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Proner, B.D. (1984). Jungian Psychology in Perspective: By Mary Ann Mattoon. New York: The Free Press, 1981. 334 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 53:137-139.
(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:137-139
Jungian Psychology in Perspective: By Mary Ann Mattoon. New York: The Free Press, 1981. 334 pp.
Review by: Barry D. Proner
This is a book which troubles the reviewer, a London Jungian analyst, but which could inform psychoanalysis as to certain basic areas of Jung's thought. The author is a Jungian psychologist and university lecturer who is interested both in clinical and in academic, particularly research, psychology.
The "perspective" in the title refers to the author's attempt to place Jung's thought in the context of its biographical, historical, and current dimensions. Moreover, our attention is continually drawn to research work relevant to Jung. This appears to be motivated by Mattoon's wish not only to combine her fields of interest but also to validate Jung's work scientifically. Indeed, there is a strong but unnecessarily defensive tone to this volume, which contains numerous attempts to show why Jung's work is good or superior. To the reviewer's mind, Jung's massive body of work needs no defense; it stands up for itself.
The book presents quite a good picture of one particular, although widespread, view of Jung's work, the view of his Zurich-trained followers. There are main sections, each with subheadings, on the structure of the psyche, varieties of psychic structure, dynamics of the psyche, individuation, applications, and research. They are clear and easy to understand for those who are not familiar with Jung, but for an analytic readership they tend to be somewhat oversimplified.
The specificity of its view narrows the book's "perspective." A controversy which has been raging in the Jungian world for several decades is over what constitutes a "Jungian." Jung felt there was only one, himself. Had he really believed this, he would not have been so active in training endeavors. The spirit of his declaration was to encourage if not wholly individual work, at least a broad spectrum of followers, who have interpreted his vast output in a variety of ways.
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