Balenci, M: Jung, Groddeck and Analytic Technique


Marco Balenci


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In two very recent articles in the International Journal of Jungian Studies, this author compared Carl Gustav Jung with Georg Groddeck, German "wild analyst" who founded modern psychosomatic medicine. For the first time, it was emphasized the theoretical closeness of their main concepts―Es and Selbst. These concepts constitute the nucleus of a standpoint - towards the human being, the psyche, and the unconscious - which is very different from Freud's. The common references of Groddeck and Jung were Goethe and Nietzsche in philosophy, Carus and von Hartmann in psychology. Both Groddeck and Jung held symbolization and the conception of a creative unconscious to be remarkably important. These aspects were fundamental for their clinical work, aimed at pioneering therapies: Jung with schizophrenics, Groddeck treating physical diseases. They overcame the limits of the psychoanalysis of their time and, going beyond neurosis, discovered the pre-Oedipal period and the fundamental role of mother-child relationship. Jung and Groddeck gave a maternal turn and considered analytic therapy as a dialectical process, ushering in a two-person paradigm. Groddeck remained within the psychoanalytic movement, albeit in disgrace; whereas Jung left. Although both had considerable influence, it is interesting that neither of them were interested in creating a training school. However, Jung was somehow forced to do it. After seventy years of Jungian schools, it seems necessary to discuss Jung's therapeutic approach in the light of Naturphilosophie and maternal turn. Moreover, it is to call into question the use of the couch―also following research developed in Italy on mirror neurons. Ultimately, Jungian analysis can be seen as a human relationship in a specific setting.

Presenter Bio:

Marco Balenci, PhD, is a psychoanalyst AIPA-IAAP. He did teaching and research at the Universities of Pisa and Rome. He is a former secretary of the Centre for Historical Studies of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry in Florence. His research interests mainly concern theoretical topics and psychosomatics, also studying Jungian analyst Elida Evans’ pioneering work on cancer (Quadrant, 2020). Moreover, he has published papers on dreams, Jungian typology, realistic anxiety, Freudian technique, Georg Groddeck, psychic breakdown, identification in the analytic relationship. He has written the chapter on the Self for the Italian Treatise of Analytical Psychology (ed. Aldo Carotenuto), co-edited five academic books, and edited the Italian version of Anna Freud biography by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl. His latest articles in English discuss cancer from a Jungian and holistic standpoint (Madridge Journal of Cancer Study & Research, 2019) and the influence of extraversion-introversion typology on psychology, psychiatry, and medicine (Medical & Clinical Research, 2020). He has a private practice in Florence.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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