Sunday, June 3, 2012

Andrew Samuels: Post-Jungian Schools of Analytical Psychology

"To find one's way around in the contemporary Jungian world is not easy. Jung's standing as a psychological thinker and analyst, rather than guru or prophet, is reinforced by analytical psychologists and the writings of the post-Jungians. It no longer rests solely upon Jung's legacy of the twenty volumes of the Collected Works and his commensurate charisma. In a way, Jung needs the post-Jungians as much as they need him if his work is to be extended into the future. The prospect for analytical psychology is a shared concern and the inheritance has become a many-stranded skein of thought which has inspired, influenced, challenged, and in some instances infuriated, those who followed.

We should note the extent to which post-Jungians have felt able to challenge or attack Jung's work, often arguing with him on the basis of stringent criticisms from non-Jungians as well as adapting and integrating parallel developments in other approaches to psychology.

In his book Jungian Psychotherapy: a Study in Analytical Psychology, Fordham states that ‘a very little has been written on the development of the various schools of analytical psychology that have grown up’(Fordham, 1978, p. 53). I decided to respond to this, bearing in mind Fordham's assertion (p. ix) that ‘analytical psychology is a discipline in its own right… its ideas and practices can be assessed without regard to the persons who initiated them’.

Unlike the Freudians, post-Jungians have not formed into officially recognised schools, though the process has certainly taken place informally and there are groups in existence with common views. Dogmatism and conflict between groups has not been avoided.

To talk of Jungians, of post-Jungians and of schools of Jungians, is in itself a contentious matter. Jung stated that there simply was one Jungian—himself. He said he had no ambition to start a school of psychology. I imagine he had in mind an attempt to avoid what he considered Freud's excesses of rabbinical authority and the whole painful early history of psychoanalysis which involved so much personalia. Furthermore, as the ideologue of individuation with its stress on each person becoming himself and differentiating from others, not to mention his observation that a person's psychological type and personality play a part in dictating what he believes, Jung was bound to want to leave it up to the personal capacity of an individual as to how ‘Jungian’ he would be. However, as Henderson points out, ‘there is now a basic Jungian body of knowledge which does not permit unlimited experimentation or theorising’. And he goes on to say that Jung ‘abhorred systematisation of any kind and this was a reason why his school took so long to be formed (Henderson, 1975, pp. 120-121).....
" (pp. 345-346)

"In formulating my own classification I have wanted above all to provide a model that will allow for individual differences while describing post-Jungian schools with sufficient coherence to be of use in the twin aims summarised by Goldenberg—to provide access into post-Jungian developments for outsiders and to enable a higher degree of structuring, ordering and mutual reflection in internal debate.

My hypothesis is that there are indeed three main schools. We can call these the Classical School, the Developmental School and the Archetypal School. My method is to select three aspects of theoretical discussion and three of clinical practice to which all analytical psychologists relate and I hope to demonstrate that it is the ordering and weighting of these that underpin the evolution of the schools.

The three theoretical areas are: (1) the definition of archetypal; (2) the concept of self; (3) the development of personality.

The three clinical aspects are: (1) the analysis of transference-countertransference; (2) emphasis upon symbolic experience of the self; (3) examination of highly differentiated imagery.

With regard to theory, I think the Classical School would weight the possibilities in the order 2, 1, 3. That is, the integrating and individuating self would be most important, other archetypal imagery arid potentials would come close behind and the early experience of the individual would be seen as of somewhat lesser importance. (I imagine this to represent, in the most general terms, Jung's own ordering of priorities, hence the use of the word ‘Classical’). The Developmental School would weight these possibilities in the order 3, 2, 1. Importance would be given to the personal development of the individual, which would then involve a consideration of the self, then seen as generating its archetypal potentialities and imagery over a lifetime. The Archetypal school would consider archetypal imagery first, the self second and development would receive less emphasis. Thus the ordering would be 1, 2, 3.

Turning to clinical practice, the Classical School would weight the possibilities 2, 3, 1, or perhaps 2, 1, 3. I am not sure whether transference-countertransference or a pursuit of particularised imagery would come second to the search for the self. The Developmental School would order its clinical priorities 1, 2, 3, or possibly 1,3,2. Here again, I am sure that transference-countertransference would be considered a most important aspect, but I am not certain whether experiences of the self or an examination of imagery would rate second position. The Archetypal School would probably function in the order 3, 2, 1. That is, particularised imagery would be regarded as more useful than symbolic experiences on the self, and both would be more central than transference-countertransference."
(pp. 351-352)

Andrew Samuels (1983). The Emergence of Schools of Post-Jungian Analytical Psychology. Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 28, pp. 345-362

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