Jeanette Sullivan, M.A., Ph.D., MBTI®-Certified
and Elise Crohn, B.A., Artist, SoulCollage® Facilitator
“Explore Your Personality! Jungian Psychological Types and SoulCollage®”
January 21, 2017
The Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida (CJSSF) offers a special event on “Explore Your Personality! Jungian Psychological Types and SoulCollage®,” made up of two half-day workshops, “Introduction to SoulCollage® and the Jungian Personality Types” and “Advanced Type Dynamics and SoulCollage®.” These workshops will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Friends Quaker Meeting House, Lake Worth, Florida.
Jeannette Sullivan, Ph.D. is certified in Myers Briggs Type Indicator and is obtaining Master Practitioner status. She is a professor at Palm Beach State College in Leadership Development, First Year Experience, and Personal Development. She has presented classes and workshops in the community including the Duncan Center, the Township of Palm Beach, Florida Atlantic University, St. Thomas University, the Association for Psychological Type International, and various conferences. She recently completed a doctorate in Higher Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at Florida Atlantic University, and specializes in topics of type, career development, leadership, and happiness.
Elise Crohn, B.A., and Artist is a certified SoulCollage® facilitator and founder of Juicy Creative Studio in Lake Worth, FL where art programs lead to personal growth, healing and insight. Her B.A. is from a multi-disciplinary program in deep ecology, systems theory, sustainable living, and art activism. She completed a two-year intensive certificate program in expressive arts therapy and recently completed a two-year post-graduate level training in Jungian Sand Play therapy. Elise has been leading expressive arts workshops, classes and retreats across the country for 20+ years combining her passion for depth psychology, spirituality, ecology and creativity.
CJSSF: What is SoulCollage®? Who started it? And how can it lead to self-discovery?
CROHN: SoulCollage® was created by California psychotherapist Seena Frost, combining Jungian psychology, creativity and spirituality. SoulCollage® evolved from a seminar Seena took with writer Jean Houston, who was associated with the Human Potential Movement. Each card represents one ‘energy’ or theme of a personality. Each person’s deck represents the one Soul of the whole person.
The cards represent aspects of your psychological makeup including parts of ego consciousness and of the collective unconscious. Making the cards is a healing process. Images are selected intuitively and arranged on a card, then, through a writing/sharing process, the meaning of a card is discovered. There is a sense of the true Self being revealed – the good, the bad and the ugly! In SoulCollage® it is encouraged to include ALL aspects of self: the complexes; the inner child; roles we play; and archetypal obsessions and passions.
Aspects of the self are discovered through the imagery, then named, giving a dynamic aliveness to the process, preserving the awe and wonder as opposed to intellectualizing or over-explaining.
CJSSF: What are some of the basic concepts of Jung’s psychological types theory that can be understood better through the process of SoulCollage®?
SULLIVAN: The subconscious mind, like the dreaming mind, shows up in terms of symbols and archetypes. SoulCollage® is uniquely suited as a vehicle for the expression of subconscious material.
Jung spoke at length about the subconscious and its impact on human development and expression. In fact, Carl Jung first coined the term transpersonal (ubpersonlich) when he used the phrase “transpersonal unconscious” as a synonym for the collective unconscious. A key stimulus for the establishment of type theory as a developmental tool was Abraham Maslow’s research on self-actualization, addressing not only wounding and development but the study of peak experiences, inspired creativity, altruistic ideals, and personal actions that transcend “ordinary personality.”
CJSSF: How is SoulCollage® different from The Tarot?
CROHN: Tarot decks are universal: A set number of cards represents a set number of themes or energies. Images vary but the types of cards are the same, representing major life themes. In every Tarot Deck is a Fool card, a Justice card and a Queen of Cups card, among others. The four suits refer to four areas of experience. Cups represent love and emotions. Swords represent mental pursuits and challenge. Wands represent creativity, and spirituality, and Pentacles represent health, wealth and physical aspects.
A SoulCollage® deck is NOT universal, it’s personal, as unique as the individual. The deck is never finished just as our consciousness is never fully finished. A SoulCollage® deck does have four suits: The Committee represents our psychological makeup. The Council represents archetypal themes that influence us. The Community represents people (friends, family and ancestors), pets and places that influence us including allies and challengers. The Companion represents instinctual energy, imaged as powerful animal energy that feels kin to your being and the life story held in the physical body.
People often go to a Tarot reader for interpretations. In SoulCollage® your deck is made by you for YOU to discover what aspects of your personality have to say about your questions. It’s a profound way to learn how your personality parts work together (or not), and it can be a lifelong self-reflective, self-nurturing, self-therapy.
CJSSF: Does SoulCollage® work better for intuitives?
CROHN: SoulCollage® is a whole brain, whole being, process. The making of the cards relies more on intuition as you browse magazines and find images, letting them pick YOU rather than having a preconceived plan. After the card is made, the writing process engages the thinking. It is a combination of intuition and thinking that leads to profound insight and integration.
Intuitive types seem to feel at home creating cards and find it validating to their way of being. We are an over-thinking society, over-trained in school in the thinking aspect and little in our intuitive processes. Intuitives seem to breathe a sigh of relief to engage in this process. Thinking types may be hesitant, but with easy guidelines they can slip into this way of processing and find a balance they may have been craving but did not know how to reach for it!
In the writing stage, thinking types seem to easily engage whereas intuitive types may want to keep making cards! But writing about the cards is often where intuitives have the most to gain. Jungian psychology, in my opinion, is a psychology of and for the second half of life. SoulCollage® too, is largely practiced by people over 30 and even more so over 50 – when a person is often more ready to explore other aspects of their being.
CJSSF: Does SoulCollage® work better for artistic types?
CROHN: SoulCollage® is a creative, image-based activity that is accessible to anyone regardless of artistic experience or ability. We are an image-based culture and our souls respond to photographs and imagery viscerally and passionately. A SoulCollage® room is set up to remove a sense of competition or self-consciousness, or pressure to create a dazzling product for artists and “non-artists” alike. This widens the door for real personal self-discovery.
CJSFF: How did you two come to combine your talents: Elise’s years as an expressive arts therapist and SoulCollage® facilitator and Jeannette’s years as a professor and facilitator of the Myers Briggs typology inventory?
SULLIVAN: Two intuitive feelers met at the Center for Jungian Studies and started brainstorming. The next thing you know they are offering workshops in this dual discipline. The two disciplines are more similar than appears on the surface.
Myers Briggs Typology is based directly upon Jung’s vast body of work, and SoulCollage® was designed to provide an expressive vehicle, also based upon Jungian principles. Many today are feeling the loss of soul in their rushed lives. Creative expression through SoulCollage® can foster a sense of integration or balance between the six aspects of human life including intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social and creative expression.
Typology is a framework of tendencies each one of us uses to make decisions, solve problems, direct attention, communicate, and take in information. These tendencies may lie beneath consciousness, especially under extreme stress or when “in the grip” of our evil twin. This part of the shadow will be explored in the afternoon workshop. Personality is the vessel or vehicle which enables the soul and spirit to navigate the world. Its role is to be a transcendent window, a servant to the divinity or true self within. SoulCollage® gives voice to this inner knowing in order to advance on the arc of life.
The morning workshop will lay foundational knowledge of Jungian typology and SoulCollage®. Each will emerge with a card, that may come as a surprise. In the afternoon, we will explore type in terms of the dominant function, the driver of the vehicle, and the inferior function, or what happens when our inner child (the bratty one) takes the wheel, and then apply SoulCollage® techniques to express this “dark side of the moon.”
CJSSF: Can workshop attendees bring images for collaging? Is there any other kind of preparatory work that would be helpful?
CROHN: You are welcome to bring your own images, but we will have a plethora there for you! It would be helpful to know your Myers Briggs type before the workshop, and you will get a lot more out of it if you do some reading on your type before the workshop.
CJSSF: Attendees will make one collage card in the morning and one in the afternoon. Is that right? How many SoulCollage® cards do you have in your personal collection?
CROHN: For people new to Myer’s Briggs or to SoulCollage® please come to the morning session! If you are familiar with both you could come for the afternoon only. In the morning session, you will get the chance to make a card representing your dominant Myers Briggs function to help you understand your type on a deeper level.
In the afternoon we will work with the shadow of our types: What happens when a type is stressed to the max and reverts to what is called the “inferior function.” Participants will make a card representing how they see their type’s shadow and how that shows up in their personalities. My personal SoulCollage® deck is over 150 cards! You could say I have my own Red Book where I let the cards speak to me and to each other. They have a lot to say!!
Interview by Teresa Oster, MSW, MS, CJSSF board member