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Haule, J.R. (1983). Archetype and Integration: Exploring the Janetian Roots of Analytical Psychology. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(3):253-267.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(3):253-267

Archetype and Integration: Exploring the Janetian Roots of Analytical Psychology

John R. Haule, Ph.D.


Even The Casual reader of Jung's works recognises that the influence on analytical psychology of Janet's writings must be significant. There is little that is tangible, however, apart from a few phrases, invariably quoted in French (above all, abaissement du niveau mental). My investigations into this matter have convinced me that a great deal of the misunderstanding which developed between Freud and Jung can be attributed to what each found valuable in Janet (HAULE 3). It is a useful simplification to say that Freud based his original understanding of hysteria (the trauma theory) on Janet's L'automatisme psychologique (JANET 4). When the trauma theory proved inadequate, Freud went his own way, replacing the discrete historical cause (the trauma) with several years of developmental stages (the theory of infantile sexuality). Meanwhile, Janet had already explored the possibilities of a trauma theory and had rejected it in a series of articles which appeared in the 1890s, most of them collected in Névroses et Idées Fixes (JANET 5). Then in 1903, two years before Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (FREUD 2), Janet published his extensive and highly nuanced theory of psychasthenia (Obsessions et la psychasthénie) in which virtually all psychological disturbances and insufficiencies are described as various forms of ‘lowering of the mental level’ (abaissement du niveau mental). Obsessions plays a rôle in Janet's development very similar to that of Symbols of Transformation in Jung's career: having integrated the influences of his past, Janet begins to come into his own as ‘the Great Janet’. It is significant, therefore, that Obsessions is the Janet work most frequently cited by Jung and that it is never cited by Freud.

It was ten years before Janet began to follow up on the theoretical initiatives of Obsessions; and then publication was delayed by World War 1 (JANET 7).

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