Analytical Psychology

   Analytical psychology differs from experimental psychology in that it does not attempt to isolate individual functions (sense functions, emotional phenomena, thought-processes, etc.) and then subject them to experimental conditions for purposes of investigation.  It is far more concerned with the total manifestation of the psyche as a natural phenomenon – a highly complex structure, therefore, even though critical examination may be able to divide it up into simpler component complexes.  TDoP 92

   The difference between this and all earlier psychologies is that analytical psychology does not hesitate to tackle even the most difficult and complicated processes.  Another difference lies in our method of procedure.  We have no laboratory equipped with elaborate apparatus.  Our laboratory is the world.  Our tests are concerned with the actual, day-to-day happenings of human life, and the test-subjects are our patients, relatives, friends, and last but not least, ourselves.  Fate itself plays the role of experimenter.  There are no needle-pricks, artificial shocks, surprise-lights, and all the paraphernalia of laboratory experiment; it is the hopes and fears, the pains and joys, the mistakes and achievements of real life that provide us with our material. 

  Our aim is the best possible understanding of life as we find it in the human soul.  What we learn through understanding will not, I sincerely hope, petrify into intellectual theory, but will become an instrument which, through practical application, will improve in quality until it can serve its purpose as perfectly as possible.  Its main purpose is the better adaptation of human behavior, and adaptation in two directions (illness is faulty adaptation).  The human being must be adapted on two fronts, firstly to external life- profession, family, society – and secondly to the vital demands of his own nature.  Neglect of the one or the other imperative leads to illness.  Although it is true that anyone whose unadaptedness reaches a certain point will eventually fall ill, and will therefore also be a failure in life, yet not everybody is ill merely because he does not know how to use his external adaptedness for the good of his most personal and intimate life and how to bring it to the right pitch of development.  Some people become neurotic for external reasons, others for internal ones.  It can easily be imagined how many different psychological formulations there must be in order to do justice to such diametrically opposite types.  Our psychology inquires into the reasons for the pathogenic failure to adapt, following the slippery trail of neurotic thinking and feeling until it finds the way back to life.  Our psychology is therefore an eminently practical science.  It does not investigate for investigation’s sake, but for the immediate purpose of giving help.  We could even say that learning is its by-product, but not its principal aim, which is again a great difference from what one understands by “academic” science.  TDoP 93.