Bridging psychological type and depth psychology

Editors: Carol Shumate, Mark Hunziker, Jenny Soper, Christopher Ross, Lori Green, and Olivia Ireland (Art Editor)

Next Issue: October

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

Marriage Through Peace and War

Igniting the spark of opposites produced during conflict can provide an opportunity for holding the tensions between the one-sided attitudes. The process requires confronting and embracing the forces of unconscious qualities, along with holding the tension and uniting of opposing forces, in order for the full expression of an individual’s potential to be revealed.

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Typological Refugees

Individuation calls us to fight the dragon head-on. The struggles of relationship—whether with another person or within a culture—are opportunities. We can flee and seek a quick-fix, taking what my husband calls “tequila shot” flights to numb the discomfort until the next situation arises. Or we can remain within the oyster shell and endure the uncomfortable rubbing.

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Finding the Gold in the Iron

A marriage is not only a dynamic story of two but also a mirror of the innermost soul workings of one, a journey of the disparate parts of one’s self seeking integration, finding their way home. If I have learned anything about marriage it is this: the greatest legacy I can offer my outer marriage is soulful, abiding attention to my inner union.

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Death by Thesis

To have to spend a year in one’s inferior function is like a yearlong time-out for a toddler. I got so bored and desperate with my inferior introverted sensing (Si) function, required to gather and document the data, that I spent many hours asleep in the library. I could have asked Dr. Goldsmith for help, or maybe a mercy killing, but I was too proud to admit difficulty.

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Arriving at the Eternal Now

The film is arguably an example of INFJ art itself, providing a window into the awakening INFJ nature essential to the culture’s efforts to address power imbalances and welcome a new consciousness toward that which is deemed “other.” This paradigm shift ultimately requires humans to become active participants in an awakening consciousness.

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Embracing Si and Fi

The feeling function has its roots with the archetypal mother. My actual mother had limited tolerance for negative emotions from me. Her outbursts frightened me, and my own feelings terrified me even more. Hillman wrote that the mother-complex, “is the permanent trap of one’s reactions and values from earliest infancy, the box and walls in every situation whichever way one turns.”

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Hermes and Apollo

The mythic relationship between Apollo and Hermes personifies a working relationship between two entirely different styles of being the world. Apollo, lord of reason, light, and order, appears fascinated by Hermes—a figure associated with trickery, liminal spaces, and movement. Despite the two gods’ intrinsic tensions, they build a lasting relationship.

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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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