archetypes in psychology

What are archetypes: just about complex

Many concepts of psychology that psychologists use can be incomprehensible. Let's stop now on understanding such a phenomenon as archetypes.

Psychotherapists and psychologists often integrate techniques and knowledge from different approaches into their practice, and the approaches themselves are a synthesis of different directions. In dealing with the topic of relationships, I often have to resort to psychoanalytic concepts to analyze your situations.

I want to offer you a small piece of one of the most "delicious" theories - the concept of Carl Gustave Jung and his archetypes. This is an important part of our personality, based on which we choose our circle of friends and even partners in life. Perhaps this article will help you understand something about your relationship and about yourself. And if you want to work them out deeper - you are welcome to consult.

As theater begins with a hanger, so does personality theory from the structure of this very personality. Psychoanalytic theories are valuable primarily because they were the first to consider a person as the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious. This credit goes to Sigmund Freud. His student, and soon the founder of a separate school of psychotherapy - Carl Gustave Jung - made a discovery that expanded his view of the psyche. But first things first.

Jung's personality structure

personality structure according to Jung

Let's look at the image on the right, so Jung saw our mental structure. It’s not easy to understand, is it? 🙂 Do not be afraid, now we will figure it out and understand everything. 

The core, which is located in the very center, is called "I"... in fact "I" is consciousness. Here are all the feelings, thoughts and memories that we are aware of. 

Further, we see a structure adjacent to the "I" called A person... In the Person there are insufficiently important experiences to leave an imprint in our consciousness (in the "I"). For various reasons, they have been supplanted, forgotten, or simply ignored. However, all these repressed experiences can be retrieved. There is a constant relationship between the “I” and the Person. The persona also defines what is commonly called a social image or image.

Тень - this is the third layer of the "pie". The unconscious part of the personality begins with it. This includes those experiences and experiences that have been repressed. But if in the Person the repression is associated with the insignificance of the experience, then in the Shadow it is repressed because it contradicts our deep attitudes and ideals. Everything that contradicts the Person and is intolerable for "I" falls into the Shadow. Above all, the Shadow is personal unconscious, which contains the so-called. complexes.

Complexes Are emotionally charged experiences that can influence our behavior and, of course, are not realized. Anima and Animus... These two structures deserve special attention. Anima and Animus are collective unconscious, these are the very archetypes. We owe this knowledge to Karl Jung. This structure includes ideal ideas about men and women. We inherited them from our ancestors through folklore. In particular, fairy tales, legends, mythology and stories of relatives. 

So in Jung’s view, our whole psyche... All parts are interconnected and with a step-by-step, very accurate work of the psychotherapist, you can work out each of the substructures step by step. This is what qualitatively changes the lives of clients in therapy.

And now about the Archetypes

In working with relationships, it is very important to understand where the need, feeling, thoughts, or behavior in the relationship comes from. The choice of a partner is very often associated with archetypes and the study of archetypes allows you to determine the true relationship needs, psychological hunger and ideals. And working with them can greatly change the scenario of the relationship.

In my opinion, the simplest and most understandable explanation of the essence of archetypes is the following:

Archetype - a class of mental contents, the events of which do not have their source in a separate individual. In other words, it is a collection of images and ideals that do not have a real separate prototype in the form of a person we are familiar with.

Today the archetype we call those subconscious images that are:

  • sustainable;
  • found in all nations and in all time periods;
  • always removed and has a set of both positive and negative characteristics;
  • is reflected in myths and tales;
  • affects the emotional state of a person;
  • always provokes a reaction in an individual.

In his works, Jung uses the analysis of the myths of the peoples of the world. Describing his observations is a long task; it is better to read his work. They are interesting and understandable. 

Female archetypes

In continuation of Jung's theory, Shinoda Bohlen began to study separately the archetypes of women in mythology. She identified 11 archetypes:

  • Artemis - the image of a woman who is able to achieve her goals. She is strong, determined, and does not tolerate restrictions.
  • Athena Is a wise and strong woman who does not give in to emotions and is able to stay collected in any situation, analyze and make decisions.
  • Guest Is the embodiment of self-sufficiency, confidence in integrity. The image of a woman beautiful by the very fact of her existence.
  • Juno - a woman whose meaning of life is a relationship with a man, but in them she is emotionally unstable and jealous.
  • Demeter - this is the image of a caring and warm woman, in whose heart there is a place for everyone.
  • Persephone - this is a woman who depends on the opinions of others, she is comfortable for everyone except herself and gives in to any influence.
  • Aphrodite - a sensual and gentle image of a woman, creative and deep. This archetype embodies the essence of the feminine principle.
  • Hebe - the image of a woman who does not accept her age and carefully avoids the slightest signs of maturity.
  • Tyuff (she is Fortune) - this archetype carries a contradictory nature, which seeks to keep everything under its control, but at the same time without predicting and not foreseeing the consequences.
  • Nemizida - this is the archetype of women for whom conscience and honesty are fundamental. Women with these archetypes are incapable of forgiving injustice.
  • Hecate - a very deep archetype, which manifests itself in the need to mystify everything that happens in life. "Carriers" of this archetype often leave for occult practices.

We can often observe a combination of two or three archetypes in one woman. Sometimes they can "compete" for dominance in the realm of the unconscious. An example of such internal competition is the need to have a happy and strong family, along with the zeal to succeed in a career.

In dealing with the topic of femininity, self-realization, and relationships, it is often very appropriate to search for the dominant archetype and isolate from it the basic needs in relationships.

Male archetypes

Carriers of archetypes are all who are in society. Based on archetypes, interest arises and is developed preferred type of partner. That is why when working with relationships, archetype analysis can be very useful.
Not all archetype systems are covered in this article. We settled on the most understandable and familiar to everyone - divine characters. Shinoda More, which I mentioned above, very clearly explained the meaning of male archetypal images:
Male archetypes carry a load of two roles - father and son. 

Paternal archetypes is:

  • Zeus - the father of the gods, the great Zeus, is the archetype of people who are strong and confident in their success in any field - from business to love affairs.
  • Hades is the archetype of men who believe in their intuition and often withdraw into themselves. They are usually quiet and mysterious, slightly aloof and quite erudite.
  • Poseidon - carriers of this archetype are prone to bright and beautiful emotions, which are often suppressed by public opinion. Sometimes Poseidons are quick-tempered.

Next go archetypes of sons:

  • Apollo is the archetype of the mature, conscious and rational man. It carries common sense and overwhelming logic.
  • Hermes - the bearer of this archetype is very easy-going, he is easily included in ideas and proposals.
  • Hephaestus is the archetype of a hardworking, strong person who has made the decision to be a good specialist in what he does. However, at the same time, he remains a very vulnerable and deep personality.
  • Ares is a "reactive" archetype. This means that he tends to succumb to impulses and emotions, not always considering the consequences.
  • Dionysus is an archetype that fits neatly into the saying "men are like children." A non-competitive, non-conflict addicted type who is able to go headlong into the activity that brings the greatest pleasure.

Usually men are the clear carriers of one archetype, and the rest periodically "phonate". In choosing partners, and even just girlfriends, men rely on the dominant need of their archetype.

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