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Covington, C. Jalbert, R. (1991). Samuels, A. (Ed.) Psychopathology: Contemporary Jungian Perspectives. London, Karnac Books, 1989. Pp. 335. Paperback £14.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(3):403-412.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(3):403-412

Samuels, A. (Ed.) Psychopathology: Contemporary Jungian Perspectives. London, Karnac Books, 1989. Pp. 335. Paperback £14.95.

Review by:
Edited Coline Covington

Edited Ronald Jalbert

An edited volume on Jungian views of psychopathology is a great idea and, for the most part, the chapters of this book adhere to that theme. However, I am not sure about the accuracy of the word ‘contemporary’ in the book's title, because it means ‘at the same time’ and that implies current viewpoints. If one considers the 1980s as ‘contemporary’, then just under half of the chapters are in line with that view. Seven of the remaining chapters are from the 1970s and one each from the 1960s and 1950s. This volume is an uneven but valuable collection of seventeen articles, fifteen of which were originally published in the Journal of Analytical Psychology, one in Chiron, and one other is now published for the first time.

Reading this book was like going on a walking tour of a Land of Psychopathology with various Jungian guides. Depending on who was with me at the time, I might explore part of the landscape in a cursory, almost cryptic manner, or go through a certain part of the terrain in an organised, stepwise fashion, feeling as if I really came to know a specific region quite well. Sometimes it felt as if I was sitting by a brook in a mountainous territory getting a new and refreshing insight into a difficult and problematic issue. At other times it was as though my explorations brought me into a dark wood and illuminated a shadowy vista, allowing me to experience a new understanding of an otherwise obscure area.

In his introduction Andrew Samuels reviews various attitudes to psychopathology, including seven main objections to the subject.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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