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CHAPTER SEVEN. The complex and post traumatic stress disorder

Cope, Theo A. Karnac Books ePub

As indicated earlier in this work, the literature in the arena of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) provides ample supportive evidence for Jung’s complex doctrine. It is time to consider further this contention and provide some resources that bear on this theme. As mentioned previously, the concepts adopted in PTSD literature find resonance with that used by Jung. Additionally, in as much as some of Jung’s work was with clients who had been traumatized at a young age, we find similar episte-mological views being adopted. Finally, the factual data adduced in PTSD literature differs from Jung’s only in as much as it focuses upon the neurobiological level that Jung omitted. Many traumas occurring at young ages do not develop into PTSD symptoms until later life stages in as much as they are not overtly debilitating but are insidious.

If Jung’s complex doctrine has merit, the complex and the dynamic path of its action within the psyche must be considered in as much as post traumatic stress need not develop into PTSD. In either situation, complexes within the body-psyche reveal their effects in behaviours, patterns of relating, attitudes (self and other-directed), life styles, as well as dreams. The psychic intensity and physiology of the complex itself as well as the interference from the complex in normal daily life differ. In healthier persons, the complex arises less frequently while in PTSD it appears to dominate and subvert more aspects of psychological functioning and adaptability. The data in the arena of PTSD documents these facts cogently.

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CHAPTER EIGHT. A complex integration: rethinking Jung’s complex doctrine

Cope, Theo A. Karnac Books ePub

“An emotion is not a private mental state, nor a set of static qualities abstracted from such a state, nor a hypothalamic response with intense autonomic discharge, nor a pattern of behavior viewed in purely objective terms, nor a particular stimulus-situation.

“… different investigators or theorists or practitioners with special vested interests will be disposed to select and emphasize different components in this total referent. An intro-spectionist may talk mostly of sensations, images, and feelings; a psychoanalyst will stress the role of unconscious processes … a physiologist … will probably be trying to locate neural ‘centers’ … behaviorists are inclined to ignore on methodological grounds, all of these several kinds of ‘intervening variables’; whereas, finally specialists in interpersonal dynamics, with their flied theories, tend to think of emotion as a ‘social category.’ …

“Now some combination of these points of view is probably what is required for an adequate over-all theory of emotion”

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CHAPTER FIVE. Discussion of Jung’s emotional complex doctrine Intermezzo: the complex brain nuclei

Cope, Theo A. Karnac Books ePub

Since I have laid bare both the developmental and theoretical elements of Jung’s complex doctrine, it is imperative that I discuss it more. Moreover, we have reached the point in this work where a consideration of Jung’s perspectives on emotions needs to be presented more fully. Does Jung present a theory of emotions that fills the criteria as adduced by Strongman, and delineated in the Introduction? I answer in the affirmative and explain this below. In the next chapter, I compare his approach to the complexity of emotions and emotional complexes with other theorists who focused upon representations. The prospective function of the psyche, as experienced by Jung, contributed greatly to his personal healing of traumatic events in his life. While I do examine briefly the psychological aspect that contributed to some of his personal inability to see his own complexes and their influences upon his psychology, I do so not to stigmatize or pathologize him. My intent is simple: the historical-personal dimension of Jung’s complex doctrine, to my knowledge, has not been much discussed. The historical component is personal history; the prospective or constructive dimension is creative psychic potential. Jung’s own failures must be acknowledged, though we must not thereby denigrate his contributions. If his complex doctrine has validity, if it has scientific feasibility, and if he presented psychic and physiological characteristics of emotions, then we should find empirical support for it in current scientific literature. This phase of my exploration comes in the next chapter also.

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CHAPTER TWO. Philosophy first, not first philosophy

Cope, Theo A. Karnac Books ePub

Psyche, soul, or mind

In order to orientate our thinking regarding psychology, as a logos of psyche, it is imperative that we embark upon a consideration that is philosophically grounded upon an expanded empiricism, rather than a metaphysical theory of psyche as a spiritual entity called soul, or of psyche as mind. Aristotle’s discussion of the psyche in his work De Anima set the psyche upon a foundation that later was used for metaphysical and religious purposes and subsequently conceptually demolished: this foundation was “first philosophy”, that is, metaphysics. Subsequent thinkers maintained this otherworldly foundation of the human psyche, translated as anima into Latin, thence as soul into English. Psyche is conceived to be a non-material reality that connected humanity to the spiritual realms. In Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and philosophies inspired by the same, psyche was discussed more as an entity that existed “between” spirit and body. The physical-biological dimension was considered only in that it was this dimension that was to be overcome—to be transcended by the spirit’s influence within the psyche.

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CHAPTER FOUR. Jungian complexes in perspective

Cope, Theo A. Karnac Books ePub

“Every psychologist should first and foremost be convinced that his point of view is primarily his own subjective prejudice. This prejudice is however as good as another, and can very probably serve as a basic assumption for many other people. But under no circumstances should we indulge in the unscientific illusion that a subjective prejudice can represent a universal basic psychic truth”

(Jung, in Jacobi, 1961, p. 164)

The neurological revolution and its impact within psychological domains cannot be overlooked in our attempt to explore a psychology with psyche. Demos (2001) argues that psychoanalysis stands to benefit from a serious reconsideration and perhaps a reformulation of its neurobiological bases. Jungian psychology stands to benefit as well from a more profound discussion of the neurobiological and physiological underpinnings of complexes. This seems imperative in order to present a feasible scientific psychology that incorporates the reality that Jung held to: body and psyche are two sides of a unified reality, living in indissoluble union.

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