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Klein, J. (1987). Jung and the Post-Jungians by Andrew Samuels. Published by Routledge and Kegan Paul: London 1985; 293 pages; £5.95 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 4(2):193-195.

(1987). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 4(2):193-195

Jung and the Post-Jungians by Andrew Samuels. Published by Routledge and Kegan Paul: London 1985; 293 pages; £5.95 paperback.

Review by:
Josephine Klein

This hook seems to cover everything I have ever wanted to understand about analytical psychology and adds some nice surprises. My position before training as a therapist was positivist, ultra-nominalist, and it was with difficulty that I managed to extract the needful from Freud and the post-Freudians. I was regretfully resigned to never finding a bridge from my ways of thinking to Jung's. I was delighted to be able to read Samuels' book with no more than my habitual intellectual reservations.

The first attractive aspect to greet me was that here was a writer who is not himself naive about the nature of knowledge, but does not bother his readers by involving them in its controversies. He is clear and straightforward but not simplistic. For instance, he argues that it is better for us to start to understand theories by looking at issues currently being debated rather than to be told what everyone agrees on (pp. 21-2). After all, not being clones, we all have our individual perspectives on the world, none of us ever quite the same as anyone else, except where we have not made the knowledge our own but have taken it on authority and learnt it by rote. This has important implications for the teaching of psychotherapy: too many students are taught authoritatively what to believe about how the world is structured and how to react to various expressions of personality. The fact that they are authoritatively taught three or four different kinds of theory in one year does not ameliorate this situation - each authority implies that one theory is altogether better, deeper, more comprehensive or efficacious or whatever.

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