What Carl Jung is known for

Carl Jung introduced the theory of personality types. You have used some of Jung's ideas if you think of yourself as introvert or extrovert; if you have ever used the Myers-Briggs personality or spirituality test.

Two ideas central to his theory: the ego and the self.

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  • The Swiss psychologist was born in 1875 and died in 1961. His father was a village pastor. His mother was a strong figure though she seems to have had a split personality.
  • Jung's childhood was troubled and he developed a schizoid personality, becoming withdrawn and aloof. He thought he had two personalities and named them No. 1 and No. 2. Later he renamed his personalities ego and the self.

At university, Jung proved to be a brilliant student, graduating in medicine and natural science.

His doctorate was on "the psychology and pathology of so-called occult phenomena." Here he laid the foundations for two key ideas:

  • The unconscious contains part-personalities, called complexes.
  • Most of the work of personality development is done at the unconscious level.
  • Jung worked with Eugen Bleuler, the doctor who invented the word "schizophrenia."
  • Jung developed the word association test of Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin.
  • Jung had an electric personality. At university, he gave public talks. Women flocked to him before and after each of his lectures. Then a woman became his patient and, so rumored, his lover.
  • Patients developing powerful feelings for their therapist was then new. Freud thought this transference was unhelpful. Later he thought it was the cornerstone of psychodynamic therapy.

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