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Updated on June 2, 2012

CARL JUNG (1875-1961)

When Sigmund Freud laid the foundations of Psychoanalysis, he had actually triggered a revolution in Psychology and the ways of studying personality and psychological disorders. Amongst his circle of followers there were some like Carl Jung and Alfred Adler who slowly deviated from Freud’s interpretations and branched out independently. One of the most prominent among them was Carl Jung.

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychoanalyst and founder of Analytical Psychology. He obtained his MD degree from the University of Basel in 1900 and later studied in Paris in 1906.


Jung did not agree with Freud’s interpretation of Libido as raw sexual drive. He looked upon it as life energy or ‘life urge’. According to Jung, libido may reveal itself in many ways. Sometimes it would be as raw sexual drive and on other occasions as creative and artistic activity. It may even display itself as striving for superiority and domination in certain circumstances.


What is it that diverts raw sexual energy to cultural activities? According to Jung it is the Symbol, which emerge in the unconscious part of the psyche. There are two sources from which it originates. One is the primitive collective unconscious which man has inherited from his jungle ancestors. The other is the personal unconscious, which is the result of repression in the individual’s past. Jung calls these primitive symbols as archetypes, and they are universal. These inherited images in the unconscious mould our perception of the external world. The most common archetypes are the Mother, the Hero, the Cross the flood etc. These are surprisingly found in myths and literature worldwide.

Archetypes that influence the individual personality are:

  • Persona, which is the mask, which the individual presents to the world.
  • Shadow, the dark and destructive side of our personality.
  • Anima, the female component of the male personality which is idealized and sought after
  • Animus, the corresponding male archetype found in women.
  • Self, the core personality with which archetypes are integrated.


The mind according to Jung is bipolar having an Introversion-Extroversion paradigm. Introverts are inward directed and avoid the world of action; Extroverts on the other hand are directed outward and find satisfaction in social interaction.

According to Jung there are four main mental activities, which are two pairs of polar opposites. They are:

  • Thinking and Feeling
  • Sense perception and Intuition.

Jung’s theory of eight basic types of individuals is on the basis of combining the four main types of mental activities with Introversion-Extroversion paradigm.

Another bipolar opposite of importance is the masculinity-femininity dimension. Usually one portion of this is repressed. So while treating patients this has to be corrected.

Jung like Freud used Free association and Dream interpretation. However unlike Freud, Jung did not linger on past experiences of a patient. He focused upon current problems and future aspirations. Unlike Freud his therapy sessions were not detached and hesitating to intervene. Jung’s was a more active form of therapy.


Contributions to Analytical Psychology (1928)

Psychological types (1933)

The Integration of Personality (1939)

Undiscovered Self (1959)


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