Complicated conversations occur when different types of consciousness meet other kinds of consciousness, which both befriend and oppose them. You need some way of making sense of “what are the regular territories within this mad conversation?” That is what Jung achieved in Psychological Types: a flexible-enough model to cover all the collisions of consciousness that can arise.
Many clients enter treatment because their psyche is “failing” to accommodate itself to their one-sided will. They are cut off from the self-regulating functions of their unconscious and the resulting symptoms have induced so much suffering that they are forced to stop their plans, enter therapy, and work through the blockage. The power complex wants a better hold on the psyche.
Later, I reflected that my tone, out of awareness at time of utterance, was the element to which she was reacting as a feeling type, and that my insistence on staying on topic showed up in her experience as my controlling her. Such was my first conscious application of Beebe’s sobering formulation of the monster-in-play when our eighth function breathes fire at another’s dominant function.
To develop our authentic individual self, we need to go deeper, into the cultural and phylogenetic layers of the collective unconscious. Importantly, from a leadership point of view, we become more aware of what our culture is repressing—aware of the unintended consequences of the culture even though we are participating in it. This enables us to progress, as individuals and as a society.
Giannini’s model differs importantly from Myers’ in that it does not restrict us to just one predominant function pair associated with one’s preferred perceiving and judging processes. His model provides a greater degree of flexibility in the developmental expression of type-related behaviors as well as enhanced adaptive power for engaging and responding to our various environments.
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.
“Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside whose people believed in tranquillité.” This opening indicates that the psychological orientation of the village is one of peace and calmness, agreeability and order, suggesting that the village has certain values through which it judges situations—in other words a feeling function is at work.
I allowed myself to take a little vacation from my single-mindedness and felt a shift in attitude and awareness almost immediately. My linear, tunnel-vision mindset relaxed, and I began to notice and embrace information, insights, and opportunities that came along unexpectedly and felt important despite having no logical connection with the task at hand.
A separation exists between psychology and typology. Many psychologists and even many Jungians ignore Jung’s major work, Psychological Types, and the concepts underlying it. The field has been left mostly to lay practitioners, who use the MBTI® instrument for training, coaching, and other pragmatic applications. What reasons do you see for the divide?
“Everything has a purpose, clocks tell you the time, trains take you to places. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too. ”