How Carl Jung Inspired the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous


Struggling with addiction is a terrifying, isolating experience. But there’s hope: you’re not alone, and help is available. That’s all thanks to one man who was inspired by the life of Carl Jung.

Carl Jung was a pioneering figure in the field of analytical psychology. He founded his own school of thought, which focuses on dreams and other parts of our subconscious minds as a way to understand ourselves better. Though he died over half a century ago, his work continues to influence people around the world today. As it turns out, he even influenced the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). While AA is best known for its 12-step program, many people don’t realize that these steps are rooted in Jung’s ideas about the importance of the human collective unconscious. In this article, we’ll take a look at how Carl Jung came up with these ideas and what role they played in his life and career—including how they helped lead to some of his less well-known work on addiction.

Early life

Carl Jung was born in Switzerland in 1875. He was a Swiss psychiatrist and student of Sigmund Freud. He is widely considered to be one of the most significant psychologists of the 20th century and was a prolific writer on psychotherapy, analytical psychology, and religion, who remained influential until his death in 1961.

Jung’s theories cover all aspects of human life, including our hopes for the future; how we act at work or school; how we interact with others; how we deal with sadness or loss; who we think God is; what happens after death—even why some people are left-handed!

Forming Alcoholics Anonymous

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who was interested in the human mind. He believed that people’s personalities were formed by their experiences in life, and he believed that there was much more to life than just the conscious mind. Jung also believed in the existence of archetypes, or universal symbols—and he believed these were part of our collective unconscious.

Jung believed that alcoholics suffered from an imbalance between their conscious and unconscious minds, which led them to make irrational decisions without fully realizing it. The idea is similar to Freud’s theory of repression: Alcoholics repress their true desires but still have access to them through dreams and other unconscious means (which can lead them back into alcoholism).

Through therapy sessions with patients at his clinic in Switzerland, Jung tried various treatments designed to help patients become aware of their repressed thoughts so they could begin living more aligned with reality and less toward fantasies they created themselves; however, none seemed successful until he met Bill Wilson in 1934 during one-on-one sessions where he counseled Wilson about his drinking problem–a problem that would have been fatal if left unchecked–and encouraged him not only stay sober but also help others overcome theirs as well!

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is available.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. “Alcoholics Anonymous” has been around since 1935 and is a widely-used resource. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups can be a great resource for people who want to stop drinking. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) offers several programs specifically designed for those suffering from substance abuse disorders—including one that’s specifically tailored toward teens and another aimed at women. Other resources include the AA Meeting locator, which allows users to search for facilities by state. This tool can be found online at


Our goal here has been to give you a brief look at the life of Carl Jung and his influence on the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s important to remember that AA would not have formed without Jung’s work, and his ideas about mental health have had an enormous impact on our society. The 12-step philosophy is now incorporated into many other programs dedicated to helping people with addiction. If you or a loved one needs help, we encourage you to seek assistance from a program like AA. There’s no shame in asking for help—just as there shouldn’t be any shame in seeking treatment for an illness like cancer or diabetes. Head on to our website now to find the nearest AA meeting within your area.

Published On: September 12, 2022
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