Category Archives: Culture

Connecting to the unconscious through film

Star Wars IV vs Star Trek V

Star Wars IV vs Star Trek V – psychological vs visionary sources of mythology

I will be giving an online session for the Kent Psychotherapy Network (KPN), on 29th January 2022, 10:30am to noon GMT. It is open to anyone for £10 (KPN’s fee) and will not be recorded, due to using copyrighted material (under ‘fair use’ rules).

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New book comparing Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian theory

Image of new book cover. Myers Briggs typology vs Jungian individuationI’m pleased to announce that Routledge have started production of my book, which will be released on November 12th, 2018. The book is a re-examination of Psychological Types, in view of Jung’s complaints that most readers misunderstood it. There has been a significant divergence between the central message of Psychological Types and its popular interpretation.

The book is going to be controversial, both for users of Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian theory, though for different reasons. It challenges many of the assumptions that have long been held by users of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and similar instruments. To communicate Jung’s ideas clearly, it simplifies them.

The list price of the book is £26.99 but there is a discount code you can use to reduce the price of advance orders by 20% to £21.59. You can find more details of the book, and how to order your advance copy with the discount, below.

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UK and EU flags with a question mark

EU Referendum: making sense of the hyperbole

One of the biggest disappointments in the UK’s EU referendum is the quality of debate. In normal elections, each party produces detailed manifestos that can be compared.  This poll is the most important for a generation, yet there is nothing equating to a manifesto (on either side).

There is a lot of information being provided to the electorate, but the bulk is hyperbole.  Many people recognise this, with 48% (and 43%) of people thinking the Remain (and Leave) campaigns’ arguments are unrealistic.  The difference in numbers doesn’t matter.  They both point to a lack of realism in the arguments on both sides.  And that assessment is now official, as a parliamentary committee has criticised leaders of Remain and Leave for making exaggerated and unrealistic claims.

These stats perhaps point to another disappointment.  Despite the obvious lack of realism they suggest that many people (52% and 57%) think the arguments are reasonable.  Or perhaps, even worse, they have decided to vote without thinking about the issues.  Given the importance of the debate, not only to the UK but also to the EU and the rest of the world, it deserves better information and deeper consideration.

In this blog, I’ll outline a process to make sense of the hyperbole and arrive at a decision.  At the end, I’ll describe how the process is informing my personal decision.

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The Lost Art of Disagreement


In Jung’s last work on the theory of psychological types, published posthumously, he introduced the topic by writing:

“A sane and normal society is one in which people habitually disagree” (Jung 1964, p. 46).

Jung didn’t say (here) why individual disagreements are important to society, but the reasons are evident from many of his writings from 1914 onwards, when he started formulating his theories about “the process of becoming” (Jung 1914, p. 183).

Constructive disagreement is a vital part of Jung’s process of individual and cultural development and it reduces conflict in societal or international relations. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is a natural corollary of Jung’s theories of individuation and collective compensation. I’ll start by explaining these aspects of Jung’s theories, and then conclude with some practical guidelines on what it means to disagree constructively.

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Normality in Analytical Psychology

This video is an academic, masters-level presentation that I was invited to make at a university conference.  The full paper has been published in the Journal for Behavioural Sciences.   On the page below, I provide a non-academic overview and discuss one of its practical implications.

Jung’s theories are sometimes criticised for being based on his experiences with mentally ill people.  Whilst that is true to some extent, only 1/3rd of his Collected Works are concerned with mental illness.  He was able to spend much of his life studying ‘normal’ applications of psychology, which interested him, because he was financially independent (having married a very rich woman).  And one of the books that Jung published, Psychological Types, became the basis for the most popular personality questionnaire in use today – the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®.

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