Carl Jung: Research Synthesis & Analysis

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Jung is an extremely influential psychologist who has made a great impact on the field of psychiatry which persists into the modern era. Jung was an early contemporary of Freud, but the two began to develop differences in their own distinct practices, and Jung’s theories largely broke from traditional psychoanalysis. His new branch of psychiatry is termed analytical psychology, combining many liberal arts and studies to create his method of analysis which held the unconscious as determiners of our psyche. Jung believes in the importance of self-growth and individuation which is crucial for mankind to process emotional turmoil and continue towards continual self-development. His most well-known and uncongenial theories are perhaps his most remembered, such as the universal unconsciousness and the prevalence of archetypes, which stem from an innate knowledge present within all of humanity. The texts analyzed within this report offer unique perspectives in order to better understand the tenets of Jung’s philosophy and how they differ from Freud’s own theories. They accomplish these aims differently, but each presents information that helps the reader better comprehend the Jung’s various concepts which make up the greater philosophy of analytical psychology. 

Literature

Schultz & Schultz

The authors offer biographical information on Jung’s childhood of emotional strife and confusion as possible reasons for his later philosophy concerning human nature and psychology (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). The text establishes the early connection between Freud and Jung and the eventual demise of their close friendship due to differing opinions regarding human nature and psychiatry (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). The authors argue Jung’s introspective childhood reflects his belief in self growth over the inter-personal emphasis, and his desire to learn more about the unconscious mind led him to ultimately study psychiatry (Schultz & Schultz, 2009).

The authors begin describing basic tenets of Jung’s brand of analytical psychology, such as the nature of libido, psyche, the principles of opposite, equivalence, and entropy, etc. (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). Jung’s concept of the ego as the guiding force of consciousness is introduced and described as the determining conduit of various stimuli (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). Jung’s psychological types are described and listed for ease of reference and assigned summarized definitions (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). Concepts such as the collective unconscious and archetypes are discussed and assigned importance by the authors within the overall theory of analytical psychology, Jung’s value on the period of middle age is emphasized as a period of great personal transition (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). This period experiences individuation which involves restructuring beliefs and effectively balancing conscious and unconscious (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). The authors assert that although Jung was very influential in his theories, he was criticized for a lack of empiricism in his findings (Schultz & Schultz, 2009).

Frick

Frick (1984) provides many useful methods to better understand the content being discussed within the chapters. When describing the analytical psychology of Jung, Frick begins by discussing some of his more core concepts: the collective unconscious and the theory of archetype. The author describes how both of these have primordial importance and are representative of an everlasting well shared amongst the human species (Frick, 1984). It is in fact the collective unconscious which creates the reality of archetypes, as it is a mass that contains a shared human knowledge that is innate within mankind (Frick, 1984). The archetypes are likewise globally functionally representations and symbols which are mutually understood by all of humanity (Frick, 1984). This idea of an over-arching human connection that exists within nature is a major tenet of Jung’s theory of analytical psychology and differentiates his ideology from that of Freud’s.

Frick (1984) also brings light to Jung’s four functions of consciousness: thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting. These are referenced through the attitudes of extraversion and introversion in order to provide an array of personality orientations (Frick, 1984). These make up the larger structure of consciousness and operate on Jung’s principle of opposites, citing extraversion and introversion as the primary attitudes experienced by man. These in conjunction with the functions of consciousness are able to determine the reactions and processes of the psyche due to individual inclinations and habits (Frick, 1984). The author also asserts the similarities to Freud’s ideology and thinking but brings attention to the key ideals that separate the two psychologists and their individualized theories and uses each psychologists' views as a point of differentiation in order to educate the reader (Frick, 1984).

Frick (1984) also provides exercises after relevant material presented within the text. These allow the reader to more effectively understand the concepts discussed by engaging with the content through a process of analytical-psychological assessment. This is the most useful and enlightening aspect of the text by providing enhanced context for the reader to better incorporate the ideas being discussed and experiencing an active example which implements the theories. The questions were introspective and helpful in processing the content in a clinical setting. Similar methods of reader engagement in psychological literature should be pursued in order to provide for more engaging material that helps the reader better understand the context of the theories through active practice and assessment. In this way, the Frick workbook is an excellent study aid. 

Evaluation

The research provided offer unique perspectives into the creation and ideas of Jung’s concepts and theories in order to better understand the principles discussed within each text. Schultz & Schultz (2009) offer great biographical detail in order to understand the underpinning of Jung’s philosophy and assist in differentiating the key elements of Freud and Jung’s separate philosophies. Frick (1984) and the examples provided offer great insight into the concepts discussed by actively engaging the reader with assessment activities utilizing the theories within the text. This offers unique methods to process the material explained that is lacking in Schultz & Schultz (2009), as a majority of their information is biographical in scope although quite descriptive in its explanation of the theories. Overall, the workbook activities listed in Frick (1984) are more helpful for understanding the content provided, but Schultz & Schultz (2009) offers more analytical detail concerning the roots of Jung’s theories and philosophy, which is equally beneficial for the aspiring scholar.

Conclusion

Overall, Jung was a pioneer in the fledgling field of psychiatry during his time and was able to help shape its general trajectory as a respected study within the field of greater medicine. His interpretations are imperfect and have been vulnerable to scrutiny and criticism; however, Jung’s perspective concerning the conscious and the innate nature of man offers interesting methods of evaluation for the scholarly research of general psychology. The texts analyzed here provide quality insight into his theories and actively engage the reader to provide a greater level of context overall.

References

Frick, W. B. (1984). Theories of personality: Journey into self: An experiential workbook. New York: Teachers College Press. 

Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2009). Theories of personality (9th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.