Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology.
Carl Gustav Jung began work as a psychiatrist under Eugen Bleuler at the University Hospital in Zurich, the Burghölzi. Initially, his interest and research was in ‘word association’ studies, whereby psychiatric patients would be asked to say the first word that came into their mind when they heard another word, and the relevant ‘associations’ were then explored to shed light on the psychopathology of the patient. During his time working at the clinic, Jung became aware of the work of Sigmund Freud in Vienna, and soon began to work on his own approach to psychoanalytic, or talking, therapy. Jung and Freud enjoyed a good professional relationship initially, but as their ideas and work began to diverge their relationship broke down.
Jung spent a lot of his later professional life in isolation, at his home near Zurich. Here he developed many enduring theories and concepts that are the foundations of modern psychoanalytic practice. These include individuation, symbols, the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, archetypes, complexes, the persona, the shadow, the anima and animus, and the self.
Jung is not an uncontroversial character, and has attracted a lot of criticism – for his turbulent personal life, personal views and professional ideas. However, the lasting impact of his ideas makes him a key thinker of the last century.
References and further reading
While there is much writing about Jung, about his ideas and the practice of psychoanalysis, Jung’s own writing is fairly accessible. A good starting point in his work that reveals a lot both about Jung himself and his ideas is Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
Goss, P. (2015) Jung. A Complete Introduction. London: Hodder.
Jung, C.G. (1963) Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Glasgow: Fontana.
Samuels, A., Shorter, B. and Plant, F. (1986) A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis. London: Routledge and Keegan Paul Inc.
Snowden, R. (2006) Jung: The Key Ideas: From analytical psychology and dreams to the collective unconscious and more. London: Hodder.
Stevens, A. (1994) Jung. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.