Anxiety in fairy tales and the anthropological structures of psychoanalytic theories
When comparing different psychoanalytical theories, one is struck by the fact that each of them presents a tendency to reduce the field of mental pathology by privileging one well-defined type of anxiety. I conceived the idea of showing this by using fairy tales in order to illustrate the particular type of anxiety on which a psychoanalytical theory is centred. So I have tried to find, for each theory, the fairy tale that illustrates it especially well.
To the best of my knowledge this approach of fairy tales is entirely new. The existing psychoanalytical interpretations of fairy tales all restrict themselves to one single theoretical approach, which claims to contain the key of fairy tale interpretation. In my approach psychoanalytical theories are not used to interpret the fairy tales; on the contrary, the fairy tale is used to illustrate the type of anxiety that is privileged by the theory. In fact one can find a whole series of fairy tales corresponding to a given type of anxiety, but among these fairy tales one especially well-known fairy tale (sometimes two) will be chosen to illustrate the corresponding theory.
When studying the correspondences between psychoanalytical theories and fairy tales, I was indirectly confronted by another problem. Some fairy tales are – structurally speaking – more related than others. For instance, there is more affinity between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Cat-Skin’ than between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Tom Thumb’. By this study of the correspondences between psychoanalytical theories and fairy tales, I will approach indirectly the question of the way in which the different psychoanalytical theories relate to the register of the imaginary.
The Jungian Accent in Psychoanalysis
Analysis is a personal endeavour to question one’ s own view on life, in most cases motivated by the wish to remedy inner suffering or a difficulty with living.
Analytic work can help a person express and clarify his suffering, be understood in his difficulty existing and solving his inner conflicts. It can also help him to become aware of his desire and to confront it with reality and the desire of others. It can also enable him to be recognized and to recognize himself.
Psychoanalysis has existed for over a hundred years, enriched in time by a series of original contributions which have widened the understanding of inner life, as well as the treatment of its disturbances. Jung was one of the first to contribute to this development, through the specific emphasis he laid on certain aspects of the psyche.