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CHAPTER FOUR. Individuation

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

In Psychological types Jung defines individuation as follows :— ‘It is the development of the psychological individual as a differentiated being from the general, collective psychology. Individuation, therefore, is a process of differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality’ and he adds later on: ‘Individuation is practically the same as the development of consciousness out of the original state of identity which is ‘ … the original non-differentiation between subject and object…’. This state is characteristic of primitive mentality for it is the ‘real foundation of participation mystique … of the unconscious state of the civilized adult and of … the mental state of early infancy …’. In addition he asserts that ‘Identity with the parents provides the basis for subsequent identification with them; on it also depends the possibility of projection and introjection.’ (1921, p. 441). It is the differentiation of the individual personality out of the state of ‘identity’ that I select as being the core of the definition. I shall show how the basis of it is completed by the age of two. Before doing so, however, I want to note that when Jung includes ‘general, collective psychology’ in his definition he is referring to the social and religious life of the community constructed by adults. Its equivalent in infancy is the mother.

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20. Aesthetic appreciation through symbolic congruence

Donald Meltzer Karnac Books ePub

Donald Meltzer & Meg Harris Williams

the calm
And dead still water lay upon my mind
Even with a weight of pleasure, and the sky
Never before so beautiful, sank down
Into my heart, and held me like a dream.

In these lines from the Prelude Wordsworth captures the essence of aesthetic appreciation through symbolic congruence: the “fitting” of the individual mind to the aesthetic object, in such a way that boundaries merge and yet the independent integrity of both partners in the drama—internal and external world—is affirmed and radiates significance. He does this without any self-conscious rhetoric relating to the “pathetic fallacy”; no “as ifs” or personifications; it is simply described as a fact, that the mind at the bottom of the lake of consciousness is pressed upon by the weight of water reflecting the sky, in such a way that it both holds and is held by this ethereal expanse of light which has taken on a quality of weight and density—sinking “down” (as if like a stone) yet in fact like a “dream”. The alternation of down and up-movements, suggesting increase and decrease in density, confirms the sense of dissolving and reforming boundaries as mind seeks congruence in nature and through this, the experience of becoming known. Likewise, Adrian Stokes speaks of architecture as being a “solid dream”, in which “directions and alternatives and the vague character of a weighty impress” are captured, held, integrated with “full cognizance of space”, until the “changing surfaces, in–out, smooth–rough, light–dark, up–down, all manner of trustful absorption by space, are activated further than in a dream”. And as an extension of this, Stokes describes aesthetic response in general, as recalling and holding the “feel” of a dream:

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CHAPTER ONE. The theory of the archetypes and the self

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

In “The origins of the ego in childhood’ I published some ideas on the ego in the first two years of life. My intention was to develop a thesis implied in Jung’s formulations as follows: consciousness, of which the ego is the centre, grows out of the self and its deintegrates—the archetypes and the ego. This contrasted with the earlier notion that the ego grew out of the impact of instinctual drives with the environment. The two propositions do not contradict each other, however, for each process can go on concurrently with the other.

In this volume I shall concentrate on the archetypes and the self as part of die exploration of the child’s ‘inner’ world; this develops concurrently with the continuous building up of a picture of the outer world, closely tied to reality, and a growing capacity for organized thought, for perception of reality and reality testing.

The maturation processes alter a child greatly as development proceeds, and so confusion can result from thinking of childhood as a single state between birth and adolescence. While it is common usage to talk of a child in this way, it creates difficulties when more detailed studies of growth processes are being pursued. Even a baby, though essentially the same person, goes through many states of mind, very difficult to define in the first months, before he attains unit status at about two years of age. It may also seem arbitrary to say that all these states can be lumped together as infancy, since during the first two years greater changes take place than during any other period of life, yet that is what I and others have found it useful to do. From then on to about seven years of age may be called childhood proper. It ends with the passing of the oedipal conflicts, which then ushers in a period of sexual latency that persists until adolescence. During this period, development may be described as horizontal, for consciousness expands rather than deepens. Adolescence is a separate study and will not be included here. This preliminary statement is necessary to clarify the terms that will subsequently be used.

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2: Conceptual framework

Peter Blake Karnac Books ePub

A clinician observes, thinks, and at some stage, intervenes. These three activities define the work. They are the basic building blocks of the clinical process. While they are all intimately connected, this chapter will isolate and focus on the task of ‘thinking’.


Understanding arises from close observation. Our observations are the raw data that are held and shaped by the conceptual framework. Our sight, hearing, and feelings are the basic perceptual tools. In looking, listening, and feeling, we gather information that needs to be processed. Without this processing we can be overwhelmed by a mass of random impressions. To make sense of our observations we need to think about them: to gather, organise, and relate different sets of data to each other so they start to form a pattern. Only then can we begin to make sense of the data. This enables us to ‘do’ something with this information. Clinical intervention is the result of this interplay between observation and thought.

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3. The process of internal consultation

Robert Bor Karnac Books ePub

There are many approaches that can be used when consulting to professional colleagues. An aim of consultation is to elicit and address different views of problems and to generate a climate in which new ideas, beliefs, alternatives, meanings and behaviours can emerge. There is no research at present which has established the efficacy of any one consultation approach. If the consultation is to be conducted in a professional manner then guide-lines, based oil theory of practice, can be used to focus on the different stages of the process and for conducting the consultation interview. The guidelines have emerged from a theory of the evolution, maintenance and resolution of interpersonal problems. A theory is important because it informs our professional practice. Explanations about what happens in clinical practice (ie why a specific intervention was chosen or why another was ruled out) take place between colleagues and between professionals and their students. In some circumstances, explanations have to be made in a court of law. One cannot not have an explanation for what happens in clinical practice. In this chapter, one approach is described which has been found to be helpful in expanding to requests for consultation. Such guide-lines help to organize ideas about how to best help colleagues by clarifying roles and professional relationships, and identifying what happens in the course of consultation.

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