The podcasts reviewed here are the 27th and 28th in John Betts excellent series on Jungian Analytical Psychology which provides the listener with an accessible introduction to Jungian Analytical Psychology.
In the 27th episode, Betts tells the listener that there have already been 135,000 downloads of podcasts in the series demonstrating the well deserved success of Betts generous introduction to this subject. He then continues the discussion of individuation from the previous episode. He is careful to distinguish between individualism and individuation which are described as equivalent to the contrast between self-realisation and alienisation. Indeed this simple contrast is a valuable insight which facilitates an understanding of individuation. Along the way the term Jungianism is used, which apparently refers to a statement made by Jung that does not stand up to close scrutiny. In the 28th episode, Betts continues the discussion of individuation. This is an extremely interesting episode in which Betts brings his own experiences of another culture into the material. He considers the relationship between the individual and society during the process of individuation. What I found particularly interesting here was Bett’s suggestion that there is a marked contrast between Western culture and other cultures (he references a tribal culture) in the rites of passage into adulthood. Thus he describes the role of preparation for adulthood which may involve ritualistic dances and body piercing and suggests that this special period of preparation hasn’t been formalised in Western Culture meaning that teenagers effectively develop this themselves in behaviours that are can be considered rebellious. This is certainly a fascinating interpretation. He then looks at some of Klein’s writing on the subject of development – with the return through life to earlier phases of development e.g. the paranoid-schizoid position. He also looks at the stages of individuation as outlined by Jungian Analyst Murray Stein. Stein has written many influential books on the subject of individuation.
At the time of writing, these were the last in Betts excellent series on Jungian Analytic Psychology although it would be great to see more in the series as Betts produces engaging material and uses the medium very effectively. Betts also has a blog in which he answers questions about Jung here.
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