John Betts on Analytical Psychology #6

This is the sixth in the John Betts series on Analytical Psychology. In this episode Betts discusses the term ‘Enantiadromia’ meaning ‘running contrarywise’ and he discusses how a person can develop a contrary persona if they avoid dealing with the symbolic. Betts then goes onto explain the differences between signs and symbols. He explains a sign as being of fixed meaning as opposed to symbols and he gives this as a difference between Freudian and Jungian dream analysis where as an example Freud would have assigned a fixed meaning to occurrences in dreams. Having such flexibility with symbols (rather than signs) affords some fluidity in the interpretation while at the same time producing some difficulties in being confident of the interpretation’s validity. However it is through the ‘lived experience’ that the subject interprets their dream symbols. Betts tells us that ‘we are the best dream symbol dictionaries’ although he does recommend dictionaries for universal aspects of symbols. Indeed he recommends this for the process of amplification in which the person meaning of symbols is extended to the more universal meaning of symbols. Thus on experiencing dreams, the person is encouraged to interpret the personal meaning of the symbol and then some more by referring to the universal meaning of the symbols without overinterpreting. This sounds like a difficult process which requires judgement. Betts as in previous episodes adheres to high standards in delivering another engaging episode in his series on analytical psychology.


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The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


    • Dear Finiavaindine,

      Many thanks for your response. What in particular did you find appealing about this post?




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