Carl Jung’s Concept of Archetypes: Understanding How This Concept Is Applied in Modern Jungian Coaching

Jan 07, 2024

Carl Jung, the renowned Swiss psychiatrist, introduced the concept of archetypes as a fundamental element of the human psyche. Understanding archetypes and their connection to our lives can provide profound insights into our behaviors, motivations, and relationships. Let's delve into the concept of archetypes and explore how they shape our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

What are Archetypes?

Archetypes are universal, symbolic patterns and images that are present in the collective unconscious. According to Jung, these archetypes are inherited potentials that shape our perceptions, emotions, and behaviors. They represent fundamental human experiences and are expressed through myths, symbols, and cultural narratives.

archetype symbol

Common Archetypes

Jung identified several common archetypes, such as the Hero, the Shadow, the Wise Old Man, the Mother, and the Trickster. Each archetype embodies specific traits and characteristics that resonate with the human experience. By recognizing these archetypes within ourselves and others, we can gain a deeper understanding of our motivations and reactions.

Connecting with Archetypes

Understanding our connection to archetypes involves exploring how these universal patterns manifest in our thoughts, dreams, and relationships. By recognizing the archetypal themes that resonate with us, we can gain insight into our personal growth, challenges, and aspirations. This self-awareness can empower us to navigate life's complexities with greater clarity and purpose.

archetype connection

Archetypes and Personal Development

Exploring archetypes can be a transformative journey that fosters self-discovery and introspection. By recognizing the archetypal influences in our lives, we can uncover hidden aspects of our psyche and embrace a more integrated sense of self. This process can lead to personal growth, resilience, and a deeper connection to our inner wisdom.

Applying Archetypes in Daily Life

Once we grasp the significance of archetypes, we can apply this understanding to various aspects of our lives. Whether in our professional endeavors, relationships, or creative pursuits, recognizing archetypal patterns can offer valuable insights and guide our decision-making processes. By aligning with archetypal energies, we can tap into a deeper reservoir of creativity, resilience, and authenticity.

applying archetypes

Embracing the Shadow

One of the most compelling aspects of archetypes is the concept of the Shadow, representing the hidden or repressed aspects of our personality. Embracing and integrating our Shadow can lead to profound personal growth and a more holistic understanding of ourselves. By acknowledging and reconciling with our Shadow, we can cultivate greater self-acceptance and emotional balance.

Nurturing the Psyche: A Journey Into the Archetype With A Jungian Coach 

In the dimly lit room, on an early Sunday morning a Jungian Coach sat across from little Lily, a 7-year-old with a bright spark in her eyes.

The Tale of the Innocent Child and the Butterfly

As the Jungian Coach  delved into the world of archetypes, she began with the Innocent archetype, a pure and untainted essence within every individual. She gently asked Lily about her favorite moments, those instances where her heart danced with joy. Lily's eyes widened as she recalled chasing butterflies in the backyard, a simple joy that embodied the essence of the Innocent archetype.

The Jungian Coach encouraged Lily to create a whimsical collage of butterflies, colors, and laughter, fostering a connection to the Innocent archetype. Through storytelling and play, Lily embraced the beauty of simplicity, an anchor that would be the beginning for this little girl, an anchor was firmly placed and Emily learned in that moment that she had a guide, one created purely by het inner world . Her coach new this was a monumental moment and Emily had connected to her first archetype, a fun loving whimsical and INNOCENT archetype. This was going to be a theme that would help Emily navigate the inevitable complexities that life has to offer. Emily's coach was thrilled, she got this way anytime she realized that she helped a client bring something into conscious awareness. 

The Odyssey of the Executive and the Sage

In a bustling city, Robert, a seasoned executive yearning for deeper insight, sought the guidance of a Jungian Coach. Robert walked in and immediately found himself staring at a deck of cards full of Mandelas , objects and people. He looked at an image and the magic of the session began to take hold ( you see, symbols have a way of permeating the conscious mind and being recorded directly by the unconscious, the unknown). He began to talk about his inner world , his work, his family , the failure he felt as a father. Suddenly, he looked at an archetype dressed as a superhero and he immediately started to cry . " You know, the problem is I'm stupid, I don't pick up on social ques and I'm always preoccupied with keeping up with the joneses. The Jungian Coach realized that this moment was special, this tender moment held the power to move mountains, all the defenses were down and he was open. The Jungian Coach introduced him to the Sage archetype, a wellspring of wisdom and strategic thinking.

Together, they explored Robert's life journey, uncovering moments of profound insight and strategic decision-making. His coach encouraged him to create a visual representation of his experiences, a tapestry of challenges conquered and lessons learned. As Robert embraced the Sage within, he discovered a reservoir of wisdom that empowered his leadership with a newfound clarity and foresight.


In the tapestry of Jungian coaching, the threads of archetypes weave a narrative that transcends time and circumstance. Whether guiding a child towards the Innocent archetype or supporting an executive in embracing the Sage within, Jungian coaching provides a transformative journey of self-discovery, helping to connect individuals to the rich tapestry of archetypal wisdom that resides within us all.

person walking on beach during daytime