Counselling, Freud, Jung, My Story, psychology, thoughts influence on physical body, Uncategorized

18. A little background on Jung (part 3)

Jung: Attitudes and Personality types

 

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Jung conceived two key types of attitude (introvert and extravert) in combination with four orientations (thinking, sensation, intuition and feeling) resulting in eight personality types. He then classed “feeling” and “thinking” as “rational”, and “sensation” and “intuition” as “irrational”. The “primary” function is the most dominant one for that individual.

Inferior

Out of the non-dominant functions, according to Jung, the inferior function is the one that most strongly resists coming into consciousness thus the individual is not even aware of it. In extreme cases, where the individual is too primary function focussed, the neglected inferior function is likely to be problematic, manifesting in other ways within consciousness, e.g., midlife crisis. Therapy can help gradually develop the inferior function by focussing on the auxiliary functions first. During this process, energy will be taken from the primary function and can cause some distress to the individual.

Although individuals are predominantly introverted or extraverted, the opposing attitude remains in the unconscious, compensating the conscious attitude, which may be influential on the other functions. The motivation behind one’s actions can decipher which type of attitude they adopt. Whilst the extravert shows fascination for something beautiful, the introvert appreciates something as an interesting subject fascinated by its “psychic reality”. The extravert attitude places importance on the external world and accepting of external events, readily influenced by external circumstances and adapting to new situations with ease. However, individuals with extreme extraversion are more likely to neglect themselves in order to put the needs of others first. This extreme attitude can result in nervous or physical disorders (according to Jung) which then push the individual along a more introverted direction. According to Jung, with extreme extroverts trying to adapt to their immediate environment, there is a danger of them becoming too influenced by others, becoming easily suggestible, imitating others which can lead to identity issues, and a tendency to distort the truth to impress others with an entertaining story (hysteria).

When too much focus is given to external circumstances, there is also a tendency, of the extravert, to repress subjective impulses, i.e., preventing these impulses from becoming conscious. These repressed impulses, hidden in the unconscious, will build up to later manifest in undesirable, primitive, ruthlessly selfish manners. Similarly, in the case of an introvert repressing internal, subjective instincts, the individual may lose touch with what (s)he really wants or (s)he will want everything, including the impossible, and will want it all ‘now’. Suppression of this can result in a nervous breakdown or even suicide in extreme cases [1].

If you liked this, be sure to subscribe. It’s free and you will have access to my weekly blogs. If there are specific areas of interest that you would like me to write about, please comment or write a question and I’ll do my very best to answer. I would love to hear from you!

References

  1. Sharp, D. (1987). Personality types: Jung’s model of Typology. Inner city books, Toronto, Canada.
  2. Stevens, A. (1994). Jung: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Counselling, Jung, positive thoughts, psychology, thoughts influence on physical body, Uncategorized

17. A little background on Jung (part 2)

Jung: Attitudes and personality types

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Based on the flow of psychic energy, Jung conceived two key types of attitude (introvert and extravert) in combination with four orientations (thinking, sensation, intuition and feeling) resulting in eight personality types. Introversion was thought to be a result of the psychic energy flowing inwards. According to Jung, introverted individuals would tend to be reflective in nature, hesitant, shy, retiring and often defensive. With more likelihood of being self-sufficient than extraverts, introverts would be guided by their internal subjective experiences enjoying the familiarity of one’s home and feeling comfortable in the company of a few good friends.

Extraverts, on the other hand, result from the psychic energy flowing outwards and these individuals have more interest in the external world. Thus, extraverted characters are outgoing, open, socially comfortable and flexible in any situation with the ability to develop friendships with ease and speed. Extraverts are confident in facing the unknown with their perceptions, feelings and actions being heavily influenced by external, objective issues. Extraverts typically enjoy meeting new people, travelling, adventures, and are the life and soul of any party.

In combination with extraversion/ introversion, Jung proposed four functions: thinking (i.e., cognitive thinking), sensation (i.e., physical perception of touch, vision etc.), feeling (subjectively judging/ evaluating), and intuition (perception which is unconscious). According to Jung, these four functions are not evenly developed within the individual and indeed, one function is more dominant in any individual. This ‘primary’ function is most likely to be used frequently whilst the other less used functions are almost always unconscious. These ‘inferior’ functions raise an ‘inferiority’ which also underpins the individuals’ personality type.

Rational /irrational

Jung further categorised the four functions into rational and irrational. Feeling (i.e., how one subjectively evaluates a person’s or object’s worth), and thinking (logical judgment) are classed as rational due to their reflective nature in establishing a judgment. N.B., feeling, in this context, is not influenced by emotion (affect) and does not alter one’s physical state or influence judgment. Sensation (i.e., sensory perception of external world) and intuition (i.e., perception of one’s inner world) are classed as irrational. N.B. irrational, in this context, means “outside reason” and “it just is” but is not synonymous with unreasonable or illogical. With regards to rational/irrational categories, auxiliary functions differ from the primary function. In other words, if the primary function is intuition (irrational), the auxiliary functions would both be rational, i.e., feeling, thinking [1]. This will be explored next time.

If you liked this, be sure to subscribe. It’s free and you will have access to my weekly blogs. If there are specific areas of interest that you would like me to write about, please comment or write a question and I’ll do my very best to answer. I would love to hear from you!

References

  1. Sharp, D. (1987). Personality types: Jung’s model of Typology. Inner city books, Toronto, Canada.
  2. Stevens, A. (1994) Jung: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Counselling, Freud, Jung, My Story, psychology, stages of development, thoughts influence on physical body, Uncategorized

16.A little background on Jung (part 1)

A little background on Jung

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Born in Switzerland in 1875, Carl Gustav Jung had a stressful, oppressive childhood. Both his parents were religious (his father was a minister) which was influential on his theory of personality. His mother suffered a nervous breakdown causing her to be hospitalized for several months which prevented her from being present during Jung’s crucial years of developing an attachment (according to Bowlby). As an adult, Jung had his own psychiatry practice whilst teaching at various universities and was influenced by some of Freud’s earlier opinions on psychoanalysis. He enjoyed travelling and wrote many works experiencing much emotion living through both world wars before his death in 1961 [1].

Early attempts to identify types of character/ personality included ancient cosmological philosophies which involved observational patterns of behaviour, i.e., astrological horoscopes, and the Greek physiological categories that were based on the outdated idea of humorism (i.e., an excess or lack of certain bodily fluids (humors) influenced one’s temperament, emotions, and personality). One such ‘humorist’ theory, offered by Hippocrates, described an individual’s temperament according to their bodily secretions: phlegmatic (phlegm) was associated with being tranquil and thoughtful; sanguine (blood) was associated with being outgoing and fun seeking; choleric (yellow bile) was associated with ambition and taking leadership; and melancholic (black bile) was associated with investigative and literal characteristics.

Also heavily influenced by humorism, Galen of Pergamon (Roman; AD 131–200)) developed Hippocrates’ (Greek) theory of temperament further, describing how a physiological imbalance of excess humors could occur between the ‘four’ elements: hot, cold, dry and wet.  Galen described a total of nine temperaments, including balances of (paired) qualities, stating that the ideal personality would be a mix of complementary characteristics such as warm (sanguine) and moist (choleric) or cool (melancholic) and dry (phlegmatic). Individuals with a personality of one dominant quality were not ideal.

Jung recognised three components of the personality: the ego (one’s consciousness including thoughts, feelings, perceptions and memories); the personal unconscious (unique, personal experiences that are repressed or forgotten); and the collective unconscious (a bond between humans that includes shared experiences (archetypes) such as birth, death, light, dark, power, males, females, sex, pain). He highlighted five important archetypes: the persona (deceptive public self), the anima (the female component in males derived from life times of experiences with females, which also aids interactions with females), the animus (the male component in females which should be demonstrated to avoid being portrayed as easily controlled), the shadow (the dark (opposing), inferior part of the personality (includes lust, anger etc.) which must be understood in order to reach wholeness); and the self (one’s life goal of “wholeness” with balanced integration of personality components).

If you liked this, be sure to subscribe. It’s free and you will have access to my weekly blogs. If there are specific areas of interest that you would like me to write about, please comment or write a question and I’ll do my very best to answer. I would love to hear from you!

Bibliography

Stevens, A. (1994) Jung: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

 

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15. A little background on Freud (part 5)

Freud: Defence mechanisms

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This final blog on Freud looks at ways we try to protect ourselves from being hurt, often without even realising what we are doing. Freud noted several “defence mechanisms” (described below) that individuals commonly adopt in order to cope with life’s experiences. These are still important today and it is helpful to recognise when you, yourself, are adopting them.

Defence mechanisms (protecting the ‘ego’, i.e., “I”) are a key feature in psychoanalysis and individuals are often completely unaware of them. Defence mechanisms are unconsciously employed by the individual when they feel unable to cope, or feel that they are under attack. The most common ones are:

  • denial – you refuse to acknowledge something
  • repression – you unconsciously hide unpleasant feelings in the unconscious
  • projection – placing YOUR feelings onto someone else, e.g., believing that Mr X does not like you when, actually, it is YOU who does not like Mr X
  • displacement – your feelings are displaced onto someone/something else, e.g., after a disagreement with a work colleague, anger is then ‘offloaded’ onto someone else, often your partner at home!
  • regression – you go back in time and return to feeling/acting like e.g., a child, when faced with an overwhelming unpleasant feeling
  • sublimation – you take out your emotions/ impulses on a substitute, socially acceptable object, e.g., punching out your anger (towards the boss) on a punch bag at the gym
  • rationalization – you distort the facts by cognitively inventing excuses/reasons/ justifications for your behaviour/motivation.

The first step is recognising them. Once these defence mechanisms have been explored, the individual is then able to realise, feel, and ‘own’ their true feelings and accept them without the need to hide them.

If you liked this 5 part blog on Freud, be sure to subscribe. It’s free and you will have access to my weekly blogs. Next week, I begin Jung. If there are specific areas of interest that you would like me to write about, please comment or write a question and I’ll do my very best to answer. I would love to hear from you!

Bibliography

Storr, A. (1989) Freud: A very short introduction, New York, Oxford University Press Inc.

 

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Freud (part 3)

 

Freud: emotions and the past

 

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Although criticisms of Freud are perhaps more known nowadays than his actual work, many of Freud’s ideas are still used in the fundamental core of today’s counselling environment. Freud’s belief that one’s past emotions could cause problems in one’s present was ground-breaking and this concept is accepted by many psychologists today. His idea that mental illness is not (necessarily) due to physiological but psychological reasons, which can be helped by talking openly and honestly about what is on one’s mind, remains accepted today.

The idea of talking freely is still at the heart of psychoanalysis and many counselling therapies in general today with the additional advantage of bringing “hidden” thoughts and feelings from one’s unconscious into one’s conscious. Similarly, many further therapeutic techniques have built upon this concept. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) attempts to help the individual modify their habitual patterns of cognition. These patterns of thinking have usually been learned as a child and although they served well in childhood, are no longer helpful in adulthood. Such patterns of cognition are only accessed through the client becoming consciously aware of their internal thoughts which can then be altered appropriately.

Today’s clients are more aware of the process of counselling from the outset, and are encouraged to talk about their thoughts, feelings and past with an empathetic, genuine, non-judgemental therapist who offers unconditional positive regard (in the case of client centred therapy).

Freud also used “free association” as a “talking freely” technique whereby the client responds to a word by saying what springs to mind in association with it. Freud claimed that this was accessing the unconscious mind. He believed too that unconscious thoughts and feelings slip out verbally from time to time (“Freudian slips”) revealing what one is really thinking and feeling.

If you liked this, be sure to subscribe. It’s free and you will have access to my weekly blogs. If there are specific areas of interest that you would like me to write about, please comment or write a question and I’ll do my very best to answer. I would love to hear from you!

Bibliography

Storr, A. (1989) Freud: A very short introduction, New York, Oxford University Press Inc.

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10. Our thoughts

Our thoughts

Can our thoughts really have an effect on our health? I believe that the attitude of our mind can indeed have serious effects on our health. I have met many people over the years with different illneses, disabilities, backgrounds, upbringings, experiences etc., and the people who have a love for life seem to be much happier than those who cannot see any good or anything positive.

Dandelion, Flower, Plant, Blossom

Someone close to me is on antidepressants for depression and always focuses on the negative things, and anything negative. I wonder if this is the very stuff that feeds the depression and maintains the low mood. From my own experience, I can leave the house in the morning in a bad mood ignoring all the positive stuff and purely focussing on the dog poop on the road, the noisy neighbours, and how late my bus is! However, I have also left the same house another morning in a good mood admiring the “weeds” growing by my front door, the leaves of the silver birch tree at the front of my house, the patterns of the clouds in the sky, and breathing in the fresh air into my lungs giving me energy for the day.

Catching myself is the first step to stopping myself from falling lower into a miserable day that is not going to do anyone any good. I find that if I remove myself for a while, breathe slowly, calm down my thinking, i.e., meditate (even for 5 minutes), and try to look for something positive. I don’t mean pretend to myself that it is all great, I just mean looking out for something. If you intend to find something positive, you always manage to find something positive. So, can our thoughts have an effect on our physical body?

The water experiment

Below is a clip from Dr. Emoto’s experiment on the consequences of our thoughts on water. In Masaru Emoto’s water “experiment”, he exposed water to a variety of diverse properties (words, music, images) that had different levels of energy, e.g., spoken words (gratitude, love, Hitler, kill). He then froze the water and observed its structure under microscope, to show how these different levels of energy had had an effect on the water’s structure. Despite the criticism from many scientists with regards to Emoto’s “experiment” for not being carried out under the strict scientific conditions or complying with the basic scientific regulations, the whole concept is quite wonderful. It is similar to when someone has angrily prepared your food, the food doesn’t taste as good but when the food has been made with love, the food tastes much better. Does anyone else notice this? It’s even the same with a cup of tea that someone has made. I can’t explain it. I’m not going to even try to explain it but I do think that Dr. Emoto was onto something amazing! The YouTube clip below shows Dr. Emoto’s pictures of water crystals and is under 4 minutes long.

If positive and negative energies had these effects on the water crystals, what affect might they be having on our own body which contains a high percentage of water? Could a change of thinking help with a change of physical health? If you liked this, be sure to subscribe. It’s free and you will have access to my weekly blogs. If there are specific areas of interest that you would like me to write about, please comment or write a question and I’ll do my very best to answer. I would love to hear from you!