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Brooke, R. (1996). Analytical Psychology and Existential Phenomenology: An Integration and a Clinical Study. Psychoanal. Rev., 83(4):525-545.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Review, 83(4):525-545

Analytical Psychology and Existential Phenomenology: An Integration and a Clinical Study

Roger Brooke, Ph.D.

It is upon the thought of Martin Heidegger (1927) that existential phenomenology is founded, and Jung thought Heidegger was at least neurotic and more probably mad. Heidegger's work, wrote Jung to a young colleague, was “twaddle,” “unutterably trashy and banal,” and was “ultimately rooted in his psychic crankiness. His kindred spirits,” Jung continues, “are sitting in mental asylums, some as patients and some as psychiatrists on a philosophical rampage.” At the end of a long, free-associating tirade Jung explains his outburst by saying, “I hate to see so many young minds infected by Heidegger” (Jung, 1973, pp. 331-332).

The phenomenologists have not been kind to Jung either. Medard Boss, the most prominent amongst them and the founder of Daseinsanalysis, is explicitly indebted to Jung yet seldom has a good word to say about him. The seminars held jointly by Jung and Boss in the early 1940s broke down in misunderstanding and some animosity. Spiegelberg's (1972) monumental study of phenomenology in psychology and psychiatry devotes only a page and a half to Jung, and concludes that Jung's claim to being a phenomenologists was due to the movement's popularity rather than to his method. If Jung is mentioned at all, phenomenologists tend to criticize him for the same reason they criticize Freud, but there is little acknowledgment that most of their criticisms of Freud were actually anticipated by Jung.

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