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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Addenbrooke, P. (2011). Henderson, David. ‘The coincidence of Opposites - C.G. Jung's reception of Nicolas of Cusa’. Studies in Spirituality, 2010, 20, 101-13.. J. Anal. Psychol., 56(4):576-576.
   

(2011). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56(4):576-576

Henderson, David. ‘The coincidence of Opposites - C.G. Jung's reception of Nicolas of Cusa’. Studies in Spirituality, 2010, 20, 101-13.

Review by:
Peter Addenbrooke

David Henderson tells us in the abstract that ‘this paper is written from the perspective of Jungian studies’. So it is not going to be a clinical paper. On first reading I did find it academic and clearly well researched so that the inclination was to dismiss it as irrelevant to clinical practice. However on reflection I found myself thinking during sessions with patients on the coincidence of opposites in them and their material, so that on rereading it I began to find myself more engaged.

David Henderson is a senior lecturer in psychoanalysis at Middlesex University and his listed interests are the relationship between Freud and Jung, psychoanalysis and religion, the identity of the analyst/psychotherapist, survival of the psychoanalytic perspective and the history of psychotherapy. This paper fits into the ‘psychoanalysis and religion’ area. I believe he is a core group member of AIP, the Association of Independent Psychotherapists, so he has an interest in psychotherapy and the training of therapists in a ‘catholic’ psychoanalytic frame. He makes clear that Jung's use of coincidentia oppositorum is not addressing the happenstance of finding opposing notions but rather that they coincide, are present simultaneously. Thus he demonstrates that some interpreters of Jung's thinking have misunderstood his use of this term.

The paper is also enlivened by the observation that Jung did have a certain Humpty Dumpty way of using terms to mean what he wanted them to mean and that he is not necessarily consistent in his use of terms throughout his oeuvre.

For those enjoying an independent stance, this paper is refreshing. Henderson also notices that Jung appears to have known only the earlier work of Nicolas of Cusa so that there are some subtleties of Nicolas's later thinking that he misses. This does bring Jung down to earth and off his pedestal; and I wonder whether this isn't in fact where he would most have liked to be seen. This paper may not be of interest to you if the clinical is your primary concern, but it certainly does contribute interestingly to Jungian studies and Jung's relationship with the ideas of the religious Nicolas of Cusa.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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