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A READER'S JOURNAL, Volume 1

Individuation
by
Josef Goldbrunner
Study of the Depth Psychology of Carl Gustav Jung
Published by University of Notre Dame Press in 1964
Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2002

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Sometimes after years of detailed study of a field I find it useful to read a summary or introductory volume on the field. Goldbrunner's book was such a book for me. He gives a splendid introduction to Jung's depth analysis he covers both the entire field of Jung's work and the subject of individuation. (Individuation is the English title the original German title denoted the subject matter as a summary.)

Josef Goldbrunner's explanation of neurosis is one of the high points of the book. He uses the metaphor of a ship whose planks are the cultural mores and expectations through which the waters of the unconscious leak through. Neurosis occurs when the bailing consumes such a major portion of psychic energy that navigation suffers.

He explains the process of individuation in depth and points out that it leads to a religious orientation invariably. This matches my experience and I found Goldbrunner's exposition of the process enlightening.

His explanation of the relationship of Freud, Adler, and Jung's theories is as follows: Freud, the extravert, saw therapy as uncovering the repressed external energies (sexual) and Adler, the introvert, saw therapy as uncovering the repressed internal energies (power). Jung took the meta-position and showed us with his theory of types that individuals' theories were a natural outcome of their individual personality types.

This little paperback (200pp) is an excellent review of Jung's works: one to be read by novices, put aside for 10 years, and then re-read to help anchor in and firm up one's concept of Jung's work.

Goldbrunner is easier to read than Jung and not so difficult as Hillman or von Franz when they write about Jungian analysis. I found the book engrossing; it pulled me through to the last page with enthusiasm. The last chapters deal with Jung's concept of ultimate realities and are well worth the price of the book by themselves. "God as a psychic construct" will undoubtedly upset the fundamentalists who have reified so many of their pyschic constructs that they would self-destruct if they accepted them as internally generated fabrications.



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