Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of analytical psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration.Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and symbolization.
As a pioneering psychiatrist, Carl Jung extended his influence across an astonishing spectrum: medicine, psychology, art, literature, religion, science, the humanities. His wide-ranging vision consistently pointed the way for much of what became the Human Potential Movement, depth psychology, a revolution in spiritual understanding, and an inclusive universal view of life and its purpose.
Jung focused on the symbolic, archetypal imagery of dreams as well as the spontaneous products of the imagination, envisioning the unconscious as a source of human creativity. His method aimed toward the expansion of consciousness through purposeful cultivation of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious components of the individual personality. This purposeful striving for balance between inner world and outer life is called the "process of individuation."
But while Freud based his theories on one dominant theme, the Greek myth of Oedipus, Jung concluded that a wealth of mythological themes express themselves universally in dreams and fantasies. He understood these themes as powerful archetypes that affect how we live, think and feel.
Jung's contribution was to link these groups with the unconscious part-personalities and show how the test provides a window into the distressed world of the mentally ill. People are not simply mad, he concluded. Rather, there is a method in their madness.
One of Jung's central concepts is individuation, his term for a process of personal development that involves establishing a connection between the ego and the self. The ego is the center of consciousness; the self is the center of the total psyche, including both the conscious and the unconscious. For Jung, there is constant interplay between the two. They are not separate but are two aspects of a single system. Individuation is the process of developing wholeness by integrating all the various parts of the psyche.
Whether or not he would have wanted it this way, Jung — who regarded himself as a scientist — is today remembered more as a countercultural icon, a proponent of spirituality outside religion and the ultimate champion of dreamers and seekers everywhere, which has earned him both posthumous respect and posthumous ridicule. Jung’s ideas laid the foundation for the widely used Myers-Briggs personality test and influenced the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. His central tenets — the existence of a collective unconscious and the power of archetypes — have seeped into the larger domain of New Age thinking while remaining more at the fringes of mainstream psychology.
At the beginning of his fascination with Freud in 1906, Jung was a thirty-one year old psychiatrist of unusual promise, with a gift for psychological research and a prestigious junior appointment at one of Europe's major centers for treatment of psychotic disorders (Kerr, 1993). By the time of his break with Freud in 1913, Jung was internationally known for his original contributions to clinical psychology and for his forceful leadership of the psychoanalytic movement.
The visit to Vienna of the enthusiastic Jung meant the beginning of an extremely profitable and passional collaboration for the "cause" (promoting the psychoanalysis as therapy method and theory). Freud considered Jung his successor, and this explain Jung's assuming the position of President of the International Psychoanalytic Society.
One factor which has influenced Jung’s poor reputation was his tendency to cast his empirical ideas in terms of metaphysical explanation: like the idea of the “collective unconscious” or his much misunderstood notion of the “archetype”. But his early work on word-association offers an example of empiricism at its best, and comparative mythology gave him the insight that human problems are the same all the world over, and always have been.
The psyche is a self-regulating system that maintains itself in equilibrium, as the body does. Every process that goes too far immediately and inevitably calls forth a compensatory activity. Without such adjustments a normal metabolism would not exist, nor would the normal psyche. . . . The relation between conscious and unconscious is compensatory. This fact . . . affords a rule for dream interpretation. It is always helpful, when we set out to interpret a dream, to ask, "What conscious attitude does it compensate?"