C.G. Jung Letters, Vol. 1: 1906-1950

To Edmund Kaufmann

Dear Minister, January 1950

Permit me, as a foreigner, the liberty of claiming your valuable time in a matter affecting your state.

I am writing to you at the instigation of Dr. W. Bitter director of the Psychotherapeutic Teaching Institute in Stuttgart.

The existence of this Institute is threatened, partly as a result of financial difficulties, but for the other and most important part through the union of neurologists under the leadership of Prof. Kretschmer.

The Institute trains not only physicians but also laymen for psychotherapeutic work.

For professional and prestige reasons, this work is a thorn in the flesh of psychiatrists and professional neurologists.

We have had the same trouble in Switzerland and are still suffering from it.

However, with a great effort I have succeeded in pushing it through that lectures on the psychology and therapy of the neuroses shall be held at the Medical Faculty here.

And two years ago an Institute similar in principle to the Stuttgart one was founded in Zurich.

Today, with the exception of London, Berlin, and Zurich, there is no University or Medical Faculty or any other Institute where the necessary specialists and their assistants receive an adequate amount
of psychological training.

The Stuttgart Institute is a praiseworthy exception.

The tremendous spread of neuroses in our time makes it imperatively necessary that physicians and their assistants should be trained in psychology.

As there are far too few specialists (precisely because they have not been psychologically trained at the Universities), the medical psychotherapist as well as a Psychotherapeutic Institute are
dependent on the collaboration of trained laymen.

In my very extensive international practice I have for decades had lay assistants and could not have managed without their help.

There were and there . are simply not enough doctors who have any reliable training in psychotherapy.

This requires a thorough knowledge of psychology which is not taught at psychiatric clinics.

Psychotherapeutic Teaching Institutes are of great social importance and fill a painful gap in the University medical curriculum.

Though I am a doctor myself-medicus medicum non decimat-l must nevertheless state with regret that it is just the doctors who are the greatest hindrance to our endeavours.

The professional spirit is always inimical even to the most useful innovation.

One has only to think of the lamentable attitude of the medical profession to antisepsis and the combatting of puerperal fever!

Again and again I am confronted with the positively abysmal ignorance of my near colleagues, the psychiatrists, as regards the psychology and treatment of the neuroses.

Compared with our European backwardness, at least psychosomatic medicine is making considerable headway in America .

It would therefore be a cultural act of far-reaching significance if the flourishing Stuttgart Institute could be kept alive.

In the hope, dear Minister, that you will not take offense at the free expression of my views,

I remain, with respectful regards,

Yours very truly,

C. G. JUNG ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 542-544.