Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Carl Jung is possibly one of the most important figures in psychology, and yet he remains controversial. For many psychologists he is little more than a historical curiosity. Someone who worked with Freud in the early days of the founding of psychoanalysis, and then went his own way, founded his own school of psychology, became rather eccentric, and is worthy of only the most cursory of mentions in introductory text books. To other psychologists, he is possibly the most complete psychologist that there has ever been. He made radical and significant contributions to all four of the major areas of psychology. A feat that is quite unequalled by anyone else. For example:- (i) in behavioural psychology, his research on word association, was fundamental to the development of the lie-detector test, and was recognized by the award of an honorary degree by Clark University, USA, on a visit in 1909; (ii) in psychodynamic psychology, he was second only to Freud in status, and was elected the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association; he developed his own school of Analytical Psychology, and pushed the boundaries of psychodynamic theory much further than Freud ever could have expected, indeed further than Freud was prepared to accept; (iii) in humanistic psychology, it is clear that Jung’s work anticipated all of the major themes of the humanistic-existential approach, especially his concepts of "Self" (an integrating principle of the human psyche), active imagination and human consciousness; and (iv) in transpersonal psychology, Jung was a pioneer of this field for some fifty of so years before it was ever recognized as a new branch of psychology. Indeed, the work of some of the most important current researchers in the transpersonal field, i.e. Stanislav Grof, Michael Washburn, etc., is almost entirely dependent on the theoretical ideas of Jung.
Any evaluation of Jung’s work needs to take into account the breadth of his scholarship and vision. Besides his medical training and life-long clinical work, he was also influenced by such disparate fields as the paranormal, gnosticism, Taoism and medieval alchemy. Strange as these interests may be, they reflect Jung’s belief that modern psychotherapy was really only a re-discovery of what was a proven ancient tradition. Some of his other major concepts include:- the collective unconscious, the "complex", the model of the psyche, archetypes and symbols, psychological types, introversion and extraversion, individuation, synchronicity, etc.
Jung's major writings include:The Psychology of the Unconscious (1917); Psychological Types (1921); Modern Man in Search Of A Soul (1933); Psychology and Alchemy (1944); Answer to Job (1952); Memories, Dreams and Reflections (1961); Man and His Symbols (1964).
Rollo May (1909-1994)
Rollo May, the distinguished existential psychologist and existential psychotherapist, was a co-founder of the Humanistic Psychology movement. He was an outspoken critic of his contemporaries, and was largely responsible for integrating the humanistic and existential traditions. He was born in Ohio, and after graduating from Oberlin College in 1930 he worked and travelled in Europe, where he met and studied with Alfred Adler. Returning to the USA he worked...