Are you an Apollo or an Athena - identify your ‘archetype’

November 14th, 2007 - 2:24 am ICT by admin  
Perth psychotherapist, author and motivational speaker Katie Altham says that an archetype is a primal, inborn and compulsive personality characteristic.

In her new book, Altham has identified 34 archetypes, with examples taken from real life. Twenty two of these archetypes are named after ancient gods and goddesses.

For example, Pallas Athena is the warrior queen, signifying characteristics like cleverness, logic, and good policy planners.

“Apollo is the successful yuppie professional; Zeus the absolute king and dictator, Dionysus the hedonistic bohemian,” she said.

“Each person will have six out of these 34 (archetypes) that they’ll be able to say ‘that’s me,’” she added.

Altham explained that sometimes, one archetype dominates, indicating the way to trouble. For example, troubled singer Britney Spears is “an Aphrodite, which is the sex goddess,” Altham said.

“She’s a great example of when one archetype gets out of balance - nothing else gets developed in that girl,” she added.

Former crocodile hunter Steve Irwin and airline entrepreneur Richard Branson are Hermes, “the messenger who can sell ice to eskimos,” while socialite Paris Hilton is a Princess for “she’s wealthy, expects the best, doesn’t want to have to work too hard.”

However some experts have dismissed Altham’s approach as lightweight pop-psychology.

“It’s a bit horoscopy, isn’t it? Sure, it’s fun but don’t take this as the be-all and end-all. It’s a little simplistic,” Sydney-based psychotherapist Steven Carroll said.

But, according to Altham, understanding archetypes has implications for health, parenting, career choices and obviously romance and sex.

“People can work out who they are, who their partner is, who their kids are, who a workmate is who’s giving them trouble at work, their best friend or their mother in law,” Altham said.

“When we understand where people are we’re much less reactive to them … we can also support them to be more of what they are and stop trying to change them to be like we want them to be,” she added. (ANI)

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