In spite of Jung's undoubted importance in the history of psychology and psychiatry, contemporary students are far more likely to read his works in such other fields as literary criticism, religion, comparative mythology, or art history than in psychology itself. This loss of influence is partly the result of economic pressures on the practice of psychotherapy. Therapists pressured by managed care favor short-term approaches over long-term types of treatment, and those who practice evidence-based medicine have little patience with the lack of scientific confirmation of Jung's theories, not to mention the mystical and mythological elements in his thought. The majority of therapists practicing in the United States and Canada in the early 2000s described themselves as eclectic— that is, they do not follow any one school of thought exclusively—which means that they usually combined dream analysis or other Jungian practices with cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, or similar approaches.
Jung is, however, the intellectual forebear of a grassroots dream work movement in Europe and the United States that encourages people to record and analyze their dreams as a form of self-treatment. Henry Reed, a psychotherapist who worked in Virginia in the 1960s, is usually credited with starting the dream work movement. Other recent leaders include Jeremy Taylor, who conducts therapy groups in which participants share their dreams with one another, and Ann Faraday, an Australian psychologist. The movement has spawned a journal, Dream Network, and an international professional group, the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD). Although some research in dream psychology is being conducted by neurologists and clinical psychologists, popular books and Web sites on dreams and their interpretations indicate that Jung's works are read more often in the new millennium by New Age writers than by mainstream psychologists or psychiatrists.
Was this article helpful?