top of page

Of the role of psychology in psychotherapy, Giegerich writes:

We have seen that psychology becomes neurotic by defending itself against its own pathology. It thus tries to avoid having to suffer an initiation and to become conscious of itself. In order to bring an end to neurosis, psychology must ... take it into itself and return it to its origin, the soul. Then the repression is lifted. We can understand why this usually does not happen and why Nietzsche spoke of a tremendous or dreadful self-contemplation. For from the point of view of the habitual ego this task of psychology is nothing less than to saw off the branch one is sitting on, so that one loses one’s firm hold and plunges into the bottomless depth of the “between” space where there are no straight lines and no fixed points. But then the rotatio would begin, psychology would be the soul ‘recollected’ (erinnert); therapy and theory, fantasy and fact, analyst and patient could no longer be neatly kept apart. The realm of mediation would be opened up and the “soul’s child” be born.

I would like to repeat: the place where psychotherapy has to the objective, impersonal and yet also most subjective, third person: psychology. Integrating, developing, compensating, healing, “recollecting” (erinnern, interiorizing), imagining, introspection, initiation, analysis, expanding one’s consciousness and what else psychotherapy aims for are tasks to be accomplished not by the person, but by psychology. Only on this level, on the “higher plane of psychological and philosophical dialectic” (Jung’s Collected Works, Volume 10, par. 333), can psychology become psychological, because it alone opens the third alternative to the deadlock of opposites: the imaginal realm of the soul’s child. Anything truly important cannot happen in us unless it happens in our psychology. For we are in it - even if we think it is in us. Instead of needing psychological methods for obtaining more intensive personal experiences, we might find out that psychology itself can be our richest and most personal experience: the experience of soul-making.

(Wolfgang Giegerich, pp. 66-67, The Neurosis of Psychology, my emphasis)

bottom of page