18 Chapters
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Chapter 4: The developmental school in analytical psychology

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

Analytical psychology as elaborated by Jung and his immediate followers did not focus on the depth psychological aspects of early infant and childhood development. Freud and his followers made the imaginative leap required to link the two pivotal areas of analytic investigation—the early stages of development and how such states of mind may manifest in adult patients on the one hand, and the nature and varieties of transference and countertransference in the analytic relationship on the other— and to include them in psychoanalytic theory. Analytical psychology was slow to follow suit, despite Jung's early and continued insistence on the importance of the relationship between analyst and patient, and his study of the Rosarium (Jung, 1966) as a way of understanding the vicissitudes of the analytic couple.

For Jung and the group that had formed around him, the rich and attractive field of creative and symbolic activity and collective and cultural pursuits appeared to be more engaging. Nevertheless, in certain respects it could be said that creative psychic activity, as well as its destructive and distressing aspects, could be located within two pivotal areas of investigation, and could be seen rightfully to belong to the examination of the relationship between primary process (that is, the earlier, more primitive mental processes with infantile foundations) and the later secondary mental processes.

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Chapter 14: The potential for transformation: emergence theory and psychic change

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

In studying Jung's concept of synchronicity and the teleological I vision underlying his opus, I have been struck by a number of links to recent research in the theory of emergent properties and complexity theory, and current neurophysiological studies on the so-called “mirror neuron” effect in human and higher mammalian interactions. I have gathered cross-references between the theory of emergent properties and Jung's theories in order to better understand aspects of his abiding interest in humankind's ubiquitous spiritual quest, across all cultures and across human history itself. The last three centuries have seen a decline in the importance of the established religions in the West, caused largely by the impact of materialistic and mechanistic approaches to the world and our place in it—the cause and effect scientific approach to empirical reality where the observer is notionally absent from, and merely an un-intrusive observer of, the field of his or her enquiry. Another reason for this decline is the impact of the theory of evolution that some have interpreted as the death knell of religious and spiritual hermeneutics to explain the existence, let alone the evolution, of all species, including of course our own. Nevertheless, the search for greater spiritual meaning remains as true as ever for most ordinary men and women. Perhaps this is felt increasingly in recent times because of the external social pressures that we face, and the conflicts between cultures that we bear witness to so painfully. This may explain the recent recurrence of some of the more ecstatic and fundamental religious expressions. But also, more quietly perhaps, it is shownthrough the search at the individual level for greater meaning, for more spiritual and less materialistic ways of being, thinking, and feeling. It certainly underlay Jung's lifelong engagement with spiritual matters, absorbing him in deep study, seminal writing, and personal preoccupation.

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Chapter 2: The transcendent function and Hegel's dialectical vision

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter I will trace Jung's concept of the transcendent I function back to its philosophical roots in the notion of dialectical change, first expounded by the German Romantic philosopher Frederick Hegel (1770-1831).

Hegel expounded his dialectical model at a particular time and place in European history, in Germany, at the time of the Romantic revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, a time of enormous social, political and economic change. It formed an essential core of important twentieth-century European philosophical traditions, such as phenomenology and its derivatives, as well as the version of psychoanalysis developed by Lacan and his followers in France.

Hegel's dialectical model is a schema for understanding how change happens throughout all living systems; essentially, it is about the development of self-consciousness as it unfolds both internally and in individuals, in what he calls the World Spirit (Geist). He finds a parallel in Jung's theory of how the individual develops a sense of identity or selfhood over time through the interplay between inner and outer, and between collective and personal psychological contents, both located at conscious and unconscious levels. Hegel expounded a philosophy that reflects a deep structural view of the world (Hegel, 1807a; 1812-1816; 1817; 1820). It has had a profound effect on the thinking of those schooled in European culture since the nineteenth century. Hegel's dialectical vision reflects an understanding of fundamental truths, including psychological truths, concerning reality, and how the self is brought into being and attainsits fullest actualization through the interaction between self-consciousness and consciousness of an other. Both Hegel and Jung expounded models that are concerned with those deeply embedded, inherited structures and dynamic processes that underlie the ways in which we perceive ourselves and our reality, and the ways in which we become the individuals we are. Both employ an archetypal model of the self expressed in terms of an image of wholeness, achieved through successive conflict-ridden steps towards individuation and integration.

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Chapter 1: The self in transformation: the analyst in transformation

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

This current volume of papers written and collected during the course of some twenty years of clinical and professional activity represents a work in progress of a Jungian analyst, trained in London, deeply identified with a Jungian approach to the psyche and its ongoing development, who at the same time is open and responsive to influences of other contemporary Jungian and psychoanalytic thinking and development. In fact, what strikes me as I reflect with hindsight on the process of gathering these papers into a format which will, I hope, convey structure as well as a view of the development of a clinical and theoretical reflection, is that it follows a path of connected points of reflection that was not envisaged as I alighted at each stage on a topic that gripped me at the time. Looking back, however, it is possible to perceive that this series of clinical and theoretical reflections represents an ongoing enquiry into the nature of psychological change, growth, and development, which is at the heart of the clinical work of depth psychologists.

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Clinical explorations: the self, its defences, and transformations

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

This section comprises five clinically based accounts of intensive analytical work with patients, or supervision of patients, in T long-term intensive analysis.

Chapter 6, “The not-so-silent couple in the individual”, examines the nature of the self, with its foundation in the concept of a primary self, which may achieve a sense of coherence over time, and the nature of internal objects, a concept that forms the basis of theories concerning part selves and sub-personalities. These concepts might be integrated to provide a unified model of the self, thereby integrating theoretically disparate aspects of mental structure and functioning. Through an examination of clinical material, the archetype of the coniunctio is evoked to offer an understanding of how, in the absence of a stable conjunction of (maternal) reverie and (paternal) thinking functions, a series of linked but oppositional internal couples may be created, which lends to the self either the experience of a combined and sustaining inner couple, or an internal warring couple, to the detriment of an integrated self.

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