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Marlan, S. (2016). The Psychologist Who is Not a Psychologist: A Deconstructive Reading of Wolfgang Giegerich's Idea of Psychology Proper. J. Anal. Psychol., 61(2):223-238.

(2016). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 61(2):223-238

The Psychologist Who is Not a Psychologist: A Deconstructive Reading of Wolfgang Giegerich's Idea of Psychology Proper

Stanton Marlan, Ph.D., ABPP, LP

This paper represents an archetypal and deconstructive reading of the work of Wolfgang Giegerich. In an attempt to extend and philosophically develop Jung's late-life view of the objective psyche, Giegerich, via Hegel, defines psychology proper as fundamentally separate from the everyday person and the ‘human, all-too-human’ aspects of the soul. It is argued that, in so doing, Giegerich removes the human person from being the primary focus of his psychology and creates instead a hierarchy of ideas and values privileging syntax over semantics, the logical over the empirical, and thinking over imagination. This bypasses the emotionality of the everyday person/ patient and also renders psychology proper unable to address the day-to-day practice of the analyst. Giegerich attempts to rectify this problem by re-incorporating what he had previously rejected, making his theory more complex than is apparent in his binary oppositions. In the end, however, it remains a question to what extent Giegerich is successful in avoiding a binary scission (Saban 2015) or a tendency to regularly de-emphasize the human aspect of the soul (Hoedl 2015) in his need to continue to heroically push off from the ego seeking total freedom from neurosis and from our humanity.

[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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