Discover the Archetypes Shaping Your Life

Working with Ego, Soul, and Self

For Coaches, Counselors, and Therapists

A person's self-understanding and growth can be greatly enhanced by working with a counselor, coach, or trainer who has an in-depth knowledge of the archetypal theory, including the pitfalls and the processes of enhancing human growth and development. Counselors can help bring a wider understanding of archetypal theory and human development and can help us understand aspects of ourselves that might be difficult to discover without assistance. This is because when we are immersed in an experience, we find an alternative perspective difficult to achieve. Thus, we highly recommend that people engage guides to assist in interpretation, especially for people who are in transition, who have reason to believe that their views of themselves might be outdated or different from how others are seeing them, or who are unfamiliar to introspection.

People working one-on-one with clients can begin by looking at how much energy is currently going into questions or archetypes related to the Ego, the Soul, or the Self. Clients with Ego issues often have weak boundaries, or they have difficulties communicating with or caring for others. Some clients will live mainly in the Idealist and Realist archetypes, which means they will seem somewhat childlike, experience feelings of powerlessness, and get stuck in seeing others as rescuers or victimizers.

The first priority in working with any client is to shore up the Ego container so that higher levels of development can occur. Even some clients with higher-level development can be held back because of inadequate maturity of one of the Ego archetypes. Without the Idealist, they will lack the hope and optimism for the journey. Without the Realist, they will deny their own pain and that of others and fail to anticipate difficulties. Without the Warrior, they will not stand up for themselves and will find themselves living as others wish them to—as subjects, not as free individuals. Without the Caregiver, they may be somewhat self-centered, unwilling to help others and be there for them. They may also lack the ability to self-nurture and self-comfort.

Clients with good Ego development often come for counseling, psychotherapy, or coaching because of Soul issues: loss of energy, concern with mortality, a quest for a sense of meaning in their lives, a time of transition or personal crisis, or a sense of inauthenticity. Their issues therefore center on the archetypes of the Seeker (exploring possibilities); the Revolutionary (letting go of what no longer serves); the Lover (committing to people, places, ideas, and activities that they love); and the Creator (creating a new life that expresses their deep authenticity).

Clients with good Ego and Soul development are generally looking for ways to balance the demands of their internal and external lives, especially by finding ways to express their true selves in their outer lives or to step up to the plate to exert more power and influence in the world. Their focus is often on developing the missing archetype within the four-fold (quaternity) structure of the Self: the Ruler (taking greater responsibility, exerting greater power and authority); the Magician (transforming the outer world by transforming their inner thoughts and attitudes); the Sage (thinking deeply and objectively to analyze and assess options); and the Jester (finding ways to enjoy their lives and work).

While it is possible for an individual to recognize their current use of archetypal energies and where they are on the developmental individuation spectrum, it is often challenging for us to see completely or objectively. Thus, we encourage working with a professional coach, counselor, or therapist who understands Jungian concepts and the PMAI® archetypes to support you in your journey.


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