On Psychological Understandingby Carl Jung
"In studying cases of dementia præcox we are astonished at the overwhelming wealth of carefully elaborated symbolic phantasies. In 1903, for the first time, I attempted the analysis of a case of paranoid dementia præcox. It is the case I published in my book on the “Psychology of Dementia Præcox”
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An excerpt from the beginning:
"In studying cases of dementia præcox we are astonished at the overwhelming wealth of carefully elaborated symbolic phantasies. In 1903, for the first time, I attempted the analysis of a case of paranoid dementia præcox. It is the case I published in my book on the “Psychology of Dementia Præcox” four years later. Even though working at that time with a very incomplete technique, I was extremely astonished to find that all these utterly incomprehensible ideas and delusions can be understood in a comparatively simple way. At that time—following Freud’s theory —we considered the delusion as a kind of wish fulfilment. But it also became quite obvious that this wish fulfilment could not be of a simple nature, owing to the fact that there were two distinct kinds of delusions, first: positive wish fulfilling delusions of grandeur, and then: negative delusions of persecution and depreciation. Both could be considered as infantile wish fulfilments, but they seemed to be of a different nature.
"Later on, in 1911, Freud himself published a similar case; a case well known in the German literature, the so-called “Schreber” case. It is a careful study upon the foundation of a very refined analytical technique. The patient himself could not be analysed personally, but having published his most interesting autobiography, all the material wanted for analysis was here provided.
"In this work Freud has shown out of which infantile foundations the delusion is built up. Thus, for instance, he was able in a very ingenious manner to reduce the patient’s most peculiar delusions about his doctor, whom he identified with God himself, or at least with a godlike being, and some other most curious and even blasphemous ideas, to the infantile relationship between the patient and his father. As the author himself says, his work confines itself to the task of pointing out those universally existent foundations upon which any psychological creation is built.
In studying cases of dementia præcox we are astonished This reductive process, which is the essence of analysis, did not, however, furnish such enlightening results in regard to the rich and surprising symbolism in patients of this kind as we might have expected from experiences with the same method in the realm of the psychology of hysteria. The reductive method seems to suit hysteria better than dementia præcox.
"If one reads the recent researches of the Zürich School —I mention the names of Mæder, Spielrein, Nelken, Grebelskaja, Itten, and quite recently Schneiter—one gets a very good idea of the simply enormous symbolic activity of such a diseased mind. Some of these authors, applying, like Freud, an essentially reductive method, explain the complicated system of delusions on a basis of a simpler and more general nature, but this way of explanation doesn't seem to be entirely satisfactory. It is true the reduction to a simpler and more general model is explanatory to a certain extent, but it doesn't seem to do entire justice to the overwhelming abundance of symbolic creation."
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