- Series: Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 316 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2nd ed. edition (December 1, 1960)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691097690
- ISBN-13: 978-0691097695
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 3) 2nd ed. Edition
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"The whole of the book reflects the development of Jung's thinking through the years on the nature of mental illness. It seems that room should now be made on the psychiatrist's shelf right next to the important volumes by Bleuler and Arieti."--Psychiatric Quarterly
From the Back Cover
The importance of this volume of scientific papers for understanding Jung's researchers as a whole can scarcely be overrated, even though most of them are now mainly of historical interest or represent the reflections of his later years on a subject that never ceased to engage his active psychotherapeutic endeavors.
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Here are some representative quotations from the book:
"Fairness to Freud, however, does not imply, as many fear, unqualified submission to a dogma; one can very well maintain an independent judgment. If I, for instance, acknowledge the complex mechanisms of dreams and hysteria, this does not mean that I attribute to the infantile sexual trauma the exclusive importance that Freud apparently does." (Pg. 3-4)
"In men, sexuality, if not acted out directly, is frequently converted into a feverish professional activity or a passion for dangerous sports, etc., or into some learned hobby, such as a collecting mania." (PG. 49-50)
"Psychological analysis is far from being able to explain in a clear and illuminating fashion all cases of the disease with which we are here concerned. On the contrary, the majority remain exceedingly obscure and difficult to understand, not least because only a fraction of the patients recover." (Pg. 170-171)
"(A)bnormal people ... refuse to recognize the compensating influence which comes from the unconscious and even continue to emphasize their one-sidedness in accordance with the well-known psychological fact that ... the convert is the greatest fanatic; for I become a fanatic when I attack outwardly a thing which inwardly I am obliged to concede is right." (Pg. 207-208)
"(I)t is well-nigh impossible to prove, even approximately, that schizophrenia is an organic disease to begin with. It is equally impossible to make its exclusively psychological origin evident." (Pg. 245)
"It was this frequent reversion to archaic forms of association found in schizophrenia that first gave me the idea of an unconscious not consisting only of originally conscious contents that have got lost, but having a deeper layer of the same universal character as the mythological motifs which typify human fantasy in general... The term I chose for this, namely 'archetype,' therefore coincides with the biological concept of the 'pattern of behavior.'" (PG. 261)
Jung's theory begins with an explanation of the "feeling toned complex." All acts of consciousness, to one degree or another, are accompanied by affectivity or emotional sensations, both positive and negative. During our everyday activities, these emotional tones constellate together forming very elaborate systems of emotions. At best, we are aware of all of them, especially when there is a dynamic tension between tones as this causes us to seek equilibrium by any means possible. For example, a desire to visit a friend may be accompanied by a fear of that friend's dog. As long as the individual is aware of these two emotional tones, he/she can find some way to compromise these desires. The problem begins to deepen when an individual is not conscious of an emotionally toned complex.
To explain what I take Jung to mean by "complex" I will use an analogy from astronomy, which seems fitting due to his regular use of the term "constellate." In the case of a fully conscious complex, the individual is aware of all of the component parts. I will use the example of planets revolving around a sun. If the individual is aware of the sun (a fear of dogs, perhaps) then they are very aware of why the planets behave the way they do (why they respond negatively around dogs). But, Jung discovered that many complexes exist below the threshold of consciousness. To change the analogy, I propose changing the sun into a black hole, where any attempts at visual identification yield negative results. The individual is left observing the planets (symptoms) with no clue as to why they behave the way they do (complex). Jung's psychological method then seems akin to applying Kepler's Law to the constellated planets to come to a conclusion as to what must be keeping them in orbit.
Jung notes that the severity of such a complex noted by its acuteness, its chronic nature and by its repressed, unconscious state. The complex becomes acute when it flagrantly affects daily life. In other words, for the complex to become serious, it needs to influence one's life to an undesirable degree. Jung also contextualizes the severity of a complex by how much in intrudes upon the ego-complex. The ego-complex is simply the constellation of energy that defines an individual's personality. A deviant complex then saps energy from the ego, unbalancing the personality and often causing aberrant behavior. The chronic nature suggests that the complex is not simply a passing phase, but something that is more deeply seeded. The repressed nature suggests that the individual is not aware of the source in the sense mentioned above. As the harmful complex gains strength, the individual undergoes an apperceptive deterioration causing more and more of their energy to function unconsciously. Thus the individual begins to lose control of their behavior.
Jung's primary method of detecting such complexes was through word association. Certain words pertaining to the complex would yield delayed and oftentimes bizarre answers. Through investigating what types of questions the patient responded oddly to, Jung was able to infer the nature of the constellating complex.
Jung categorizes two primary afflictions due to emotionally toned complexes. The first, and the less of the two is hysteria and the second and more severe is dementia praecox or schizophrenia. Hysteria, Jung found was normally curable. This type of complex was generally closer to the threshold of consciousness and with appropriate psychological interactions could be assimilated appropriately into the ego-complex. In cases of hysteria, the relationship between the problem and the symptoms is far more obvious. Dementia praecox on the other hand suggested a far deeper seeded problem that was often incurable. Jung believed that this disease was often due to a medical condition of the patient's brain or due to an extraordinarily traumatic event. In either case, the possibilities of recovery were slim. In seems that much of Jung's work concerning dementia praecox was focused on identifying the problem as well as possible while not suggesting a cure. Any amelioration of the disease he could offer seemed partial at best.
The 4th chapter of the section is concerned with symptoms of dementia praecox. Some mentioned were lack of self-control, emotional detachment, neologisms, too tightly focused of a personality, irregularly lucid consciousness, unstable attention, feeling that nothing is wrong with them, hallucinations, paranoia, alienation to one's own thoughts, various obsessive-compulsive activities (stereotypy), irrelevant communication, disturbance of sleep, personal grandeur and the blending of dreams with waking life. As to be expected by any writing by Jung, he surrounds each example with ample case studies, each lending a strain of insight particular to the topic at hand. As is a common critique of Jung, it often time seems that he spends too little time meticulously detailing his theory. Rather, he lends copious amounts of evidences, seemingly so that the reader can draw his/her own conclusion.
The 5th chapter then addresses the case of one patient where Jung demonstrates how the previously set forth theories and methods are actually put to use.
Although there have been significant advancements in the treatment of "hysteria" and "dementia praecox," I feel that there is still much merit remaining in this piece. By explaining abnormalities of consciousness, Jung gives us a better sense of just how he believes consciousness functions and how fragile the balance of the "ego-complex" is. This piece also strongly reinforces his theory of the unconscious mind by demonstrating how emotional impulses can slip below the threshold of consciousness in order to express themselves. Overall, this probably wouldn't be the best place to start a study of Jung, but the depth it lends is clearly valuable.
This first section of the book represents Jung's seminal thought from which the following sections unfold. They each lend a new perspective to this primary article. Each are worth the time to read, but if you had to choose one, clearly "On the Psychology of Dementia Praecox" is the most important, and as I mentioned, and most regularly referenced in his other works.
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Psychoanalysis is passe for treatment of Sz with good reason: it has zero positive impact.Read more