Certified Archetypal Counselor
I have more than 12 years of experience working and teaching with Caroline Myss, from the earliest days of her work with Archetypes and Sacred Contracts since 1996. I helped to write her major best seller Sacred Contracts (2001). I also collaborated with her in creating the deck of Archetype Cards used at CMED Sacred Contracts workshops since 2003 as well as her current online class. At her CMED Institute in the Chicago area, I compiled notes of all workshops and created workbooks to help students absorb and digest Caroline's teachings as they developed. I have remained in continual contact with Caroline as her teaching has evolved, so I have a unique perspective on her thinking about the archetypes.
At Caroline's request, I developed a course in Sacred Journaling to help guide more than one thousand CMED participants through their two-year training to become Certified Archetypal Counselors. Few people understand her teachings on the archetypes and the Archetypal Wheels as thoroughly as I do, or know better how to cast charts, do readings, and process the insights that result.
I have been giving private Archetypal Readings and counseling sessions for 12 years, and have developed my own approach to working with this profound material, with an emphasis on making it more accessible and direct and condensing the material so that you can learn it in a much shorter period of time. This is especially helpful if you want to use Archetypal Counseling in your professional work as a therapist, counselor, or healer.
Arranging a Session
Most of the people whom I've helped to gain insight into their Archetypes have been extremely enthusiastic about this work, and have remarked on how well it fits with their desire to understand their lives without endless psychotherapy sessions. Many have also said that a familiarity with archetypal patterns has helped them enormously in the work they do as schoolteachers, yoga instructors, life coaches, healers, therapists, artists, actors, writers, and business people. But most of all, they use the insights they learn to see themselves and others in archetypal terms. I begin with the basics of Archetypal Counseling, including:
• The nature of archetypes and how they function within each of us.
• How to determine the set of 12 personal archetypes that are most active within you.
• The methodology for using these 12 archetypes to cast charts for personal guidance for yourself and others.
• How to interpret these charts to help you create a course of action to resolve life issues concerning career, business activities, personal and professional relationships, health, and other crucial subjects.
I live in Woodstock, 90 miles north of New York City. I occasionally give readings at my home, but I do most of my counseling and consulting by phone and Skype with email follow-ups. If you already have determined your archetypes, either from reading Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss or attending her workshops, I can cast your chart and give you a reading in one session. If you need me to help you select your archetypes first, it usually requires two 60-minute sessions to complete this process and give you your reading.
You can sign up for a single 60-minute session for USD $100, and pay as you go if you want another session, or register for 2 60-minute sessions for $150. Subsequent sessions can be arranged at the rate of $75 an hour.
Register for a Reading, If you have any questions, please send me an email and I’ll be happy to answer you.
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What Are Archetypes?
We all want to know more about ourselves, especially about the underlying forces that may seem hidden to us, but that make us who we are. Perhaps the most compelling set of hidden powers within our psyches that I have worked with over the last decade are the Archetypes. There has been plenty of buzz about archetypes in the past few years, and even a whole new snazzy Web site devoted to them. But I haven’t seen much solid, useful material that can be applied to your personal, psychological or spiritual development. Or how they can be used in counseling or life coaching, for which I think they make ideal companions. So what are they, exactly? Archetypes are ancient patterns of behavior encoded in our DNA—or what the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung called the “collective unconscious.” Some are impersonal patterns that affect us all, like Death and Rebirth. Others have names based on age-old human roles, such as the Mother, Knight, Warrior, Vampire, Rescuer, Sage, Victim, Saboteur, and Child. These are patterns that we all share, but certain archetypes are more prominently on display in each of us. Properly understood, archetypes provide a window into the motivations and actions of ourselves and others.
The concept of archetypes dates back at least to the time of Plato, who referred to ideals that he called Forms. Plato believed that these eternal Forms were reflected in material objects. The Form of Beauty, for example, is abstract and applies to all beautiful things. We may experience many different individual manifestations of Beauty-a beautiful person, horse, or flower-the Form itself never changes. For several years, Jung was the protégé of Sigmund Freud, 20 years his senior, who built his practice of psychoanalysis on the concept of the unconscious mind. Freud believed that our neuroses and complexes were created by events that happened early in life and were then sealed away in the unconscious mind. Jung believed that in addition to what he called the personal unconscious, which is unique to each of us, "there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature that is identical in all individuals." This collective unconscious, he believed, was inherited rather than developed, and was composed mainly of archetypes.
Archetypes are impersonal patterns of influence that are both ancient and universal, but they become personalized when they are viewed as part of your individual psyche. Although Jung mentioned a limited number of archetypes, his ideas have been expanded in recent years by a number of spiritual teachers, chiefly Caroline Myss. Caroline developed a way of identifying the 12 primary or dominant archetypes in the psyche of each individual, and then casting those archetypes into a chart consisting of 12 houses corresponding to the 12 houses of the astrological wheel. She called this group a "support team" that guides each of us at different times in our lives. By identifying the archetypes that are most active in our lives, we can learn how to turn them into our allies. We can also learn to identify their presence in other people, and deal with them accordingly. For example, if you know the Hermit archetype is one of your 12, you can learn to accept your need to have time alone as a regular part of your life. If you identify the Rescuer, you'll need to be alert to your tendency to want to save other people, which may come with a hidden agenda. For instance, the Rescuer might take care of people in exchange for an expectation of their eternal gratitude and dependency.
The archetypes provide the foundation for your personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, motivations, and actions. But they are not passive entities floating around in the psyche like old family portraits hanging in a dusty corridor of your ancestral castle. They take an active role as guardians and inner allies, alerting you when you are in danger of falling into "shadow" behavior. The Saboteur, for instance, warns you when you are in a situation in which you tend to sabotage your own best interests. The Victim alerts you when you are in a situation in which you may play the Victim or, conversely, to victimize others. Once you learn to recognize these patterns instead of ignoring or denying their presence, they become your friend and can help you avoid sabotaging yourself or becoming a victim.
The shadow is a term popularized by Carl Jung, and refers to the part of our psyche that is unacceptable to our conscious mind. The shadow doesn't imply evil, but simply that which we unconsciously keep in the dark. You might have a shadow artistic talent, for example, but be unwilling to acknowledge it because the career of an artist might be much less secure than your current occupation. The archetypes are essentially neutral—neither good nor bad in the conventional sense—but all archetypes have shadow manifestations as well as "light" aspects. The shadow has power precisely because it remains in the dark. Only when we face and acknowledge the shadow's presence can we bring it into the light and neutralize its potential negative impact on us.
The other archetypes include ancient patterns of behavior — like the Queen, Warrior, Child, Saboteur, Victim, and Mystic — that are part of out Collective Unconscious. Some of them are familiar and sound comfortable, like the Mother or Artist. Others are less familiar but no less potent, and even have offputting names, like the Destroyer, Vampire, Beggar, or Trickster. But they are part of our makeup, and understanding how they work can give us a valuable tool for gaining insight into our motives and appetites, strengths and weaknesses. The Rebel archetype, for instance, can be a powerful force leading us to reject illegitimate authority and strike out on a bold new path of action. (Samuel Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr., all had powerful Rebel archetypes.) But if we let our awareness lapse, the archetype's shadow aspect can induce us to rebel against legitimate leaders, or to fall in love with the image and trappings of rebellion (think of the rebellious angels in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim lore).
Likewise, the Queen archetype can help you assert your power, take charge of situations, delegate authority, and act with benevolence. But the shadow Queen may run around barking out orders, making impossible demands, and causing heads to roll! Once you learn to recognize the difference between the two responses—and their common source—you can harness the Queen's constructive power while mitigating her shadow wrath.
Determining Your Archetypes
The first step in learning to work with your archetypes is to determine which 12 archetypes make up the support system of your primary archetypes. This takes some introspective work and a bit of research. It takes some time and self-exploration to discern which archetypes are at work within your psyche. Part of the process is intuitive and part is logical, engaging both the left and right lobes of the brain. If you feel you would like some help with the process, including detailed guidance with choosing your support team of archetypes, and then casting a chart for guidance, you can contact me for a brief complimentary consultation.
I have collaborated professionally with Caroline Myss since 1996, when I helped her with the manuscript of her book Why People Don't Heal, and later helped to write and edit Sacred Contracts and Defy Gravity. I also collaborated with her on a deck of popular Healing Cards (now an iPhone app); the deck of Archetype Cards used at CMED; her Journal of Inner Dialogue; and a boxed set of Archetype materials entitled Sacred Contracts: The Journey. (This is listed on Amazon as a "paperback," but it is actually a boxed set containing the Archetype Cards, erasable board of the Archetypal Wheel, charts and more.)