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Carl Jung on “Psychiatrist” “Psychiatry” – Anthology

I maintained that psychiatry, in the broadest sense, is a dialogue between the sick psyche and the psyche of the doctor, which is presumed to be ‘normal.’ It is a coming to terms between the sick personality and that of the therapist, both in principle equally subjective. ~Carl Jung, MDR, Page 110.

Naturally, modern ignorance of and prejudice against intimate psychic experiences dismiss them as psychic anomalies and put them in psychiatric pigeon-holes without making the least attempt to understand them. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Page 547.

The psychiatrist knows only too well how each of us becomes the helpless but not pitiable victim of his own sentiments. Sentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality. ~Carl Jung; CW 15, Para 284.

Only for outsiders, who have never been inside, is penal servitude not a hellish cruelty. I know many cases from my psychiatric experience where death would have been a mercy in comparison with life in a prison. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 446-448.

The psychiatrist understands nothing of psychotherapy in principle because he is never in the position of having to practice it. One could just as well subordinate internal medicine to surgery. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 163.

As for the writings of Ouspenski and Gurdjieff, I know enough to satisfy me that I have no time for them. I seek real knowledge and therefore avoid all unverifiable speculation. I have seen enough of that as a psychiatrist. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 179-180

If I have a vision of Christ, this is far from proving that it was Christ, as we know only too well from our psychiatric practice. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 375-379.

It would perhaps be worth the effort to make Christianity comprehensible to educated people today instead of leaving this urgent task to the psychiatrist. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 65-68.

I am not engaged in philosophy, but merely in thinking within the framework of the special task that is laid upon me: to be a proper psychiatrist, a healer of the soul. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 69-71

I am, more specifically, simply a psychiatrist, for my essential problem, to which all my efforts are directed, is psychic disturbance: its phenomenology, aetiology, and teleology. Everything else is secondary for me. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 69-71

My special interest besides my psychiatric work is research in the field of comparative psychology of religious symbolism. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 243-244.

What Buber misunderstands as Gnosticism is psychiatric observation, of which he obviously knows nothing. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 570-573

Your medical man is a stupid shitbag who ought to become a psychiatrist so that he can be better acquainted with X., whose sister I saved from the madhouse. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 64-66

On the contrary, when I began my career as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, I was completely ignorant of Chinese philosophy, and only later did my professional experience show me that in my technique I had been unconsciously following that secret way which for centuries had been the preoccupation of the best minds of the East. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 10

Not only am I deeply indebted to psychiatry, but I have always remained close to it inwardly, since from the very beginning one general problem engrossed me: From what psychic stratum do the immensely impressive ideas found in schizophrenia originate? ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 562-563

I never denied the fact that my psychiatry comes from Bleuler’s clinic. I was there already in 1900. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 210-211

Every father is given the opportunity to corrupt his daughter’s nature, and the educator, husband, or psychiatrist then has to face the music. For what has been spoiled by the father can only be made good by a father, just as what has been spoiled by the mother can only be repaired by a mother. The disastrous repetition of the family pattern could be described as the psychological original sin, or as the curse of the Atrides running through the generations. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 232

The psychiatrist knows only too well how each of us becomes the helpless but not pitiable victim of his own sentiments. Sentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 184

It is really high time academic psychologists came down to earth and wanted to hear about the human psyche as it really is and not merely about laboratory experiments. It is insufferable that professors should forbid their students to have anything to do with analytical psychology, that they should prohibit the use of analytical concepts and accuse our psychology of taking account, in an unscientific manner, of “everyday experiences.” I know that psychology in general could derive the greatest benefit from a serious study of the dream problem once it could rid itself of the unjustified lay prejudice that dreams are caused solely by somatic stimuli. This overrating of the somatic factor in psychiatry is one of the basic reasons why psychopathology has made no advances unless directly fertilized by analytical procedures. The dogma that “mental diseases are diseases of the brain” is a hangover from the materialism of the 1870’s. It has become a prejudice which hinders all progress. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 529

“Initial dreams are often amazingly lucid and clear-cut. But as the work of analysis progresses, the dreams tend to lose their clarity. If by way of exception, they keep it we can be sure that analysis has not yet touched on some important layer of the personality. As a rule, dreams get more and more opaque and blurred soon after the beginning of the treatment, and this makes the interpretation increasingly difficult. A further difficulty is that a point may soon be reached where, if the truth be told, the doctor no longer understands the situation as a whole. That he does not understand is proved by the fact that the dreams become increasingly obscure, for we all know that “obscurity” is a purely subjective opinion of the doctor. To the understanding nothing is obscure; it is only when we do not understand that things appear unintelligible and muddled. In themselves dreams are naturally clear; that is, they are what they must be under the circumstances. If, from a later stage of treatment or from a distance of some years, we look back at these unintelligible dreams, we are often astounded at our own blindness. Thus when, as the analysis proceeds, we come upon dreams that are strikingly obscure in comparison with the illuminating initial dreams, the doctor should not be too ready to accuse the dreams of confusion or the patient of deliberate resistance; he would do better to take these findings as a sign of his growing inability to understand – just as the psychiatrist who calls his patient “confused” should recognize that this is a projection and should rather call himself confused, because in reality it is he whose wits are confused by the patient’s peculiar behaviour. Moreover it is therapeutically very important for the doctor to admit his lack of understanding in time, for nothing is more unbearable to the patient than to be always understood. He relies far too much anyway on the mysterious powers of the doctor and, by appealing to his professional vanity, lays a dangerous trap for him. By taking refuge in the doctor’s self-confidence and “profound” understanding, the patient loses all sense of reality, falls into a stubborn transference, and retards the cure. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 313