Extremely difficult to discuss psychoanalysis at public meetings and at congressesby@cgjung

Extremely difficult to discuss psychoanalysis at public meetings and at congresses

by CG Jung 13mOctober 10th, 2023
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After many years' experience I now know that it is extremely difficult to discuss psychoanalysis at public meetings and at congresses. There are so many misconceptions of the matter, so many prejudices against certain psychoanalytic views, that it becomes an almost impossible task to reach mutual understanding in public discussion. I have always found a quiet conversation on the subject much more useful and fruitful than heated discussions coram publico. However, having been honoured by an invitation from the Committee of this Congress as a representative of the psychoanalytic movement, I will do my best to discuss some of the fundamental theoretical conceptions of psychoanalysis. I must limit myself to this part of the subject because I am quite unable to place before my audience all that psychoanalysis means and strives for, all its various applications, its psychology, its theoretical tendencies, its importance for the realm of the so-called "Geisteswissenschaften," e.g. Mythology, Comparative Religion, Philosophy, &c. But if I am to discuss certain theoretical problems fundamental to psychoanalysis, I must presuppose my audience to be well acquainted with the development and main results of psychoanalytic researches. Unfortunately, it often happens that people believe themselves entitled to judge psychoanalysis who have not even read the literature. It is my firm conviction that no one is competent to form a judgment concerning the subject until he has studied the fundamental works on psychoanalysis. In spite of the fact that Freud's theory of neurosis has been worked out in great detail, it cannot be said to be, on the whole, very clear or easily accessible. This justifies my giving[227] you a very short abstract of his fundamental views concerning the theory of neurosis. You are aware that the original theory that hysteria and the related neuroses take their origin in a trauma or shock of sexual character in early childhood, was given up about fifteen years ago. It soon became obvious that the sexual trauma could not be the real cause of a neurosis, since trauma is found so universally; there is scarcely a human being who has not had some sexual shock in early youth, and yet comparatively few have incurred a neurosis in later life. Freud himself soon became aware that several of the patients who related an early traumatic event, had only invented the story of a so-called trauma; it had never taken place in reality, and was a mere creation of phantasy. Moreover, on further investigation it became quite obvious that even a trauma which had actually occurred was not always responsible for the whole of the neurosis, although it does sometimes look as if the structure of the neurosis depended entirely upon the trauma. If a neurosis were the inevitable consequence of a trauma it would be quite incomprehensible why neurotics are not incomparably more numerous.
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CG Jung

CG Jung

@cgjung

Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Founder of analytical psychology.

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CG Jung @cgjung
Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Founder of analytical psychology.

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