Verena Kast – Keynote

Emotions and Imagination

"The essential basis of our personality is affectivity. Thought and action are, as it were, only symptoms of affectivity." (Jung, 1906, §78).

This statement was the basic result of the research of C.G. Jung and Riklin with the association experiment at the Burghölzli. With this view of C.G. Jung are connected his essential theoretical concepts, such as those of complexes, archetypal narratives, and especially those of imagination and creativity.

Important references to clinical work are also based on this theoretical foundation. A psychology of transformation cannot do without the great importance of emotions. Especially interesting in this context is the reference to the fact that therapist and patient emotionally infect each other. This is the theoretical basis for transference and countertransference - an early hint of CG Jung with a great significance, which stimulates further reflection.

In 1906 this theoretical position of C.G. Jung and also of Eugen Bleuler, that affectivity is the basis of personality, had remained without greater resonance. Today, however, it has great resonance - especially in the context of affective neuroscience. In the context of this newer research, some of C.G. Jung's concepts are also seen in a somewhat expanded way again in their topicality.

Brief biography

Prof. Dr. phil. Verena Kast, psychologist and psychotherapist, was professor of anthropological psychology at the University of Zurich. She is a teaching analyst and supervisor at the C.G. Jung Institute Zurich and was President of the Curatorium of the Institute. She was co-director of the Lindauer Psychotherapiewochen (Psychotherapy weeks), the largest German-speaking continuing education event in psychotherapy.

Numerous publications in the field of fairy tales, symbolism in general, relationship, mourning processes, emotions also in connection with complex theory and imagination.


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