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Jackson, M. (1963). Reply. J. Anal. Psychol., 8(2):164-166.

(1963). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 8(2):164-166

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Murray Jackson

The opportunity of replying to Dr Harding's discussion of my paper gives me the chance to try to make clear some points which may have caused unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding. I hope that this attempt to eliminate areas of unnecessary disagreement may help to define the basic theme.

The first point is that there is nothing original in this paper, although the attempt to use the concept of symbolic equation to help to elucidate the clinical application of Jung's concept of the symbol is novel. I have presented a highly condensed account of certain psycho-analytic theories of symbol formation (relying particularly on the work of Segal), which, although well established, are still in the process of development. I have wrongly assumed that most readers would have some acquaintance with these concepts, which are much discussed (though not necessarily generally accepted) in the London Group.

In attempting to explore the application of our theories to the spheres of clinical work at the schizoid level of mental organization I have suggested that Jung's use of the term “symbol” corresponds to the experience of symbolic equations by a relatively mature ego: an ego with a specific attitude of receptiveness, the “symbolic attitude”, towards such experiences. This is the main theoretical contention of my paper. The practical part illustrates the emergence of symbolic equations in the transference with schizoid patients, and the healing potentialities contained therein.

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