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BACKGROUND

Carl Jung was born in 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland, on the border with Germany. His father was an impoverished but genteel country minister in the Swiss Reformed Church. Although he did not come from wealth, the men in his extended family were highly educated and respected clergy and physicians. His father was an Oriental and classics scholar (Casement, 2001). During his developing years, Carl Jung was immersed in the rituals of the faith, and from his mother he was exposed to mysticism and spiritualism. His mother reportedly suffered from "melancholy" and frequently isolated herself from her family and general society. She was hospitalized intermittently and became increasingly remote from Jung and his father. Jung had an isolated childhood, living at times with his parents and at other times with his maternal aunt. He attended the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Basel. In middle school and high school, he attempted to avoid school by feigning illness. After realizing that school avoidance was not a permanent solution, he devoted himself to his studies and became an accomplished student. He studied Latin and Greek, ancient history, and mythology. At the turn of the last century, Jung graduated from the medical school at the University of Basel. In addition to medicine, he studied anthropology, philosophy, and archeology. He was influenced by the writings of Immanuel Kant, Carl Gustov Cams, Eduard von Hartmann, Gottfried Leibniz, Johann Bachofen, and Arthur Schopenhauer. He continued his interest in philosophy and the occult, completing his dissertation, On Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomenon, in 1902 (Jung, 1902/1978).

After medical school, Jung was trained by Eugen Bleuler at Burgholzi Psychiatric Hospital, specializing in patients diagnosed with dementia praecox, which is known today as schizophrenia (Casement, 2001). During this time, he researched and refined word association tests in which the client is asked to respond to words with the first word that comes to his or her mind. This procedure is intended to bring the unconscious to the conscious. By examining the patterns of responses, including rate of response, and the specific words used, Jung believed that complexes (words representing unconscious thoughts) could be examined during psychotherapy. Jung's lasting interest in disowned parts of the self and dissociation can be traced to his early work with schizophrenic patients. He hypothesized that their primary problem was that their personalities were disintegrated into many parts (Storr, 1999); therefore, it was the role of the therapist to help the patient reintegrate the various parts of his or her personality.

In 1903, Jung married a protege, Emma Rauschenbach, who was a published author and an analyst. Together, they had five children. Jung stated that having a family provided him with the grounding and stability to make his work with the mentally ill possible (Jung, 1961). Jung has been criticized by the psychological community because he had many well- documented extramarital relationships over the life of his marriage (McLynn, 1997). In fact, Jung has been described as the "rebel heretic of psychoanalysis" (Shamdasani, 2003, p. 12). Eventually, his infidelities resulted in his estrangement from his wife and family.

From 1907 to 1913, Freud and Jung maintained a close personal and professional relationship. Freud had believed that Jung was his heir apparent for leadership of the psychoanalytic field. There was a close relationship with lively correspondence over 6 years, which fortunately has been preserved, translated, and documented in The Freud/Jung Letters: The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung (McGuire, 1974). At one point, they traveled together to the United States and spent time analyzing each other's dreams. However, the collegial relationship ended over theoretical differences, when Jung published Symbols of Transformation in 1911 putting an emphasis on the collective unconscious rather than the sexual drives, which were the essence of Freud's theory (Jung, 1911/1956). After Jung broke off his relationship with Freud, he underwent 6 years of intensive psychoanalysis, which was considered an integral part of psychoanalytic training. This period coincided with the outbreak of World War I. Although Switzerland was neutral, Jung was drafted into the army and made the commandant of an internment camp for British soldiers.

Following the end of World War I, Jung reemerged and was once again prolific in his research and publications. In search of information on the collective unconscious, he traveled to various parts of the world studying primitive cultures. During these travels, he studied religions, myths, occult, folklore, and mysticism. He developed a theory that there are universal archetypes represented in all cultures, and that individuals express these characteristics symbolically in their dreams, creative works, and relationships.

 
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