Friday, October 26, 2007

What story?

I often get approached to review psychology books. I normally refuse but this book piqued my interest. Based around the work of Jung, 'What Story Are You Living' looks at the unconcious patterns that underlie the way we live our lives. Jung termed these archetypes. There's many different archetypes but, in reality, most us usually follow the same ones repeatedly. When I reflect on my life so far, I often think my life has more repeats than Seinfeld.

The introductory chapter of 'What Story Are You Living' uses a Native American story to illustrate the idea of archetypes and narratives. With some of the concepts a little difficult to grasp, this increases the accessibility of the book. What makes this book particularly useful is the inclusion of a measurement tool (The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator - PMAI) to help discover the archetypes that are unconsciously influencing your life patterns.

Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, Caregiver, Seeker, Destroyer, Lover, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage, Jester.

I took the test before reading the book, before reading what each archetype truly represented. It's important to do that because to do otherwise could influence your answers. The PMAI isn't complicated to score and the book has an excellent work section to help with understandng and validating the results.

Reading up on the archeypes later was a revelation. I scored highly on archetypes I wouldn't have expected, lower on ones I thought were a sure thing. The book gives a breakdown of each archetype: the archetypal character, plot, imagery, gifts, social support, in nature, in spirituality, as leaders, at its best, what to guard against, when problems emerge, what others appreciate, what is noticed, activities or qualities that are beneficial, what happens with a low score on the archetype. Thought provoking indeed.

So, Health Psych, Sage? Jester? Caregiver? I'd love to tell you but then, as the saying goes, I'd have to kill you.

The authors Carol Pearson, PhD, author of The Hero Within and Awakening the Heroes Within, and Hugh Marr, a Jungian psychologist claim 'What Story?' will help individuals discover the archetypal patterns and themes unconsciously influencing their lives and replace unproductive life patterns by awakening unrealised potential. Well. I'm still working through the book so I can't yet tell you whether a new and improved Health Psych will emerge. However, as a self-discovery tool, 'What Story' is a revelation as to the unconsious patterns and roles that shape our lives.

A final word, as with any self-assessment instrument, the PMAI and exercises contained in this book should be used with respect, particulary if sharing results with others, and I was particularly pleased to see the authors emphasise this.


When I agreed to review this book, I requested an additional copy to make available free of charge to a reader of this blog. If you are interested in receiving a copy of 'What Story Are You Living?', please register your interest in the comments section. On Friday the 2nd November, I' will, following a strict scientific protocol involving pieces of paper and a hat, announce the lucky winner. Whoever you are, I'll then contact you for a mailing address. DO NOT POST PERSONAL DETAILS IN THE COMMENT SECTION!!!!


Given that there were only two interested parties for this book, the hat and pieces of paper seemed a little redundant. As I've now read the book, I'll pass on my copy too. So, Dreaming Again and KMT, if you email me your details, I'll get the books in the mail early next week. Enjoy!


Dreaming again said...

Oh! Put my name in the hat!! I'd love to be able to read this!

Dr. Deb said...

Wonderful post HP. I'll order the book and let another blog pal take the chance.

Thanks for sharing, well, almost sharing everything!!!


kmt said...

Please put my name in the hat HP. The odds of winning seem to be pretty good right now.

mckay said...

well, that'll teach me to stay away from your blog for too long.

are you going to be giving away chocolate in the near future?? not that i needs it, mind you. i wants it.

seriously, though, it sounds like a very interesting book and your review is well written. hope all's well with you.