Manual Jung and the Post-Jungians

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Jung and the post-Jungians

If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Journal of Analytical Psychology Volume 34, Issue 1. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation.

Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. He co-founded Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility which was formed in as an independent organisation that emerged from the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.

It was founded by a group of therapists and analysts from disparate theoretical backgrounds psychoanalytical, Jungian and Humanistic who wished to use the insights gained in the consulting room and elsewhere by taking them into the outside world to influence political and public discourse.

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Considering the sometimes enormous interdisciplinary divides, it sought to bridge these divisions. The organisation deliberately included psychoanalysts , psychotherapists and counsellors under one roof, something never previously attempted. He co-founded "Antidote": a psychotherapy-based think tank which, supported by a number of New Labour luminaries, launched its manifesto for an "Emotionally Literate Society" at the Houses of Parliament.

He is also a founding member of the International Association for Jungian Studies , a learned society formed in for Jungian scholars and clinicians. Samuels and Renos Papadopoulos were among the first professors of Analytical psychology in the world the first being David H.

This is balanced with an emphasis on clinical theory as well as on applications of Analytical psychology in areas such as cultural and gender studies , social and political theory , philosophy and religion. In , he was elected chair of the UKCP. Andrew Samuels' books have been translated into 19 languages. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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I think the problem, as many have argued, is an identity one. And what exactly is our history? How reliable can the Ur-texts of analytical psychology post-Shamdasani and the others be. Please don't misunderstand me. I think that Jung was really the inspiring figure in the move of the religions into the private spaces inside of an individual. How many people say that they are Christian but with a small "c" and never go to church.

I don't know what the theologians would say, but I think that the impact of Jungian psychology on religion has been to facilitate this introversion of religious sensibility. The negative or down side of it is that the public contribution of religion for example, a morally inflected debate on the issues of the day will get muted if religion goes on, so to speak, only on a private basis. Kulkarni : This reference to religion brings to mind something I've wondered about for a long time: the seemingly odd evolution of your interests.

You began by analyzing our inheritance from "Jung the man," helping us especially to recognize his flaws in the areas of gender and sexuality and then you engaged in a process of critiquing the legacy of his ideas in those and other areas , That seems to have taken you into the very "unJungian" arena of politics , where you have vigorously challenged the Jungian tendency to see boundaries where there are none i.

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It would seem that you are driven by an intense desire to bridge the gaps between disparate arenas of human life. What has brought you to spirituality at this point? Samuels : The short answer is that I realized how many variants of spirituality there have always been and that many of my interests and the sort of thing that moved me could be understood in terms of variants of spirituality. This helped me to see why I got so impossibly passionate about many things, to the point where I felt filled with feelings and images on the most unlikely topics: country music, social issues, food and so forth.

I had not realized that I was having spiritual experiences because I had 'learned' that these were not supposed to be spiritual experiences. So I got to theorizing about it and came up with the idea of there being three basic kinds of contemporary spiritualities. The first I called social spirituality. I don't like the idea that spiritual people come together to do things in society, things that improve the lot of others. For me, it is the act of coming together in society that ushers in the spiritual dimension.

That is to say, this kind of spirituality is enfolded into what looks like its opposite: social action and political organizing, for example. I think this is rather a Jewish take on spirituality but I have a hunch it is getting more valid. Maybe we are seeing the rise of the religious left! Spirituality is not subverted when social action is on the agenda, it is enhanced. The second kind of spirituality I call craft spirituality. This has to do with the recognition, not only that craft matters, but also that spirituality has to do with artifice and not only with things deemed to be "natural.

Not only literally in manufacture but also in our making of relationships, of culture, and of everything else that stands for the human. It has been hard to get over to people this particular vision: that spirituality is a contrived and artificial business. The third kind of spirituality was profane spirituality after the famous book Mysticism Sacred and Profane by Zaehner. I felt it was time to revisit the linkages between spirituality and sexuality, meaning sexual pleasure and not just I-thou relationships.

But there's more than sexuality in profane spirituality; there's also the whole spiritual component in popular culture and even in what we must also condemn as materialism and consumerism. Kulkarni : I find myself fascinated by this very creative way of thinking about spirituality. You seem, in effect, to be trying to reclaim the concept of spirit by seeing it as constellated in ways that do not require a mind-body split.

Are you suggesting a variation on that idea? Samuels : I hadn't thought of this before you raised it, but what you say feels right to me. I will borrow the idea. Often, the shape of Jung's theorizing turns out to help immensely even if some of the detail and the evaluative elements are a tad more problematic.

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Kulkarni : And that kind of appreciation for some of Jung's work seems to tie in with something that has always struck me about your work: namely, your insistence that we Jungians move our focus away from Jung the man and onto ourselves. That is, that we examine how Jung's various flaws like the three you identified above are "not his problem, but our problem" because we have inherited a body of Jungian theory which continues even today to be permeated with Jung's various prejudices.

Your intent here, it seems to me, is to push us into imagining ways of getting beyond those aspects of Jung's theory which are androcentric, or culture-bound, or which keep us confined to a rather narrow and "inner" world and to find ways of making Jungian theory more relevant to more people.


This is really the cutting edge of Jungian thought. Are there other Jungians there with you? And what are the most pressing areas facing Jungians today? Samuels : For me, the most important thing is that we Jungians, and indeed other schools of analysis or therapy, do not try to do anything at all in the outer world on our own. I am fond of saying that we should try to get a therapist on every policy committee, just like they have a statistician, but at the other end of the spectrum.

So multidisciplinary work is the key here. Now, let me make a seeming detour to make an important point. If we want to engage others to work with us in a multidisciplinary way then we have to clean up our act about all the difficult issues we have been discussing: anti-Semitism, sexism and so forth.

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Or else, why would anyone want to work with us Jungians at all? I think there is also a problem with what I call Jungian pseudo-expertise. And then we start to write with authority which is not exactly real. The worst offenders are the literary critics and anthropologists amongst us though, as I say, many people including me fall into this. I don't really know what the solution is. Some of us were experts in an area before becoming analysts, but then the problem is that we get out of date.

The problem I'm trying to address is about how to be credible partners in serious inter or multidisciplinary enterprises. For some Jungians maybe that doesn't matter too much but, for me, it does. Kulkarni : Many Jungians do seem hesitant to take up this challenge to get more involved in interdisciplinary approaches to psyche, approaches which would inevitably get us more involved not only in the world but also with others.

Some fear that such a commitment to the "external world" could lead us to dilute Jungian theory or to lose our focus on the "internal world" and the individuation process of individuals. How do you respond to such concerns? Samuels : I don't disrespect those people who have these worries, though I think there is no need to worry about it. First, because it is truly not a case of either-or, but of trying to link both perspectives. The trouble is that a pluralistic approach is very hard to adhere to and one slips into the inner or the outer perspective very easily.

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  • When I am supervising clinicians I find it useful simply to take up the opposite perspective form the one the therapist is currently using so that if the work is very intrapsychic I wonder about cultural issues and vice versa. Personally, I have trouble with the holistic resolution of these issues that some can manage.