When I first came in contact five years ago with The Inner Family Archetype Model developed by psychologist Caroline Hanstke and lifestyle coach Brian Grey, I had no idea of how much it would change my life!
I had been pursuing many paths of self-improvement and personal psychology to find greater wholeness, balance, understanding and fulfillment in life. Each path had its merits, bringing me forward on my journey. None, however, helped me accelerate as fast as The Inner Family Archetype Model.
The Inner Family Archetype Model is the ultimate roadmap into understanding ourselves and others. It helps us get to the root of who we are and why we behave the way we do, and understand how we relate to other people. Working with this model brings out the best in us by helping us get rid of our inherited negative patterns of behavior, by eliminating our need for codependent relationships and by making us more competent in everyday situations. Most important, it allows us to be true to ourselves and to others, to give and receive more love and to become who we are really meant to be.
Caroline and Brian have used this model in personal consultation with thousands of clients, as well as with multinational corporations and Canadian government and educational agencies. They have lectured on The Inner Family Archetype Model in cities throughout North America and regularly conduct workshops and seminars. Caroline works out of Calgary, Canada and Brian works out of Bozeman, Montana.
The dictionary defines archetypes as a prototype-an original pattern, or model from which other things are made. Studying archetypes yields great insight into our inner selves. Beginning with Carl Jung, people have used the term "archetype" to refer to interfacing aspects of self. The Inner Family Archetype Model focuses on the four cardinal points of our being, the archetypes of Father, Mother, Boychild and Girlchild that form the cornerstone of our identity and set the stage for our personality.
These archetypes work either in harmony as the Loving Inner Family, or in conflict as the Unloving Inner Family, and are influenced by our family upbringing, social milieu and culture. Unloving Inner Family dynamics are at the root of many divisions within the psyche, personal problems and relationship challenges. Creating and sustaining Loving Inner Family dynamics helps us to overcome our inner conflicts, so that we become more whole, relate to others from a healthier psychological standpoint and experience renewed vitality and joy in our lives.
Even though everyone has the same four loving and unloving archetypes, people express these archetypes in different ways and varying degrees, depending on which of the four archetypes they operate from in the superconscious mind, in the conscious mind, in the subconscious mind and in the unconscious mind.
Someone, for instance, may have Boychild operating at the conscious level, Girlchild at the subconscious, Mother at the superconscious and Father at the unconscious, while someone else may be conscious Girlchild, subconscious Mother, superconscious Father and unconscious Boychild. This accounts for some of the many personality differences between people.
The Loving Father archetype must be present in order to sustain a loving inner family because Father sets the blueprint. Loving Father within us is the law. He protects, directs, disciplines and gives us what we are supposed to do. He establishes the order, organization and statesmanship of a person. He represents the law of cause and effect.
Unloving Father is the part of our shadow self that is a tyrant. He operates through the ego use of power. He sits in judgment and controls through criticism and intimidation. He condemns others into fulfilling his agenda. He is the inner critic who labels us as stupid, worthless, pathetic, and ridiculous. He is inconsistent, unreliable and arbitrary and can only be counted on to do harm.
Because Loving Father cannot operate without Loving Mother in the loving inner family, she is the next most important archetype to develop.
Loving Mother is the unconditional love mechanism and the personal personality of our nature. She is warm and loving. She holds the immaculate concept and dispenses wisdom's vision. She nurtures, teaches, guides and explains the Who, What, Where, When and Why of things. She also explains the rules and standards set by Loving Father so Loved Boychild and Loved Girlchild understand why discipline is meaningful.
Unloving Mother is the part of our shadow self that controls through avoidance. She manifests this avoidance either through aloofness or through a "smother mother" consciousness. Unloving Mother avoids personally giving of herself. All unloving smother-mother behaviors, be they giving the child money, sweets or over-attention, replace the true unconditional giving of herself.
Loving Mother displaces Unloving Mother by truly giving of herself and by selflessly going the extra mile. Once Loving Father and Loving Mother are in place, Loved Boychild and Loved Girlchild can truly blossom.
Loved Boychild is the hero, the scientist, the warrior, the adventurer and the explorer. He is the impersonal personality. Loved Boychild is assertive, courageous and fearless in battle. He is also curious, investigative, likes to experiment and wants to know how things work. He seeks to express mastery over things and is competitive in order to master skills. He enjoys games and challenges, and is self-confident. His charisma, charm and sense of humor make him attractive to others.
Unloved Boychild thrives on pride and negative competition. He controls through negative competition. When Unloved Boychild is operating in us, he is always measuring who is superior and who is inferior. He is the rebel, angry and aggressive. He is deceitful, interrogates and bullies. He is envious and wants his way at all costs. He always has to have the last word. Because he is usually frustrated, he often develops obsessions and compulsive behaviors.
Loved Boychild helps us to excel in life, to accomplish all we would accomplish, and to fulfill our dreams. He displaces Unloved Boychild by choosing cooperation over competition, obedience over rebellion and wisdom over envy.
Loved Girlchild brings finesse, inspiration, and magic to our lives. Her presence makes life special. She is the epitome of beauty, sweetness, gentleness, innocence, goodwill, holiness, sensitivity, diplomacy, finesse, intuition, compassion and harmlessness. She finishes things with fine detail. She is the personal impersonality. She allows us to hear with our inner voice and to connect with the essence of things. She is the most spiritual, mystical side of our nature and can contact the transcendental. In many ways, she is indefinable.
Unloved Girlchild is the victim/martyr. When Unloved Girlchild is operating in us, we can think or feel ourselves abused, victimized or powerless. Because of her victimization pattern, she often whines, complains and is paralyzed by fear. People operating off of their Unloved Girlchild archetype are often mentally, emotionally or physically abused.
Loved Girlchild displaces Unloved Girlchild through conversion. Through her loving, her caring, and her forgiveness, she converts others to forsake aggression against her. It is through Loved Girlchild that we regain our power because we can no longer be victimized by anyone.
Getting acquainted with the inner family archetypes was the first step to greater wholeness in my life. It helped me better appreciate myself and others. Once I came to understand what archetypes I was operating from, I was able to take the appropriate steps necessary to root out deep self-sabotaging patterns of behavior that I had absorbed during childhood and adolescence. In time, it also became easier for me to figure out what archetypes are predominant in other people. This has helped me to understand why I get along with some people better than others and given me the tools I need to get along with people I had previously found "difficult."
Knowing the dynamics of the loving and the unloving inner family has also proven very helpful in our household as we strive each day to outpicture the four loving archetypes in our family life.
Therese Emmanuel Grey is spiritual and relationship mentor who teaches the inner family archetypes to help heal individuals and families. She has co-authored two landmark books, Why We Do What We Do and The Psychology of Success. Her autobiography, Miracles, Masters and Mirth: Adventures in Spirituality and Self-Awareness, provides extraordinary insights on the purpose of life and can be found at www.miraclesandmasters.com
Therese nurtures a fast-growing online community of spiritual seekers and holistic minded individuals at www.lightworldwide.net. She also hosts several radio programs, including daily violet flame mantras and meditations at www.violetflamemiracles.com. Therese teaches weekly classes, webinars and facilitator training courses from her home in Montana, including the well-loved Radiant Sherpa Retreat. She also offers private sessions, where she shares highly effective insights and rituals to help you connect to your angels and sponsoring master. Find out more at www.ascendedmasterindex.com