Archetypes

Archetypes are divided into major and minor archetypes. The major archetypes include the persona, animus, anima, shadow, and self. The persona is one's public personality, which one displays in order to be accepted by society. One's goal is to balance the needs of the persona with the desire to express one's true self. In contrast to the persona, the shadow represents the dark side of the psyche. It includes thoughts and feelings which the person typically does not express because they are not social. These cognitions can be held back on either a conscious or an unconscious level. The anima represents the feminine aspects of males, while the animus represents the masculine aspects of females. These archetypes have come about as a function of centuries of interactions between males and females. They have the potential to improve communication and understanding between males and females. Finally, the most important psychic structure in Jung's theory is the self. It is the archetype which provides the whole psyche with a sense of unity and stability. The major goal of each person's life is to optimize the development of the self.

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