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Miller J.C. The Transcendent Function- Jung’s Model of Psychological Growth

Miller J.C. The Transcendent Function- Jung’s Model of Psychological Growth

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A variety of works address the manifestation or effective use of the transcen-
dent function in clinical work. Some are focused on the use of various expres-
sive techniques to access unconscious material. Barz (1992) and Strahan (1992),
for example, write about the appearance of the transcendent function through
the use of psychodrama. Byington (1992) shows how the transcendent func-
tion is at work bringing unconscious material to consciousness through the
clinical use of marionettes with patients. Rosati (1992) makes the important
connection between art in therapy and symbolism and, thus, between art and
the transcendent function. Kiepenheuer (1992) writes about the use of sand
play to evoke the transcendent function. Other writers have focused on the
transcendent function in conjunction with the treatment of specific disorders.
Affeld-Niemeyer (1992), for example, writes about the use of the transcen-
dent function in treating victims of incest. Ledermann (1992) explores the
transcendent function in the treatment of narcissistic disorders. Bovensiepen
(1992) and Kiepenheuer (1992) both write about the use of the transcendent
function to access somatized unconscious material.
Several writers have focused on the importance of the transcendent func-
tion in working with particular populations or modalities. Schellenbaum (1992)
offers his thoughts about the particular application and use of the transcen-
dent function in working with groups and couples. Ryce-Menuhin (1992)
and Rosetti-Gsell (1992) both write about the significance of the transcen-
dent function in play therapy with children, the former focusing on sand play
and the latter on child analysis. Urban (1992) documents her experience with
assisting a deaf girl to develop language skills through the use of the tran-
scendent function. Ulanov (1992) gives a clinical presentation about how she
used the transcendent function to help a patient break through his profound
obsession with perversion. Roloff (1992) offers reflections about the significance
of the transcendent function in the analysis of a child, a transsexual, and

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sexually regressed adult. N. Moore (1975) discusses the way the transcendent
function operates in patients with egos that are not fully formed or that are
impaired by some disorder and offers a developmental model of the transcen-
dent function in various stages of ego formation.
Finally, Charlton (1986) offers a historical and clinical comparison be-
tween the transcendent function and free association. He argues that Jung’s
rejection of the Freudian technique was based on Jung’s limited, personal, and
negative experiences with it before it was fully developed as an analytic method.
Further, he argues that free association is not a “totally reductive experience”
(p. 166), as Jung alleged, but rather involves the “continual formation of new
experience...looking at what is alive within the psyche at the present mo-
ment” (pp. 166–67). Moreover, Charlton argues, “when used correctly, free
association is an avenue which leads towards the production of that ‘tension
of opposites’ which Jung felt to be the central aspect of the transcendent
function, of individuation, and of analysis” (p. 166).

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