An Outline of Analytical Psychology

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Analytical Psychology is the school of depth psychology based on the discoveries and concepts of Carl Gustav Jung. Jung gave the broadest and most comprehensive view of the human psyche yet available. His writings include a fully-developed theory of the structure and dynamics of the psyche in both its conscious and unconscious aspects, a detailed theory of personality types and, most important, a full description of the universal, primordial images deriving from the deepest layers of the unconscious psyche. These primordial images are called archetypes of the collective unconscious. The latter discovery has enabled Jung to describe striking parallels between the unconscious images produced by individuals in dream and vision and the universal motifs found in the religions and mythologies of all ages.

The concept of the collective unconscious gives analytical psychology an added dimension in comparison with other schools of psychotherapy. It takes the theory and practice of psychotherapy out of the exclusive realm of psychopathology and relates it to the whole history of the evolution of the human psyche in all its cultural manifestations. The practice of analytical psychology thus becomes not only a therapy for neurosis but also a technique for psychological development applicable to normal and superior individuals.

An abstract, theoretical presentation is alien to Jung who always strove to engage the response of the whole man, not just the intellect. This presentation should thus be recognized as no more than a two-dimensional sketch of a three-dimensional reality.

Libido: The psychic energy that directs and motivates the personality is called libido. Interest, attention and drive are all expressions of libido. The libido invested in a given item is indicated by how highly it is valued. Libido can be transformed or displaced but not destroyed. If the libido attached to one object disappears, it reappears elsewhere. Libido is the dynamism of the life process manifested in the psychic sphere.

The theory of libido is closely connected with the law of opposites. The processes of the psyche depend on a tension and interplay between opposite poles. If one side of a pair of opposites becomes excessively predominant in the personality, it is likely to turn into its contrary. This is called enantiodromia. A one-sided conscious attitude constellates its opposite in the unconscious. See Jung's essay "On Psychic Energy" (1).

Psychological Types: Analytical psychology distinguishes several psychological types. These refer to innate differences in temperament which cause individuals to perceive and react to life in different fashions. There are two attitude types, the extravert and the introvert.

The extravert is characterized by an innate tendency for the libido to flow outwards, connecting the individual with the external world. The extravert naturally and spontaneously gives greatest interest and value to the object - people, things, external accomplishments, etc. He or she will be most comfortable and successful when functioning in the external world and human relationships, and will be restless and ill at ease when alone without diversion. Having little relation to the inner world of subjectivity, the extravert will shun it and tend to depreciate subjective concerns as morbid or selfish.

The introvert is characterized by a tendency for the libido to flow inwards connecting him or her with the subjective, inner world of thought, fantasies and feelings. Greatest interest and value is given to the subject - the inner reactions and images. The introvert will function most satisfactorily when free from pressure to adapt to external circumstances. He or she prefers their own company and is reserved or uncomfortable in large groups.

Both introvert and extravert have the defects of their strengths and each tends to undervalue the other. To the extravert, the introvert appears self-centered and withholding of himself....
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