The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases

walking down a road

As far as possible, I let pure experience decide the therapeutic aims

The human psyche is highly equivocal. In every single case we must consider the question whether an attitude or a so-called hiatus exists in its own right, or is perhaps only a compensation for the opposite. I must confess that I have so often been mistaken in this matter, that in any concrete case I am at pains to avoid all theoretical presuppositions as to the structure of the neurosis and as to what the patient can and ought to do. As far as possible, I let pure experience decide the therapeutic aims. This may perhaps seem strange, because it is usually assumed that the therapist should have an aim, but it seems to me that in psychotherapy especially it is advisable for the physician not to have too fixed a goal. He can scarcely know what is wanted better than do nature and the will-to-live of the sick person. The great decisions of human life have as a rule far more to do with the instincts and other mysterious unconscious factors than with conscious will and well-meaning reasonableness. The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries his own life-form –an indeterminable form which cannot be superseded by any other.

from Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1933, Aims of Psychotherapy
by Carl Jung (1875 -1961)

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