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C. G. Jung: The Basics is an accessible, concise introduction to the life and ideas of C. G. Jung for readers of all backgrounds, from those new to Jung’s work to those looking for a convenient reference.
Ruth Williams eloquently and succinctly introduces the key concepts of Jungian theory and paints his biographical picture with clarity. The book begins with an overview of Jung’s family life, childhood, and relationship with (and subsequent split from) Sigmund Freud. Williams then progresses thematically through the key concepts in his work, clearly explaining ideas including the unconscious, the structure of the psyche, archetypes, individuation, psychological types and alchemy. C. G. Jung: The Basics also presents Jung’s theories on dreams and the self, and explains how his ideas developed and how they can be applied to everyday life. The book also discusses some of the negative claims made about Jung, especially his ideas on politics, race, and gender, and includes detailed explanations and examples throughout, including a chronology of Jung’s life and suggested further reading.
C. G. Jung: The Basics will be key reading for students at all levels coming to Jung’s ideas for the first time and general readers with an interest in his work. For those already familiar with Jungian concepts, it will provide a helpful guide to applying these ideas to the real world.
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"More than ever we need Jung, whose intuitions are proving indispensable to understanding and interacting with the twentyfirst century, from issues of globalism and ecological crisis, to the challenges of living with technology. Jung: the Basics offers excellent starting points for complete beginners or for those seeking fresh psychological perspectives on history, modernity, symbolism, spirituality, the arts, creative practice and our relationships to each other and the planet. Suitable for clinicians in training and students of disciplines from the humanities to the social sciences, this book brings an important resource into accessible and exciting perspective for our times."
- Susan Rowland (Ph.D.) is Chair of MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and teaches on the doctoral program in Jungian psychology and Archetypal Studies. She is the author of Remembering Dionysus: Revisioning Psychology and Literature in C. G. Jung and James Hillman (Routledge 2017)
‘The basics are the essential facts or principles of a subject. This is what Ruth Williams has brilliantly given us in relation to the work of C.G. Jung, analytical psychology, Jungian analysis and Jungian Studies. Her book is accessible, beautifully structured and presented. She really knows her way around the Jungian world and can play the role of guide with consummate ease.’
- From the Foreword by Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex
"Ruth Williams discusses the unconscious, the structure of the psyche, the archetypes, and individuation, as well as psychological types, dreams, alchemy, and the vexed question of Jung's political engagement in a way that will, I hope, encourage the reader to look more closely at what Jung has to offer us in the twenty-first century. There are many different ways in which to approach Jung: through his indebtedness to German culture, for instance, or through applying his conceptual tools in the field of literary criticism or film studies, or through studying the institutional development of analytical psychology and the personalities involved in the Jungian movement. What is valuable about the account offered in this book is that it provides an overview of the ‘basics’ of Jungian thought in a way that is both helpful and clear. Jung once described the second part of Goethe’s Faust as ‘a link in the aurea catena’ ― i.e., the Golden or Homeric Chain ― ‘which has existed from the beginnings of philosophical alchemy and Gnosticism down to Nietzsche’s Zarathustra’; in engaging with this material Jung found that it was ‘unpopular, ambiguous, and dangerous’, and he believed he had embarked on ‘a voyage of discovery to the other pole of the world’. As one embarks on one’s own journey into Jung, it is good to have a guide such as this in one’s hands."
- Paul Bishop, William Jacks Chair of Modern Languages at the University of Glasgow, UK; co-editor of The Ecstatic and the Archaic (Routledge)
"The chapters are well defined and take the reader through the main Jungian concepts of; the unconscious, the psyche, archetypes, individuation, psychological types, dreams and alchemy. All the classic concepts that a Jung novice will hear, and perhaps even use in everyday language, without ever really comprehending the aetiology behind them. The joy of this book is its structure; huge topics are broken down into a comprehensive, yet digestible format."
-Melanie Pickles, MBACP, Integrative Counsellor working in Private Practice and PCSR member.
Ruth Williams is a Jungian Analyst, Professional Member and Supervising Analyst with the Association of Jungian Analysts in London, UK. She has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Her website can be found at www.ruthwilliams.org.uk.
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