Depth psychology is an all encompassing category that includes Freud’s psychoanalysis, Jung’s analytical psychology, and more recently humanistic-existential, and transpersonal psychology.
William James, MD (1842-1910) was a psychologist and philosopher who was considered to be the, “”Father of American Psychology””. He wrote,The Varieties of Religious Experience, and was an early researcher at Harvard University. He was influential on both Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Carl Jung (1875-1961), whose psychologies of the unconscious emerged at the same time. Although they were both interested in the unconscious, their concepts were quite different from the beginning. While Freud believed it only contained repressed desires and emotions, Jung understood this as the personal unconscious and went further to describe the existence of the collective unconscious that is derived from ancestral memory and refers to the common experience of the human species. It is made up of archetypes and becomes apparent in the mythological images and motifs that can emerge in differing cultures independent of historical tradition or migration. It is the ground source of creativity and renewal. Jung advanced many recognizable concepts such as typology–introversion, extroversion, thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensation, complexes, individuation, the greater Self, synchronicity, and amplification for understanding dreams.
Humanistic psychology with its holistic, phenomenological approach, focusing on the human experience, emerged in the 1920 in response to the development of behaviorism. One of its founders was Carl Rogers who was influenced by Otto Rank. Abraham Maslow developed this further into the study of self-actualization as a basic human desire.
Existential psychology focuses on the philosophical fundamentals of one’s experience of life such as, the inevitability of death, one’s sense of freedom, responsibility, and life’s inherent isolation and meaninglessness. Viktor Frankl and Irvin D. Yalom were proponents of this psychology.
William James, Carl Jung, and Otto Rank were influences on the early development of transpersonal psychology. It was founded in the 1960 by Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof, and Anthony Sutich. It is regarded as the fourth wave of psychology. It is a mix of interest in eastern thought and practices, comparative religions, and the psychedelic experience. Its focus is on the spiritual dimension of psychology and transcendence.
Nancy Swift Furlotti