Bridging psychological type and depth psychology

Editors: Carol Shumate, Mark Hunziker, and Jenny Soper

Next Issue: November

Archive for the ‘Personal Development, Health, and Spirituality’ Category

Dancing with the Shadow in Black Swan

The black swan represents those aspects of the inferior function that evoke surprise, spontaneity, and freedom from control and rigidity. It is here where the interpretation of the black swan requires an open mind, not to play the role merely, but to embody what seems foreign and necessary to us from a more authentic and personal place.

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Cultural Attitudes

Individuation is attractive as a therapeutic goal, but adaptation, even to a self that analytic work has brought into focus, can continue to be a challenge. I have come to feel that one of my jobs as a therapist is to help the person working with me develop an attitude that can negotiate culture comfortably— one adequate to bridge the gulf between irreducibly individual self and continuously demanding world.

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Conversations with Satan

What is evil? We know it when we see it. Evil is subjective; it often depends on our point of view. For example, when the two women asked if they could tell me what I did wrong, I had a choice; I could either see their offer as helpful or “evil” in the sense that they were out to destroy my work. Can we utilize the power of psychological type to better understand what evil is?

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Resurrecting the Feeling Function

My Feeling is definitely not a matter of determining whether simply I like or dislike something, as Hillman suggested an undifferentiated Feeling function might do. For example, I feel a hundred different aspects of a rose—smell, vibration, gentleness, tone, harmony, etc.—and all of these come into play when I evaluate its suitability for a certain spot in the garden.

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Unconscious Insights to the Rescue*

I allowed myself to take a little vacation from my single-mindedness and felt a shift in attitude and awareness almost immediately. My linear, tunnel-vision mindset relaxed, and I began to notice and embrace information, insights, and opportunities that came along unexpectedly and felt important despite having no logical connection with the task at hand.

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The Ugly Duckling

The image of the ugly duckling growing into a beautiful swan is a powerful and transformative symbol of hope and fulfillment for INFJs. As a metaphor for differentiation and the individuation process, the Ugly Duckling tale illuminates the struggle to separate from the demands of others in order to recognize the value and beauty of one’s essential self.

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Heaven, Earth, and Underworld

Within the function-attitude preference hierarchy for each type, there are three natural groupings which seem to reflect a “Me, Spirit, and Other” delineation and describe our areas of “strength, vulnerability and creativity, and defense,” respectively. Is it more than a coincidence that this configuration has parallels in most traditional world views, as “Earth, Heaven, and Underworld?”

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Defusing Cultural Polarization

People of different types are prone to think about religion and spirituality in different ways. While type obviously does not determine a person’s religious beliefs, type is a lens through which one views the world of religion and spirituality, and as a result, contentious religious differences are often, in part, typological differences in disguise.

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Seeing One’s Self

Just as Hiccup’s superior function, his Hero, has been wounded by his culture and his father, this dragon is wounded as well, a figure we will come to see as Hiccup’s inner truth. This is the story of an individual recognizing the wounding that has occurred, and claiming back his authentic power by developing his Heroic function.

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Nietzsche on “Self-Overcoming”

Rather than truly being able to move down to embrace the inferior function, to achieve “integrity in depth,” Nietzsche tries to “overcome” the problem of the personality. His fantastic intuitions are not wholly thought through, and so he is not able to deal with the real task of individuation, which asks us to ground consciousness in the reality of body and mind.

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Death and Dying in Taiwan

Facing death is an event that challenges how the various functions in the psyche work together in everyone—cooperating, compensating, decompensating, or even in integrating with each other. Since most people in their conscious lives are more familiar with the adaptations of life, not of death, facing death often forces us to face our inferior function.

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What Type Is Your Pet?

I see very clear portrayals of the function-attitudes in my canine friends. They often manifest in such simple and “pure” form that I feel I’ve been given a glimpse of how our human typologies may have evolved, and at what the function-attitudes “look like” without the complex dynamics and conscious obfuscation of human personalities.

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