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Wallace, E. (1991). Edinger, Edward, F. The Living Psyche: A Jungian Analysis in Pictures. Wilmette, Illinois. Chiron Publications. 1990. Pp. xiv + 213. N.p.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(2):253-256.
(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(2):253-256
Edinger, Edward, F. The Living Psyche: A Jungian Analysis in Pictures. Wilmette, Illinois. Chiron Publications. 1990. Pp. xiv + 213. N.p.
Review by: Edith Wallace
Finally, someone has broken through and shown the importance of the image in getting to know oneself, in coming to terms with one's ‘living psyche’, and in Jungian analysis. Edinger opens The Living Psyche with a quotation from Jung stating unequivocally that the psyche ‘consists essentially of images…. This living being appears outwardly as the material body, but inwardly as a series of images of the vital activities taking place within it.’
Emphasising the clinical usefulness of images, this case history of a Jungian analysis in pictures covers a five-year period of a ten-year analysis of a thirty-six-year-old painter in the throes of a midlife crisis. The malaise that compelled him to enter analysis was the first manifestation from his depth of the voice of the self that he eventually recognised and heeded. Responding to the self is rarely an easy task, and yet it is truly a ‘Jungian’ one.
The format of the book is consistent throughout: on the left side of the page, a painting; on the right, ‘descriptions’ by the painter/patient, with ‘comments’ by the analyst. There are 104 reproductions, fourteen of them in colour.
Even though Edinger wrote, sorted, and evaluated the material, I could not refer to him as the only ‘author’ of this book because the greater part of it is made up of the patient's paintings and descriptions. In his presentation, Edinger gives the analysand space, respects him as a person and as a talented artist.
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