Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Personality Theories of Jung and Kohut
The first scene starts with Jung and Kohut’s discussion at a café. They are in a heated debate about their theories but conduct the discussion amicably.
Jung: I agree with you to a certain extent. I believe that the self is the priority structure upon which the psyche emanates. You, on the other hand, believe that the self is a combination of self-object relationships in a person’s life. Therefore, while you look at the past to make your judgment concerning the self, I prefer to start with a nuclear, which is one’s self. Nonetheless, I realize that you have mentioned these aspects in your individuation principle. Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Kohut: Yes, I have. The self unfolds in different phases of life through the individuation process, which allows one’s personality to become whole (Kohut, 1966). You may, therefore, interpret it as some blueprints that are inherent in that process.
Jung: This was why I was open to the argument in the first place. However, I would think of our concepts of the self as complementary issues rather than similar ones. My unconscious archetypal personality components determine one’s perception of the external environment (Jung, 1960). This dimension dwells on the inner aspect of personality. On the other hand, your concept of the self focuses on relationships and how they mirror one’s psychic dynamics. Your focus on the external environment and man’s response to it complements my focus on the essential nature of man. Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Jung: Our complementarities notwithstanding, what do you make of inter-psychic splitting? I have always taught in my theory of neurosis that the psyche is divisible and the resulting complexes can lead to the formation of splinter psyches. These groups may maintain harmony with one’s overall personality. I see a striking resemblance between my theory and your teachings on inter-psychic barriers.
Kohut: Yes, indeed. I do believe that it is possible for two contradictory states to split so that one psyche operates independently of the other. Personality can have different aims, morals, and dreams but still operate cohesively (Kohut, 1966). One may thus find some similarities between this explanation and your perception of the complex. Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Kohut: It seems that it is another concept that we agree on. No discussion of our theories can ever be complete without an analysis of libido. I respect and acknowledge the fact this was an area that caused a rift between you and Freud. You felt that libido accounted for more than just sexual energy. If I recall correctly, you claim that libido is the level of psychological energy that determines how one evaluates or interprets the quality of one’s experience.
Jung: I could not have said it better myself. Individuals can transform the libido in the form of a different level of psychological activity. Spirituality, creativity and intellectual work are all the manifestations of libido transformation (Jung, 1960). Allow me to deviate a little bit. What do you think is the core of psychoanalysis? Many have criticized my respect for subjectivity in patients as unscientific even though I explained the reasons behind that.
Kohut: A therapist must attune oneself with the subject’s psychological state. Empathy is a critical component of successful psychoanalysis as it is the means due to which one gets the answers that psychological reasoning and analysis may not provide (Kohut, 1966).Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Jung: But don’t you think that you are reiterating what our critics have been saying about being unscientific?
Kohut: I do not think so. The application of sympathy in therapy ought to be based on the standards of practice as well as research. One should not attempt to criticize certain values without fully understanding what they imply or require for successful implementation.
Jung: It appears that we are more similar in our thoughts than we have considered! As we bring this discussion to a close, what would you say is our greatest point of disagreement? What would make therapists that ascribe to your teachings practice psychology in a manner that is distinctly different from mine? Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Jung: Thank you, Kohut. I look forward to meeting you again. Having discussions with you is always refreshing.
Kohut: It is always a pleasure. Have a lovely afternoon! Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay
Jung, C. (1960). The psychogenesis of mental disease. NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kohut, H. (1966). Forms and transformations of narcissism. American Psychoanalytic Association Journal, 14(2), 243-272. Jung’s and Kohut’s Personality Theories Essay