Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. He is known for his work in the study of dream analysis, extroverted and introverted personality types, as well as studies on religion (Lewis, A. , 1957). Carl Jung was born in Keswill, Switzerland, to parents Paul Achilles Jung and Emilie Preiswerk (Charet, F. X. , 2000). Paul Jung was a pastor, and Emilie was from a wealthy Swiss family and was interested in metaphysics. Carl was named after his grandfather, a medical doctor.
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Emilie suffered from depression throughout Carl’s childhood and often displayed large mood swings, what Carl would later describe as dual personalities. Carl had a better relationship with his father growing up, and had difficulties throughout his life trusting women Jung, (C. G. , 1965). Until age nine, Jung was an only child and spent most of his time playing alone. By age eleven, Carl began in a new school. He began to realize how poor his family was compared to his classmates.
Carl struggled with math, preferred not to be in school, even though he achieved good grades.
While walking home from school one day, Jung was pushed by a fellow classmate and struck his head, causing him to go unconscious. He would subsequently have fainting spells when going to class or doing homework. Carl was taken out of school for a time, and diagnosed with possible epilepsy. After overhearing a conversation between his dad and a friend about the implications of Carl’s fainting spells and concern for his future, Carl recovered and never had another episode of fainting.
We can see how Nature and Nurture affected Jung through childhood and had a significant impact on his development and has paved a road for his career in psychology. Both his parents and Grandfather must have made an impression on his early life, as we see a mix of religion, metaphysics, and science influencing him as a child (C. G. , 1965). Being an only child, Carl was free to focus on his own feelings, was imaginative, creative and developed his own thought processes independently of others (Bennet, E. A. 1983).
Even though growing up relatively poor, Carl had access to good schools, ensuring better educational opportunities. Carl’s fainting spells, vivid dreams and his own feelings of dual personalities gives us an insight to better understand his desire to become more knowledgeable about those areas (C. G. , 1965). After recovering from his fainting spells, Carl began to take his studies seriously (C. G. , 1965). Carl was naturally gifted in his studies and performed extremely well. Carl did not like competition with his fellow students, so he purposely chose to be second best in his classes.
Even so, Carl encountered hostilities between fellow classmates, and only had a few friends. Carl had a nontraditional view of God and religion, and church began to bore him. He asked his father some very in-depth questions about religion, but did not receive acceptable answers. Carl began to attend seances and became interested in the study of dreams and religion to explain the phenomenon’s that affected himself, his mother, and others. He learned that psychoses or personality diseases were what he wanted to devote the rest of his studies to.
He finished school, thanks in part to financial aid from his uncle, and began work at a psychiatric hospital. He published a book “Studies in word association” and sent a copy to Sigmund Freud (Lewis, A. 1957). They became close friends and worked together for several years. A falling out between the two psychologists ensued after a theoretical disagreement, thus ending their friendship. Shortly thereafter Jung was drafted as an army doctor in World War I. We can see how Nature and Nurture affected Jung through adolescence through his natural talents at academia, as well as being in able to attend an expensive school.
His close proximity to Freud no doubt had an effect on him developing his theories, as well as collaborating together (C. G. , 1965). His views on religion, seances, and dreams become more concrete, and he has the means to develop and pursue the study of these areas in a scientific capacity. At the age of thirty eight, Jung began to develop a psychosis of his own (C. G. , 1965). He heard voices, had visions, and hallucinations. Jung began to record his experiences in a journal over the course of sixteen years. This journal was just released in 2009 and titled as “The Red Book”.
During this time period Jung was isolated from much of the rest of the world. Jung continued to publish books and did further research on religion and dreams; some of which remain controversial. Biases surrounding Jung include his own experiences with psychosis, as well as associations with Nazis during the Second World War (Charet, F. X. 2000). Although these criticisms are unfounded, they seem to discredit his work and view him and his ideas as derisive. Jung continued his works until his death in 1961. As I researched the life of Carl Jung I found his early childhood to be very interesting.
I could see how his nurtured development in his early years combined with his parent’s backgrounds and his geographical location influenced his career and life’s work. It seemed as if he was predestined to work in the field of psychology. Carl Jung’s journey from a child to his life’s work in psychology is evident at every stage of development throughout his life. From a pastor’s son, a mother who experiences dual personalities, even Carl being named after his grandfather (a medical doctor) had a role in Jung’s development.
Being an only child, having access to good schools, being in close proximity to other prominent psychologist like Freud played a part in Carl Jung’s development. It wasn’t one thing, but a multitude of small things that occurred throughout Jung’s life that lead him to become the person he is. As Carl Jung said “the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being;” developmental psychology provides a framework to describe and understand human behavior and provides a focus for that light.
References Lewis, A. (1957). JUNG’S EARLY WORK. Journal Of Analytical Psychology, 2(2), 119-136. Elms, A. C. (2005). Jung’s lives. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 41(4), 331-346. doi:10. 1002/jhbs. 20117 Charet, F. X. (2000). Understanding Jung: recent biographies and scholarship. Journal Of Analytical Psychology, 45(2), 195. Jung, C. G. (1965). Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Random House. pp. 8. ISBN 0-394-70268-9. Bennet, E. A. (1983). What Jung Really Said, New York: Shocken Books.