Schwartz, S: Jung and Kristeva: The Looking Glass Between Self and Other


Susan Schwartz


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This presentation explores the integration of the personality as it opens from the throes of the despair, confusion and dissociation. The diverse yet alignable perspectives of Julia Kristeva, French psychoanalyst and Carl Jung bridge the border between self and other as they describe the defenses of the self appearing in both psyche and soma.

Through the auto-immune illness the psyche/soma exposes fragility, the cracked and dissociated parts and unmet narcissistic needs. The body reflects the personality. Integration occurs through encountering the depression, oppositions of ‘as if’ from real, and the shadow from the stranger. The loss of meaning, prolonged longing and suffering, both conscious and unconscious, can contribute to autoimmune illness.

Our era of uncertainty reflects alienation from the body mirrored by the rise in autoimmune disease. A constant theme in autoimmune disease observation is that 78.8% of sufferers are women (Fairweather, 2004, p. 3). As a metaphor and in the composite clinical example presented is a portrait both as psychological and as physical of unprocessed trauma and mourning, the patient’s feeling unloved, abandoned, emotionally paralyzed, displaced and the shadow interned in the body. In this composite example an Iranian woman illustrates the shadow cast on a self, fragile and in need of care and the mourning process that she defended herself against feeling all her life.

The auto-immune problems entail engagement with the ‘other’ bringing about recognition of the self, reconciliation and mutual understanding. The illness in psyche and body pushed her into therapeutic work to find her own potent ability to survive and find meaning.

Presenter Bio:

Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist graduated from the Jung Institute in Kusnacht. She is a member the International Association of Analytical Psychology and has taught through them for several years to developing group programs in Poland and South Africa. She gives workshops and lectures in and out of the USA. Susan has articles in the International Journal of Jungian Studies, the online journals Plath Profiles and Depth Insights and a chapter in the following books: Perpetual Adolescence: Jungian Analyses of American Media, Literature and Pop Culture; Jungian Perspectives on Rebirth and Renewal: Phoenix Rising and Analysis and the Polis in the City. Susan is currently writing a book for Routledge on absent fathers and their effect on daughters. She has a private practice in Jungian Analytical Psychology in Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA and her website is www.susanschwartzphd.com

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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