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Carl Jung
ETH-BIB-Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)-Portrait-Portr 14163 (cropped).tif
Carl Gustav Jung

(1875-07-26)26 July 1875
Kesswil, Thurgau, Switzerland
Died 6 June 1961(1961-06-06) (aged 85)
Küsnacht, Zürich, Switzerland
Alma mater
Known for
(m. 1903; died 1955)
Children 5
Relatives Karl Gustav Jung (grandfather)
  • Honorary doctorates from Clark University

, Fordham University , Harvard University , University of Allahabad , University of Benares , University of Calcutta , University of Oxford and University of Geneva

  • Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Medicine
Scientific career
  • Burghölzli
  • Swiss Army
Doctoral advisor Eugen Bleuler
Carl Jung signature.svg

Carl Gustav Jung ( yuung; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung is widely regarded as one of the most influential psychologists in history.

Jung's work has been influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology, and religious studies.



Carl Gustav Jung was born 26 July 1875 in Kesswil, in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, the first surviving son of Paul Achilles Jung (1842–1896) and Emilie Preiswerk (1848–1923).

Paul Jung, Carl's father, was the youngest son of noted German-Swiss professor of medicine at Basel, Karl Gustav Jung (1794–1864). Paul's hopes of achieving a fortune never materialised, and he did not progress beyond the status of an impoverished rural pastor in the Swiss Reformed Church. Emilie Preiswerk, Carl's mother, had also grown up in a large family, whose Swiss roots went back five centuries. Emilie was the youngest child of a distinguished Basel churchman and academic, Samuel Preiswerk (1799–1871), and his second wife.

Jung's father was appointed to a more prosperous parish in Laufen, when Jung was six. Jung's mother was an eccentric and depressed woman; she spent considerable time in her bedroom, where she said spirits visited her at night. Though she was normal during the day, Jung recalled that at night his mother became strange and mysterious. Jung had a better relationship with his father.

When he was 9, Jung's sister Johanna Gertrud (1884–1935) was born. Known in the family as "Trudi", she became a secretary to her brother.

University studies and career

The University of Basel, where Jung studied between 1895 and 1900

Initially, Jung had aspirations of becoming a preacher or minister. There was a strong moral sense in his household and several of his family were clergymen. Jung had wanted to study archaeology, but his family could not afford to send him further than the University of Basel, which did not teach it. After studying philosophy in his teens, Jung decided against the path of religious traditionalism and decided to pursue psychiatry and medicine.

In 1895 Jung began to study medicine at the University of Basel. Barely a year later, his father Paul died and left the family near destitute. They were helped by relatives who also contributed to Jung's studies.

In 1900, Jung moved to Zürich and began working at the Burghölzli psychiatric hospital under Eugen Bleuler. It was Bleuler who introduced him to the writings of Freud by asking him to write a review of The Interpretation of Dreams (1899). In the early 1900s psychology as a science was still in its early stages, but Jung became a qualified proponent of Freud's new "psycho-analysis". Freud needed collaborators and pupils to validate and spread his ideas. Burghölzli was a renowned psychiatric clinic in Zurich and Jung's research had already gained him international recognition. Jung sent Freud a copy of his Studies in Word Association in 1906. The same year, he published Diagnostic Association Studies, which he later sent a copy of to Freud—who had already purchased a copy. Preceded by a lively correspondence, Jung met Freud for the first time in Vienna on 3 March 1907. Jung recalled the discussion between himself and Freud as interminable, unceasing for 13 hours. Six months later, the then 50-year-old Freud sent a collection of his latest published essays to Jung in Zurich. This marked the beginning of an intense correspondence and collaboration that lasted six years.

However, after some time tensions manifested between Jung and Freud because of various disagreements. In 1912 these tensions came to a peak because Jung felt severely slighted after Freud visited his colleague Ludwig Binswanger in Kreuzlingen without paying him a visit in nearby Zurich. It was the publication of Jung's book The Psychology of the Unconscious in 1912 that led to the final break with Freud. The letters they exchanged show Freud's refusal to consider Jung's ideas. This rejection caused what Jung described in his posthumously-published autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1962) as a "resounding censure". Everyone he knew dropped away from him, except two of his colleagues.

In 1913, at the age of 38, Jung experienced a horrible "confrontation with the unconscious". He saw visions and heard voices. He worried at times that he was "menaced by a psychosis" or was "doing a schizophrenia". He decided that it was valuable experience and, in private, he induced hallucinations or, in his words, a process of "active imagination". He recorded everything he experienced in small journals, which Jung referred to in the singular as his Black Book, considering it a "single integral whole"; and while among these original journals, some have a brown cover. The material Jung wrote was subjected to several edits, hand-written and typed, including another, "second layer" of text, his continual psychological interpretations during the process of editing. Around 1915, Jung commissioned a large red leather-bound book, and began to transcribe his notes, along with painting, working intermittently for sixteen years.

Jung left no posthumous instructions about the final disposition of what he called the Liber Novus or Red Book. Sonu Shamdasani, an historian of psychology from London, tried for three years to persuade Jung's resistant heirs to have it published. Ulrich Hoerni, Jung's grandson who manages the Jung archives, decided to publish it when the necessary additional funds needed were raised through the Philemon Foundation. Up to September 2008, fewer than about two dozen people had ever seen it.

During World War I, Jung was drafted as an army doctor and soon made commandant of an internment camp for British officers and soldiers. The Swiss were neutral and obliged to intern personnel from either side of the conflict, who crossed their frontier to evade capture. Jung worked to improve the conditions of soldiers stranded in Switzerland and encouraged them to attend university courses.

Jung emerged from his period of isolation in the late nineteen-tens with the publication of several journal articles, followed in 1921 with Psychological Types, one of his most influential books. There followed a decade of active publication, interspersed with overseas travels.

In 1938, Jung was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Oxford. At the tenth International Medical Congress for Psychotherapy held at Oxford from 29 July to 2 August 1938, Jung gave the presidential address, followed by a visit to Cheshire to stay with the Bailey family at Lawton Mere.

In 1946, Jung agreed to become the first Honorary President of the newly formed Society of Analytical Psychology in London, having previously approved its training programme devised by Michael Fordham.

Later years and death

Interview with C. G. Jung in Küsnacht (Carl Gustav Jung), Swiss psychiatrist, depth psychologist 5
Jung in a 1955 interview

Jung became a full professor of medical psychology at the University of Basel in 1943, but resigned after a heart attack the next year to lead a more private life. In 1945, he began corresponding with an English Roman Catholic priest, Father Victor White, who became a close friend, regularly visiting the Jungs at the Bollingen estate. Jung became ill again in 1952.

Jung continued to publish books until the end of his life, including Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (1959), which analyzed the archetypal meaning and possible psychological significance of the reported observations of UFOs. In 1961, he wrote his last work, a contribution to Man and His Symbols entitled "Approaching the Unconscious" (published posthumously in 1964). Jung died on 6 June 1961 at Küsnacht after a short illness. He had been beset by circulatory diseases.

Marriage and family

In 1903, Jung married Emma Rauschenbach, seven years his junior and the elder daughter of a wealthy industrialist in eastern Switzerland, Johannes Rauschenbach-Schenck. Rauschenbach was the owner, among other concerns, of IWC Schaffhausen—the International Watch Company, manufacturer of luxury time-pieces. Upon his death in 1905, his two daughters and their husbands became owners of the business. Jung's brother-in-law—Ernst Homberger—became the principal proprietor, but the Jungs remained shareholders in a thriving business that ensured the family's financial security for decades. Emma Jung, whose education had been limited, evinced considerable ability and interest in her husband's research and threw herself into studies and acted as his assistant at Burghölzli. She eventually became a noted psychoanalyst in her own right. They had five children: Agathe, Gret, Franz, Marianne, and Helene. The marriage lasted until Emma died in 1955.


Among his principal distinctions are honorary doctorates from:

In addition, he was:

  • given a Literature prize from the city of Zurich, 1932
  • made Titular Professor of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, ETH 1935
  • appointed Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Medicine 1939
  • given a Festschrift at Eranos 1945
  • appointed President of the Society of Analytical Psychology, London, 1946
  • given a Festschrift by students and friends 1955
  • named Honorary citizen of Kűsnacht 1960, on his 85th birthday.

Key concepts

The major concepts of analytical psychology as developed by Jung include:

Synchronicity - an acausal principle as a basis for the apparently random simultaneous occurrence of phenomena.

Archetype - a concept "borrowed" from anthropology to denote supposedly universal and recurring mental images or themes. Jung's definitions of archetypes varied over time and have been the subject of debate as to their usefulness.

Archetypal images - supposedly universal symbols that can mediate opposites in the psyche, often found in religious art, mythology and fairy tales across cultures

Complex - the repressed organisation of images and experiences that governs perception and behaviour

Extraversion and introversion - personality traits of degrees of openness or reserve contributing to psychological type.

Shadow - the repressed, therefore unknown, aspects of the personality including those often considered to be negative

Collective unconscious - aspects of unconsciousness experienced by all people in different cultures

Anima - the contrasexual aspect of a man's psyche, his inner personal feminine conceived both as a complex and an archetypal image

Animus - the contrasexual aspect of a woman's psyche, her inner personal masculine conceived both as a complex and an archetypal image

Self - the central overarching concept governing the individuation process, as symbolised by mandalas, the union of male and female, totality, unity. Jung viewed it as the psyche's central archetype

Individuation - the process of fulfilment of each individual "which negates neither the conscious or unconscious position but does justice to them both".

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