Carl Jung

From ArticleWorld

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist whose work was focused on the exploration of the deepest motivations underlying human behaviour. Jung tried to understand the psyche through the humanities such as anthropology, dreams, mythology and religion. Central to his theory was the reconciliation of the individual with supra-personal archetypes; only then could psychological health be achieved.

Jung started his career working with mentally ill patients, including those suffering from schizophrenia which triggered his interest in the working of the unconscious. The majority of his work, however, dealt with psychodynamic psychotherapy and the analysis of the unconscious processes that dictated behaviour. Jung felt that each person had an innate need for self-realization which resulted in that person becoming an individual. Mental disorders were the result of this process not being undertaken.

Jung is credited with pioneering several concepts.

  • The first of these is the archetype, which Jung described as being the psychological equivalent of physical body organs. The four most famous of these are the Self, the conscious ego; the Shadow, the part of the unconscious mind that the conscious mind may not always approve of; the Anima, the feminine side of the masculine mind; and the Animus, the masculine side of the female mind.
  • The collective unconscious is what Jung categorized as the psychological disposition common to all human beings. It is made up of archetypes.
  • The complex which is a group of unconscious associations, the activation of which may be the motivation behind otherwise inexplicable behaviour.
  • Synchronicity was considered by Jung to explain the governing dynamic of human experience and history. It is the phenomenon where two or more things happen simultaneously in a way that has meaning and the meaning of which has a pattern.