Reviewed here is the 12th in John Betts series on Jungian Analytic Psychology. In this episode Betts continues the theme of types.
Object relations theory – people relate to objects and these are internalised. Betts applies this to a person’s mother and says that the maternal object is introjected forming an internal ‘mini mum’. He then goes on to explain how when we meet people, we project onto them and then introject this more complex ‘object’.
Betts goes onto to distinguish between introverts and extroverts and makes the interesting observation that if extraversion is a person’s inferior function, they will expend more energy on these functions compared to an equivalent period of time spent using their superior functions. He supports this with one of his own experiences. I will speculate here and suggest that if a person uses a particular ‘function’ then their body may adapt to this by ensuring that energy is conserved. So for instance if a person is an extravert, they may do a lot of walking or talking compared to an introvert. In this case, the muscle groups that are most relevant to these functions will be ‘trained’. At the cellular level, the skeletal muscle may produce changes in the number of mitochondria so as to adapt to the energy requirements. This would take some time to achieve. In the same way, if a person is using a certain part of their brain more frequently, it would seem sensible for the brain to adapt to this use either with an adjustment of cerebral blood flow parameters or in the function or structure of neurons/glia in this area. I’m not sure if this is the case and can’t immediately think of any mechanisms by which this might take place. This is the difficulty with speculation and the need for testing against the data. However Jung’s theories offer many opportunities for further development or linking to other domains of theory just as with Winnicott and others.
Betts also takes about the distinction between introversion and extraversion in terms of the relationship between the subject and object. In extraversion, thoughts and feelings are described as being transferred to the object in contrast with introversion. In introversion there can be a process of classifying objects according to archetypes. He then covers the four functions and how they relate to objects and then goes onto link them to dreams and complexes. Betts narrates clearly and presents us with an elegant discussion of Jungian theory.
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