The Analytic Observer

Newsletter of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | March 1998 Newsletter

A Freud-Jung Connection

by Prudence Leib, MD

The graceful double doors to the analytic institute are hung with fragrant evergreen wreaths. David Spira, Mark Levey and I, invited guest faculty to a colloquium on dreams, are warmly greeted and offered cups of herbal tea before we sit down to present our theoretical approach to dreams and case material.

The forty analysts and candidates in the audience are friendly, attentive and welcoming.

In the discussion of a patient’s intellectualizing defense, one candidates suggest she might have the analysand draw his association rather than say them; moreover, she would have the patient use his non-dominate hand. A bit later on, our co-disscusant listens to the dream I presented and suggested that an animal in the dream represented the number “3”, which was a symbol of male genitalia.

Where are we? Kansas? Iowa? No, closer to home. We’re invited guests at the Jungian Institute in Evanston, which asked the “Freudians” to join them in a dialogue on dreams. This is the first time ever to anyone’s knowledge that the Chicago Jungians and Freudians had joined together for an analytic discussion. We meet twice. In the first meeting, Mark Levey gave an overview of “Freudian” dream theory and techniques and I presented case material for discussion. In the second meeting, one of their faculty presented material and David Spira and I discussed it.

It was the first time I had to think of myself as a “Freudian.”

Here are some things we learned:

The Jungians have an active, vibrant training facility and Society.

Their view of Freudian analysis seems, not surprisingly, in a time warp, hovering probably around the state theory was in when Freud and Jung were on the boat together coming to the states.

Our view of Jungian analysis is similarly fixed in time, as if they hadn’t been developing their theory for the last 80 years.

Despite the time warp regarding Freud and Jung, there was considerable interest and familiarity among the Jungians in self psychology and object relations theory.

In many ways, again not surprisingly, we end up in similar places when actually speaking to patients.

However, there were several important areas of divergence. It seems we pay considerably more specific attention to transference as an organizing framework for analytic interventions. The Jungians, for their part, using references to myths, have built a rich, metaphorical language for communicating about internal relational and developmental paradigms that create transferences and symptoms, a language that can enliven the analytic dialogue in a way that makes our language seem relatively unimaginative and sterile. They also make room for the spiritual dimension in their discourse and treatment.

The Jungians in Evanston have created a very warm and committed psychoanalytic community. The warmth and responsiveness to the attendees was appreciated. As David and I were leaving, a woman jumped out of her car in the parking lot, grasped our hands and said, “I just wanted to thank you again for coming.” I felt gratified and hoped we would have the opportunity to invite members of their Institute to visit us in a similar event. We would enjoy the opportunity to greet them with the same level of engagement and extend them the same genuine welcome.

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | March 1998 Newsletter