see this video for free on youtube at:
A Jungian Analyst Talks about Psychological Types
While many people have become familiar with psychological types as a way of examining the differences between people, Dr. Beebe has been pioneering their use intrapsychically as a way to explore the depths of the psyche.
Trained at the Jung Institute in San Francisco with its strong tradition of interest in typology, in this wonderfully informal interview he gives us an intimate glimpse of what this neglected dimension of typology looks like in practice. He explains how his analysands often come to their own insights into their psychological types, and how he, himself, discovered the importance of dreams through his own depression, and encountered his own anima in the form of a Chinese laundress. And he deals with related questions about types and archetypes, and types and the inferior function.
Hi. Im Jim Arraj, and today we are going to visit John Beebe, a San Francisco Jungian analyst and an expert on Jungs psychological types.
John Beebe: Well, Im John Beebe, and I am a Jungian analyst in practice in San Francisco where I have actually been in the practice of psychotherapy since 1971. In addition to my private practice I do quite a bit of consultation and teaching, much at the Jung Institute in San Francisco where I received my own training as a Jungian analyst. I have been a Jungian analyst since 1978. I am the editor of two journals: the San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, and also the Journal of Analytical Psychology.
I was very fortunate in my training as a Jungian analyst to get a lot of exposure to the theory of psychological types. First of all, the Jung Institute of San Francisco was founded by Joe Wheelwright who, with his wife, Jane Wheelwright, and Horace Gray created the test which is known today as the Gray-Wheelwright Test, which is a rather simpler paper and pencil type test than the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, and was the local product of choice. All of us had exposure to it and usually took the test. Joe Wheelwright, himself, was an absolutely marvelous teacher of psychological types. I still remember a talk he gave in the fall of 1971 about psychological types. It was so splendid. I still remember him. He just created it out of whole cloth. It now exists. One can order it from the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, but I recall him saying wonderful things. My favorite was a little poem that went:
E is for extravert, fairest that lives,
whom the introvert never forgets nor forgives.
There were many, many lovely moments in times when he explained he used to say things like, "Well, now, you all know about getting your feelings hurt, but some of us who are heavy feeling types, we get our thinkings hurt." And he would just teach type in that marvelous, down-home way. He had a wonderful routine about how he was one, like Joe Henderson, who had a Jungian analysis with Jung long before he had any professional sense of direction. They were just duty, pueri aeterni, that had gone to Zurich because the wise old man was there, and were living off either inherited money, or on the bum, with occasional newspaper jobs and the like, and had no real sense of direction, and then they got into their analysis, and then got to saying, "Gee, this is so interesting. Id like to be a Jungian analyst." Jung had to say, "Look, here. If you want to be serious about being a Jungian analyst, you are going to have to go to medical school, and you are going to have to be a doctor, and you are going to have to show some sense of responsibility before people can respect you and trust you with their psyches." So Jung was able to cure both Joe Henderson and Joe Wheelwright of their puer problems by getting them to go to London and train as doctors. So Joe Wheelwright tells very funny stories about his training I guess at Mosley Hospital in London where he walked into a room on rounds, and the Chief Physician said, "What is that patient suffering from, Wheelwright?" And Wheelwright looked right back, and said, "Oh, he has tuberculosis." The doctor was just furious. He said, "Well, as a matter of fact he does have tuberculosis, but did you put on your stethoscope, did you listen to his lungs, did you look at his hands, did you take his pulse, did you look at his skin? No. You just stood across the room and said he has tuberculosis." Joe said that that was how intuition was treated when he was a medical student.
So we just sort of learned this in the most down-home natural way, and so, intuitive type, thinking type, feeling type, sensation type were absolute realities to all of us, and extravert, and introvert, and so forth. And then we had Wayne Detloff who was the man who first did the heretical thing of telling us that there was such a thing as a Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, and he was the one who told me something that I gather still is heretical in some circles, but not in the circles I travel in and create for myself, that if the superior function is extraverted, then the auxiliary function is introverted. If the superior function is introverted, the auxiliary is extraverted. And I know that there are many people who still resist the idea, but I am absolutely enamored of it, and I can usually prove how it is true of them, even against their resistance. But in any case, for what it is worth, it was Wayne Detloff who was the source of that idea and my experience.
Of course there was Jane Wheelwright who was very much an introverted sensation type, very grounded in her own sense of reality, very clear about who she was and what was true, and stayed always with facts in a wonderful kind of way, and then we had Elizabeth Austerman who just turned 80 in the last year or so, and Elizabeth was very strong on types. She was the one who made me realize when I was doing some analytic work with her that if you are a man, and your superior function is, as mine is, extraverted intuitive, the anima has a type, too, and the anima in my case is introverted sensation. I remember when I said to her, "You know, I think my anima in introverted sensation," and I can still remember her saying, "I couldnt agree more." When an analyst says that to you, then you really remember it, so I didnt have to get it out of a book. I had it right from my analyst. We had looked at the anima figure in my dreams, and she was an introverted sensation type, and she had her own reality, and it was the inverse of mine. She was just as polar opposite to me as it was possible to be, or so I thought at that time. Step by step as I learned the ropes about what it was to be a person and a doctor and a Jungian therapist, I had this strong support in talking about this psychologically. I realize how lucky I am because if I had trained almost anywhere else in the world as a Jungian analyst, there wouldnt have been anywhere near this discussion of types, and there certainly wouldnt have been as much authority behind it. You always learn what your teachers think is important to learn, so I had a lot of early grounding in it.
Jim: How many Jungian analysts actually use psychological types?
John Beebe: There have been very few research studies on the use of types by Jungian analysts. The impression I got long ago from both the Plout and the Detloff-Bradway studies was that type was poorly understood and very much underutilized even by trained practicing Jungian analysts.
The question comes up as to whether type ought to be used as the majority of people use it, as you put in the title of one of your books, Jim, A Tool for Understanding Human Differences, as a way to understand interactions between people who are dissimilar, or whether typology can also be used as an intrapsychic tool to explain what are sometimes called internal object relations in depth where different parts of the psyche of a given individual are relating to each other. You know Jungs complex theory has it, that all of us are made up of different individuals, that we are all some kind of multiply personality. What separates us from a diagnosis of a multiple personality from someone who really has a multiple personality is perhaps greater ability to keep the parts together with some kind of glue that gives the personality its integrity. But only that. We are nevertheless, despite the glue, a very obvious mosaic, and if you look closely at someone you can see the various blocks that make up the mosaic work of the psyche, and of course, the typological theory has it that there are 8 basic blocks. We also, by definition, have to have 8 complexes carrying those types, or blocks, or associated with those types or blocks. We have all of us 8 basic intelligences that make up the totality of our potential for conscious functioning. The system of psychological types is simply an archetypal model that organizes those 8 basic units into some kind of structure. Now, there are a lot of arguments about what that basic structure is, but there is no argument that there are these 8 basic intelligences.
Jung said that we need a function to tell us what is, and that is sensation. We need a function to give it a name, and thats thinking. We need a function to tell us what it is worth, and thats feeling, and we need a function to tell us what its possibilities are, where it is headed, and thats intuition. He made it sound very simple. Actually, what is behind that is one of the most amazing intuitions in the history of science, that someone would have intuited that there is this apparently 4-fold cognitive structure. Now those of us who look very closely at type recognize that it is not really 4-fold, it is 8-fold because each of these basic functions, and these functions are, again, sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition, can be used, or as I like to say, deployed in either an extraverted or an introverted way, so that for all practical purposes we have not just sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition, but introverted sensation and extraverted sensation, and introverted thinking and extraverted thinking, and introverted feeling and extraverted feeling, and introverted intuition and extraverted intuition. Now a lot of people say, "Who says? Why couldnt there be 52 functions, and why couldnt you make up another set of pretty names, and so forth?" Well, aside from the fact that Jung says, a lot of us who look very closely at how people sort out their adapting, find that this sorting system that Jung gave us is a remarkably complete description of how people actually go about their functioning. Human consciousness does distribute itself in an individual in typical ways, and that Jung has given us an extremely powerful archetypal model for understanding the distribution of intelligence in the individual. Another way of saying it is the distribution of consciousness, or at least the potential for consciousness in an individual.
Late in life someone asked Jung, "Well, does consciousness help in the process of individuation?" This person was thinking individuation meant some kind of self-actualization, and maybe you could get there without psychotherapy, but it might be so much better to have psychotherapy, so does consciousness help in the process of individuation? And Jungs answer was just sublime. He said, "Consciousness is the human beings individuation." And then in the typical language of Jung he said, "Well, you know if a plant has it in its rhizome to produce a certain flower, and the plant goes on to flower, then you can speak of the flowering of the plant as the individuation of the plant." Then Jung said, "Consciousness is the human beings flower." What I like to say is that if the human being flowers, if the human being gets consciousness, sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition are the petals of that flower. What operated in that 4-fold way was a chance to tap into his unconscious wisdom of the psyche, and I think in that manner via a perception of the unconscious using his introverted intuition through an archetypal 4-fold model, Jung found out more than a human being really has a right to know. He actually cracked a little bit of the code that time, I think, and got hold of the theory of psychological types. Now we know that it is really an 8-fold flower, not a 4-fold flower, and that we really have to think of these 8 functions as 8 quite separate things because sure, there is sensation, but there in introverted sensation and extraverted sensation, and if you hang around the type game long enough, you know that introverted sensation and extraverted sensation are so different that they might as well be called by entirely different names. They both employ sensory faculties, yes, and they both concern themselves with the nature of reality in a strong way, but there the resemblance ends. The introverted sensation type is extremely austere, and the extraverted sensation type is extreme lavish.
Jim: How are types actually used in practice? For example, if someone comes to you in analysis, how does that person become aware of their own type?
John Beebe: Well, there are two schools of thought. There is the way I was raised, and there is the way I raise others. Now I had the kind of analyst at the beginning who didnt throw out terminology and theory, but let me find my own way, and Ill always admire that analyst, though I dont think I am capable of being that open-ended and withholding. I well remember coming in with a depression, and talking about my low energy and my blocked feeling in life, and my analyst saying after only 3 or 4 sessions of just hearing me out in the most gentle way, "Do you ever dream when you are depressed?" I suppose thats no big deal of a question for a Jungian analyst to ask a patient, but it was so remarkable. I mean, it was just the day the light went on for me because his saying, "Do you ever dream when you are depressed?" just lit me up. I just suddenly felt seen. It was as though a light went on in my room, for I had always dreamed, but no one had ever accorded me that kind of value, and particularly practical value. I mean the implication was that the dreams would shed light on the depression, and might have a role in getting me out of it, that my energy was somewhere, that I wasnt just depressed, but that something else was going on. And somehow that was everything I needed. I suddenly realized everything else. I realized that of course my mind was on my dreams. No wonder I couldnt pay attention to things, and no wonder I lost things, and couldnt keep track of everyday things. It just became obvious to me that what I had always been so ashamed of, my inability to keep my eye on the ball, be a good athlete, or keep a neat room, or remember to have change for bus fare when I got on the bus, or whatever it might have been, or learn to drive a car, for goodness sake, I mean all of it, all the things I found so hard to do were the flip side of of course Im dreaming. I couldnt possibly be asked to do that. I am a dreamer. He just sort of made that available to me by asking that question, and so without the names, I knew I was an intuitive type, and I knew I had inferior sensation, and that I was right-side up instead of feeling inferior about my intuition, and even more inferior about my sensation, I mean I felt good about myself for the first time. I think that anyone who has used the type theory to rescue themselves understands this kind of experience. But he didnt do it through names. I suppose that is really the best way to do it. But I am an extraverted therapist, and I am an extraverted intuitive thinking type, and I really get interested in the therapeutic process, and I have to admit I cant stay out of it. So as Im sitting there, relating to the patient, I almost have to say what I see and think. I am a terrible poker player. I cant time interpretations. Sometimes I look at my watch to time interpretations, but it doesnt seem to work for me, and people dont like you to look at your watch. I try so hard to be tactful, but my patients see my face moving around. They want to know what I think, so before I know it I have blurted it all out, and I say, "Well, you know, Carl Jung has a theory about this sort of thing, and based on what you have just told me, all the interest you have been showing ever since you have walked in the room with the feelings of just about everybody else but yourself, I mean, just about every hour is spent telling me about what is happening to one of your friends, or to your college roommate, or how Susies marriage is going, or how that party is going to be handled, I just have to tell you that you concern yourself an awful lot with other peoples feelings, and thats what Jung called an extraverted feeling type, and I just have that feeling that thats you, and I want you to know that thats something you really love to do. Thats how you use your time here, and I havent noticed you bringing up anything about Emanuel Kant in a long time, so I dont think thinking is a strong thing for you, and I dont think you should expect it to be." So Ive just given the ranch away I suppose, but I feel that if I really know something it helps people to know what I think and what I see, and I try to create a spirit of inquiry where each of us can contribute what he thinks he knows, or he or she knows, and it is all open to argument and debate, and we can go back around it. But I have to say that it becomes a kind of language maybe it is because I like to teach I end up teaching a little bit of it and then most of my patients get better at it than I am.
We can talk about all these things indefinitely. There is that moment when a person just knows who they are, or it isnt, and until that moment it all just is tentative talk. But at that moment it is the realist thing in the world, and sometimes it is very humiliating to me because women I have just laid a trip on and told them they were a certain kind of type, the moment when it happens and they know who they are, they just come back and it is as clear as a bell. Theyll tell me who they are. A lot of times introverted intuitives turn out to be introverted feeling types. I remember one man who was so sure he was a thinking type, and this time I unmasked him. I recognized that he had a strong feeling function, and he dreamed he was in his grandmothers house and he was washing a blue wall, and the paint started coming off, and underneath it the wall was red. Well, anyone who knows types knows that blue is the traditional color associated with thinking, and the red with feeling, and so the blue wall was apparently a fašade. The dream helped us. As it turned out, feeling I dont think was his superior function, I think it was his auxiliary function, but it was certainly clear that one of his leading functions was not thinking at all, but feeling. Why his grandmothers house? Well, his grandmother put a high premium on education. She had practically raised him, and he had saved himself by getting a very good education, and everyone had been very proud of his grades in school, so he had been pleasing his grandmother by putting up a kind of thinking fašade, but underneath it was a more basic feeling nature. I have met a number of men who felt overshadowed by their fathers or brothers and felt bad about themselves. I remember one extraverted intuitive man who came from a sensation family, and I thought he was an introverted sensation type because he was engaged in activities, he worked around machines, and he was doing things that involved sensation, except the trouble was he was doing it terribly, and he was often losing his job. I didnt quite catch on for the longest time. He was a bright fellow. I just thought he was unadapted, or primitive, or whatever. Finally it all came out. He was an extraverted intuitive, just like me, and extravert sensation father, and sensation type brother, and I think the whole family had been sensation types in some kind of sensation type business that he was trying to follow, and it was all wrong for him. He was treated sort of like the identified patient, we say, in a family, or the new therapist version of the black sheep in the family, he was sort of the black sheep in his family, and he walked around failing for all the rest of them because for them to get into intuition at all was to be a failure. So we had a lot of work to do, and I still remember our discovery of his type followed a dream in which he had gone somewhere where he had felt at home and could be himself. And right after that dream he told me what his type was, and that I had been wrong to think he was sensation oriented.
Jim: Whats the connection between colors and types?
John Beebe: C.A. Meyers says that the type code is absolute. You can find it in two of Jungs essays. One is a study in the process of individuation, and the other is concerning mandala symbolism, and there somewhere in the text, or in one case even in the footnotes you find this color code, and the color code is red for feeling, blue for thinking, green or brown for sensation, and yellow for intuition. Is this absolute? I rather like it. It does seem to work more of the time than not. I particularly like it when bad colors come up in dreams, for instance, a bad yellow. That always suggests to me that we are dealing with an inferior intuition rather than a superior. I suppose both number and color refer to extremely primal experiences. We all have the experience of numbers of things, we all have the experience of colors, and we are dealing here with extremely archetypal realities. The association of color with psychological type is a very, very puzzling thing. It seems to say that the types are not only particular, but they are extremely peculiar. We have extremely peculiar natures. Obviously a red shirt is not a yellow shirt. The character of the shirt is different, and a red wall is not a blue wall. It seems to me that when we use color symbolism to indicate type, there is an attempt to empathize the style of the consciousness, that the consciousness has a certain style, and has a certain overall impact and effect.
Well, the question comes up about the inferior function, and I always feel that anyone wants to learn Jungian psychology ought to get hold of that book published by Spring Publications called Lectures on Jungs Typology. It is really two lectures on Jungs typology, one by Marie-Louise von Franz called The Inferior Function, and the other by James Hillman called The Feeling Function not really two lectures, two series of lectures. These were originally given as a series of lectures at the Jung Institute in Zurich. The book is in two parts, and von Franz gives us a dazzling discussion of this part of the psyche that Jung called the inferior function. The superior function and the inferior function are two points along a human line, and that human line is the plumb line of the personality which I call the spine. And I like to think of the superior function as the head of the spine, and the inferior function as the tail of the spine. This definition of the spine is a very real thing. When I discovered that I was an intuitive type, I just knew suddenly the man who dreamed when he was depressed had to be some kind of intuitive, and I later realized was an extraverted intuitive, and he also had to be an absent-minded bloke who lost things, and that was my inferior introverted sensation, and I felt my spine in that. Not long after that I dreamt that I was present at the birth of a baby, and I was both the person giving the birth, and I was also the person delivering the baby. If I really knew it, I was also the baby. The baby which was coming out of that healthy sense of spine, was my nature, my psychological type. That sense of self we all have is along that mysterious axis between what we are best at and what we are worst at, which is the spine of our personality, and there is our uprightness, there is our integrity. Another way of saying this metaphorically and analogically is that a personality needs to drop anchor. Some people are pretty clear about what they are best at, but it doesnt ground them enough. What grounds them is that thing they are not so good at, the thing they cant control with the conscious mind, the thing they cant make money at, the thing they cant will, the thing they cant push around, the thing that just is and constantly brings them down to earth.
I was in my glory just a few days ago at the time of the election because I consulted the I Ching last January, January of 1992, and I asked about some presidential possibilities, and based on the answers I got I concluded Clinton could win the election, and that Bush would lose the election. Because I cant contain anything, I let that out at a public lecture in April or so, and then I just lived in dread because if that didnt come through, my name would be mud. It was a very strange political year, there were many vicissitudes, and Clinton finally won. Bush lost. I was the prophet of all time. I was just exactly what I wanted to be the great extraverted intuitive prophet. And I was so filled with my happiness, my glory and all the rest that I forgot to write down the time of two of my patients and managed to ignore the writing on my calendar on the third, so I messed up three appointments in a single week. What a nerd this would-be genius turned out to be. Thats the way of the balancing act that the psyche gives us every single time between my marvelous extraverted intuition in my case, and my absolutely rotted, no good introverted sensation that cant be trusted.
Or one could look at it the other way. One could say that what is rotten is my inflated extraverted intuition, and what is good about me is this humble introverted sensation that makes these mistakes to remind me that I need to pay attention to the here and now, the straight and narrow, and to be humble. Now the humility of that thing that I have had a lifelong inferiority complex about didnt come through to me until I finally had a dream in which the introverted sensation was directly symbolized, and interestingly enough, by a figure of the opposite sex of a lower social class, and another race, but a person of great human value my Chinese laundress at a time when I was taking my clothes to be washed at one of the many Chinese laundries that are available in the city for not much more than it would cost to do it oneself. One can actually leave the laundry and have it all neatly folded and so forth. In the early days as a young doctor in this city I thought it was the height of glory to have this done for me, so I always dropped off my laundry at the launderette. In my dream the Chinese laundress appeared, and she was cleaning up around the bathroom, and then she was by herself in her room, and she was extremely poor. She didnt have anything, and she looked unhappy. The room was kind of stark and empty. And why didnt she have anything? Well, she had a husband who was out spending his money gambling, drinking, maybe doping, out all hours and didnt bring anything home to her.
Well, this was some anima figure. I had expected, reading Jungian psychology, that I was going to get a marvelous movie actress, and someone whose face shone like the sun, or some really extraordinary woman who would tell me poetry or appear in a toga or something, but it was my Chinese laundress. Now, granted I had had some of those women, but they had never had time for me. They were all filled with themselves and narcissistic. They werent doing anything for me. This woman was taking care of me, but no one was taking care of her. Well, what did that mean? It wasnt hard to get her type. This was a woman I identified pretty clearly as an introverted sensation type. She was efficient, good with her hands, good with menial things, didnt concern herself with a lot of intuitive possibilities, didnt have particularly good thinking, or good feeling, but very, very good sensation, worked behind the scenes.
What was my introverted sensation like in those days? Well, I didnt give my body too much. I used to have headaches, I didnt notice what I ate, and I dont think I ate particularly well in those days, didnt get enough sleep. The husband that was off gambling, drinking, doping, spending the money well, I did spend too much money. I have already told you that by saying I would rather than be efficient and buy a washing machine, or do it myself, I was having it done. I wasnt counting the pennies that that added up to quite a few pennies if you really think about it. It seemed logical to me at the time, but it was a very expensive way to take care of laundry. I am happy to say I wasnt a drinker or a doper, but I was all over town chasing possibilities. I was the original person that if I were to read late at night after a day at work that a book had just been released, I had to be at the bookstore to chase down that possibility, or if a new movie was there, I had to go out and see it even if I was tired, and that I would be tired the next day, I just couldnt let a possibility go. Thats a typical extraverted intuitive thing. So according to the unconscious, they were married. The introverted sensation woman and the man running all over town were married, so that is as if to say that the introverted sensation and the extraverted intuition are related to each other, and thats where you get the idea of the spine again. In other words, they are two ends of an axis, they are two parts of a marriage. The point is he wasnt taking care of her. They were going their separate ways, and I began to understand what this dream was saying. So I began to look at this. How was I not taking care of introverted sensation? Well, I started by watching what was happening I was already in practice by now I started looking at what was going on in my practice. Would you know that I didnt even breathe in those days in those analytic hours, or not nearly enough? I would sit while a person told me a dream with bated breath, waiting to hear what the next symbolic image would be, and the one after that, and the one after that. My mind would run off, and I was a good student, and I would listen to these images and take off possibilities for archetypal amplification, or possible meanings in the persons life, and make connections with this and that, and I completely forgot about myself I was so busy chasing down the possibilities in this other persons unconscious life. I would forget that I was there. I would forget to breathe, I would forget that I was uncomfortable. I would sit so hard that I would make one of my feet go to sleep by pressing it so hard against the other just with this intensity of interest in someone else, chasing the possibilities in other peoples psyches. Granted, I learned a lot of psychology that way, but at what cost to myself? So I learned that someone could tell you something, and whether they liked it or not, you could breathe. I could breathe. (breathes deeply) How do I feel right now, let alone how they feel, what they are talking about? Where am I? Am I comfortable? Is there enough ambient air? Is it too hot? Did I breathe? I readjust myself, get into my body. And then I would notice that my body had been miserable the whole time they had been talking. And that was a better clue to what was going on than all the intuitive possibilities and their dream imagery. And then I could dare to say, "You know, I havent been all that comfortable since you started talking. I have been feeling kind of constricted and unhappy. I notice I have a little bit of a headache starting. I wonder if thats important, too?" And the person would burst into tears, and all the affect that had been suppressed behind the dream which was being used as a defensive structure as a way of talking about their problem but not really owning it, talking about it through the dream. The defense would dissolve and the person would come into view. My body had felt, not my good intuitive mind, so I began to learn that therapy is better done often through the inferior function rather than through the superior function. Anyway, what do you think happened in my dream life? She looked better now. She looked happier. Her husband was taking her out for ice cream.
Jim: Can we identify a particular archetype with a particular psychological type function, and if we do, will that change over time?
John Beebe: Well, of course one of the things I pioneered is the idea that all of the psychological types in a given individual are carried by archetypes. Specifically, they are carried by part personalities of the total psyche, and one could actually identify a human personality with each of the eight types that makes up the completeness of ones type profile. I have already said that the superior function has the character of a hero, and I have said that in a man the inferior function has the character of the anima the anima being a figure of the opposite sex. The figure of the opposite sex with a certain strangeness associated to it. When we are talking about archetypes carrying the functions, I pretty much confine myself not to impersonal geometric patterns like mandalas, but to human archetypes. I believe that the archetype carrying the superior function is the hero archetype. Often in a woman, the heroine, often in a man the hero. This was a relatively easy identification to make. When I started with this work, the only identification that had been made with an archetype figure in a type was the inferior function. Jung had said somewhere that the anima carries the inferior function in a man, and that the animus carries the inferior function in a woman. There he pretty much let it rest. I said, "Well, why cant the superior function have an archetype, too?" The more I thought about it, the more I thought that my extraverted intuition was my hero. I has a certain larger than quality and the ability to do unusual things well, and is the part of me that is capable of significant innovation. It is also the part of me that capable of inflation in the sense that being so good, it thinks it is too good. It has a tendency to work alone and to think of itself as the law unto itself, and it loves to not only cope with situations, and solve problems, and pass the kind of hero tests that the hero passes in a fairy tale, but to rise to occasions and to master situations.
Jim: John, tell us about your book.
John Beebe: I should really start with my first book which is a book I finished right after my residency called Psychiatric Treatment: Crisis, Clinic and Consultation. There is a chapter on psychotic states that I wrote, which implicitly shows shadow sides of various psychological types. This was published in 1975 by McGraw Hill.
The next book I did came out just after I became a Jungian analyst. It seemed to be a fate that I would become a psychiatrist and then immediately afterward I would write a book on psychiatric treatment. Here I had to edit a whole book of congress papers for the first congress that I attended after I became a Jungian analyst in 1980. It has this wonderful title, Money, Food, Drink and Fashion and Analytic Training.
Then after 3 years ago in 1989 I got a chance to edit a book of Jungs papers on masculine psychology, and to write a Forward to it. This was a wonderful opportunity. I enjoyed putting it together. I made my own selection. He doesnt have any one paper about masculine psychology the way some of his papers are about feminine psychology. There is no single place where he talks about the animus over the course of a single paper, for example, let alone parts of a mans psyche. So I had to pick and choose, and I made a selection that in one relatively short volume that wouldnt be longer than aspects of the feminine which had already been published. It is very important to keep this equal. Princeton University Press brought this out, and its still doing very well. The cover shows the strange spirit, Mercurius, which is Jungs ultimate image of the masculine, I think.
Then finally, if you have edited enough books and contributed chapters to enough, sooner or later people will say, "John, when will you write a book of your own?" And I always thought my first book would be about types, but I got a chance to give some lectures in Texas in 1991, and I took it, and I gave lectures on the subject that had become rather important to me, the subject of integrity. This book is called Integrity in Depth, and typology figures in it as an aspect of our integrity. I actually record the experience of a woman patient coming to terms with her own spine, but my real goal in this book was to discuss integrity, as nearly as I can tell, for the first time in such an extended presentation as a psychological concept rather than just a moral concept. We have always been taught that integrity is standing up for what you believe, and keeping your agreements, and being principled in your behavior. What I say in this book is that integrity is essentially a willing sensitivity to the needs of the whole, and its not enough just to defend ones particular part, but that one has to take into account the whole. This is a book that gives a sort of an over-arching philosophical statement to what I hope to follow up with a much more practical book on the psychological types, which is sort of integrity in practice. When you take responsibility for the functioning of all of these 8 intelligences within yourself, and admit that they are all part of you rather than splitting them into those that you like, and those that you dont like, and disowning the fact that you are always acting and behaving, and that there is a whole world for which you have to take your rightful share of responsibility. That seems to me really what integrity is.
I am also an editor, as I mentioned in the beginning. I founded this journal, The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, in 1979, and these days we are a very upstanding publication with about 2,000 subscribers internationally, and we come out on time four times a year, and we are just about self-sufficient. This is a journal devoted exclusively to reviews of Jungian books and articles that can be construed as reviews. Some of them are rather long, extensive essays that take off from the review. Sometimes it takes us a long time to get around to reviewing a particular authors works or set of works, but eventually everyone gets covered, and covered in depth. Thats our goal.
I have been asked recently within the last couple of years to be part of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. I am now the American co-editor. There is an English co-editor, also. This comes out 4 times a year. This is the gold standard of Jungian journals, and it is a great honor to be part of it. It gives me a lot to do to edit these journals, but it gives me so much back because it enables me to keep track of whats going on in this ever-changing and busy field. No one can possibly cover the whole of it, but I get an awfully good cross-section between these two journals. I spend an awful lot of time reading manuscripts, going over them, and I sometimes worry that it takes away from my own chance to write and work, but on the other hand, it is a very good discipline, and I dont think I would trade it.
Jim: Thank you, John for being with us.
How to Order
A Complete List of Books, DVDs and CDs