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Hubback, J. (1984). Amplification: Reflections and Queries. J. Anal. Psychol., 29(2):135-138.

(1984). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 29(2):135-138

Amplification: Reflections and Queries

Judith Hubback, M.A.

I sometimes find myself and patients amplifying archetypal material in a very desultory and amateurish way.

Inside me amplification goes on all the time; and some patients bring it in openly. When they do, I use it in the transference, or reductively. I don't think they feel I'm analysing it away.

I bring it in when I know the patient wellnever early on in the analysis. When I do, I'm open about it, and there is discussion. But some patients, especially young ones, I find, try to use it too much and too soon: then I stop it. That means I simply don't take it up at all, because they are trying to use it defensively and trying to turn their sessions into discussions, which wouldn't help them.

There must be thorough analysis of infancy and of the transference before anything is attempted of the discussion/amplification kind.

Those are statements extracted verbatim from conversations I have had with London-based colleagues, and they illustrate some aspects of the variety of approaches to amplification in present-day practice in this part of the Jungian world.

It is possible that a patient who is sensitive to the psychology of his analyst picks up the notion of amplification, and starts doing it himself. Some analysts try to adopt a stance which is as uninfluential as possible, throughout the analysis, and while probably recognising that a great deal of introjection is certain to occur, aim never to offer their own associations or analogies. Others follow more closely Jung's practice as indicated in the following passage:

… when the images of the collective unconscious begin to appear … analysis, in so far as it is reduction and nothing more, must necessarily be followed by synthesis … certain kinds of psychic material … display a wealth of meaning if …that meaning is reinforced and extended by all the conscious means at our disposal—by the so-called method of amplification (JUNG 4, para. 122).

The time is probably coming for a new comprehensive exploration of how amplification is used nowadays by different analysts, which might valuably be based in the first instance on research into the way Jung used it.

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