Lesson One: Carl Jung and His Archetypes

Lesson Two: Alfred Adler, Family Constellations, and Genograms

Lesson One: Carl Jung

Let’s pick back up where we left off! We were last talking about Carl Jung and his archetypes.

The theory is that if we combine a variety of traits together, each person’s personalities are represented by one of a few different archetypes. There’s been a twist on Jung’s studies which resulted in the Myers-Briggs Test, which results in 16 different archetypes, but Jung didn’t care to have that many.

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You can see in this wheel that each person has a core motivator, which leads to a personality “front” (what the world sees) and the archetype that the person fulfills through this.

For example, a person who deeply wants to connect with others, might put on the cloak of enjoying life (to the detriment of ignoring the hard stuff) and he/she becomes the archetype of the Jester–the joker.

Or, someone who really has a high need for structure, they might achieve this need for structure by exerting control over everything–themselves and others–and they fulfill the role of the Ruler in their lives.

Remember: Jung’s theory was that these archetypes are covering up the true depths of being a human. We are not archetypes–we USE archetypes to tell a story about ourselves to avoid hurt, exert control, find love, etc.

The Hero’s Journey: Remember in that first video we watched, we learned that Star Wars was influenced by Joseph Campbell who was influenced by Jung who was influenced by Freud?

Here’s the video just in case you forgot:

Okay, so, Joseph Campbell was this guy who really believed in some of Jung’s theories. Let’s watch a video about him, too:

Questions about video:

  • What are the two worlds of the hero’s journey?
  • Think of your favorite book or movie–does it follow the path of the hero’s journey (at least in part)?
  • When does the hero realize that he or she has changed and outgrown their old life?
  • When have you experienced this journey in your own life?

Ok, so…back to Jung…he didn’t want people to land on “just” being the Hero or “just” being the Jokester. Jung’s goal was that his theories would lead people towards being “integrated selves.” This is very similar to Maslow’s concepts that we studied a few weeks ago.

An integrated self is self-actualized:

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The biggest lesson we can learn from Jung is the idea that we aren’t stuck in the role that we play. We aren’t stuck in our archetype, or stuck hiding our real self in the shadows, or stuck being the role our families expect us to play (a function that is usually not even seen or in the conscious of the family–so that statement isn’t said to blame our families!).

Personal reflection: What role or archetype do you often find yourself playing? Does this feel real and authentic to you or does it feel like you’re doing what you’re “supposed to do” but you’re not the “real you”?

Who did God design you to be? Remember, you’re not a collection of traits that equal an archetype–even Jung believed you are more than that! How do all the personality traits that God did give you combine together to allow you to be who He made you to be? What traits have you adopted to avoid dealing with your shadow self?

Sit with the reflection for this week! If you guys have insights you’d like to share or questions, email me! If they’re questions that can be answered in a group, I will create our next lesson to get those questions answered as a class. If you have private questions, you can also just note that you don’t want the question or answer shared with the group.

Christa25@gmail.com is my email.

Depending on your questions, we will either have one more lesson on Jung’s archetypes or we will move on.

Next topic: We will start studying Alfred Adler–he had a fun concept called Family Constellations that I like to utilize!

Have a wonderful and healthy week!

Miss you guys!

-Ms. Newell

Lesson Two: Alfred Adler: Family Constellations and Family Genogram

Alfred Adler: Who he was and his work

What was the difference between Freud/Jung and Adler’s approach to pscyhology?

What did Adler believe that people needed to strive towards?

What is our self-ideal? When is it formed?

What is our fundamental drive? How is this lined up with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Do we all have feelings of inferiority?

What are coping behaviors? What are safeguarding behaviors?

Is your self-ideal aligned with reality?

What is a Family Constellation? (article)

Really, what you need to know is that Alder used the concept of Family Constellations to help us understand how our families work together to influence us!

If you want to watch an old video and read a fairly in-depth article, click here!

Adler influenced a whole new style of counseling and therapy called “Systems” there are several branches of systems: Family Systems, Bowen Family Systems, Systemic Family Systems, Structural Family Systems….etc! There are a bunch.

To break THAT all down though, what you need to know: Each Family System’s theory looks at how a family functions. This can include behaviors, birth order, deaths, births, mental disorders, major moves, marriages, divorces. All of this is important because things that seem minor (“My uncle died at an early age because he was an alcoholic”) can influence the family for generations and was influenced by previous generations. People don’t become who they are on their own: OUR FAMILIES INFLUENCE US!

Genograms

So, a GENOGRAM is like a family tree, but instead of it being JUST a family tree, it also shows functioning. So, you’d note birth order, mental disorders, connections between relationships, etc.

What is a Genogram?

Why is this relevant? Because when you understand WHY the people in your life behave the way they do, you can see their influence on you, AND you can learn to love and forgive better. Ultimately, when we understand our families, we can have compassion for our families. This opens the door to healing and freedom from historical sins. From a Christian perspective, digging out the painful and sad parts of our families produces the freedom that we need to find redemption for our families.

From a personal standpoint, doing a family history search was life-changing for me. I had a rough childhood, but decided at 18 to forgive what needed to be forgiven. It allowed me the grace and freedom I needed to say goodbye well when people have died and to love my family members well–something that Christ calls us to do. Without having explored my family history, I would not be the person I am today!

Below I’ve copied a picture of MY family Genogram. It looks nuts! I have a big family with lots of moving parts. The most important aspects are the lines and such. You’ll notice a pattern of where the dysfunction (red) has filtered down through generations. Generational sin literally impacts generations! BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way, either: once we know this information we have the power to use it to change our future generations.

If you’d like to build something similar, you can do it on paper or on the computer. There is an ipad app for building genograms as well as a few websites.

GenPro:  is a Genogram building website and tool

This is a brief blurbabout the role of genograms in therapy.

Step by Step Guide to Building Your Genogram

Before you get started: You’ll need to go back three generations. This should be pretty easy as you’re generation #1, your parents are generation #2, and your grandparents are generations #3. You’d note their siblings, your siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.

GenogramPictureThe Assignment:

IF you choose to do a genogram as your assignment, yours does not have to look like mine. I did this for a class and I spent HOURS researching and talking to family members about family dynamics. I got a thorough history on mental health in my family as well as early deaths and causes. For you, just understanding the basics might be very helpful. Drawing our your family map on a piece of paper or board might be the best approach. The link to the step by step guide above should be very helpful.

Ultimately, this work is for YOU. So, if you choose to do a genogram, you aren’t required to share what you’ve learned about your family and their secrets with ME or the class. I would like you to be able to share what your biggest takeaway was or how you learned to have more compassion for yourself or others because of the studying you’ve done.