Freud to systematize his thought, it is difficult to tease out the historical evolution of, for example, the theory of archetypes. The Collected Works of C. G. Jungoften presents important texts in a manner that makes a historical/variorum reading very difficult. Hence in the university, as opposed to the clinical context, the mutable and historical elements within Jung’s theorizing could be emphasized. Teaching of analytical psychology should include comparisons with analogous theorizing in all kinds of psychoanalysis (Kleinian, object relations, self-psychology, Lacanian and post-Lacanian, Laplanchian, etc.) as well as with humanistic and existential approaches. Moreover, there is a buried theory of group psychology in Jung’s writings which can be recuperated and evaluated in comparison with psychoanalytic approaches to group processes. In many centres for psychoanalytic studies, a great amount of the research undertaken is of a historical kind. This acts as a salutary inhibition on any claims which psychoanalysis might make of a totalizing and universalistic nature.
Applications of analytical psychology in other fields might include explorations of possible intersections of analytical psychology with social and political theory and the general applicability of a psychoanalytic contribution to the study of political institutions and processes. I am interested, for example, in a multi-disciplinary critique of existing models of leadership and citizenship and also in an exploration of whether or not we may justifiably speak in terms of a psychology of social connectedness as well as of a psychology founded on notions of lack, rupture and castration. Work remains to be done on social aspects of Jung’s concept of the ‘psychoid unconscious’.
Then there is also a contribution that can be made by analytical psychology to literary criticism and the history of art. Analytical psychology can also make a contribution to gender studies, cultural studies and lesbian and gay studies. While the classical theory of animus and anima is often contested nowadays, there is increasing academic interest in how to explore images of men and women held by men and women, taking these as indicators of contemporary fears and fantasies. In post-Jungian analytical psychology, there is a good deal of work on theories of gender construction and of sexual difference, while Jung’s rejection of the idea that homosexual sexual orientation is perverse or in itself pathological provides a useful basis for a contribution to the study of dissident sexualities.
Many Jungian analysts have hoped to deploy analytical psychology in a psychological account of the social phenomena of ethnicity and ‘race’. I have to admit to some doubts about this. Instead, I would reframe the issue in terms of a consideration of the role of universalizing discourses within both analytical psychology and psychoanalysis in preventing the formation of transcultural approaches to psychology and psychotherapy.
Traditionally, analytical psychology has been of interest to academics working in the field of religious studies. My experience in several universities has been that this is where one might well find careful and critical readings of Jungian texts taking place.
Other possibilities for collaborative, multi-disciplinary work on applications of analytical psychology may exist in philosophy, law, anthropology and psychology. As far as psychology is concerned, my experience has been that there is still interest in Jung’s role as the originator of the Word Association Test and of the theory of psychological types, as well as his influence on Henry Murray in the evolution of Thematic Apperception Tests and on projective testing generally.
A Jungian charter
Like so many charters, mine has ten points. If I appear to be putting this in a somewhat sloganistic and polemical vein, it is quite deliberate. My intention is indeed to put energic charge into this.
Post-Jungians should speak up for the link that exists between inner and outer worlds, especially in relation to what look like outer-world issues, such as political or social problems. We should build on the very good start that has been made in Jungian psychology in engaging with pressing issues in the world today. Michael Vannoy Adams’ book on the raciality of the unconscious, entitled The Multicultural Imagination(1996), is a good example.
The pressing contemporary question of multiculturalism versus universal monoculturalism engages virtually every Western democracy. Here, our ideas have enormous relevance; we are well placed to develop what I call a ‘universal-enough psychology’. Judicious generalization leaves a place for individual difference and diversity. We must try to avoid our tendency to pre-define people’s cultural experiences: Jews are … ; Germans are … ; homosexuals are … ; Freudians are…. Instead, we might try to talk about the experience of being a Jew, a German, a homosexual, a Freudian. Can we be experience-focused, rather than definition-focused? We are also going to have to learn not to do it in complementary terms, so that Jew and German, man and woman, straight and gay, Jungian and Freudian, all divide to either side of some sort of imaginary vertical line, and we get these suspiciously neat binomial oppositions. Complementarity and pre-definition won’t help in the multiculturalism debate.
There is a general disillusion, at different levels of theory, with the notion of an autonomous, disconnected, separate self. There is a feminist critique of that self as being rooted in male pathology, and not having much to do with female health. But there is also an important political critique. Human selves do not have to struggle to connect with one another. They have the potential to be in a primary state of connection, of which patriarchal capitalist societies are very suspicious, because that state of primary connection is the crucial basis for the radical imagination, which the owners of capital, and the possessors of power, are rightly rather frightened about. I think that Jungian psychology can become a socialized transpersonal psychology, recognizing that the spiritual and the social are two sides of the same coin, a new kind of psychoid level of the unconscious. Charles Peguy, the French theologian of the nineteenth century, said: ‘Everything starts in mysticism, but ends in politics.’
We should join in the celebration of the great cultural shift in our understanding of what knowledge consists of. Sometimes, although I do not like the term, this is referred to as the ‘feminization’ of science, or the feminization of knowledge. The subject-object divide, as the basis of the scientific paradigm, is increasingly being questioned. I think that not only Jungian psychology but psychotherapy in general is an epistemological or knowledge path that does not depend on this subject-object divide. So we can not only join in a cultural move that’s going on in the universities and in society generally, we can lead it, because our very work has always depended on going beyond the conventional subject-object divide of classical Cartesian science.
‘Multidisciplinary work is good for the soul.’ Jungians should perhaps draw back from what I call the ‘amateur expert syndrome’. A Jungian writer knows a lot about some obscure tribe, or one particular fairy tale, or one particular mythologem, or subatomic physics, and appears, in the Jungian world, to be a big authority on it. But when you actually go out and find academics who are into fairy tales, or that particular tribe, or that particular myth, or mythology in general, or physics, what they have to say about the level of the sort of knowledge and sophistication shown by the Jungian is rather damning. I have had this experience in relation to my work on politics. What I would like us to do is to create multidisciplinary partnerships with people from other disciplines, so that we can contribute our psychological ‘bit’. In my own work, in the field of political and social policy, my fantasy image is of a spectrum of experts available to any policy-making group, or politician trying to devise a policy. At one end of the spectrum we will find a statistician or an econometrist, or someone similar. At the other end we would have a depth psychologist, or therapist. One among many specialisms in a task of producing new ideas.
I think Jungian psychology could develop further its well-known moral perception of the reality of evil, but not in a foundational way. When two 10-year-old children throw a 5-year-old child out of the window, to cite one such case, we often think of the reality of evil. Could the notion of evil as a reality be used in a sober, serious, investigative way, alongside psychiatric and sociological observations? It is something I think we should be thinking about doing.
We should value our clinical excellence. Jungian analysis today combines rigour with vision, respect for the patient’s aspirations, and a search for meaning. As long as we do it without prejudging anyone in terms of gender, class, religion, racial or ethnic factors, or issues of sexual diversity and sexual orientation, I think that Jungian analysis is certainly good enough.
We should get our hands ‘dirty’ by engaging in professional politics, locally, nationally and internationally. Let’s stop complaining at the successful dirty tricks campaigns of other groups of psychotherapists and psychologists and mount some of our own.
It’s time to stop moaning about attacks on psychotherapy, whether it is about the managed care crisis in the United States or a media onslaught in the UK. The managed care situation, in which insurers have declined to pay for long-term psychotherapy, is a disaster in one sense. But it is also a terrific opportunity for American Jungian analysts to redefine their professional identities, and also, in my view, to do something that will be good for their souls. Ale fees in the United States had got too high, and hence the incomes of some of the analysts had become too large. This was not just a Jungian problem, it is also a psychoanalytic one. It has to do with the professional self-image of the psychotherapists being aligned with the professional self-image and hence income expectations of gynaecologists, ophthalmologists, surgeons and the like. Is that really where analysts are, in terms of their location in culture and in society? Are we not in fact more healthily and usefully and accurately aligned with pastoral counsellors, ministers of religion, social workers, academics, and so forth? I think that if fees are cut, people in the United States will continue to seek out Jungian and indeed other forms of depth therapy in spite of the fact that the bill is not being picked up – or at least not very significantly being picked up – by an insurance company. I would also say that we should do more than just cut fees. We need to think in terms of affirmative action for Jungian analysis because of the enormous costs of training and the perceived Eurocentrism of Jungian analysis for the patients.
I would hope that post-Jungians will be open to criticism by others, but I would also like us to be proud when that is appropriate. I would like to suggest that we think of ways in which the Jungian world generally – analysts, candidates, psychotherapists who are not analysts, and what is referred to as the lay public – could relax and enjoy each other more. Eros could he brought into our institutions wherever possible, without our forgetting or denying that the human tendency to compete is somewhat incorrigible.
I mentioned above my little association experiment with university students, in response to the word ‘Jung’. As a conclusion to this chapter, I want briefly to recount my approach to the study of those themes that figured so prominently in the replies to my request for associations to ‘Jung’. With regard to the relationship with Freud and its aftermath, I have tried to show (1) that there was a pre-Freudian or non-Freudian Jung (for example, we can see this in his Zofingia Lectures of 1895); and (2) that there is that striking phenomenon to observe in which psychoanalysis takes up and renders consensual many ideas and practices that were controversial when first introduced or theorized by Jung. I do not do this in a spirit of showing Jung to have been a prophetic ‘genius’. The intellectual framework has been a study of the way in which, within a profession, ideas and practices are sorted into hierarchies on the basis of affiliations and involving issues of power and leadership/discipleship. In other words, the proposition that psychoanalysis has taken on an increasingly ‘Jungian’ cast is presented in terms of the history of ideas rather than as a ‘good result’ for the Jungians. I consider competition, envy and the distortion of opposing views as motors of intellectual production within the field of depth psychology.
As far as the allegations of anti-Semitism and Nazism are concerned I have made an extensive study of the whole issue, involving many publications that present new historical and archival material (Samuels, 1993a). Succinctly, I believe that the critics of Jung are right to ask of contemporary analytical psychologists that they explore this particular part of the history of their profession. I conclude that, by doing this, analytical psychology can not only re-establish its ethical credentials but that there is much in what Jung was attempting, with disastrous results in his own personal case, in the psychological study of nationalism, national psychology and cultural psychology that could form part of a contemporary approach to these issues. While there are important differences, I also think that the point made by philosophers and historians of philosophy concerning the need to continue to study Heidegger’s texts (both in the context of his Nazi affiliation and, so to speak, relatively independently of that context) applies to analytical psychology and Jungian studies. In both instances, one task is to examine the degree to which involvement in the social events of the 1930s influenced the thinking of the two men.
As far as the notion that Jung was a ‘mystic’ or adhered to an ‘occult’ way (or even, as has recently been argued, that he started a ‘cult’) is concerned, and as hinted at in this chapter, I tend to approach this notion from the point of view of changing attitudes to epistemology and to support it with understandings gleaned from the history of science. Jung’s approach to psychology challenged the observer-observed divide and foregrounded ‘subjectivity’ in the research process. I do not see him as the empiricist he claimed to be. Rather, I see him as fostering a systematic analysis or self-analysis by the observer of his or her responses to phenomena in the experienced world. Contemporary clinical theorizing about the analyst’s countertransference greatly extends Jung’s ‘scientific’ study of subjectivity leading to the possible usage of such an approach in relation to social and political thematics (cf. Samuels 1993a: 24-50).
Another problematizing response to ‘Jung-as-mystic’ has been to explore why the very idea excites such strong negative responses (save, perhaps, within departments of religious studies). We can see that the secular world has not completely evacuated religious responsiveness which we observe emerging in the West and beyond in the (widely differing) forms of religious fundamentalisms on the one hand and the ‘New Age’ phenomenon on the other. ‘Spirituality’ seems to be what many students want to study and I confess to not yet having evolved a complete answer to the problem of how to address this from the standpoint of post-Jungian analytical psychology.
Perhaps this is a fitting note on which to end: a note of bafflement on the part of one who, in spite of the rigorous thinking and passionate feeling that has gone into the post-Jungian project, still cannot clarify what his relationship to Jung has been, will be, or should be.
Brown, J. (1961) Freud and the Post-Freudians, Harrmondsworth: Penguin.
Casement, A. (1985) Review of Samuels, A., Jung and the Post-Jungians, The Economist, April.
Goodheart, W. (1984) ‘C. G. Jung’s First “Patient”: On the Seminal Emergence of Jung’s ‘Thought’, Journal of Analytical Psychology, 29: 1.
Jung, C. G. (1895) The Zofingia Lectures. Collected Works, Supplementary Volume A. McGuire, W. (ed.), London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1908) ‘The Content of the Psychoses’. Collected Works, Vol. 3, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1960).
Jung, C. G. (1935) The Tavistock Lectures. Collected Works, Vol. 18, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1977).
Jung, C. G. (1947) ‘On the Nature of the Psyche’. Collected Works, Vol. 8, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1960).
Mitchell, S. and Black, M. (1995) Freud and beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought, New York: Basic Books.
Noll, R. (1994) The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Samuels, A. (1985) Jung and the Post-Jungians, London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Samuels, A. (1993a) The Political Psyche, London and New York: Routledge.
Samuels, A. (1993b) ‘Some Reflections on NHS Psychotherapy’, Free Associations, No. 39.
Shamdasani, S. (1990) ‘A Woman Called Frank’, Spring, 50.
Shamdasani, S. (1995) ‘Memories, Dreams, Omissions’, Spring, 57.
Vannoy Adams, M. (1996) The Multicultural Imagination: ‘Race’, Color, and the Unconscious, London and New York: Routledge.
Wallerstein, R. (1988) ‘One Psychoanalysis or Many?’ International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69: 1.
Published in Teaching Transference: On the Foundation of Psychoanalytic Studies
Edited by Martin Stanton and David Reason
London: Rebus Press, 1996
I will begin by surveying the situation of Studies in Analytical Psychology (sometimes referred to as Jungian Studies) in universities in this country and abroad. Then I will outline some of the difficulties that seem to exist in establishing analytical psychology as an area of knowledge and practice that should be engaged with at university level. Out of my experience of some of these difficulties, I think I can see a way to map or sketch out the various possibilities for teaching and research that exist in the area. I will cite my own efforts in relation to each part of the map and indicate those research interests that I should like to pursue.
Analytical Psychology and Psychoanalytic Studies
At present there are approximately twenty British universities offering degrees in ‘psychoanalytic studies’, ‘psychotherapeutic studies’, or ‘psychotherapy’. Some of these degrees are non-clinical; others are clinical qualifications; a few attempt a combination or offer the student the choice of clinical or non-clinical routes to the degree. An informal questionnaire that I conducted recently concerning the non-clinical degree courses (mostly in psychoanalytic studies) suggests that there is not yet much attention paid to analytical psychology and virtually none at all to post-Jungian developments within analytical psychology. Probably the same applies to the clinical degree courses. An analogous situation would be if psychoanalytic studies were to ignore everything that has happened in psychoanalysis since Feud’s death in 1939. Where Jung’s texts are studied, it is invariably in terms of the break with Freud and as part of a process of schism within the early psychoanalytic movement up to 1913.
Apart from the recent establishment of the two joint Professorships at the University of Essex (funded by the Society of Analytical Psychology), the exception to the pattern of sidelining analytical psychology has been the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Kent. The Kent Centre has presented Jung Studies Days since 1990 and analytical psychology is now offered as an elective course. It is perhaps significant for the future of the Chair at Essex that in 1995 more of the MA students at Kent opted for the elective in post-Jungian analytical psychology than for similar electives focusing on Klein or Lacan (or, in fact, than for any other elective). The teaching is now being carried out by members of the Society of Analytical Psychology, including myself.
It is also worth recording that many of the university centres mentioned above are receiving numerous requests to undertake doctoral-level work in the general field of analytical psychology, to judge from the number of requests that my colleagues and I receive to supervise or examine these PhDs. There seems to be a groundswell of interest (some of it coming from abroad) from which the projects at Essex and Kent can benefit. When I first suggested in 1989-90 that the Society of Analytical Psychology should apply its legacy to the funding of a university appointment, I did not anticipate the fact that in 1995 some universities would be complaining that they did not have the resources to deal with doctoral-level interest in analytical psychology!
Analytical Psychology in the University: Difficulties and Possibilities
Over the past eight years, I have been offering to a number of universities a day-long event which focuses on Jungian and post- Jungian studies. One central feature has been a discussion of the problems associated with analytical psychology in the academy. We have tried to address these problems together with a critical-historical focus on some central theoretical concepts of analytical psychology. This leads on to a presentation of clinical and non-clinical themes from a post-Jungian perspective.
By now, I have conducted such day-long events, or given lectures, seminars and workshops, or participated in conferences on analytical psychology in this country or abroad in numerous universities. In my lectures, I ask the students to do a simple word association exercise to the word ‘Jung’ and the results have been instructive. I have obtained associations from over 300 students. The two associations that stand out (by overwhelming margins) are ‘Freud’ and ‘anti-semitism/Nazism’ (or something similar to those words). Third on the list we find ‘mysticism/occult’ or related words. These findings graphically illustrate the understandable back-ground to the fact that, as the academic psychologist Liam Hudson put it, Jung has been ‘comprehensively banished’ from the university scene.
At the same time, judging by the degree of interest shown and the size of audiences at events that are not mandatory, the students, at all levels, are evincing considerable interest in analytical psychology and its ideas and practices. Hence, whilst not overlooking the biographical data we have on Jung which certainly informs many of his more central concepts, I have attempted to focus study on the social and cultural location of analytical psychology, its relation to psychoanalysis, its challenge to established epistemologies, and its utility (or lack of it) in applied forms in fields such as the human or social sciences, the arts generally, and religious studies.
Ambivalence concerning the name of ‘Jung’ coupled with an increasing interest in the Jungian traditions has also characterised clinical psychotherapeutic interest in analytical psychology. It is striking how many recognised psychotherapy trainings continue to offer a ‘track’ in analytical psychology at a time when theoretical hegemonies are being established that would seem to rule out analytical psychology. In the clinical context, it has been central to establish both a connectedness to Jung and a critical distance from him and from his writings and to increase an awareness of the diversity of the contemporary Jungian corpus. The term ‘post-Jungian’ that I introduced (in 1985) in my book ‘Jung and the Post-Jungians’ serves as a useful heuristic indicator of what I have in mind. The term facilitates critical discussion of, for example, the clinical project of Michael Fordham and his colleagues in the Society of Analytical Psychology – or James Hillman’s influential school of Archetypal Psychology.
It might be of interest briefly to recount my approach to the study of those themes that figured so prominently in the replies to my request for associations to ‘Jung’. With regard to the relationship with Freud and its aftermath, I have tried to show (a) that there was a pre-Freudian or non-Freudian Jung (we can see this in his Zofingia Lectures of 1895 for example); and (b) that there is a striking phenomenon to observe in which psychoanalysis takes up and renders consensual many ideas and practices that were controversial when first introduced or theorised by Jung. I do not do this in a spirit of showing Jung to have been a prophetic ‘genius’. The intellectual framework has been a study of the way in which, within a profession, ideas and practices are sorted into hierarchies on the basis of affiliations and involving issues of power and leadership/discipleship. In other words, the proposition that psychoanalysis has taken on an increasingly ‘Jungian’ cast is presented in terms of the history of ideas rather than as a ‘good result’ for the Jungians. I consider competition, envy and the distortion of opposing views as motors of intellectual production within the field of depth psychology.
As far as the allegations of anti-semitism and Nazism are concerned, I have made an extensive study of the whole issue, involving many publications that present new historical and archival material. Succinctly, I believe that the critics of Jung are right to ask of contemporary analytical psychologists that they explore this particular part of the history of their profession. I conclude that, by doing this, analytical psychology can not only re-establish its ethical credentials but that there is much in what Jung was attempting, with disastrous results in his own personal case, in the psychological study of nationalism, national psychology and cultural psychology that could form part of a contemporary approach to these issues. While there are important differences, I also think that the point made by philosophers and historians of philosophy concerning the need to continue to study Heidegger’s texts (both in the context of his Nazi affiliation and, so to speak, relatively independently of that context) applies to analytical psychology and Jungian studies. In both instances, one task is to examine the degree to which involvement in the social events of the 1930s influenced the thinking of the two men.
As far as the notion that Jung was a ‘mystic’ or adhered to an ‘occult’ way (or even, as has recently been argued, that he started a ‘cult’) is concerned, I tend to approach this from the point of view of changing approaches to epistemology and support this with understandings gleaned from the history of science. Jung’s approach to psychology challenged the observer-observed divide and foregrounded ‘subjectivity’ in the research process. I do not see him as the empiricist he claimed to be. Rather, I see him as fostering a systematic analysis or self-analysis by the observer of his or her responses to phenomena in the experienced world. I show in ‘The Political Psyche’ how contemporary clinical theorising about the analyst’s countertransference greatly extends Jung’s ‘scientific’ study of subjectivity leading to the possible usage of such an approach in relation to social and political thematics.
Another problematizing response to ‘Jung-as-mystic’ has been to explore why the very idea excites such strong negative responses (save, perhaps, within departments of Religious Studies). We can see that the secular world has not completely evacuated religious responsiveness which we observe emerging in the West and beyond in the (widely differing) forms of religious fundamentalisms on the one hand and the ‘New Age’ phenomenon on the other. ‘Spirituality’ seems to be what many students want to study and I confess to not yet having evolved a complete answer to the problem of how to address this in a scholarly manner.
Mapping Analytical Psychology in the University Context
I think the following areas of teaching and research exist.
1. Clinical research
Here I see three possibilities. The first concerns outcome studies and quantitative or qualitative approaches to issues of clinical efficacy. As a member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and familiar with the literature, I do not see how most centres for psychoanalytic studies, as presently constituted and resourced, could undertake the large-scale controlled trials that are required. However, I can see an interesting angle in a comparative and critical study of the various protocols or statements of intent that psychotherapy researchers usually set out in their published proposals or reports. I have made a start in exploring from a meta-resarch angle some of the clinical assumptions that underpin the research projects themselves. The laying bare of these assumptions is of interest, not only in itself, but also in terms of the establishment of a series of outcome studies into the efficacy of long-term psychoanalytic/analytical psychotherapy. It is generally agreed that such studies are under-represented in the literature.
The second line of enquiry in clinical research concerns research into the clinical process. This would be mainly, though not exclusively, of interest to clinicians, and would focus, for example, on how practitioners employ the theoretical concepts with which they are equipped, or on how responses to particular kinds of material with which they are confronted by patients/clients are managed differently by different practitioners on the basis of theoretical orientation and personal variables (sex and ethnic background of practitioner and client, for example).
I have made a small start in researching how practitioners (approximately 30 in the sample) employ the various theoretical approaches to countertransference that exist. As far as research into the management of certain kinds of material is concerned, I carried out a survey involving nearly 700 analysts and psychotherapists (a cold-calling return rate of over 30%) from 14 different organisations of differing ideological orientation in 7 countries.
A third possible avenue of research concerns (in general terms) overall practice issues such as the advisability and desirability of the practitioner explaining or describing to the client the likely nature, evolution and progress of the process he or she is undertaking. Classically, psychoanalysis has been reluctant to offer explanations of therapeutic principles and prognostications to the patient/client for many cogent reasons. However, when I proposed, in a letter to the ‘British Journal of Psychiatry’, that clinical practitioners might consider a controlled trial in which initial explanatory procedures were or were not employed, there was an interested response. A possible use of such research would also be in creating clear and reliable ways of informing the public generally (not just patients/clients) about the scope and experience of psychotherapeutic treatments.
It has been argued that research in ‘difficult’ areas such as psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is entering a new era. Following quantitative research and qualitative research, we are now in the stage of ‘collaborative research’. This implies (but is not restricted to involvement of patients/clients in the research at every point and at every level of it. I am interested in this argument and in seeing if and how feminist empirical research and oral historical research might inform such a project.
2. Research into assumptions underpinning clinical work
A contribution here would rest on studies of the ways in which psychoanalytic concepts and assumptions arise, not only in relation to shifting cultural norms and expectations, but also in (competitive) relation to other concepts and assumptions within psychoanalysis. For example, some Lacanian clinical practices, such as the variable length session, may be understood as a reaction, not only to cultural phenomena such as the valorisation of impulsiveness of 1950s and 1960s French Situationalism, but also as a negatively reactive response to the positive evaluation of regression in the clinical situation emerging from the British school of object relations. Here, the absolute reliability of the sessional frame, including its time boundaries, was being stressed by writers such as Balint and Winnicott.
The question one would ask of clinicians would concern the assumptions and concepts that they knew they rejected (and their reasons for this) as much as those they knew they had adopted.
As I hinted earlier, there is also a dimension in which the specificity of the individual practitioner needs to receive more attention. What is the role of the sex, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic and ethnic background, and psychological type of practitioner in connection with the assumptions and concepts he or she utilises in clinical work?
3. Teaching of the basic concepts of Jungian and post-Jungian analytical psychology
With regard to this key topic, I will make the general observation that many of Jung’s central ideas underwent extensive revision in the course of his working life. However, because he was less concerned to systematise his thought than Freud, it is difficult to tease out the historical evolution of, for example, the theory of archetypes. ‘The Collected Works of C. G. Jung’ often presents important texts in a manner that makes a historical/variorum reading very difficult. Hence in the university, as opposed to the clinical context, the mutable and historical elements within Jung’s theorising could be emphasised. I adopted this approach in ‘A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis’ which has been useful in university-level teaching of analytical psychology here and abroad.
4. Comparative Theoretical Studies
Teaching of analytical psychology should include comparisons with analogous theorising in all kinds of psychoanalysis (Kleinian, object relations, self-psycology, Lacanian and post-Lacanian, Laplanchian, etc.) as well as with humanistic and existential approaches. Moreover, there is a buried theory of group psychology in Jung’s writings which can be recuperated and evaluated in comparison with psychoanalytic approaches to group processes.
5. Historical Approaches to Analytical Psychology
In many centres for psychoanalytic studies, a great amount of the research undertaken is of a historical kind. This acts as a salutary inhibition on any claims psychoanalysis might make of a totalizing and universalistic nature. I have indicated my interest in Jung’s activities in the 1930s but there are some other areas that I would like to continue to explore. Recently, I published a history of the professionalization of analytical psychology (mainly in Britain) entitled ‘The Professionalization of Carl G. Jung’s Analytical Psychology Clubs’ and I would like to extend this interest so as to relate the history of psychoanalysis as a profession to other historical researches into the emergence of contemporary professions from about 1840 onwards.
I am presently working on two small historical projects. The first concerns the establishment, flourishing and eventual demise of the Medical Section of the British Psychological Society from 1937 to 1975 as a forum where psychoanalysts and analytical psychologists might meet on friendly and equal terms to exchange ideas. I have obtained the co-operation of the British Psychological Society and have unearthed a good deal of interesting material including minute books, correspondence and so forth. Many of the great names of immediate pre-war and post-war psychoanalysis were part of this Section (Winnicott, Bion, Segal, Sutherland, Rickman etc.) as well as leading Jungians such as Fordham, Adler, Plaut, Prince and Lambert. I hope to be able to offer some ideas about the set of historical and cultural circumstances that made such a collaboration possible, and those which brought it to an end. I am in the process of establishing what relevant materials might exist in the archives of the Society of Analytical Psychology and the British Psychoanalytical Society.
My second ‘live’ historical project concerns the controversial correspondence between C. G. Jung and his assistant C. A. Meier (based in Zurich) and Professor Matthias Goring and his colleagues at the German Institute of Psychotherapy in Berlin between 1933 and 1940. I have managed to obtain extensive archival materials from the C. G. Jung and C. A. Meier archives in Zurich and from the archives of the German Society for Analytical Psychology.
6. Applications of analytical psychology in other fields.
Important interests for me are explorations of possible intersections of analytical psychology with social and political theory and the general applicability of a psychoanalytic contribution to the study of political institutions and processes. I would hope to contribute, for example, to a multi-disciplinary critique of existing models of leadership and citizenship and also to an exploration of whether or not we may justifiably speak in terms of a psychology of social connectedness as well as of a psychology founded on notions of lack, rupture and castration. I would like to contribute my work on social aspects of Jung’s concept of the ‘psychoid unconscious’ to this ongoing discussion in which I imagine a good deal of reflexive, mutually critical examination would take place. Psychoanalytic theory is located within many of the phenomena it attempts to survey, something the profession has tended to overlook.
Then there is also a contribution that can he made by analytical psychology to literary criticism and the history of art. Here, much will depend on the specific interests of different research students. My own interest has been with the exploration of imagistic themes in an intertextual manner. For example, I have studied the twin images of ‘nature’ and ‘trickster’ in a comparative study of works by Margaret Atwood and J-K Huysmans.
Contemporary images of tricksters, especially female images, are of interest to me at the moment. I have been studying the female private investigator genre, the emergence of the figure of the ‘crone’ in the works of some feminist fiction and non-fiction writers, and the impact on general cultural sensibility of texts that feature the consensual lesbian sado-masochist as protagonist. These may be taken as illustrative of contemporary images of female tricksters.
Analytical psychology can make a contribution to gender studies, cultural studies and lesbian and gay studies. Whilst the classical theory of animus and anima is often contested nowadays, there is increasing academic interest in how to explore images of men and women held by men and women, taking these as indicators of contemporary fears and fantasies. In post-Jungian analytical psychology, there is a good deal of work on theories of gender construction and of sexual difference, whilst Jung’s rejection of the idea that homosexual sexual orientation is perverse or in itself pathological provides a useful basis for a contribution to the study of dissident sexualities.
Many Jungian analysts have hoped to deploy analytical psychology in a psychological account of the social phenomena of ethnicity and ‘race’. I have to admit to some doubts about this. Instead, I would reframe the issue in terms of a consideration of the role of universalizing discourses within both analytical psychology and psychoanalysis in preventing the formation of transcultural approaches to psychology and psychotherapy. Traditionally, analytical psychology has been of interest to academics working in the field of religious studies. My experience in several universities has been that this is where one might well find careful and critical readings of Jungian texts taking place. Other possibilities for collaborative, multi-disciplinary work on applications of analytical psychology may exist in philosophy, law, anthropology and psychology. As far as psychology is concerned, my experience has been that there is still interest in Jung’s role as the originator of the Word Association Test and of the theory of psychological types, as well as his influence on Henry Murray in the evolution of the Thematic Apperception Tests and on projective testing generally.