Isabelle Meier

Feeling-toned Complexes from a Developmental and Neurobiological Perspective

The aim of this presentation is to focus on emotion in complexes, and to examine feeling-toned complexes from a developmental and neurobiological perspective, integrating new findings. From this perspective feeling-toned complexes emerge when basic needs are not met. The question arises, what are basic needs? Empirical developmental research are stating that there are four basis needs as attachment, autonomy, and self-worth, and play, creativity. My proposition is to deal with this conceptual view from a Jungian perspective insofar as adding a fifth: the basic need for meaning. When these five basic needs are not met, the topic of feeling-toned complexes may emerge, what will be described in depth in the lecture. The foundation of the feeling-toned complexes on unmet basic needs lends itself to including a further reference, namely Jaak Panksepp’s neuroscientific findings. Panksepp formulates seven basic affective systems which I discuss first, then I focus on what could be gained from the basic needs concept and finally I turn to the feeling-complex in an attempt to integrate neuroscientific findings into complex theory. The speech could be held either in German or in English.


She is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute Zürich (1996), and maintains a private practice in Zürich. She has further trained as a Guided Affective Imagery (GAI) therapist. She received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Zurich, as well as her degree in history and philosophy. She is a training analyst and supervisor of C.G. Jung institute, Zurich. She served as Vice-president of SGAP 1998-2004, and is an accredited member of the Jung institute Zurich. She is on the editorial board of the German journal “Analytische Psychologie”, and on the infap3 board (intern. network in research in Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

Recent Publications

  • Meier, I. (2022). Jung and the Jungians. The Jungian Perspective. In Underlying Assumptions in Psychoanalytic Schools: A Comparative Perspective, ed. by B. Huppertz. Hove: Routledge, in press;
  • Meier I. & Roth, G. (2022). Depression. Verstehen und Behandeln aus Sicht der Analytischen Psychologie. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer;
  • Meier, I. (2018). Komplexe and Dissoziationen. Weiterentwicklung von Theorie und Praxis der Analytisches Psychologie, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer


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