Bridging psychological type and depth psychology

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

Next Issue: September

Do parents influence type development?

Both articles in this issue describe how parental roles can affect type development. Typologically, one indicator of a dysfunctional parental complex can be an under-developed auxiliary function, and this suggests that a positive parental complex could foster the development of the auxiliary function. Each article clearly shows the importance of this function to a healthy psyche.

When we look at an individual’s auxiliary function, can we see a connection with the parents? If the child has introverted intuition (Ni) auxiliary, did he learn to trust his internal images of the future? If extraverted feeling (Fe), was the child encouraged to seek temperamental harmony in her environment? If not, why not?

What parental influences on type development have you witnessed? What do you notice in your own typology or that of others in your home? Do you see your parents’ influence in the development of your own type? What do you think helped you develop your auxiliary function?

Header Image: Edvard Munch, “The Lonely Ones” (1899)


    I think my parents fostered my introverted feeling (Fi) auxiliary function, either deliberately or inadvertently. They grew up in poverty and so encouraged a perspective of never judging people by wealth or external appearance. My Fi value for inclusiveness probably grew out of their experiences of ostracism. Far from being suppressed in my family, my auxiliary function eventually became inflated for me when, in adolescence, I politicized my value system and tried to impose it on everyone else. One could say that my parents fostered in me a value for inclusiveness, and I then took it on myself to parent the rest of the world by spreading this value system.

    Not only was this unfair to others, it was completely oxymoronic, since inclusiveness implies acceptance of others with their different value systems. So an inflation in Fi led directly to its opposite. Gradually I had to recognize the logical impossibility of a purist position on the values front; my mental monologue went something like, “We will not tolerate intolerance!” I eventually had to acknowledge defeat of my juvenile mission to inculcate this value system in the world—and to admit that I could not include everyone in my social sphere, nor did I want to.

    – Carol, ENFP

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