Who is My Jung? / Henry Abramovitch

Author: Henry Abramovitch

Title: Who is my Jung?

Type: Feature, possibly for clinical writing issue

Date of original submission: 12.9.19

Active Imagination

I want to start with an active imagination:

Imagine you are sitting in chair. You look up and see Jung sitting opposite.  How do you feel? What does he say to you?

The theme of “Who is my Jung?” Is borrowed from an English conference in London whose papers were published in Journal of Analytical Psychology.[1] Jung is often quoted as saying, “Thank God I am not a Jungian!” By that he meant we must not idealize Jung nor rely only on him, but develop our own personal approaches to working with the unconscious. Individuation is not only a lifelong process in our own personal development, but also in our clinical work where we must individuate, becoming the therapists we are meant to be.

Finding Jung

My relationship with Jung began when I was a graduate student at Yale university. I was very interested in the combination of psychology and anthropology, my twin passions. Just as analysts must undergo the rite of passage of analysis, so, too, anthropologists undergo transforming experience of field work. My professor turned my attention to Madagascar, the island continent and the country, Malagasy Republic, which was almost unknown then.

I found my place in Madagascar’s East Coast Rain Forest. I saw amazing rituals: spirit possession, healing ceremonies. I saw secondary burial rituals in which bones of a dead relative were dug up and the soul of deceased became one of the ancestors, followed by the most joyous dancing I have ever experienced. Later I read in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, how Jung described that ‘the unconscious corresponds to the mythic land of the dead, the land of the ancestors’ (Jung 1963, p.216). I understood that this was the reality I had been living Then at one point, I began to experience visions. Whether this was due to intensity of my experiences, or to poisoning (which  is a way of dealing with “strangers” and “enemies” in this Malagasy community) was never established.

When I did return to my university, I sought help from the student counseling service and saw a very decent Viennese psychoanalyst who was interested in my hidden aggression toward my mother but seemed not to know what to do with the visions. Fortunately, I was discussing these visions with another professor who said, “You would be a good candidate for Jungian analysis.” Jung had never been mentioned in my lectures or seminars, even though he had given his famous Terry Lectures there. There was only one analyst in the area. I traveled out to see him. When we began to talk about visions and dreams, I knew I had come home. Later I moved to Israel and continued analysis with another American who had known Jung personally and been one of the first graduates of C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Thus, I could trace my symbolic descent and direct lineage to Jung. In many societies, this gives one prestige and status. But although I liked many of Jung’s ideas very much, I never had a strong personal transference to him, as some disciples did.

Years later, when I was applying to train as a Jungian analyst, I suddenly had serious doubts. I was making a commitment to stay in analysis, to make a serious financial commitment and also take away precious time as the father of my growing family. Was this the right decision? On the night before my final interviews, I had a dream. I was walking in an old historic European city with high stonewalls through narrow alleyways. Suddenly, I see steps going up to a beautiful old wooden door. I knock at the door. Jung opens the door and invites me in. He shows me glass showcases of beautiful objects. He pulls back the glass, takes an exquisite object out and places it in my hand.

I knew I had to do the training!  Because of the dream, I have always felt at home in Jung’s world, despite his limitation as a person, his remarks on women, Jews, homosexuals, blacks etc.

Jung’s Anti-Semitism

For me as a Jew, the issue of Jung’s anti-Semitic remarks was always present in the shadow. Jung writing about “Jewish psychology” in 1934, said that Jews had never produced a cultural form of their own but had always fed off of host cultures and the second is that he had not spoken out publicly against the great evil that had appeared in the form of National Socialism. During my training, my teachers at Yale challenged me, saying: “How can you be a Jungian when you are a Jew.”; “Don’t you know he was a Nazi?” Even my teachers in my training in Israel to become an analyst were very ambivalent and felt much closer to Erich Neumann than to Jung. Tom Singer, the Jewish analyst from San Francisco said, ‘to be a Jungian was to betray being Jewish/Freudian. Being Jewish/Freudian was to betray being Jungian’ (Singer 2012, p. 81). Although space does not permit me to expand on this, I always felt a need to confront Jung about what he had done. I was very surprised to learn from Murray Stein that in his training Jung’s anti-Semitism (or racial bias) never came up.

IMurray Stein and I subsequently wrote a play, The Analyst and the Rabbi based on the historic encounter between Jung and Rabbi Leo Baeck in Zurich in 1946. The play was performed, made into a movie and published as a book (https://chironpublications.com/product-category/authors/abramovitch-henry/). In the first scene, Jung comes to see Rabbi Baeck at his hotel in Zurich. Jung knocks on the door, but Rabbi Baeck refuses to see him.[2] Part of me feels similarly.  I am so angry at Jung that I don’t want to speak with him. But another side knows the right thing to do is to let him in and to confront him, as Rabbi Baeck did. I think that many people make a mistake when they do not confront those who have hurt them, who are often unaware of their hurtful behavior. Then the hurt festers, and there is no possibility for reconciliation.

We know from Gershom Scholem’s letter to Aniella Jaffe, Jung’s secretary and Jewish analyst that Jung said, Ich bin ausgerutscht” (“I fell off the path”).[3] The metaphor of falling off the path is taken from skiing or hiking in the alps, which would be part of Jung’s core Swiss identity. It implies that there is a moral track that Jung should have followed, but without noticing, unconsciously, he slipped and went off the track. When Jung meets Rabbi Baeck, he comes to understand that he was unaware of the process in which he was involved until it was too late. We do know that Jung made private apologies to specific individuals (e.g., James Kirsch and others) but refused to make a public apology. Why he did not make a public apology remains a matter of controversy, but it does count against him.

However, in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung recounts near death Kabbalistic visions which he said were “the most tremendous things I have ever experienced.”[4] In the play, we have Rabbi Baeck suggest that perhaps these visions brought him into contact with his Jewish soul. They certainly connected him to a deep layer in his unconscious where he was one with the Jewish mystic, Rabbi Simon ben Jochai, who by tradition was the visionary creator of Kabbalah. At the end of the play, Rabbi Baeck shows a way forward with his reference to the Kabbalistic notion of “tikkun olam”, indicating the possibility of repairing the world.

I believe, one can see this tikkun olam in how photographs of Jung changed over time. As a young man, he seems fierce, uptight, and judgmental. In his later years, he looks serene yet playful, a smiling wise old man who does not take himself too seriously. I also believe there is an element of tikkun olam in his process of individuation. Individuation, which means knowing yourself more and more, always involves confronting the shadow. The individual’s work with the shadow also detoxifies the collective shadow, as illustrated in the Kabbalistic doctrine that the holiest sparks can only be found and redeemed in the dark side. Similarly, Memories, Dreams, Reflections not only showed Jung’s remarkable personal journey, but reading it made it possible for me and many others to feel that we, too, might be able to set out on a journey. Even in his late book on flying saucers one can sense his search for the Self in unexpected places.

I am very interested in the topic of brothers and sisters. I came to realize that Jung’s personality was deeply influenced by his sibling identity, which is discussed in detail in my book, Brothers and Sisters: Myth and Reality. (Abramovitch 2014).  Jung was most clearly a replacement child, born after three previous newborns had died in which his mother’s unresolved grief was folded into his psyche. His psyche may have been centered on an absence: the dead siblings he never knew. (Schellinski 2019). Jung hints at the intensity of his experience as a replacement child in The Red Book.[5] His lifelong ambition and impressive creativity may have been a way to prove himself worthy and unique in his own right, resolving for all what he could not resolve for himself.


Jung influenced me in many different ways but most clearly through his illuminating understanding of innate human difference. Jung’s theory of psychological types and functions is something that inspires me personally, interpersonally and in my clinical work. It forms the basis of one of the “big 5”, the personality clusters in DSM-5 and also in the most widely used psychological test in the world, Myer-Briggs Personality Inventory created by a mother-daughter team. For me, it provided a simple but profound way to understand my self as an extraverted, intuitive type, with feeling and thinking auxiliaries that were developed over time but a very inferior sensation function. It helped me understand why new ideas come easily to me but why I struggle to change a light bulb. Moreover, I realized that my journey toward individuation lay through embracing my inferior function and not over relying on my natural strengths.  Likewise, I understood that my natural extraversion needs to come to terms with my secret introversion, to be happy by myself, alone, not dependent upon others but in the words of the best-selling book, Quiet (Cain 2012) .

Types also provides a striking critique of traditional theory of  transference. Freud claimed that the analyst should be a blank screen, although few people believe that today. But the analyst can never be neutral, since she/he is seeing and speaking through their psychological type. I try to understand patients’ tendency without pigeon holing them. I try to speak in a  language right for them. If I give an interpretation and it is not received, rejected or does not penetrate, I wonder if I have said it on the wrong axis: judging instead of perceiving; feeling instead of sensation. I search for metaphorical language that makes sense for them.

I try to adjust the approach; often with good results. I think much greater attentions needs to be paid to how we give interpretations and not just their content.

 I admire Jung when he said that one had to invent a new therapy for each patient, to personalize it and not rely on technique. “If one can speak of a technique at all, it consists solely in an attitude.” (Jung 1973, p. 234)

 Jung said that the analyst:

… must have no fixed ideas about what is right, nor must he pretend to know what is right … If something which seems to me an error shows itself to be more effective than a truth, then I must follow up the error, for in it lie power and life which I lose if I hold to what seems to be true  (Jung 2014, p. 245).

There are dangers in such freedom such as wild analysis or engaging in unethical violation of boundaries. But this saying gave me courage to do something I would never have done.

Temenos Regained[6]

Ruth was a case I did not want to take. I received a telephone call from an elderly colleague. She asked me to see Ruth as a personal favor, just for a consultation and to refer her on. Her only daughter had been killed in a traffic accident and she was in despair. My colleague was worried about her. Would I see her? I often like to play therapeutic matchmaker. Reluctantly I agreed. I was afraid that I would be dealing with an acutely suicidal patient and thought of Martin Buber’s words, “What do we expect when we are in despair and yet go to someone?” That was the inspiration for the opening active imagination. Buber answers his own question: “Surely a presence by means of which we are told that nevertheless there is meaning.” (Buber 1973, p. 46). What presence could I offer, I wondered.

The woman who arrived was not what I had expected. She was a heavyset woman in her seventies, who sat down tentatively. She began speaking of going to a psychiatrist who after a few sessions declared her a hopeless case. She said she was not suicidal and even had at time a joie de vivre, when she was taking photographs, or looking after her many pets or wounded strays. Until recently, she had volunteered at a local zoo and her dream had been to run a shelter for wounded animals. She spoke openly about the death of her daughter but as often happens in analysis, the actual details emerged only much later. What happened was this: Her daughter travelling on her motorcycle with her fiancé to visit his mother for her birthday. When her scarf blew off, she wheeled back to retrieve it and was killed instantly by an oncoming semi-trailer. The fiancé had emerged unscathed and appeared at her doorstop to tell her the bitter news. “All my life”, she said, “I had been afraid I would lose her. Even when she was small, whenever she would let go of my hand, I was terrified I would never see her again. Now what I had most feared most, has happened.” I experienced Ruth in countertransference like Lot’s wife, psychically frozen in the process of looking back at the trauma. (Abramovitch 2020, pp.119-128).

The sudden death of her daughter, however, was not an isolated tragedy, but only the most recent in a series of awesome losses. Her mother and younger brother died at Auschwitz. Her father survived but cut off all contact after telling her he was not her biological daughter but result of his wife’s adultery. Her older brother was killed in a work-related accident. Her first husband died from a degenerative neurological disorder. Her second husband and father of their daughter divorced her and disappeared. She was a person without living relatives. In Hebrew, there is a special term for such a person, galmud or galmuda in the feminine who is ‘alone and abandoned’. Appropriately, the word is only found in the book of Job 3:7. I often feel that what protects analysts from the psychic infection, or secondary trauma, from the horrifying narratives of our patients is that we have heard worse.  Here was a case of loss, repeat loss, beyond imagination. I felt that I had been chosen to be her therapist and could not refer her to someone else.

The sessions at first did not flow but jerked with a staccato intensity. She spoke, at first, of her teacher, later a famous writer, who received her as a refugee in Israel. He had written a book of memoirs that referred to Ruth solely in a single sentence: ironically riding a motor cycle together. Her pain at being so dismissed, reduced to a half a sentence was the first time she showed any hint of emotion.  Through active imagination, we revisited her homes in Berlin and Prague, her youth, her mother, and then finally she began introducing me to her daughter, whose presence would overwhelm  the space between us.

Nature documentaries and her animals provided warmth and acceptance she did not get from people. Analysis became what she called her “island of sanity” and often her only human contact during the week. We started saying goodbye in French, a la prochaine and I understood that partings were literally and symbolically in a foreign language. Will there be a next time? That was the existential question. Slowly, slowly, a kind of trust was built up, until kairos intervened.

After much deliberation, I decided that I should take a mini-sabbatical of 3 months to begin in a year’s time. I stopped taking new patients. I was working toward ending with others and offered referrals to those still in the midst of their journey. I was trying to do decent thing. I dreaded telling her but knew I had to. When I told her of my plans, she said, straightforwardly, “Do you care about me?” and immediately added: “Then how can you go?” My leaving, I felt would undo all the hard work we had done together, reawakening her profound abandonment anxieties. Indeed, she reacted immediately with the fear that I would never return. I felt as though the vessel of work that had been built up bit by bit was being smashed to pieces.

Daniel Stern who speaks of the “now moments” in analysis tends to discuss positive, life-enhancing moments of courage, when the therapist left the script and ventured into unexplored territory with positive results. But there are deeply destructive, “now moments”; shadow moments when the analyst knows that something deeply unhealing has occurred. At that moment, I felt that I was Kali, the destroyer.

How could I leave for my mini-sabbatical and yet not leave; how could I go without her feeling abandoned once again; or worse that the trust which had been carefully created was a profound trick? I felt helpless. I needed inspiration. Intuition. Then kairos opportunity appeared.

I was discussing my dilemma with my analyst group, Bitter Lemon, so called in honor of the Schweppes drink we traditionally consumed. There, I heard from a fellow analyst, herself a child survivor of the holocaust, how she had dealt with a fragile patient, also a child Holocaust survivor. When this analyst was away, she had allowed patient to continue to visit therapeutic space during her absence. Here, I felt was inspiration. But how could I raise the issue that so fundamentally violated the basic element of the frame. Yet, as if her unconscious had heard my thoughts in a participation mystique, she asked me at the very next session, who will be looking after your plants? Emboldened by what I had heard, I asked if she would like to care for them in my absence. She said “Yes”.

Before I left, I gave her a key to my office on the understanding that she would water the plants and be able to come to my office when she wished. I left. She came, watered the plants and used the space for quiet solitude and mediation in a sanctified space, like sitting in an empty church. When I returned, she expressed gratitude that I had trusted her to come and look after the plants. She said how it had helped her through the painfully long absence. Her ability to keep my plants alive allowed both of us to experience a transformation.

Clearly, I do not advocate giving keys of one’s clinic to one’s patients. For most patients, it would be highly inappropriate if not damaging to the therapeutic process, or worse. Had I heard that a colleague had done, I would seriously question his clinical competence, or even his sanity. But for Ruth, imagination, intuition and inspiration came together to allow a dramatic exception of what I have come to call “temenos regained”.

Working with Ruth also changed how I envision analysis. I used to think that analysis had a goal, such as individuation, somewhere in the future, when the person blossoms into a life of fullness. That is wonderful if it happens. But working with Ruth, I understood that the future was not the goal, but only expanding the present. It also made me understand that sometimes the key moments of analysis are not with the analyst, but when the patient is able to experience the presence of the analyst in his absence. Jung, who showed so much inner fortitude in exploring new pathways in depth, gave me the courage to find this creative solution for an extraordinary situation.

Full and Empty space

Ruth’s reactions pushed me to consider more deeply the influence of the physical space where analysis takes place. I realized that my work was not only influenced by Jung’s ideas but also by how he arranged his therapeutic space. In terms of the philosophy of decorating clinical space, there are two schools of thought: the empty space and the full space. The empty space is derived from a desire for tzimtzum. Tzimtzum is a Kabbalistic idea that God had to reduce himself to allow space for the world to be created. In a similar fashion. the analyst should reduce himself to allow maximum space for the patient’s unconscious projections and fantasies. It strongly recommends a strict minimalism. Nina Coltart, a leading British psychoanalyst (1993, p. 30) wrote: “I think a bare wall allows for freer fantasy in the patient and I would certainly always choose to have white walls as my personal preference.” Pictures, she says can evoke transference reactions or reveal intrusive aspects of the analyst. Minimalism is rationalized by allowing patient full reign for fantasy but may evoke impersonal emotional atmosphere that itself may interfere with therapeutic process. In addition, one must consider how the analyst feels sitting all day in white minimalism.

Although many Freudians adopted the empty school, both Freud and Jung both exemplified the “full” school. Freud’s office and desk was crowded with innumerable statues and artifacts that he loved and discussed with his patients. Jung’s office was full of ethnographic treasures from his many travels as well as the beautiful stained glass windows he had had made in honor of his daughter’s birth.

 My room has a distinctly ethnographic feel. The style of my office is clearly in that “full” tradition. I now want to describe my relationship to a few pictures in my office which help provide a healing backdrop for the performance of analysis in my office/consulting room.

The Altar Piece of my Temenos[7]

My true chosen art in my office is a painting by the great Dutch painter Vermeer, called Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. The painting depicts a young woman dressed in a blue jacket reading the letter. In the lower foreground, there is a long table and some leather backed chairs. In the higher background, there is a large map of some far distant land, set on the white wall. Each object is accompanied by its shadows. The intensity of her feelings is conveyed subtly, indirectly in the timeless tension between the woman, the letter, the map and the chairs. The woman herself may be pregnant, but even this is ambiguous. The spectacular blue is made from lapis lazuli, imported even in the 17th century from Afghanistan, giving the hue an inherently international look. The woman is alone in the privacy of her home and yet very much engaged with an absent other. This painting of a woman, pensive, reading, guards and sanctifies my therapeutic space. She is the altarpiece of my temenos.

Jung believed that the fundamental language of the psyche are images, rather than words. Not only do images precede words developmentally, but images remain a universal language in a way that words can never be. The images from the Vermeer provide the therapeutic space a sense of holiness. For me, this painting gives a symbolic representation of the analytic process. The map on the wall represents the need analysts have for a map, or theory, that helps us trace the therapeutic journey. We need to know where we are, and perhaps where we are heading. The pregnancy represents the part of the person that is coming into life but is as yet unborn, like when I dreamed I was pregnant during my own analysis. The unconscious, so Jung taught, is always sending us messages, if only we can read them with clarity and serenity. The letter is akin to a message from an intimate but faraway presence. The letter the woman is holding is like a dream or symptom, a message from the unconscious, which seems very far away but, of course, is very close to hand. In the blue lady, the painting draws us, not outward, but inward, toward her inner, expecting space. The map, the woman and letter are all placed between two chairs. Vermeer certainly could not have known about psychotherapy or analysis, but in this picture, I believe, he has symbolically depicted much of its essence.

A Japanese print.

There is another image on a different wall; it is a Japanese print. It is a depiction of a large manor house seen from above so that one can simultaneously see inside the inner courtyard as well as its defensive roof exteriors from an “impossible” bird’s eye view. One can see the heart of the courtyard and all the series of roof protectors. It gives of feeling of looking down into.

Jungian psychology takes a peculiar perspective on resistance. On the one hand, it assumes that people do not naturally resist but want to get better. Their symptoms, rather, are failed attempts at self-healing. On the other hand, when resistance does occur in the therapeutic process, interpreting it directly is usually seen as unhelpful. I do not like it when someone tells me I am being defensive, especially if it is true. Rather, the analyst takes resistance as a sign that something is not sufficiently secure and safe in the therapeutic container; or style communication by the analyst are inappropriate e.g. patient perceives me as speaking on judging axis instead of perceiving axis. Resistance is therefore the responsibility of the analyst. A woman, who I will call Lisa, who has started working with me spends most of the session giving a detailed list of everything she had done during the week and any attempt to draw in her feelings, is met with “just let me finish” and by the time she has finished, the time is up.  I wonder why she is so defensive. I feel desperate, useless perhaps a result of participation mystique and projective identification. But I have no space to speak.

Then I see the Japanese print. It reminds me I must see into this person’s hidden, unseen, inner courtyard, behind their defensive walls.

This print gives me inspiration when dealing with a highly defended individual. It reminds me that I must not take a frontal approach, but rather seek a “seemingly impossible” birds’ eye view into to see down into the patient’s inner courtyard, where there is a life so different from the outer face of the personality. This print allows me to imagine. To imagine a realm of innerness where the work must take place. Suddenly, I find myself saying: “It must be hard to be vulnerable.” She starts crying silently, then weeping, then sobbing, and says, “I am so afraid.”  A connection is made. Without the inspiration and intuition from the Japanese, I doubt it would have happened.

Analysis as Performance Art

Jung speaks to me as artist, especially his work as a sculptor. I am fascinated by the fact that he was a spy for OSS, precursor of the CIA and correctly predicted Hitler’s suicide and subsequent collapse of resistance. He was called "Agent 488," and his handler, Allen W. Dulles, later remarked: "Nobody will probably ever know how much Prof. Jung contributed to the allied cause during the war."[8]

My Jung remained creative unto his death, always examining, always wanting to know more and try to understand.

Besides well-known concepts, shadow, anima/animus, and self, I am drawn to some lesser known concepts: recollectivisation; regressive restoration of persona; unconscious as the land of the ancestors. But I am also in admiration of Jung the writer, MDR above all which is his masterpiece. Analysts are extremely reflective. They reflect upon what patients are feeling, their own feelings, the therapeutic interaction and more. But there is one area in which they are surprisingly unreflective and it is in how we write about analysis. If analysis is like poetry, then most writing about analysis is prosaic prose. Occasionally, a master like Irving Yalom’s Love’s Executioner, or Naomi Lloyd’s The Knife and the Butterfly: A Story of Jungian Analysis appear who give a vivid experience near-novel like account but with little connection to theory. However, the point of writing is not to give a faithful account, but to convince the reader about the correctness of the theoretical formulation, a tradition which begins with the work of Freud and Jung. As Kenneth Spence has shown, the goal of clinical writing is to transform clinical failure into narrative success.  Freud himself admitted that he was not a good analyst because he was far too interested in theory. Indeed, the very best analysts are probably people we have never heard of because they were more interested in their patients as people than in writing about them.

But theory is many respects is like the hidden script of analysis – theory, not only describes therapy but also implies how things are supposed to unfold; Even Jung who said we had to invent a new therapy for each patient, spoke of the 4 stages of analysis: [confession, elucidation, education, transformation ]; or compared it to the alchemical process, or even that analysis is a journey of self-exploration.

Written accounts of analysis usually rely on what literary scholars call “naïve realism” in which the author-clinician dominates the therapeutic space. She has total, omniscient understanding and so symbolically dominates the patient in what may be called a “narrative imperialism.” Case studies simplify and make clinical reality far too coherent. From the point of view of performance art, when I read a really convincing clinical article or book, I now become exceedingly suspicious; because such coherence belongs to theory not to lived reality of analysis.

I am also an anthropologist and I like nothing more than going to funerals to understand how different societies deal with death. Anthropologists also used to believe in naïve realism until post modernism hit it like a tsunami. Naïve realism reflects the view that an observer perceives the world directly, as it is, rather like the omniscient narrator in a novel. Specifically, it believes that the observer, whether ethnographer or analyst, is able to give an accurate and true account of events. In contrast, post modernism believes there is no objective reality and claims that knowledge is inevitably a social construction, reflecting power structure of contemporary elites. Instead of seeking an imaginary Truth, one ought to seek out the dissonant voices below the surface. Anthropologists began to question the text of their ethnographies and understood that their task was supremely more complicated than they had ever imagined. Suddenly, ethnographers understood there was no external eye allowing them to describe cultures as it really was. It sensitized anthropologists that there were hidden voices that were not being heard and there was not one authoritative point of view. This led to a fertile and ongoing search for new form of writing ethnography and understand how ethnographer gains his authority; how native informants can be involved in the construction of the text; how one can deal with multiple levels of reality simultaneously etc. This movement was called “Writing Culture.”  I believe we need a similar creative literary revolution, which might be called by analogy, “Writing Analysis.” We need to think more about how we present and represent what really goes on in analysis; search for more poetic and multiple layered texts, to deconstruct our analytical authority – to explore and experiment as in performance art.

Conclusion: Who is my Jung?

Jung is someone who invited me into his house but then inspired me to find my own way. To hear a dream and say “I have no idea what this dream means” and only then begin to work with my patient. Jung does not have to be my hero. I doubt I would like him if we met; but he has shone a light on the psyche and the shadow and the Self and revealed the secrets of active imagination and for that I will be eternally grateful to my Jung.


Abramovitch, Henry. 2014. Brothers and Sisters: Myth and Reality. College Station, Texas: Texas A & M University Press.

Abramovitch, Henry. 2020. Why Did Lot’s Wife Look Back. In Why Odysseus Came Home as a Stranger and Other Puzzling Moments in the Life of Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, Abraham and Other Great Individuals. Asheville, North Carolina: Chiron Publications. pp. 119-128.

Buber, Martin. 1973. Meetings: Autobiographical Fragments. Edited and with an Introduction and Bibliography by Maurice Friedman. LaSalle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company.

Cain, Susan. 2012. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. New York, New York: Crown Publishing.

Coltart, N. 1993. How to Survive as a Psychotherapist, London: Sheldon Press.

Jung, C. G. 1963. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London: Collins.

Jung, C. G. 1973. Letters, (G. Adler, Ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G.  2014. Modern Man in Search of a Soul. London: Routledge.

Schellinski, K. 2019. Individuation for Adult Replacement Children:Ways of Coming into Being, London: Routledge.

Thomas Singer, T. 2012. The Meshugana Complex: Notes from a Big Galoot Galut Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche Vol. 6, No. 1 (Winter 2012), pp. 72-84

Henry Abramovitch is Founding President and Training Analyst, Israel Institute of Jungian Psychology, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University. He is author of Brothers and Sisters: Myth and Reality, Why Odysseus Come Home dressed as a Stranger and other Puzzling Moments in the Life of Great Individuals. With Murray Stein, he is co-author of the play, The Analyst and the Rabbi, available as book and also as DVD from Chiron. He  supervises routers in Eastern Europe. He lives and works in Jerusalem.


Who is my Jung? describes author’s personal journal toward Jung and his individuation as a Jungian. It confronts Jung’s antisemitism but also the need to invent new therapy for each patient. Important role of therapeutic space is stressed and renewed attention to how we write about patients.

Key Words

Jung. Jungian. Antisemitism. Dream. Drama. Therapeutic space. Writing culture.  Case history. Spy.

[1] Special Edition on Who is My Jung? Journal of Analytical Psychology June 2018, v. 63 (3)..

[2] Murray Stein and Henry Abramovitch. 2019. The Analyst and the Rabbi. Ashville, NC: Chiron Publications.

[3] Cited in Aniela Jaffe, 1984. From Jung’s Last Years and Other Essays. Dallas, Texas. pp. 97-98.

[4] C.G. Jung, 1961. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New York: Vintage, p. 295.

[5] C.G. Jung, 2009. The Red Book: Liber Novus. Edited by Sonu Shamdasani. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, p. 296.

[6] Parts of this section are based on my article, Abramovitch, H. 2002. Temenos Regained: Reflections on the Absence of the Analyst. .Journal of Analytical Psychology 47: 583-97..

[7] Based in part on my article, Henry Abramovitch on a Beloved Work of Art: The Altar Piece of My Temenos. Jung Journal Culture and Psyche 9(2):81-83 · May 2015

[8] Deidre Bair, 2004. Jung: A Biography. New York: Little, Brown, p.492.


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