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Wiener, J. (2002). What Do Psychoanalysts in the United Kingdom Think of Analytical Psychology?. Am. Imago, 59(2):197-207.

(2002). American Imago, 59(2):197-207

What Do Psychoanalysts in the United Kingdom Think of Analytical Psychology?

Jan Wiener


In thinking about the question proposed to me by Thomas Kirsch as the subject of my paper today, “What do psychoanalysts in the United Kingdom think of analytical psychology?” I had two initial responses. First, that I could be extremely brief since the answer is surely, “not much!” My second thought, however, was to reflect on the particular inflection of the question, and why it had been phrased this way round rather than in reverse, “What do analytical psychologists think about psychoanalysis?” In the latter case, I suspect, the answer would be very different—“quite a lot.” So here I am at an interdisciplinary psychoanalytic conference in a professional position that I have come to recognize—that of an outsider, speaking defensively, trying to understand why people outside our Jungian institutes are not much interested in our discipline. In the words of Kenneth Eisold (2001), “for analytical psychology, psychoanalysis has been both powerfully influential and inimical; it represents both an established and competitive tradition of psychological treatment and an injurious source of disparagement and neglect” (336). I hope to address at least some of the reasons why psychoanalysts’ attitude to analytical psychology can seem to be an antagonistic one, leaving many Jungians feeling that their ideas have been slighted.


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