Bridging psychological type and depth psychology

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

Next Issue: May

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

When the Music Plays the Band

The dynamics of creative process and psychological wellbeing are such that creative artists are often overcome by the demonic. From Nietzsche’s Zarathustra to Curt Cobain’s Nirvana, there is an artistic star swallowed by the unconscious every week. But the arts can also be a type of savior—a place for us to process our darkness and not become it.

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Out of Our Depth: Editors’ Corner

She could not compete with me in the extraverted thinking mode that I (and our culture) insisted upon, so my well-meant out-reaching felt like attacks to her, and my peace offering of objective discussion was like a Viking’s looming battle-axe. Rather than take part in a Te confrontation that she couldn’t win, she had changed the rules, initiating an introverted feeling battle of attrition.

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Unraveling Tragedy

My sister’s life illustrates the impact of a lack of positive parental guidance on the development of personality and what happens if the inner parent fails to develop. Family tragedy deprived Christin of a compass with which to navigate psychic turbulence during midlife. While few people succumb to such crises, many lack the tenacity to face them.

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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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