Carl Jung and Alcoholics Anonymous
The Twelve Steps as a Spiritual Journey of Individuation
The author visited the archives of the headquarters of A.A. in New York, and discovered new communications between Carl Jung and Bill Wilson. For the first time this correspondence shows Jung's respect for A.A. and in turn, its influence on him. In particular, this research shows how Bill Wilson was encouraged by Jung's writings to promote the spiritual aspect of recovery as opposed to the conventional medical model which has failed so abysmally. The book overturns the long-held belief that Jung distrusted groups. Indeed, influenced by A.A.'s success, Jung gave "complete and detailed instructions" on how the A.A. group format could be developed further and used by "general neurotics". Wilson was an advocate of treating some alcoholics with LSD in order to deflate the ego and induce a spiritual experience. The author explains how alcoholism can be diagnosed and understood by professionals and the lay person; by examining the detailed case histories of Jung, the author gives graphic examples of its psychological and behavioural manifestations.