Bridging psychological type and depth psychology

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

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Posts Tagged ‘extraverted intuition (Ne)’

The “Forever 27” Tragedy

The environmental wounds to Cobain’s natural INFP disposition left his ego vulnerable to an anima invasion. It was she who allowed the instinctual power of the unconscious, in both its creative and destructive properties, to flow through the inferior function and overrun his personality, attempting to restore order by instigating archetypal modes of adaptation.

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The English Patient in the Mirror

The more I fell apart inside, the more I needed outside structure and order. One night I dreamed of an interior colorless and noiseless explosion that was followed by a voice that boomed, “You have the courage to let your interior world be chaos; there are no walls where there should be walls. You are a crab, and you need an exoskeleton.”

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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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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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Self-Alienation

The alien invasion can then be viewed as a necessary fragmentation of the psyche, occurring when the ego is too rigidly identified with the dominant function. The crisis brings renewal by breaking apart the ego identity so that the previously unrealized functions can be differentiated and integrated, thereby transforming the conscious attitude.

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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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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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The Greek Hero in Crisis

Like the water that surrounds their country, the Greeks are very fluid and go with the flow. They are passionate and capable. However, their heroic use of extraverted sensing has contributed to the current economic crisis. The Greek hero must ease his extraverted sensing grip and use puer extraverted thinking energy to build analytical and efficient systems.

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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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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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