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Using John Beebe’s and John Giannini’s Frameworks Together

Dec 12th, 2013

We often expect to be able to get along better with those who share our function pairs than with opposite function pairs, but this example explains why that is not always the case. 

This past week I was trying to help an ESFP woman understand the interactions she is having with her mid-twenties ESFJ son. She and her son have been close over the years, having frequent conversations. But in the past few years, this has stopped. Now, whenever she opens such a conversation, he begs off. The mother wanted to understand why his interactions with her now feel so cold.  Applying John Giannini’s framework, I asked her to consider the possibility that her son has moved out of the SF environment of his childhood and is now moving into his ST phase, seeking to become his own man (ST warrior coupling).  The mother immediately agreed with this idea and saw it as positive.

She then talked about her son’s interactions with his ENTP father as being the positive interactions she so desired. To understand why the son’s interactions with the mother are so different to those with the father, we shifted to John Beebe’s framework to examine the mother – son dynamic pairings compared to the father – son dynamic pairings.  We identified the mother normally engaged her son through the Introverted Feeling (Fi) function in her Good Parent (2nd) position which is in the Opposing Personality position (5th) of her son, and the son often engages his mother through his Introverted Sensation (Si) function in his Good Parent position which is in his mother’s Opposing Personality position.  Since functions in the Opposing Personality position tend to express passive aggressively, the mother and son were naturally rubbing one another the wrong way.

It’s very different for the ENTP father. Even though the function pairs of ESFJ and ENTP are opposite (SF and NT), the father’s Good Parent function (Ti-2nd) connects to and mentors the son’s Anima (soul) function (Ti-4th), just as a father and son would want. The father and son also share a Hero – Eternal child reciprocal connection (Ne-1st-Fe-3rd and vice versa), and we know every hero likes to be admired and every child wants to have a hero. Shifting back to John Giannini’s model we recognized that the father and son share the conscious functions of NeTi and SiFe as their two most natural couplings while the mother and son share shadow couplings of one another.

While each framework can be used to gain some insight, a more complete understanding comes when they are used together, yet both show how working with Jung’s theory opens the door to understandings that using just the four-letter type codes completely misses.  If you haven’t considered learning the frameworks that Beebe and Giannini have provided, I encourage you to investigate them in the coming year. >>Share your comments with others>>>


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