Patients sometimes ask me if it is really possible to create a healthy relationship with somebody.  The answer is yes. However, I think to successfully do this one has to examine a relationship from an archetypal point of view.

Seeing your partner not as the person, but as a pattern, allows you to see beyond the person and into the dynamics at hand. This process makes the relationship grow into something wholesome.

My teachers joked when you are forming a relationship it is your archetypes that are really doing the dating. After the relationship settles down, the negative aspects of the archetypes have to be addressed.

I think archetypes are seen most readily in an intimate  relationship. Paradoxically, in a relationship you can discover a great deal about your Self.  I find relationship analysis far more illuminating than when an individual only goes inward.

When relationship emotions are running loose and high, I advise people to put themselves at a distance from the situation and think in Archetypal terms.  Start to observe your partner, boss, group, etc. in terms of complex energies, such as the Child, Warrior, Martyr, Prostitute, Archetype etc.

When the ‘lights goes on’, change is possible. You and your relationship will both change – hopefully for the better.

A common problem is when there is only one partner is working on gaining consciousness. Example; let’s say “A” realizes “A” and “B” are both operating with full throttle Child Archetypes. It is fun and whimsical for awhile, but then negative aspects of “Child as Ego” become more active. Realizing this, “A” wants to mature. “A” says to “B” something like he or she is ready to grow and please come along, let’s do this Journey together.

I don’t have a lot success stories here. “B” is often unconscious or unwilling to work on mutual maturity.

If “A” grows and “B” stays the same, “B” commonly complains “You aren’t the person I married” and ‘You are changing into something I don’t like anymore”.

Sometimes relationship analysis can only help “A” better cope, without unconscious acting out. Sometimes “A” realizes the need to leave.

This sort of analytical work can be applied to mates, friends, family, co-workers, ‘tribes’ and even nations.