Discover the Archetypes Shaping Your Life

Kesstan Blandin, PhD

Kesstan Blandin, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, FL. Previous to this, Dr. Blandin was a research psychologist specializing in dementia at the Dartmouth Centers for Health & Aging at Dartmouth College. Dr. Blandin's publications include peer-reviewed journal articles on dementia grief, psychological type, archetypes, and identity. She is co-author of The Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer's Family (2015) with Robert Santulli, MD, published by the Dartmouth College Press. She earned her doctorate in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA. For several years, Dr. Blandin was an adjunct professor at Pacifica in research and dissertation development.




Articles By Kesstan Blandin, PhD


Enacting the hero's journey as story When Is a Story Archetypal?
by Kesstan Blandin

We know the facts—that we are currently one of 7 billion people on the planet, that in the greater scheme of humanity and the cosmos we will live and die anonymously - but this is not how you and I live. You are striving, battling, and loving through an epic drama. Each time you triumph, each time you fail, you gain the wisdom of living for the first time, as every hero has done through time. Every one of us senses our mysterious potential, often ambiguous and vague, yet emotionally compelling in its lure towards who we can be. We sense as well that the hard facts of life do not provide access to this level of potential, but where to turn for guidance?

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When it is the lowest archetype in your profile, embodying the archetypal Caregiver can transform a Blind Spot into a heroic journey. Hidden Gold in the Shadow
by Kesstan Blandin

My younger sister, Carmen, is quite close in age to me – just a year apart – but distant in personality. Growing up, my naturally sensitive, caring, generous sibling would often say to me that I just didn’t have that “caregiver gene.” She was right. Where Carmen was motivated to generate positive emotions in herself and others, I was fascinated by the dark nether regions of the mind and imagination. Where Carmen naturally trusted and nurtured others’ vulnerabilities, I probed the hidden secrets and conflicted natures of myself and others.

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Discovering Your Hero’s Journey
by Kesstan Blandin

What is it like to see your life as a Hero's Journey for the first time? Think of a story or a film where you recognized yourself in a character. When we are identified with a character, we feel their feelings, we are moved by their pain, and through the character's revelations of themselves,we receive insights into ourselves we didn't have before.

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office workers around a table with archetype symbols over their heads Working with Teams through the PMAI® Archetypes
May 07, 2021 by Kesstan Blandin

All organizations, teams, or any group with a common mission, will confront archetypal moments, those difficult decisions on how best to go forward when what you decide will have impact on the organization and customers.

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three coworkers holding coffee cups and laughing Archetypes Are Oriented Around a Core Quality
Jun 17, 2021 by Kesstan Blandin

People accurately and intuitively understand that the archetypes symbolically represent universal human qualities. A common misunderstanding though is if an archetype is not active in your Archetype Profile, then you are lacking the core quality it represents. Having an archetypal character rank low in your Profile does not mean you are lacking that quality but indicates you are not identified with it and likely not accessing it, at least not with ease. In this article, we explain how identifying each archetype with a core quality is distinct from using that same quality through the other archetypes.

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woman with red backpack standing at a forked path in the woods Archetypes are Fluid and Dynamic
Jul 22, 2021 by Kesstan Blandin

If you happen to take the PMAI® assessment again, you will likely notice the same characters congregating near the top and bottom of your profile, but not always in the same positions. Our newest article discusses the fluid and dynamic nature of archetypes and how the PMAI instrument can be used to reveal your growth or the growth of your clients over time.

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Our goal is to develop deeper self-awareness, to make room for all our potential. Working With Archetypes as Characters and Narratives
by Kesstan Blandin

Our goal is to become aware of ourselves, which is what the PMAI® system is all about—developing deeper self-awareness that gives you more room to act, know, and decide; more room to be you in all your potential.

In this article Kesstan Blandin, PhD, describes how to use the PMAI archetypal characters and narratives to look beyond an identity that may be limiting your growth. The key is taking advantage and developing the qualities of the lesser used archetypes in your Profile, the Sidekicks and the awkward Blind Spot.

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The hero’s journey is the symbolic process of growing into one’s authentic self. The Roots of the Pearson-Marr Archetypes
by Kesstan Blandin

In this article, Kesstan Blandin provides basic definitions and distinctions between C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Carol Pearson’s work on archetypes as a way to deepen your understanding of the PMAI® archetypes.

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The Ruler archetype exhibits qualities such as being decisive and working to establish order. How Archetypes Transform Personality
by Kesstan Blandin

Understanding our archetypes as only representative of personality can be limiting. In this article Kesstan Blandin describes how your PMAI® archetypes point to archetypal narratives currently active in your life, not only to highlight aspects of your personality, but to point to the hidden potential within you.

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Hope is the link between current reality (Realist) and future possibilities (Idealist). Pandora’s Hope: An Archetypal Reading
Apr 11, 2022 by Kesstan Blandin

The two archetypes of Idealist and Realist are a complementary pair. We all have an ideal of what our life should be like and the belief that our future can be different from our past, but the challenges of reality get in the way. Yet hope prevails. Balancing the Idealist and Realist can help us be grounded in reality while allowing for possibilities of a positive future.

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Your Allies show up in your work life and relationships Growing With Your Archetypes: Allies
May 16, 2022 by Kesstan Blandin

In the Pearson-Marr system your Allies are your high scoring archetypes, generally your top three. High scoring archetypes represent characteristics that you likely identify with and narratives that you use the most to understand and engage the world; because of this, your Allies are where you are most skilled and developed. In this article Kesstan Blandin discusses how to work with your Allies for self-growth and further development.

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Your Treasure Chest archetypes are your sidekicks or companions in your life story hero's journey Growing With Your Archetypes: Treasure Chest
Jun 06, 2022 by Kesstan Blandin

In this second article, on Growing With Your Archetypes, Kesstan Blandin presents the Treasure Chest consisting of the eight archetypes in the mid-range of your Archetype Profile. In the PMAI® system your Treasure Chest, in support of your Allies, points to the areas that have potential for further self-growth.

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Blind Spots, in your PMAI Archetype Profile, can be found in the inner resources you are unable to access. Growing With Your Archetypes: Blind Spot
Jul 21, 2022 by Kesstan Blandin

Are there repetitive issues in your relationships or life areas that don’t get resolved? In this third, and final, article in the Growing With Your Archetypes series Kesstan Blandin discusses the low scoring Blind Spot in the PMAI Archetype Profile. The Blind Spot category is about what is playing a role in one’s life but is not noticed.

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