Modern Man In Search of a Soul

Yet it is not the doctor’s whole task to instruct or convince his patient; he must rather show him how the doctor reacts to his particular case.

For twist and turn the matter as we may, the relation between physician and patient remains personal within the frame of the impersonal, professional treatment.

We cannot by any device bring it about that the treatment is not the outcome of a mutual influence in which the whole being of the patient as well as that of the doctor plays
its part.

Two primary factors come together in the treatment-that is, two persons, neither of whom is a fixed and determinable magnitude.

Their fields of consciousness may be quite clearly defined, but they bring with them besides an indefinitely extended sphere of unconsciousness.

For this reason the personalities of the doctor and patient have often more to do with the outcome of the treatment than what the doctor says or thinks-although we must not undervalue this latter factor as a disturbing or healing one.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

We should expect the doctor to have an influence on the patient in every effective psychic treatment: but this influence can only take place when he too is affected by the patient.

You can exert no influence if you are not susceptible to influence.

It is futile for the doctor to shield himself from the influence of the patient and to surround himself with a smokescreen of fatherly and professional authority.

If he does so he merely forbids himself the use of a highly important organ of information, and the patient influences him unconsciously none the less.

The unconscious changes in the doctor which the patient thus brings about are well known to many psychotherapists; they are disturbances, or even injuries, peculiar to the profession, which illustrate in a striking way the patient’s almost “chemical” influence.

One of the best known of them is the counter-transference which the transference evokes.

But the effects are often more subtle, and their nature is best conveyed by the old idea of the demon of sickness.

According to this a sufferer transmits his disease to a healthy person whose powers subdue the demon-but not without a negative influence upon the well-being of the healer. ~Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Pages 49-50.