Caring for the Soul: An Introduction to Jungian Psychotherapy for Patients and Therapists


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AJC #17:  "Caring for the Soul:
An Introduction to Jungian Psychotherapy for Patients and Therapists"   
With Murray Stein

Seminar Transcript

Originally held: March 31, 2011

Murray Stein: The title of this seminar is “Caring for the Soul: An Introduction to Jungian Psychotherapy for Patients and Therapists.” And I want to give kind of a broad and general introduction to what the Jungian psychotherapy, Jungian work is and its history and sort of bring it up to date, where it is today. I’m going to entertain questions from the audience that you might have about what, what do people expect from Jungian analysis when they consider going into it, what are they looking for, what are some of their doubts and anxieties and fears. Maybe we can settle some of those questions or answer some of them. So I want to be quite open in this to questions and discussion. I’m going to start by giving a quick historical overview and review of what Jungian psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is, where it comes from, its history, and where it is today. And then I’ll say a few words about the stages of the therapeutic process and what some of the goals are. I think those of you have tried to enter into any kind of psychotherapy and have had that experience realize that it is a, a very engaging process that brings out aspects of your self, of your memory, of your history that you perhaps had buried and pushed away at some point and encourages you to integrate those pieces and bring yourself up to date to create a current narrative of who you are and what you are and Jungian psychotherapy isn’t so different. But I will try to point out some of the unique features of the Jungian approach as we go along as well.

So let me start with a kind of historical overview. And let me see if you can, if I can get that on the screen for you, there, this is in my imperfect handwriting and I’ll go over it so you can make some sense of it as we go along {{laughter}}.

What this is is a timeline. Where we are in 2011 is almost exactly one hundred years since analytical psychology as a separated from Freudian psychoanalysis discipline was founded. On June 6th of this year in Zurich we will be commemorating Jung’s fiftieth death anniversary; that is, he died on June 6, 1961. So fifty years exactly have passed since Jung’s death, and it was just about exactly fifty years before he died that he founded the field. So the field of analytical psychology is just about exactly one hundred years old. And it was occupied in the first half of its existence by the dominating, towering figure of C.G. Jung; in the second half of its existence it has been occupied and filled out and extended by a host of very gifted second, third, and fourth, even now fifth generation Jungian analysts, and I’ll try to give an indication of what that development has been since 1961.

But first let me start with the origins and give you a very quick summary of the early history of analytical psychology, how it developed, why it developed, and the distance that Jung brought it in his lifetime. So the top line indicates Jung’s lifeline; he was born in 1875 and he died in 1961. So 1875 he is zero, and by 1900 he is twenty-five years old. You could say that the first twenty-five years of his life were occupied, as it is by all of us, with your childhood, your youth, your early educational experiences and Jung lived a fairly typical Swiss middle-class life in that respect. He had a good education, it was in the classics, in the classic European tradition so he learned Latin and Greek, he learned mathematics – he wasn’t any good at mathematics, failed that subject, but he was very good at languages and he came from a family in which there were basically two professions, it was a professional family. On the one hand they were ministers in the Swiss Protestant church and some very important figures in that respect, and on the one hand they were medical doctors. So on his father’s side, his father was actually a Swiss Reform minister so he grew up in a parsonage and in the setting of the Swiss Reform Church, but his father’s father was a towering figure, a gigantic figure in Basel at the university, where he landed after fleeing from Germany during one of the revolutions in the nineteenth century, ended up in Basel as a professor of medicine and became one of the leading figures at the university, I think ended up actually as the Rector. And Jung’s father was born from his third wife; there were thirteen children in that family, thirteen children also in his mother’s family. His mother’s father was the head of the, of the large cathedral in Basel, he was called the antistes, like a bishop of the Basel clergy, and so he had these two strong influences. And he chose to go into medicine. That doesn’t mean that he wasn’t interested in theology; he could have also been a great theologian, a great preacher, I think, and he did occasionally show the spark of the preaching gene when he had the opportunity, a very charismatic lecturer and speaker. But he chose science instead as his main preoccupation and, occupation, and entered into the medical school at the University of Basel, finished his medical studies in exactly 1900. So that’s his early years; it’s covered very nicely in his autobiography.

Just to pick up on something Andie MacDowell said about books impressing one or changing one, the book that impressed me, I guess, more than any other single book in my life, it changed my life completely to the extent that it’s never been the same since, was “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” Jung’s autobiography, which I bought as a twenty-five-year-old in Washington D.C. in the 1960s at a very turbulent time in American history and in my own personal history, very formative years. And from the moment I picked that book up, I couldn’t understand a lot of it, I had to look in the glossary to, to figure out what these terms like shadow and animus and anima and libido and all these terms that Jung uses in there at one time or another, what they meant and try to figure out what he was saying. But what really fascinated me, caught my attention and wouldn’t let me go was his very deep appreciation of dreams and what dreams meant in his life. And I’d never considered that before. My education was literary and theology and philosophy and languages. Nobody had ever mentioned the importance of dreams, including in my family, we didn’t pay any attention to them. And suddenly it occurred to me there’s a whole side of life that I had been missing. So I started recording my dreams madly and realized that I had one almost every night, couldn’t understand them or make heads or tails of them of course, but just noticing them and recording them brought a great deal of life and energy to me at the time.

And so having picked that book up, which Jung wrote in his old age, one of the last things he worked on before he died, was actually published the year after his death, way over here in 1961-1962 I think the book was published, really summarizes the, the inner life that Jung lived and found so important from his childhood on. And so you get these two dimensions of life from his autobiography; the outer dimension, what he calls personality number one, the social personality, the person we are with other people and in our time and in our, in our society and in our families and so on. And then there’s another personality, personality number two, which is much older, which is much wiser in some ways, which is much closer to our bodies and to our instincts and to our, what he would eventually call our archetypal makeup, a much older figure. And putting these two together in his autobiography I found absolutely fascinating and engaging and I guess that’s what I’ve been trying to do myself ever since, and helping other people to do, put together these two sides of their lives, the conscious side, the conscious memories, and the unconscious side, their dreams, their fantasies, their imaginations, and trying to integrate the personality through that kind of work, which is really what Jungian psychotherapy is all about.

So, going back to pick up Jung again in 1900, that’s when he moved from Basel to Zurich and took up the study of psychiatry and, at the Burgölzli Clinic in Zurich with a then very well-known professor of psychiatry named Eugen Bleuler whose great contribution to the field was to create the word schizophrenia to replace what had previously been called dementia praecox, thank you, my students are ahead of me {{laughter}}, dementia praecox, which is like an early dementia and that’s the way schizophrenia was looked upon, precocious dementia. You weren’t supposed to become demented until you were my age, until you were in your sixties or seventies. But dementia praecox is an early form of dementia and schizophrenia means two-mindedness, of two minds, split-mindedness, and that was Eugen Bleuler’s famous contribution to psychiatry.

And Eugen Bleuler also introduced Jung to Freud. Freud was busy in Vienna at the time and in 1900, exactly the year that Jung began his psychiatric studies in Zurich, Freud published probably what was his greatest and most famous book, “Interpretation of Dreams.” And Eugen Bleuler, who was very up to date and conversant with the literature in the field, suggested to Jung that he get that book and review it for his psychiatric student colleagues, the other men who were studying at the Burgölzli with him at the time. And so he did that and that was his introduction to Freud, actually, and he was very taken with some of Freud’s ideas, particularly Freud’s notion of the unconscious and Jung had been looking around for something to describe this other side of his, of his life and his experience, so he came upon the notion of the importance of dreams from a scientific point of view through Freud’s early work. And later he established a relationship with Freud and they exchanged a lot of letters which have been published in the “Freud-Jung Letters” now, and he visited, went to visit Freud in Vienna. His first meeting with Freud actually in the flesh was in Vienna at Freud’s home where he went to visit him with his wife and the wives spent their time, whatever they were doing, and the men sat for thirteen hours in Freud’s study and talked nonstop about psychoanalysis.

And this was Jung’s initiation into psychoanalytic thinking, which he then took back to, to the hospital in Zurich where he had been already attempting to practice a bit of psychoanalysis on some of his patients, famously on a Russian woman named Sabina Spielrein, who came to the Burgölzli Clinic in 1904 when she was, I think, seventeen years old, and Jung’s probably first analytic case was Sabina Spielrein where he used some of Freud’s ideas about repression and the unconscious and, and early trauma and so on to help to bring her out of her very troubled state and within six months she could be discharged from the hospital and she seemed to be fine. She stayed in Zurich, went to the university. Women were not allowed to study in universities in Russia; she was a Russian Jew whose father had enough wherewithal to send her abroad to study and so she spent the next, oh let’s see, ten years or so in Switzerland, getting a doctorate at the University of Zurich. Jung was her teacher and her dissertation advisor. They also had a famous personal relationship, there will be a film on that subject coming out this year sometime called “Most Dangerous Method.” Andie MacDowell I don’t think is in that film, somebody else is playing Sabina Spielrein, unfortunately. I think Andie MacDowell would have made a wonderful Sabina. But Jung was fascinated by her; she had a great mind and she actually made a significant contribution to psychoanalysis in her doctoral dissertation by writing about the death instinct, and Jung picks up on that in his early work on the “Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido,” “The Transformations and Symbols of the Libido,” where he writes extensively about the death instinct and gives her credit for it. She then went to, just this as a side note but an interesting one, I think she then went to Vienna and studied with Freud and became a psychoanalyst under his tutoring there, and he picked up on the idea of the death instinct and incorporated it into this theory later when he wrote “The Ego and the Id” in 1920 I think that was published. And I think he gives her credit also, I’m not sure about that. But that was a major contribution to psychoanalytic theory. Jung dropped the idea of the death instinct, by the way, when he revised the book and published it again in 1950; it’s now called “Symbols of Transformation,” Volume 5 of the “Collected Works.” He excised pretty much everything about the death instinct; he lost faith in that instinct and he had five others to talk about instead and he had the archetypes and a lot of other things to include that he didn’t have in 1912. So Sabina Spielrein faded into history, tragically dying in Russia at the hands of the Germans in the early 1940s. Her brother was killed by Stalin; her brother was also a psychoanalytic educator in, who was very privileged under Lenin. Lenin set up a school for the children of the top leaders of the Communist Party in Moscow in the early 1920s. When Lenin died and Stalin took over, Stalin didn’t want to have anything to do with psychoanalysis, he was very suspicious of it. He didn’t like people talking privately anywhere he couldn’t listen into. And so he closed the school. Sabina Spielrein, who had in the meantime moved to Russia also to participate in that school, moved back to her home and Stalin killed her brother in the 1930s and the Germans killed her and her children in the early 1940s, very sad story. A nice film has been made, though, called “My Name is Sabina Spielrein,” it’s a documentary made by a Swedish filmmaker and you probably can find it on YouTube or online; “Ich Hiess Sabina Spielrein” in German. And the dialogue and the text are taken from letters and diaries; very well acted.

About that, the time that Sabina Spielrein went to Vienna, Jung broke with Freud and this was a momentous event in the history of psychoanalysis because Jung had been identified by Freud as his crown prince and his heir. Freud had the fantasy from early on that he would die young – he didn’t actually die that young, I think he died at around the age of eighty – but he thought he would die young. He had some sort of numerology notion based on a prediction that somebody made, I think, I don’t know the details of that. But he already in his fifties was looking around for a successor and he found Jung. And Jung, who was in his, was about thirty years old when he met Freud, was a very likely candidate because Jung was full of energy, full of ideas and became like the, the main charging, charging forward hero, battling for psychoanalysis in the world of psychiatry in German-speaking Europe. Freud himself did not have entrée to those circles, partly because he was Jewish but partly because he wasn’t a psychiatrist, he was a neurologist. And Jung represented the entry into the gentile world, into the gentile medical world, world of psychiatry. And Jung carried the banner and he held it high and he fought hard until he lost faith in, in Freud and in the direction that Freud’s thinking was taking and mostly in Freud’s need to be on top and hold authority. Jung felt that he wasn’t scientific enough, he was too dogmatic. He wanted his own ideas to be dominant in psychoanalysis; that was Jung’s take on it and being a Swiss, very independent-minded, he could tolerate that only so long and finally he did break with Freud, but he had learned a lot from Freud.

And you could call these early years until, really until 1913 or so, years of learning and apprenticeship, psychiatry, Freudian psychoanalysis. Plus what Jung had picked up at the university; he studied philosophy quite deeply, he had read Nietzsche, he had read Kant. He was interested in theology; he wrote a paper on nineteenth century Protestant, liberal Protestant theologian name Ritschl. He had wide interests. So these early years, and then very intensively around, beginning around 1910, 1909-1910, the studies that went into the creation of his work, “Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido,” “The Transformations and Symbols of the Libido,” included a wealth of philosophical texts, religious texts, from all over the world, esoteric and heretical texts from Western tradition and Oriental traditions and all over the place, fairy tales, myths, you name it, even American mythology, the story of Hiawatha, the American story, is commented on extensively in that work. And all of this culminated in 1912 and 1913 in the publication of his book, with which he broke with Freud and then went into a prolonged period of deep introspection, I call it the Red Book period. We’ve, we’ve had a couple of sessions on The Red Book, it’s now been published nearly one hundred years after Jung began it, published last year, two years ago now, and in this Red Book period, Jung withdrew from a lot of his outer activities, he withdrew from the university, he withdrew from Freudian psychoanalysis, he resigned his presidency of the International Psychoanalytic Association (he was the first president of it), and he really went into a deep period of introversion and introspection. Not that he didn’t carry on with his outer life; he had a family, he had five children, he lived in Zurich, Küsnacht, he had patients, he had, he lectured, he traveled as much as he could. When World War I broke out in 1914, he was in Scotland lecturing. And that was in the middle of the most intense time of his Red Book experience as well, so it isn’t that he left everything and suddenly retreated into a cave, but you could say he lived a day world and he lived a night world. In the daytime he lectured and he traveled and he saw his patients and he spent time with his family, they went camping regularly on the lake, his son told me one time. His son, Franz Jung. I asked his son, “How, was your father really strange in those years, you know, when he was…this confrontation with the unconscious that he writes about in his autobiography?” And his son said, “We didn’t notice anything. We went camping like everybody else on the lake and we had picnics and he was just a regular father. He liked to sail, I went sailing with him, he taught me how to sail.” So I don’t think the family noticed too much of a difference. But at night I think Jung was very preoccupied and in his free time you can see the intensity of his inner work in The Red Book” and the amount of energy and time he put into that. And that, those years, were really the making of, the, laying the foundations for what would become what we know today as analytical psychology. So here you could say the birth of analytical psychology takes place in about 1912, 1913. That’s when Jung first used the term after the break with Freud and the Viennese. In Zurich they started calling his school, the Zurich school, they started calling it analytical psychology.

In 1916 The Psychological Club was founded in Zurich; those were people gathered around Jung who supported his ideas and his vision and his view of things. So he had some students around him. His wife was actively involved, Emma Jung, in this, she was the first president of The Psychological Club; Toni Wolff, his other partner, his co-partner and co-worker who had begun her involvement in psychoanalysis already in 1912 when she traveled with Jung and Emma to a congress in Germany, I think it was in Weimar, you see her on that famous picture with all the, Jung and Freud and a hundred others at that congress before the break. And she was at his side and so, and together with Edith McCormick (Rockefeller) from Chicago who was living here during the first World War, who provided the money, she was a Rockefeller, she had lots of it, she bought a house for The Psychological Club, which will be celebrating its one-hundredth birthday in 1916, still in the same house. So it has longevity. And at The Psychological Club Jung started to expand on some of his ideas from a theoretical point of view. “The Red Book” is really a personal, private diary where you get his experience and his very private reflections on his experiences, his attempts to understand his experience and amplify his experiences through the use of images and paintings and so on. But in his writings, in his lectures, he was trying to take that to another level and write about what he was discovering in his own inner journey and with some of his patients in a theoretical way.

So the source of the two essays in analytical psychology, the roots, are in these, in these years. That’s volume seven of the “Collected Works.” And there Jung really lays out a, a process of, a psychodynamic process of development. He lays out a program of analysis starting with persona, the shadow, his terms that I write about in “Jung’s Map of the Soul,” analyzing the persona, analyzing the shadow, looking at the ego, getting past all of that to deeper levels, to the anima and the animus, finally to the self. The dangers of all this, of becoming infected, becoming inflated by these powerful forces of the unconscious. He writes about the manna personality, that’s the inflated personality, something he was somewhat in danger of becoming himself because he became very close to some of these inner figures but you see him struggling to separate and differentiate himself from them in The Red Book, very important work of individuation to separate, create separations and distinctions between the ego and other figures of the inner world, not just between oneself and other people, which is the usual understanding of individuation, it is that as well, to become an individual means to, to come to yourself and project onto other people parts of yourself or identify with them, but to find yourself in yourself, that’s the meaning of individuation on one level. Another level is to identify those parts that belong to you in a deep inner sense, the inner figures that you locate in dreams or active imagination and create dialogues but also distinctions from them, not to identify from them. The danger there is, as I say, to become inflated, to lose yourself, to lose your identity and become a kind of stereotype. This is a danger on other levels as well if you become famous, a celebrity, or you become very successful in a, in a profession, you know, your wife starts calling you Senator at home {{laughter}} and in the bedroom, you know there’s something amiss {{laughter}}, you’re identified with a role. So people who are successful and love what they’re doing and have these roles made available to them by society tend to identify with them, very understandably. That’s called identification with the persona, a publicly recognizable role, and there is a need to differentiate the ego, one’s identity from that, similarly from the inner figures that come up and grab you from the other side.

Where are we? In 1920, if you take, if you take away Jung’s first five years and you start in 1880 instead of 1875 and he dies in 1961, this is exactly halfway through his life. In 1920 he is forty-five years old. He will live to be eighty-six. And he’s now just coming out of his Red Book period, out of the intensity of it, although he doesn’t stop working on it until about 1930, but he really enters another phase of his life and another phase of analytical psychology is beginning to bloom. The field is beginning to grow in the sense that after the first world war, students from abroad started coming to study with Jung and these became a very important set of figures that would carry the field further and carry it far, far afield into distant lands and other countries. And so students came from England, they came from France, they came from Germany, they came from the United States, and they formed what we could call the second generation. The second generation of analytical psychologists, Jungian analysts, came to Zurich in the 1920s and the 1930s and they studied with Jung. Many of them were in analysis with Jung and if not with Jung then with Emma Jung or with Toni Wolff. And in those days there were no training institutes, so if you wanted to become a Jungian analyst, there also was no such persona identity in the world at that time, but if you wanted to practice as a psychotherapist using the methods of Carl Jung of Zurich, you had to come to Zurich, you had to work with Jung or one of his close colleagues here for a period of time. And once he got to know you and could vouch for you and trust your work, he would give you a letter and you could put that on your wall and the letter would say that you were qualified to practice in the method of C.G. Jung. And so there are a number of these letters floating around the world, but they were given to the second generation, people like Esther Harding, who was English, psychiatrist, medical doctor, ended up going to New York, living in New York, and she’s the founder of the New York Society of Analytical Psychology, The Psychological Club. Eleanor Bertine, another New York analyst, medical doctor also. Kristine Mann, another American medical doctor. I think she was the first female graduate from Cornell Medical School. Her father was a very well known Swedenborgian minister in the United States. And she came to Zurich for a period of time and worked with Jung and you actually can read about her analysis in one of Jung’s books, I think it’s in volume nine, “The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious,” where he discusses the individuation process of a woman who was in analysis with him, and that’s Kristine Mann. She paints, she’s the one who paints the beautiful pictures that are actually printed in color in the Collected Works. There isn’t very much colorful in those black books but in that particular volume the publisher went all out and printed those lovely paintings of hers in color. The library in the New York Institute is named after her, it’s the Kristine Mann Library. A man named H. G. Baynes from England came and worked with Jung and he was the founder of the Jung movement in London. Some years later in the 1930s Michael Fordham came to Zurich, studied for a while. He was in analysis with Baynes and then later with Hilde Kirsch. James Kirsch and his wife, Hilde, left Germany in 1933, fled Berlin, moved to Palestine, went to London, finally to Los Angeles where James Kirsch was the founder of the Jungian movement in Los Angeles. Joseph Wheelwright and Joseph Henderson, the two Joes, Americans from California, came and studied with Jung in the 1930s and ended up found the Jungian movement in California, in San Francisco. And that’s how it went.

So this was the second generation forming in those years. And how did they train? Well, Jung gave seminars at The Psychological Club every week on Wednesdays and they’re famous, they’re now published, many of them, and the vision seminars, the dream seminars, Zarathustra seminars. They would sit in on these seminars and listen to Jung, enter into discussions and dialogues, practice their own individuation while in analysis with one of the Jungians over here. Many of them would stay at the Hotel Sonne in Küsnacht, Jung lived in Küsnacht. Joe Henderson told me one time if you, on a summer’s day if you went out on the balcony of the Küsnacht, of the Hotel Sonne in Küsnacht in the morning you would see a bunch of people out there writing down their dreams, having active imaginations, maybe painting pictures. These were all people who were in analysis with Jung who was just down the road. And so there was a group of people from all over the place by that time, coming to Zurich and studying with Jung. And so by the end of the 1930s when the second world war broke out, again Switzerland was cut off from the rest of the world; their work went on in these other cities and they started forming groups of people around themselves and gradually beginning to train other people.

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