I’ve been asked many times why, when there are numerous archetypes that people have defined over the years, have I settled on only six... and why this specific six.
First I need to state that my primary intention is to improve performance and increase the effectiveness in my clients, so this orientation has played a major role in my selection of the archetypes I use.
Whilst I’ve gleaned a lot from a wide range of authors, I have learned much from Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette whose work centered around the four archetypes of: King, Warrior, Lover and Magician.
I fully acknowledge that I could sub-divide the 6 archetypes I use for my initial profiling but starting with something too complex is never a good idea, I believe, so I go with it as far as I can before any kind of subdivision is sought. When I do, I might introduce the Mother, the Innocent, the Shepherd, the Artisan and others, because I see that they all have some value.
It was only once I’d defined the six and started working with them that I began to realise there were 3 that were clearly the ‘left-brain’ types and 3 that were clearly the ‘right-brain’ types. After that I discovered that each had a clear opposite number in the alternate camp and identified exactly what forces caused an attraction between them.
I could add that the ‘Mystic’ is almost synonymous with the ‘Magician’ – though it depends upon whose definition you use.
So I need to clarify that what some people refer to as archetypes, I see merely as an aspect of a broader archetype. The Bully, for example, is simply a facet of an overheated (shadow) Warrior in the Team Me model. Equally, the Victim is the frozen shadow of the Warrior. Both of these are seen as sub-sets of the original, noble archetype - I do not see them as archetypes in their own right.
To label someone as one of these shadows immediately places them into a dangerous position of the individual identifying with that state and in a sense 'owning' their shadow state. Whilst some therapists seem to delight in stirring up an individual's darker sides, I simply use them as an indicator of the mature, positive, healthy archetypal role they've been given in life.
So, quickly back to Jung and Freud. These men did not define archetypes, they had been recognised at least since the time of Philo of Alexandria (10BC to 40AD) but they did make new distinctions as they saw common characteristics and patterns at an unconscious level.
I've learned much from many who have delved into the world of Archetypes and brought forth many valuable distinctions on their journeys, My commitment is to make this knowledge as accessible as possible, without diluting things too much, to the largest possible audience - so I'm sticking with the Team Me Six.