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Analytical Psychology

Updated on April 21, 2010

Analytical psychology is a point of view developed by Carl Gustav Jung, who in 1912 broke away from Sigmund Freud and established his own system. Jung broadened the concept of the libido (psychic energy) to include all drives that lead to the creative aims of the individual, not merely the sexual instinct. Whereas Freud's theory is said to be retrospective (that is, the roots of maladjustments lie in the early childhood of the patient's life), the Jungian analyst is concerned with the directions in which the individual is trying to move. Sex, of course, is an important drive in behavior, but other drives are of equal or greater strength.

The personality consists of discrete, interacting parts. The ego is defined as the awareness of a continuing self. Many experiences have been forgotten or excluded from consciousness, and these make up the personal unconscious. One of the most interesting contributions of Jung is the concept of the collective unconscious, made up of racial memories called archetypes. Evidence from studies of dreams and of folklore is cited to justify this concept. The individual needs to conform to the demands and the expectations of society; hence, a persona (the "public personality") is acquired. Man has inherited concepts (archetypes) of his masculine role (the animus) and woman of her feminine role (the anima), but masculinity and femininity have become intermingled in the unconscious mind. The shadow consists of drives inherited from subhuman ancestors, and it may direct the individual into immoral activities. The self is achieved when the individual is able to bring all these parts into an integrated, purposeful coherence.

Complexes (constellations of emotionally toned ideas) indicate a lack of unity in the mental life of the individual. Psychic energies may then be expended uselessly in forms of activity that impede growth toward the self. The causes for nonpurposeful distributions of mental energy must be looked for in the past life of the patient. It is not enough, however, to discover the reasons for the present difficulties. There must be a direction toward purposeful goals in the future life of the patient. Thus, Jung's system is both reprospective and teleological (behavior directed toward ends), whereas Freud's is retrospective (the search for causes of present difficulties lying in the early childhood of the patient). All the psychic energies of the patient undergoing a Jungian analysis are directed toward the development and the completion of an integrated, harmonious self.


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    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very interesting hub. I think Freud had certain ideas that were correct, but not applicable in ALL situations. I like this hub--it makes a lot of sense, and explains the terminology for those of us who only took Psych 101, a LOOOOONNNNGGG time ago.