Experience has taught me to keep away from therapeutic methods as much as from diagnoses. The enormous variation among individuals and their neuroses has set before me the ideal of approaching each case with a minimum of prior assumptions. The ideal would naturally be to have no assumptions at all. But this is impossible even if one exercises the most rigorous self-criticism, for one is oneself the biggest of all one's assumptions, and the one with the gravest consequences. Try as we may to have no assumptions and to use no ready-made methods, the assumption that I myself am will determine my method: as I am, so will I proceed.
"The Realities of Practical Psychotherapy" (1937). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy.
An ancient adept has said: "If the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way." This Chinese saying, unfortunately only too true, stands in sharp contrast to our belief in the "right" method irrespective of the man who applies it. In reality, everything depends on the man and little or nothing on the method.
The Secret of the Golden Flower. Commentary by C. G. Jung (1931). In CW 18: P.4
Nobody should play with analysis as with an easy tool. Those who write superficial and cheap books about the subject are either unconscious of the far-reaching effects of analytical treatment or else ignorant of the real nature of the human soul.
Contributions to Analytical Psychology. (1928)
We would do well to abandon from the start any attempt to apply ready-made solutions and warmed-up generalities of which the patient knows just as much as the doctor. Long experience has taught me not to know anything in advance and not to know better, but to let the unconscious take precedence. Our instincts have ridden so infinitely many times, unharmed, over the problems that arise [in later] life that we may be sure the transformation processes which make the transition possible have long been prepared in the unconscious and are only waiting to be released.
"A Study in the Process of Individuation" (1934) In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the
Collective Unconscious. P.528
The remarkable potency of unconscious contents always indicates a corresponding weakness in the conscious mind and its functions. It is as though the latter were threatened with impotence. For primitive man this danger is one of the most terrifying instances of "magic." So we can understand why this secret fear is also to be found among civilized people. In serious cases it is the secret fear of going mad; in less serious, the fear of the unconscious-a fear which even the normal person exhibits in his resistance to psychological views and explanations. This resistance borders on the grotesque when it comes to scouting all psychological explanations of art, philosophy, and religion, as though the human psyche had, or should have, absolutely nothing to do with these things. The doctor knows these well-defended zones from his consulting hours: they are reminiscent of island fortresses from which the neurotic tries to ward off the octopus. ("Happy neurosis island," as one of my patients called his conscious state!) The doctor is well aware that the patient needs an island and would be lost without it. It serves as a refuge for his consciousness and as the last stronghold against the threatening embrace of the unconscious. The same is true of the normal person's taboo regions which psychology must not touch. But since no war was ever won on the defensive, one must, in order to terminate hostilities, open negotiations with the enemy and see what his terms really are. Such is the intention of the doctor who volunteers to act as a mediator. He is far from wishing to disturb the somewhat precarious island idyll or pull down the fortifications. On the contrary, he is thankful that somewhere a firm foothold exists that does not first have to be fished up out of the chaos, always a desperately difficult task. He knows that the island is a bit cramped and that life on it is pretty meager and plagued with all sorts of imaginary wants because too much life has been left outside, and that as a result a terrifying monster is created, or rather is roused out of its slumbers. He also knows that this seemingly alarming animal stands in a secret compensatory relationship to the island and could supply everything that the island lacks.
"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.374
Practical medicine is and has always been an art, and the same is true of practical analysis. True art is creation, and creation is beyond all theories. That is why I say to any beginner: Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul. Not theories but your own creative individuality alone must decide.
Contributions to Analytical Psychology. (1928)
The patient is there to be treated and not to verify a theory. For that matter, there is no single theory in the whole field of practical psychology that cannot on occasion be proved to be basically wrong. In particular, the view that the patient's resistances are in no circumstances )justified is completely fallacious. The resistance might very well prove that the treatment rests on false assumptions.
"Fundamental Questions of Psychotherapy" (1951). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy.
One has to remind oneself again and again that in therapy it is more important for the patient to understand than for the analyst's theoretical expectations to be satisfied. The patient's resistance to the analyst is not necessarily wrong; it is rather a sign that something does not "click." Either the patient is not yet at a point where he would be able to understand, or the interpretation does not fit.
In Man and His Symbols.(1964) Essay retitled "Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams" In CW
Neither our modern medical training nor academic psychology and philosophy can equip the doctor with the necessary education, or with the means, to deal effectively and understandingly with the often very urgent demands of his psychotherapeutic practice. It therefore behooves us, unembarrassed by our shortcomings as amateurs of history, to go to school once more with the medical philosophers of a distant past, when body and soul had not yet been wrenched asunder into different faculties. Although we are specialists par excellence, our specialized field, oddly enough, drives us to universalism and to the complete overcoming of the specialist attitude, if the totality of body and soul is not to be just a matter of words.
"Psychotherapy and a Philosophy of Life" (1943). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.190
Even the so-called highly scientific suggestion therapy employs the wares of the medicine-man and the exorcizing shaman. And why not? The public is not much more advanced either and continues to expect miraculous cures from the doctor. And indeed, we must rate those doctors - wise in every sense - who know how to surround themselves with the aura of a medicine-man. They have not only the biggest practices but also get the best results. This is because, apart from the neuroses, countless physical illnesses are tainted and complicated with psychic material to an unsuspected degree. The medical exorcist betrays by his whole demeanour his full appreciation of that psychic component when he gives the patient the opportunity of fixing his faith firmly on the mysterious personality of the doctor. In this way he wins the sick man's mind, which from then on helps him to restore his body to health. The cure works best when the doctor himself believes in his own formulae, otherwise he may be overcome by scientific doubt and so lose the proper convincing tone.
In CW 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. P.578
As a doctor it is my task to help the patient to cope with life. I cannot presume to pass judgment on his final decisions, because I know from experience that all coercion-be it suggestion, insinuation, or any other method of persuasion-ultimately proves to be nothing but an obstacle to the highest and most decisive experience of all, which is to be alone with his own self, or whatever else one chooses to call the objectivity of the psyche. The patient must be alone if he is to find out what it is that supports him when he can no longer support himself. Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation.
Psychology and Alchemy (1944) CW 12: P.32
People whose own temperaments offer problems are often neurotic, but it would be a serious misunderstanding to confuse the existence of problems with neurosis. There is a marked difference between the two in that the neurotic is ill because he is unconscious of his problems, while the person with a difficult temperament suffers from his conscious problems without being ill.
"The Stages of Life" (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.763
The greatest mistake an analyst can make is to assume that his patient has a psychology similar to his own.
"General Aspects of Dream Psychology" (1916). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the
No psychotherapist should lack that natural reserve which prevents people from riding roughshod over mysteries they do not understand and trampling them flat. This reserve will enable him to pull back in good time when he encounters the mystery of the patient's difference from himself, and to avoid the danger - unfortunately only too real - of committing psychic murder in the name of therapy. For the ultimate cause of a neurosis is something positive which needs to be safeguarded for the patient; otherwise he suffers a psychic loss, and the result of the treatment is at best a defective cure.
"The Realities of Practical Psychotherapy" (1937). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy.
Medicine in the hand of a fool was ever poison and death. just as we demand from a surgeon, besides his technical knowledge, a skilled hand, courage, presence of mind, and power of decision, so we must expect from an analyst a very serious and thorough psychoanalytic training of his own personality before we are willing to entrust a patient to him. I would even go so far as to say that the acquisition and practice of the psychoanalytic technique presuppose not only a specific psychological gift but in the very first place a serious concern with the moulding of one's own character.
"The Theory of Psychoanalysis" (1913). In CW 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. P.450
Each new case that requires thorough treatment is pioneer work, and every trace of routine then proves to be a blind alley. Consequently the higher psychotherapy is a most exacting business, and sometimes it sets tasks which challenge not only our understanding or our sympathy but the whole man. The doctor is inclined to demand this total effort from his patients, yet he must realize that this same demand only works if he is aware that it also applies to himself.
"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.367
There are analysts who believe that they can get along with a self-analysis. This is Munchausen psychology, and they will certainly remain stuck. They forget that one of the most important therapeutically effective factors is subjecting yourself to the objective judgment of another. As regards ourselves we remain blind, despite everything and everybody.
"The Theory of Psychoanalysis" (1913). In CW 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. P.449
The object of therapy is not the neurosis but the man who has the neurosis. We have long known, for instance, that a cardiac neurosis comes not from the heart, as the old medical mythology would have it, but from the mind of the sufferer. Nor does it come from some obscure corner of the unconscious, as many psychotherapists still struggle to believe; it comes from the totality of a man's life and from all the experiences that have accumulated over the years and decades, and finally, not merely from his life as an individual but from his psychic experience within the family or even the social group.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P.337
An analyst who cannot risk his authority will be sure to lose it.
Michael Fordham, New Developments in Analytical Psychology (1957) Foreword by C. G. Jung. In CW 18. P.XXXI
A general and merely academic "insight into one's mistakes" is ineffectual, for then the mistakes are not really seen at all, only the idea of them. They show up acutely when a human relationship brings them to the fore and when they are noticed by the other person as well as by oneself. Then and then only can they really be felt and their true nature recognized.
"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.503
Nobody can meddle with fire or poison without being affected in some vulnerable spot; for the true physician does not stand outside his work but is always in the thick of it.
Psychology and Alchemy (1944) CW 12: P.5
An analyst can help his patient just so far as he himself has gone and not a step further. In my practice I have had from the beginning to deal with patients who got "stuck" with their previous analysis, and this always happened at the point where the analyst could make no further progress with himself.
"The Realities of Practical Psychotherapy" (1937) In CW:16 The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.545
If the doctor wants to guide another, or even accompany him a step of the way, he must feel with that person's psyche. He never feels it when he passes judgment. Whether he puts his judgments into words, or keeps them to himself, makes not the slightest difference.
"Psychotherapists or the Clergy" (1932) In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.519
We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not his friend and fellow sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgment when we desire to help and improve. But if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is.
"Psychotherapists or the Clergy" (1932) In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.519
So long as you feel the human contact, the atmosphere of mutual confidence, there is no danger; and even if you have to face the terrors of insanity, or the shadowy menace of suicide, there is still that area of human faith, that certainty of understanding and of being understood, no matter how black the night.
"Analytical Psychology and Education" (1926). In CW 17: The Development of the Personality. P.181
When a patient begins to feel the inescapable nature of his inner development, he may easily be overcome by a panic fear that he is slipping helplessly into some kind of madness he can no longer understand. More than once I have had to reach for a book on my shelves, bring down an old alchemist, and show my patient his terrifying fantasy in the form in which it appeared four hundred years ago. This has a calming effect, because the patient then sees that he is not alone in a strange world which nobody understands, but is part of the great stream of human history, which has experienced countless times the very things that he regards as a pathological proof of his craziness.
"The Philosophical Tree" (1945) In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.325
The little word "ought" always proves the helplessness of the therapist; it is an admission that he has come to the end of his resources.
"Psychotherapy and a Philosophy of Life" (1943). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.178
We can wax indignant over man's notorious lack of spirituality, but when one is a doctor one does not invariably think that the disease is malevolent or the patient morally inferior; instead, one supposes that the negative results may possibly be due to the remedy applied.
"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.393
The doctor cannot afford to point, with a gesture of facile moral superiority, to the tablets of the law and say, "Thou shalt not." He has to examine things objectively and weigh up possibilities, for he knows, less from religious training and education than from instinct and experience, that there is something very like a felix culpa. He knows that one can miss not only one's happiness but also one's final guilt, without which a man will never reach his wholeness. Wholeness is in fact a charisma which one can manufacture neither by art nor by cunning; one can only grow into it and endure whatever its advent may bring.
Psychology and Alchemy (1944) CW 12: P.36
It is presumptuous to think we can always say what is good or bad for the patient. Perhaps he knows something is really bad and does it anyway and then gets a bad conscience. From the therapeutic, that is to say empirical, point of view, this may be very good indeed for him. Perhaps he has to experience the power of evil and suffer accordingly, because only in that way can he give up his Pharisaic attitude to other people. Perhaps fate or the unconscious or God -call it what you will-had to give him a hard knock and roll him in the dirt, because only such a drastic experience could strike home, pull him out of his infantilism, and make him more mature. How can anyone find out how much he needs to be saved if he is quite sure that there is nothing he needs saving from?
"Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology" (1959). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P.867
There is hope of repairing a breakdown whenever a patient has neurotic symptoms. They indicate that he is not at one with himself, and the neurotic symptoms usually diagnose what is wrong. Those who have no neurotic symptoms are probably beyond help by anyone.
"Roosevelt 'Great' in Jung's Analysis." In New York Times, 4 October 1936
A conscientious doctor must be able to doubt all his skills and all his theories, otherwise he is befooled by a system But all systems mean bigotry and inhumanity. Neurosis -let there be no doubt about this- may be any number of things, but never a "nothing but." It is the agony of a human soul in all its vast complexity - so vast, indeed, that any and every theory of neurosis is little. better than a worthless sketch, unless it be a gigantic picture of the psyche which not even a hundred Fausts could conceive.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 10: Civilizaton in Transition. P.357
The neurotic is ill not because he has lost his old faith but because he has not yet found a new form for his finest aspirations.
In CW 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. P.669
There is no illness that is not at the same time an unsuccessful attempt at a cure. Instead of showing up the patient as the secret, accomplice of morally inadmissible wishes, one can just as well explain him as the unwitting victim of instinctual problems which he doesn't understand and which nobody in his environment has helped him solve. His dreams, in particular, can be taken as nature's own auguries, having nothing whatever to do with the all-too human self-deluding operations which Freud insinuates into the dream-process.
"In Memory of Sigmund Freud" (1939). In CW 15: The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. P.68
The patient has not to learn how to get rid of his neurosis, but how to bear it. His illness is not a gratuitous and therefore meaningless burden; it is his own self, the "other" whom, from childish laziness or fear, or for some other reason, he was always seeking to exclude from his life. In this way, as Freud rightly says, we turn the ego into a "seat of anxiety," which it would never be if we did not defend ourselves against ourselves so neurotically.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 10: Civilizaton in Transition. P.360
In psychology it is very important that the doctor should not strive to heal at all costs. One has to be exceedingly careful not to impose one's own will and conviction on the patient. You have to give him a certain amount of freedom. You can't wrest people away from their fate, just as in medicine you cannot cure a patient if nature means him to die. Sometimes it is really a question whether you are allowed to rescue a man from the fate he must undergo for the sake of his further development.
Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice: (1935). In CW 18: (retitled) The Tavistock Lectures. P.147
We would be doing our neurotic patients a grievous wrong if we tried to force them all into the category of the coerced. Among neurotics, there are not a few who do not require any reminders of their social duties and obligations, but are born and destined rather to be bearers of new cultural ideals. They are neurotic as long as they bow down before authority and refuse the freedom to which they are destined. As long as we look at life only retrospectively, as is the case in the psychoanalytic writings of the Viennese school, we shall never do justice to these persons and never bring them the longed-for deliverance. For in this way we train them only to be obedient children and thereby strengthen the very forces that made them ill-their conservative backwardness and submission to authority.
In CW 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. P.658
The childhood experience of a neurotic is not, in itself, negative; far from it. It becomes negative only when it finds no suitable place in the life and outlook of the adult. The real task of analysis, it seems to me, is to bring about a synthesis between the two.
"The Realities of Practical Psychotherapy" (1937). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.564
A neurosis is by no means merely a negative thing, it is also something positive. Only a soulless rationalism reinforced by a narrow materialistic outlook could possibly have overlooked this fact. In reality the neurosis contains the patient's psyche, or at least an essential part of it; and if, as the rationalist pretends, the neurosis could be plucked from him like a bad tooth, he would have gained nothing but would have lost something very essential to him. That is to say, he would have lost as much as the thinker deprived of his doubt, or the moralist deprived of his temptation, or the brave man deprived of his fear. To lose a neurosis is to find oneself without an object; life loses its point and hence its meaning. This would not be a cure, it would be a regular amputation.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 10: Civilizaton in Transition. P.355
What the physician does is not his work [says Paracelsus]: he is "the means by which nature is put to work.... Let him not say with desperate Satan: it is impossible." He should put his trust in God.
"Paracelsus the Physician" (1941). In CW 15: The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. P.42
Psychoanalysis cannot be considered a method of education, if by education we mean the topiary art of clipping a tree into a beautiful artificial shape. But those who have a higher conception of education will prize most the method of cultivating a tree so that it fulfils to perfection its own natural conditions of growth.
"Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious" (1935). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.442
We always find in the patient a conflict which at a certain point is connected with the great problems of society. Hence, when the analysis is pushed to this point, the apparently individual conflict of the patient is revealed as a universal conflict of his environment and epoch. Neurosis is thus nothing less than an individual attempt, however unsuccessful, to solve a universal problem; indeed it cannot be otherwise, for a general problem, a "question," is not an ens per se, but exists only in the hearts of individuals.
"New Paths in Psychology" (1912) In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.438
A man is only half understood when we know how everything in him came into being. If that were all, he could just as well have been dead years ago. As a living being he is not understood, for life does not have only a yesterday, nor is it explained by reducing today to yesterday. Life has also a tomorrow, and today is understood only when we can add to our knowledge of what was yesterday the beginnings of tomorrow. This is true of all life's psychological expressions, even of pathological symptoms.
"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912) In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.67
The conscious mind must have reason, firstly to discover some order in the chaos of disorderly individual events occurring in the world, and secondly to create order, at least in human affairs. We are moved by the laudable and useful ambition to extirpate the chaos of the irrational both within and without to the best of our ability. Apparently the process has gone pretty far. As a mental patient once told me: "Doctor, last night I disinfected the whole heavens with bichloride of mercury, but I found no God." Something of the sort has happened to us as well.
"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912) In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.110