One of the best ways to understand why you do what you do—or why your significant others, your in-laws, and even your favorite celebrities do what they do—is to explore the universal archetypes that influence behavior.

Carl Jung first introduced archetypes as important insights into human behavior. Archetypes convey an energy, a thoughtform that describes an aspect of our psyche. Inspired by the teachings of Carl Jung, Canadian psychologist Caroline Hanskte teamed up with Brian Emmanuel Grey, an intuitive who was given the gift to hone in on a person's specific psychological strengths and weaknesses—their "program," so to speak. Together, Brian and Caroline identified the four primary archetypes everyone functions through and used this breakthrough approach to dramatically help thousands of individuals and businesses, including multinational companies and government agencies.

The four universal archetypes or energies that Caroline and Brian work with are known as our inner family archetypes, because they are best described through the concepts of Father, Mother, Boychild and Girlchild. Each archetype has a light side and a dark side. Through their light side, these archetypes allow us to outpicture our highest soul potential.

Through their dark side, we experience rebellion, fragmentation, pain and isolation. We express our archetypes through our conscious, subconscious, unconscious or superconscious mind. The specific pattern we print from birth influences how we think and feel, what we aspire to and what we reject.

Generally, people who function from a strong Father archetype pursue the law. They tend to have strong boundaries and seek to download a blueprint for every situation. When their Father energy goes out of balance and becomes unloving, they can become harsh and critical toward themselves and others. I personally had a difficult time with the Father archetype. It is the archetype I reject that resides in my unconscious.

I have often had difficulty with rules and I have been extremely sensitive to criticism. The more I learned to work with my Loving Father archetype, the more I began to respect rules. I also was able to draw stronger boundaries for myself and to become more impersonal to outside opinion. This has proven especially helpful in properly disciplining our children, while nurturing their self-esteem.
People who express a strong Mother archetype live to nurture life. They love to guide and teach others, and provide stability in any given situation. When they are threatened, they respond by either going aloof or by smothering those around them with a spoiling mechanism. Either way, they avoid further giving of themselves. For me, Mother is the archetype I aspire to. It is in my superconscious archetype.

I love to nurture and teach. I also expect the Universe to love me unconditionally, like a mother. In the past, when I didn't get my way, I would feel abandoned and disappointed. Now, I understand that the Loving Mother abides by the Loving Father's rules and that you reap what you sow. If things don't go as planned, I understand that the Universe is not loving me less, only teaching me in a different way. I can be more patient. My experience of love is not so connected to what I get.

People who have a strong Boychild archetype are go-getters in life. They are highly competitive and do whatever it takes to reach their goal. When their archetype goes negative, they become overcompetitive, aggressive, and tend to run over others. For me, having Boychild right out there as a conscious archetype has been both a blessing and a challenge.

I do have a tremendous momentum at getting things done and my energy levels are high. Before understanding my archetypes, however, I did not realize how much this Boychild energy would step on other people's toes. I couldn't see that when I was in Boychild overdrive, I was actually shooting myself in the foot. Now I strive to harness my Boychild in a way that is both productive and non-threatening. As a result, my ability to relate to others has improved by leaps and bounds.

People who have a strong Girlchild archetype go with the flow. They experience life through serendipity. They are highly creative, caring and intuitive. When their sensitivity is trampled, however, the unloving side of Girlchild takes over. They become victim-martyrs, prosecutors who ultimately feel superior to their persecutors. Girlchild is my subconscious archetype. I have always been extremely sensitive and intuitive, and I tend to trust my feelings. I love to love at the emotional level.

The problem is that when my Girlchild got rejected or hurt, I gave my conscious Boychild the green light to retaliate aggressively. I have now put the brakes on this coping mechanism. Through the boundaries of my Loving Father archetype and the inner nurturing of my Loving Mother archetype, my Girlchild is more at ease. She is safe to express her beauty and her inspiration and she can truly blossom.

The more familiar you become with your four inner family archetypes, the more you will recognize which archetype you patterned at the conscious, subconscious, superconscious and unconscious level. You will also learn to transcend the dark side of each archetype and overcome the limitations of your specific pattern. This is liberating and empowering. It will allow you to relate to your loved ones in a more authentic way so you can strengthen your relationships. You will understand what trips you up and where other people are coming from. You will have empathy and bring out the best in yourself and in others. You will truly know who you are and express your highest self.

Author's Bio: 

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 Therese also wrote the beautifully illustrated children's book, The Legend of the Ancient of Days, available at Therese nurtures a fast-growing online community of spiritual seekers and holistic minded individuals at She also hosts several radio programs, including daily violet flame mantras and meditations at 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