Jung's Self Psychology

A Constructivist Perspective

Polly Young-Eisendrath and James Hall

Hardcover
Hardcover
May 3, 1991
ISBN 9780898625530
Price: $39.00
188 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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Jung was fascinated by the problem of unity in the personality. If the personality is made up of multiple voices or affective-imaginal states, as he believed it was, then how does an individual achieve a core self? Jung concluded that a coherent and continuous self is the hard won achievement of consciousness, the product of a mature personality in the second half of life. His theory of the integration of multiple subjectivities into an “individuating self” anticipates current trends in constructivism and developmental psychology. Jung did not systematize his own work, nor attempt to make accessible many of his most complex ideas about the self. This volume explores his self psychology, its meaning and its application within the context of other contemporary theories of subjectivity.

To describe Jung's self psychology more fully in the light of contemporary theories, the authors introduce twelve other self theories in a comparative analysis of the clinical case of a midlife man in psychotherapy. From Kohut and Piaget to Lichtenberg and Loevinger, the authors compare Jung's theories with other clinical and developmental approaches. The book's final chapter offers cogent suggestions for future use of Jung's self psychology.

Unique in its treatment and understanding of Jung's theories, this volume illuminates and simplifies many of his central ideas about the self. For Jungians, it provides a contemporary context in which to read and systematize his work. For professionals in the larger therapeutic and educational communities, it offers an up-to-date introduction to a provocative and imaginative body of work that is a central chapter of modern theories of subjectivity.