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Jung Personality Types Essay

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Describe and evaluate Carl Jung’s theory concerning personality types and show how they might usefully help a therapist to determine therapeutic goals.

It can be said that as human organisms we are all unique, with our own individual personalities. However, throughout the development of psychology, eminent theorists have paid great attention to attempting to classify and define individuals through the identification of specific, and often arguably quantifiable, types of personality. Jung was a key commentator in this field, thus it is necessary to consider his theories in this area in order to determine their usefulness to the therapist in defining their therapeutic goals.

Carl Jung was born in Switzerland in 1875, and educated largely in Basel. Jung was a psychologist and psychiatrist, and the credited with being the founder of analytical psychology. His work and influence covers a number of different areas, and he is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers to have theorised about life and how people relate to it.

In order to consider the concept in question; Jung’s theories concerning personality types, it is first useful to gain a clear understanding of what is meant by the term personality. The Collins English Dictionary (2009) defines personality as being ‘the sum total of all the behavioural and mental characteristics by means of which an individual is recognized as being unique’. Jung himself was unable to produce such a concise definition, but believed that personality or 'psyche', as he called it, consists of a number of differentiated but interacting systems.

Jung (1990, p.531) stated that ‘from earliest times, attempts have been made to classify individuals according to types, and so bring order to the chaos’, and it is through examining these early attempts to define personality types, that we can see and understand the emergence of Jung’s own theories.
Early civilizations, notably the ancient Greeks, were guided...

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