Marriage and private life

In 1903, Jung married Emma Rauschenbach. The marriage produced five children—four daughters and one son—but it did not satisfy all of Jung's emotional needs. Even though Jung credited his wife and children with keeping him sane during his psychological crisis in 1913-14, he had a succession of lovers. The first was a Russian patient of his named Sabina Spielrein, who had come to Switzerland to attend medical school and had had a nervous breakdown. The affair began in 1904, when Spielrein was living temporarily in Jung's house. Spielrein later became a psychoanalyst herself. After Spielrein moved to Vienna in 1911 to study with Freud, Jung became involved with Antonia (Toni) Wolff, another patient who became a professional colleague. Jung maintained a triangular relationship with his wife and Toni until the latter died of a heart attack in 1953. Jung's wife, who also became an analyst, died two years later, in 1955. In addition to Sabina Spielrein and Toni Wolff, Jung had an affair with Christiana Morgan, an American patient of his who later returned to Boston and, with Henry Murray, developed the thematic apperception test (TAT).

Jung worked at the Burgholzli for nine years, until 1909. In 1905 he was appointed to a lectureship in psychiatry at the University of Zurich, which he held until 1913. His clinical experience in the treatment of schizophrenics influenced his later thought in several important respects. First of all, he continued to study mythology and comparative religion, and he noticed that the fantasies and delusions reported by his patients often contained themes or images found in ancient myths or religious writings. Since his patients could hardly have read these books, Jung began to consider the possibility that all human minds contain a layer that represents a general unconscious, distinct from the individual's personal unconscious. Jung later called this psychic layer the "collective unconscious," which he defined as containing "the whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual."

Secondly, Jung's work with schizophrenics stimulated his interest in dream interpretation as an approach to psychotherapy. He recognized that his patients' waking fantasies had a dreamlike quality, and he concluded that the dreams of less disturbed individuals might still reveal important aspects of their personalities or their current life situations. One example that he gave in a later essay called "Dream-Analysis in Its Practical Application" came from his treatment of a patient who dreamed of climbing a mountain but had to stop short of the summit due to altitude sickness. Jung interpreted the dream as a symbolic picture of the man's career dilemma. The patient had risen to a position of relative success from very humble origins, but wanted to advance even higher even though he lacked the necessary talents to get to the very top in his field. Jung viewed the altitude sickness in the dream as a warning to the patient to stop his striving and learn to be content with what he had already attained.

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Anxiety and Depression 101

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