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Young-Eisendrath, P. (1999). Response to Tougas. J. Anal. Psychol., 44(3):339.

(1999). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 44(3):339

Response to Tougas Related Papers

Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D.

I am afraid that I find Tougas's comments make little sense. When I write about the universal or invariant nature of the archetype of self that manifests in coherence, continuity, agency and affective relational patterns, I am not speaking of abstract generalities, but of empirical findings from clinical and experimental studies of the development of the human personality. However, we theorize about personality and its development - even using the term ‘self’ - is an abstraction from our experience. Does Tougas think that her phenomenological formulations are less abstract than my empirical or clinical ones?

Moreover, when Tougas reiterates in her comments that ‘a generality does not create a particularity, nor does it heal’, she most clearly is referring to the application of my ideas in analytic practice because ‘healing’ can have no other meaning in the context of the present discussion.

Regarding my comments about Tougas's use of her dreams to defend her arguments, I quote from a letter written by Jung in 1950:

I am deeply impressed by man's proneness to error and self-deception. I therefore deem it a moral command not to make assertions about things we can neither see nor prove, and I deem it an epistemological transgression if one nevertheless does so. These rules hold for empirical science; metaphysics holds to others. I recognize the rules of empirical science as binding upon myself.

(C. G. Jung Letters, 1951-1961, I., p. 557)

To glean wisdom from interpreting our dreams, we have to remain modest in the claims we make, careful about our assertions, and well-grounded in our experiences, especially in regard to the relational context when the dreams are part of an on-going therapeutic relationship.

With regard to ‘double intentionality’, I cannot evaluate the usefulness of Tougas's exposition of Husserl's idea because I do not fully understand her presentation, and I have not read Husserl.

Of course I consider mutuality to be an important aspect of self development, both within and outside of analysis or therapy. The interdependence of the self is a fact of human development, a fact that I call one of the invariant ‘affective relational patterns’ of the archetype of self. This fact does not require a justification from Husserl's theory of double intentionality; the fact is grounded in developmental studies and clinical practice.

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