In Jungian terminology psychotics such as schizophrenics are suffering from the absolute
dissociation of their psyche.1The ‘Psyche’ in Jungian terms refers to the whole mind, i.e.,
conscious and unconscious.2It is the unconscious complexes that have been triggered and
completely drowned consciousness. In milder neurosis the individual’s conscious mind
fights for the stability of the ego. But in psychosis the ego is obliterated. Theses complexes
are personal and cultural. Nevertheless everyone has the potential for experiencing the
feeling-tone that is associated with them. Hence the potential for experiencing the feeling-
tone is universal. In Jungian-speak it’s archetypal. When we refer to ‘archetypal’ here, we
only mean that the feeling-tone is a universal potential. In our opinion its background
psychological phenomena and not as useful for psychological understanding as classical
Jungians think it is… certainly not in discussion of neurosis and psychosis.
Often neurotics project shadow elements of their psyche onto others and then experience
them back as archetypal complexes. Hence for psychotic schizophrenics the key is to very
slowly learn the mistakes they made as neurotics before they crossed the line into psychosis.
Thus dealing with the paranoid projections is important. Psychological education is crucial.
That means discussing the process that led to them crossing the line from neurotic to
psychotic. The mentally ill patient cannot be cured until they develop psychological
understanding.3 Most importantly they must understand their own mind and especially their
own mistakes. Of secondary importance is a theory of mind in general… so that they can
understand key players in their life. Moreover if the prolonged psychological education
works… it gradually melts away the patient’s complexes until they absolutely vanish. This
would mean that the individual is no longer a dissociable personality. Rather the treatment
will have resulted in a renewed individual who possesses greater understanding of human
beings than he or she did before. The key reason for this would be because (s)he is now more
self-aware and would not project shadow elements onto others. Hence those shadow elements
would no longer be experienced back on him/herself. Thus, using this logic, we can see that
greater psychological health and greater social health are inextricably linked. Jung’s theories
are usually described as entirely psychological. We will allow others to debate how true that
is. But our perspective here, is one that is psychosocial in orientation. This is especially
because not only is it important to understand one’s own mind but also that of other key
players in your life. But even the first point, i.e., understanding one’s own mind, is about
realising what derives from one’s own mind rather than being projected onto others. Hence,
my psychological perspective is one that is about the individual and others in that individuals
circle. It’s psychological and social. The paranoid person is psychologically and socially
Treatment would focus in on curing the problems of dissociation, paranoid projection, and
complexes. The aim of treatment would be to make the individual self-aware. This would
melt the complexes and thus melt the paranoid projection. He or she would then relate better
with others. Thus it is a psychosocial treatment.
1. Jung, C.G., 1939b, par. 516, The Psychogenesis of Schizophrenia. In Collected Works, vol.
3, The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease. Princeton University Press, 1960.
See also p8 of my edited Dissociation Psychology Paper:
2. Von Franz, M.L, in Jung, C, 1964, p385, Man and His Symbols. Dell Publishing.
3. Jung writes… “I have […] made it a rule to give the intelligent person as much
psychological knowledge as he can stand.”
Jung, C.G., 1958, par. 575-76, Schizophrenia. In Collected Works, vol. 3, The Psychogenesis
of Mental Disease. Princeton University Press, 1960.
An Example of a Dissociable Personality
In everyday language we hear people accuse others of being a control freak. Here we define
what is often meant by this negative label as someone who tries to control every little thing
and breaks down (dissociates) when they fail to do so. This occurs over and over again.
The control freaks psychological problems come from within themselves. Anyone who tries
to help by pointing out the psychological problem becomes (in the mind of the control freak)
part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.
The control freak thinks that (s)he would be healthy if it wasn’t for idiot others in their life.
But the control freak is NOT a potentially psychologically healthy person just being made to
look unhealthy by idiot others.
The control freak is a dissociable personality. The control freak unconsciously projects the
image of control freak onto the other and then experiences control freakery boomeranged
back onto them. Such a person is psychologically unaware, devoid of conscious
understanding. Some serious critical reflection is desperately needed. Because when the
control freak experiences the psychological boomerang it will dissociate him or her every-
Jung on Mild Paranoia: Extracted from Jung, 1928, Mental Disease and the Psyche
Par 499: “The simplest form of schizophrenia, of the splitting of the personality, is paranoia,
the classic persecution-mania […] it consists in a simple doubling of the personality, which in
milder cases is still held together by the identity of the two ego’s [The second
personality/second ego is normally unconscious and is created by the first ego consciousness
through repression resulting in the creation of unconscious complexes that threaten to
dissociate the conscious psyche at some point]. The patient strikes us at first as completely
normal; he may hold office, be in a lucrative position, we suspect nothing. We converse
normally with him, and at some point we let fall the word “Freemason.” Suddenly the jovial
face before us changes, a piercing look full of abysmal mistrust and inhuman fanaticism
meets us from his eye. He has become a hunted, dangerous animal, surrounded by invisible
enemies: the other ego has risen to the surface”.
Par 500: “What has happened? Obviously at some time or other the idea of being a
persecuted victim gained the upper hand, became autonomous, and formed a second subject
which at times completely replaces the healthy ego. It is characteristic that neither of the two
subjects can fully experience the other, although the two personalities are not separated by a
belt of unconsciousness as they are in hysterical dissociation of the personality. They know
each other intimately, but they have no valid arguments against one another. The healthy ego
cannot counter the affectivity of the other, for at least half its affectivity has gone over into its
opposite number. It is so-to-speak, paralysed”.
The above two Jung quotes can also be seen on p7 of my edited Dissociation Psychology
Jung on Absolute Paranoia: Extracted from Jung, 1940/1950, Concerning Rebirth
Par 220: In Concerning Rebirth Jung defines paranoia as “identity of the ego-personality
with a complex,” as something similar to an extreme state of possession.”
Jung, C.G., 1928, Mental Disease and the Psyche. In Collected Works, vol. 3, The
Psychogenesis of Mental Disease. Princeton University Press, 1960.
Jung, C.G., 1940/1950, Concerning Rebirth. In Collected Works, vol. 9, Part 1. The
Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Princeton University Press, 1981.