Carl Jung: You ask me—or rather tell me—what psychoanalysis is.
The relativity of “truth” has been known for ages and does not stand in the way of anything, and if it did would merely prevent belief in dogmas and authority.
But it does not even do that.
You ask me—or rather tell me—what psychoanalysis is.
Before considering your views, permit me first to try to mark out the territory and give a definition of psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis is first of all simply a method—but a method complying with all the rigorous requirements which the concept of a “method” implies today.
Let me say at once that psychoanalysis is not an anamnesis, as those who know everything without learning it are pleased to believe.
It is essentially a way of investigating unconscious associations which cannot be got at by exploring the conscious mind.
Again, psychoanalysis is not a method of examination in the nature of an intelligence test,
though this mistake is common in certain circles.
Nor is it a method of catharsis for abreacting, with or without hypnosis, real or imaginary traumata.
Psychoanalysis is a method which makes possible the analytical reduction of psychic contents to their simplest expression, and for discovering the line of least resistance in the development of a harmonious personality.
In neurosis there is no uniform direction of life because contrary tendencies frustrate and prevent psychological adaptation.
Psychoanalysis, so far as we can judge at present, seems to be the only rational therapy of the neuroses.
No programme can be formulated for the technical application of psychoanalysis. There are only general principles, and working rules for individual analysis. (For the latter I would refer you to Freud’s work in Vol. I of the Internationale Zeitscrift fur drztliche Psychoanalyse?)
My only working rule is to conduct the analysis as a perfectly ordinary, sensible conversation, and to avoid all appearance of medical magic. ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 620-624