Bleuler, Jung and the Creation of the Schizophrenias: LECTURE

What is schizophrenia? Where did the term come from, and what does it mean? Working closely with his mentor, the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, Jung entered into extensive dialogues with his patients at the Burgholzli hospital in Zurich, with the goal of conceptualizing these experiences from both a medical and a psychological standpoint. Bleuler and Jung developed the concept of unconscious psychological complexes (the basis of all of Jung’s later work) and the concept of the “schizophrenias” — a number of related conditions that Bleuler proposed to take the place of the medical term dementia praecox. In this lecture and workshop, we will examine the work of Bleuler and Jung in those years as they used their experiences and studies of both patients and themselves to come up with a psychodynamic model of human psychology and a medical concept (schizophrenia) that is still used to this day. How this work fed into Jung’s later theories of archetypes and analytical psychology will also be discussed, as will our current medical understanding of “the schizophrenias” in the 21st Century.
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