Clara Thompson


Although my relationship to Jung is once removed, I have been asked to write for this volume because of my presence at the birth of the Association of Analytical Clinical Psychologists in San Francisco.


It seems to me to be very important for American psychology as a whole that well-trained clinical psychologists in this country can be recognized as analytical psychologists, but not as psycho-analysts.


Although, like Jung, Freud was himself a doctor of medicine, he was heartily in favor of lay analysis and denounced the practice of the American psycho-analytic group of turning this into a medical specialty.


Knowing this, I searched for what, then, accounts for the differences in attitude between the two groups in the United States.


The answer to this I found, to my satisfaction at least, in the relation between Jung and his students.


Freud seems to have been able to be comfortable only in the role of the father, to have been able to accept contributions from his students only

when these extended or elaborated his own ideas, never when they were genuinely new.


In contrast, it seems likely that, had the occasion arisen, Jung would have echoed Pacheco’s ‘I do not esteem it discreditable that the pupil should surpass the master’.


His students seem to have enjoyed both freedom to explore for themselves and security in his affection.


Given this freedom and security, they have been able to accept that analytical practice does not rest on a single discipline.


Why, then, an association of clinical psychologists, instead of one encompassing all non-medical disciplines?


As it happens, such a more catholic association was the original conception which I was asked to help to execute.


It soon became clear to me that it was impossible, for me at least, to set standards for people in terms of what they are not.


Standards for a non-medical society began to seem like non-standards.


It seemed to me also that a non-medical society violated the very value which had first taken me into analytical psychology.


As a woman, I both resented intellectually and found sterile emotionally the Freudian definition of a woman in terms of what she is not, that woman is a non-man.


Jung respected my right to be a woman and defined me in terms of what I am. Similarly, as a clinical psychologist, I can define myself and my colleagues in terms of what we are.


This is currently the principal function of A.A.C.P. In the San Francisco area, both A.A.C.P. and the Medical Society of Analytical Psychologists

function together in a plenary organization, but each society sets standards for its own discipline and passes separately on the thoroughness with which a given candidate has met these standards within his discipline.


Psychologists in the United States are trying with increasing frequency to set up their own centers for training in psychoanalysis.


The unfortunate fact is that in many localities the psycho-analysts who could offer them most are prohibited from doing so, if not by their own prejudice, then because it would violate the dicta of their psycho-analytic associations.


Training in analytical psychology, on the other hand, is offered to clinical psychologists on the same basis as it is offered to psychiatrists, and has the added advantage that each gets to know the other in a situation of genuine equality.


That this is directly traceable to Jung, and that it is of value for the whole field of clinical psychology in the United States, seem to me to be indisputable. ~Clare Thompson, Contact with Jung, Pages 212-213