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Recently I read Jung's Psychological Types out of self-questioning. I would like to analyze myself in such a fashion more "professionally", however I do not profess to be able to do that myself, having no prior education and training in psychology. I have already done the MBTI test, but after reading Jung's book, I realize that the test is not exhaustive.

My question is - which types of therapists or specialists normally perform these analyses? Do some psychologists base their analysis on Jung's theory? Is it possible to ask "just" for a personality analysis based on Jung's Psychological Types? Or is this theory just an auxiliary method, and does not play as an approach per se?

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  • $\begingroup$ We try to discourage "self-help" questions on the site and this was right on the borderline as originally asked. I removed those aspects so it can be answered more generally. I'm not affiliated with them, and I don't necessarily think this is the best approach to find someone, but Psychology Today has lists of therapists that self-identify their treatment philosophies therapists.psychologytoday.com, and there is a "Jungian" category. I'm not entirely sure what that entails these days, but you could certainly message or call a few of them. $\endgroup$ – Chuck Sherrington Sep 10 '14 at 23:01
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If you are simply interested in how your personality would be construed within this specific psychoanalytic framework out of pure curiosity, I'm sure one of those Jungian psychanalists Chuck Sherrington mentioned would be tell you something about it (they get paid for it, after all). However, I think they would use the MBTI - that seems to be the only real implementation of a test of Jung's psychologcal types. Furthermore, I feel compelled to caution against personality type tests such as the MBTI from a scientific point of view, because they seem to have little to no empirical basis [1]. There are better personality tests out there. In fact, I would caution against psychoanalytic approaches in general, because they are hardly scientific. [2] So, in my personal opinion, if you are just curious, go for it. If, however, your purpose is anything more than entertainment, steer clear.

[1] Pittenger, David J. "Measuring the MBTI… and coming up short." Journal of Career Planning and Employment 54.1 (1993): 48-52.

[2] de Maat, Saskia, et al. "The current state of the empirical evidence for psychoanalysis: a meta-analytic approach." Harvard review of psychiatry 21.3 (2013): 107-137.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like your answer and I too share your caution against psychoanalytic approaches. However, I have to admit that a fair amount of evidence is starting to gather in support of the efficacy of psychoanalytic psychotherapy rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/… But even if therapy is effective, I remain sceptical as to how that can support any vague notions about the mind that psychoanalysts have ever introduced. $\endgroup$ – Lazaros Mitskopoulos Oct 11 '14 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ Giving someone sugar pills against certain kinds of illnesses can be provably beneficial too, and they're not advocated by serious scientists/doctors! =) Generally speaking, if a psychoanalytic therapeutic approach is provably beneficial, but the concepts of the field have no evidence, it leads me to think that the efficacy of the therapy is causally unrelated to the theory it is derived from... $\endgroup$ – user6682 Oct 12 '14 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, I don't think we should stubbornly villify all psychoanalytic research. In fact, a significant number of serious neuroscientists (including leading researchers such as Eric Kandel, Jaak Panksepp, Mark Solms, etc.) are now attempting to ground viable aspects of psychoanalysis in neuroscience: neuropsa.org.uk. $\endgroup$ – user6682 Oct 12 '14 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it might be that it is just the talking therapy of that kind that is beneficial without the need of a psychoanalytical theoretical grounding. I am just saying that if psychoanalytic therapy is shown to be equivalent or better than other forms of therapy, then there would be no harm in applying it. In that case we could even overlook the fact that psychodynamic theories are for the most part nonsensical $\endgroup$ – Lazaros Mitskopoulos Oct 12 '14 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I know about the so-called neuropsychoanalysis. However I have yet to see how one could link psychoanalytic concepts to a certain neural substrate, mostly because of their obscurity and the multiple even more obscure definitions among psychoanalysts. Also, that tendency seems to be only among neuroscientists, while true psychoanalysts usually refer to neuroscience only when it seems to confirm their views. $\endgroup$ – Lazaros Mitskopoulos Oct 12 '14 at 14:00

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