Discover the Archetypes Shaping Your Life

Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin

Carol S. Pearson, Ph.D., D.Min., is an internationally recognized authority on archetypes and their applications, best known for her 12-archetype system for individual and collective development and evolution. Her books on this system include The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By (1986); Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes To Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World (1991); The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes (2001) co-authored with Margaret Mark; and Mapping the Organizational Psyche: A Jungian Theory of Organizational Dynamics and Change (2003) co-authored by John Corlett. Dr. Pearson's most recent book is What Stories Are You Living? Discover Your Archetypes – Transform Your Life (2021).

With Hugh K. Marr, PhD, she is a co-author of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator® (PMAI®) assessment published by the Center for Applications of Psychological Type. She is co-author of the PMAI Manual (2021) with Kesstan Blandin, PhD and Hugh K. Marr.

Dr. Pearson's fields of expertise include leadership and gender studies as well as narrative intelligence (NQ) and interfaith spirituality. Her edited book, The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-First Century (2012), grew out of a three-year project she co-led with the Fetzer Institute and received an award given at the International Leadership Association Annual Convention for making an original contribution to leadership studies and practice. Dr. Pearson wrote Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within (2015) for women and the men who partner with them at home, at work, or in the community. In 2016, Persephone Rising was named a gold medalist in the category of books for women by the Nautilus Book Awards, an annual accolade of books in the genre of social and environmental justice.

A respected scholar and higher education administrator, Dr. Pearson served most recently as Executive Vice President/Provost and then President of Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria CA. Previously, she was Professor of Leadership Studies in the School of Public Policy and Director of the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. During her tenure, the Academy was the incubator of the International Leadership Association, and Dr. Pearson was a member of ILA's Board of Directors.

Dr. Pearson’s pronouns are she and her. She is a U.S. citizen whose grandparents immigrated to the states from Sweden. She and her husband, David Merkowitz, live in the Washington, DC area. See also www.carolspearson.com




Articles By Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin


Living the Heroic Life Journey: Part 1
Mar 04, 2020 by Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin and Hugh Marr, PhD, LPC

Studying Jungian psychology helped me figure out that living builds inner psychological structure. Jung described how, in the first half of life, we need to form a healthy ego, while in the later half of life the task is to connect with the Self, an accomplishment which takes us to a deeper understanding of who we are and a capacity for feeling more connected to others and the world.

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illustration of Icarus falling from the Sun When You Need a New Perspective
by Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin

Habitual attitudes often blind us to new possibilities and options. Life is most rewarding for me when I am growing and learning. I’ve found that the archetypes that are dominant for me and others are important for authenticity and for the primary lessons we are learning at any given time.

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Living the Heroic Life Journey: Part 2
by Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin and Hugh Marr, PhD, LPC

The meaning of "soul" used in depth psychology does not necessarily imply the religious meaning of what is eternal about you; rather, it is about discovering the deeper, more essential "you" that exists now. While many people have trouble understanding what soul is, most of us know what it means to look in the mirror and think something like, "if I do this one more day, or if I agree to this, or if I allow this, I will lose my soul."

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Living the Heroic Life Journey: Part 3
by Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin and Hugh Marr, PhD, LPC

The Self is the deeper capacity for connection with the world that can make you take responsibility for your part of it. The archetypes of the Self can help you express who you are in ways that make a difference to the world. The Ruler, Jester, Sage, and Magician were key figures in the ancient royal court.

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silhouette of George and the Dragon statue, Moscow, in front of a sunset sky Authentic Archetypal Branding
by Carol S. Pearson, PhD, DMin

After Awakening the Heroes Within (1991) was published, I began to recognize the archetypes I wrote about being used in advertisements. I was aware that too many individuals and organizations focus on promoting an image of themselves unrelated to what they genuinely care about and value. When there is a large gap between the real self and what we are trying to convince the world we are, the result is, at best, a shallow and empty life.

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