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Carl Jung's Biography

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Carl Jung Bio
Jung Bio

Carl Gustav Jung was was born on the 26th of July, 1875 in Kesswil, in the Swiss canton of Thurgau. His parents, Paul Jung and Emilie Preiswerk, had had three other children, but Carl was the only one who survived childhood. His mother was from a wealthy family, while his father was a rural pastor in the Swiss Reformed Church.

Carl’s childhood was a disrupted one. His mother was a manic depressive. Carl came to think of his father as the “predictable” one and his mother to be “problematic” – he never knew what she was going to do. Eventually, Paul requested a transfer to a location closer to where Emilie’s parents lived, and once this was accomplished her mental state improved.

Carl was a solitary and introverted child. When he was twelve, he developed a neurosis. He had accidentally fallen and been knocked out, and it occurred to him that if this happened often, he wouldn’t have to go to school. Several times after that, whenever he was supposed to go to school, he fainted. This condition lasted for several months, until he learned that his father believed that he would never be able to support himself, as he must have epilepsy. Carl realized what he’d been doing was causing stress on the family. He made a determined effort to overcome this neurosis, and succeeded.

IN the 1880s and 1890s, the new science of psychiatry was not held in much esteem. But after he read a textbook on the subject, the young Jung recognized descriptions that matched his mother’s behavior, and he found the scientific reasons for his own bout of fainting spells. He decided that psychiatry was the field for him.

He studied medicine at the University of Basel, and in 1900, at the age of 25, began working in the Burghölzli, a psychiatric hospital in Zürich, with Eugen Bleuler. For the next several years Carl studied and published papers.
In 1903, Karl married Emma Rauschenbach, a wealthy Swiss. They would eventually have five children: Agathe, Gret, Franz, Marianne, and Helene.
In 1906, when he was 40 (and Freud 50), he met Sigmund Freud, and the two men became close friends for six years, before their differing views of psychiatric method drove them apart. Both their practices, and their esteem in the eyes of others, continued to grow.

In 1910, Carl and several other psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists traveled to the United States to introduce psychoanalysis. From this point on, the profession began to gain hold in the US.

During World War I, he was drafted into the army to work as a doctor. Since Switzerland was neutral during the war, soldiers of any country who entered their borders were interned – in segregated camps, of course. Carl was appointed commandant of a camp for British officers and soldiers.
In October 1925, Carl accompanied the "Bugishu Psychological Expedition" to East Africa. There, he hoped to increase his understanding of "primitive psychology" by talking with the natives.

In 1936, he traveled to the United States again, giving lectures in New York and New England, and attracting many followers. In 1937 he went to India and began to study Hindu philosophy. He would integrate this knowledge in his understanding of the role of symbolism and the life of the unconscious.
Carl had friends and colleagues who were Jewish. During the 1930s, anti-semitism became virulent in Germany and because he continued contact – albeit of a professional nature only – with German psychotherapists who had declared their support for the Nazis, he was accused of being a Nazi sympathizer after the war. However, study of his work and writings proves this is not true. Indeed, in 1943 Karl analyzed the psychology of the Nazi leaders for the United States Office of Strategic Services.
After the war, Carl continued to work on his theories and write books. His wife died in 1955. He died six years later, in 1961 at Küsnacht. He was 86.

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Jung Biography

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