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Satinover, J. (1986). The Myth of the Death of the Hero: A Jungian View of Masculine Psychology. Psychoanal. Rev., 73D(4):149-161.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Review, 73D(4):149-161

The Myth of the Death of the Hero: A Jungian View of Masculine Psychology

Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.


The Jungian view of masculine psychology reflects several fundamental divergences from the conceptions of classical psychoanalysis. Roughly, Jung's theories promise fulfillment, in psychological terms but in a religious spirit, of wishes that psychoanalysis deliberately refrains from attempting to fulfill. A follower of psychoanalytic method is offered and hopes for understanding; a follower of Jung's “analytic psychology” is offered and seeks salvation. Traditionally, the area of greatest interest for psychoanalysis has been the neuroses, characterized by repression and defense within an already essentially unified self. Of greatest interest to Jungian psychology has been the more severe psychotic, borderline, and narcissistic pathologies—as well as issues of religious experience—where the central problem concerns the achievement of a stable, unified self (Satinover, 1980, 1984, 1985a, 1985b).

Although most Freudians, and many Jungians as well, consider these differences so fundamental as to preclude any attempt at cross-fertilization, there has been some convergence recently in areas of interest and in approach. As psychoanalysis has expanded into those areas of interest to Jung—into earlier, more primitive, and more severely disturbed states of the psyche, as well as into religion and creative processes—its conceptions have begun to resemble those of analytic psychology. Indeed, where they are familiar with his work, psychoanalytic writers on narcissism and psychosis are often sympathetic to Jung. And, Jung's salvational tone is echoed in, for example, the late works of Kohut (1977, 1984). In Britain, Jung was well regarded by the object relations theorists (Fordham, 1984), and currently the Kleinians and Jungians in London are quite congenial.

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