Anthony Stevens: Jung – A Very Short Introduction

April 4, 2022

     I’ve written earlier on this year about re-visiting some of Jung’s writing, prompted partly by earlier re-reading of Hermann Hesse’s fiction; while dependent on the library for reading-matter because of our recent house move, I came across this introduction to the great man’s life and work. The Oxford Very Short Introductions series is one I’ve found very helpful in the past.

What particularly appeals to me, at my stage of life, is Jung’s concept of individuation, the idea of making sense of one’s entire life or existence as on looks back on the whole of it – which is obviously something for those of us further on in years. One’s life is a journey of discovery and self-discovery; one has to go one’s own way, to make one’s particular journey: nobody else can do it for you! Which at one level is a statement of the bleeding obvious, and at another is profoundly empowering, it seems to me.

Anyway, there’s not a lot I can say about this slim volume other than that it’s a very well-written, clear and thoughtful introduction to and explanation of Jung’s life and particular contribution to psychology and psychoanalysis, which makes many useful connections both with what went before and what has developed since. Jung’s influence on the world of counselling, psychotherapy and self-discovery in general, is hard to overlook when you appreciate the breadth of his learning, knowledge and exploration.

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