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Multiple Perspectives and Multiple Truths: Challenges and Opportunities for Professional Coaches

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As in the case of Kristen, the ironic dynamics operating in Joshua’s psyche becomes even more complex and empowered through the deep level archetypes operating at a personal and collective level within Joshua and within his organization. The archetype that seems most prevalent is one of the Great Warrior. While the image (imago) of the Great Warrior is often assigned a masculine identity (the aggressive and courageous father/general), it can also be feminine (the protective and defending mother). For Joshua, there is the appeal of both the masculine imago (defeating the evil government bureaucrat) and the feminine imago (defending the vulnerable children). In many ways, the ironic interplay between Joshua’s anima and animus is resolved at a deep level through the merging of the feminine and masculine Great Warrior.

This resolution certainly can account for the reason why (or at least one of the reasons why) Joshua has latched on to this archetype at an unconscious level. What might account for his initial pull toward the image of Great Warrior? Like all young men (and many young women) in American society, there is a pervasive sense that the Great Warrior is needed to solve complex problems and is rewarded for the courage and cunning displayed in winning a great battle. We have only to look at movies like the Star Wars series or more recently the super-hero films. For Joshua, there might also be a special appeal because his namesake was a great biblical warrior. Many Jungians point out that one’s given name can impact in a profound (often unacknowledged) way on self-image as well as the initial assumptions other people make about oneself.

Joshua seems to be gathering support from the environment in which he works for the prevalence of the Great Warrior archetype. Members of the Fairhills staff (and board) seem to support the role of Joshua as both the masculine and feminine Warrior. They admire his administrative and advocacy skills and often assign Joshua too much competency and give him too much personal credit for the financial success and stability of Fairhills.

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