Encounters of the Psychological Kind: Freud, Jung, and India*

Sudhir Kakar

in Culture and Psyche

Second edition

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780195696684
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080304 | DOI:
Encounters of the Psychological Kind: Freud, Jung, and India*

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Sigmund Freud's thought and psychoanalysis arrived early in India and was received by Indian intellectuals through the efforts of Girindrasekhar Bose, who studied medicine and practised as a physician in Calcutta but was more interested in abnormal psychology. He learned hypnosis and treated patients suffering from mental disorders using a technique similar to Freud's original method. Well into the 1940s, Indian psychoanalysts were concerned with India's cultural phenomena but eventually lost interest in comparative and cultural aspects of mental life. It is not entirely clear why Indian psychoanalysis became divorced from Indian culture and society. Unlike Freud, Carl Jung was deeply and extensively involved with Indian thought. However, his influence has often been overestimated by Indian intellectuals. Most Indians rejected Freud's theories and embraced Jung's psychology.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; psychoanalysis; India; intellectuals; Carl Jung; psychology; Girindrasekhar Bose; culture

Chapter.  5480 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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