Last revised

Berens on Beebe

Dr. Beebe's approach to Type is innovative, radical, and revolutionary!  But I get the impression -- especially from certain Theorists -- that his outlook on the negative aspects of our Shadow functions is just a little too -- well... gloomy.  They seem compelled to find a silver lining inside those clouds, and want to mine a positive aspect from our ego-dystonic functions.

To be fair, they also seek balance in the upper, ego-syntonic quaternity as well by mining negative aspects of the functions we suppose we have mastery of.  Apparently it's just as easy to over-use and abuse our best functions as it is to walk on the wild side with our Shadow functions.

The following variation on Dr. Beebe's model as presented by Type expert Dr. Linda Berens isn't as Jungian as the Beebe version.  She titles the various positions "roles of the processes" instead of "archetypes," because they attempt to describe what role a process plays in various situations.  According to Dr. Berens, while we can and do access every function, there is an "energy cost" associated with each process we use.  As can be expected, our dominant and auxiliary functions extort the lowest energy price from us, while other processes can be downright draining.

So here again we display the "pure" model as it operates in every Type code, with the names of the roles marked at each position.  This time, the upper term describes the process in a typical role, and the bottom title describes that same process in a counter role.

And now let's make it relevant to an INFJ once more:

The roles are not all that different from the Beebe "archetype" version, but different enough to be interesting, especially the dual aspects.  Let's mine these aspects in greater detail, and you can try applying them to your own personality to see how well they "fit."

Leading Role / Dominating:  introverted iNtuition for the INFJ
For an INFJ, this is the process usually engaged first, as we trust it to solve our problems and help us be successful.  It seems easy and instinctive to use, and has stable, adult qualities associated with it.  But it is possible to "crank up" this process and become overbearing with it until it seems dominating and negative.

You probably already know how you employ your introverted iNtuition to get out of difficult situations.  But can you admit to ever using it in a dominating fashion?  When have you over-used it to the extent it failed you?

Supporting Role / Overprotective:  extraverted Feeling for the INFJ
For an INFJ, the function of Fe is usually nurturing and helpful.  But have you ever known your extraverted Feeling to be overprotective -- even a hindrance?

Relief Role / Unsettling:  introverted Thinking for the INFJ
For an INFJ, Ti may be how we express our creativity and have fun.  But Ti can also unsettle us and express itself childishly.  Can you identify the dual ways this process manifests itself in your life?

Aspirational Role / Projective: extraverted Sensing for the INFJ
Shoulda woulda coulda.  That's the negative, immature way Se tends to express itself early on in our INFJ lives.  Later, as we begin to trust it around midlife, it may help us to find balance.  And -- as with the Beebe version -- it may cradle our inspiration and ideals.  

I want to make a distinction here with this particular process.  This function may present itself as the broad, over-arching theme of a person's life, or it can operate moment-to-moment.  Most INFJs aren't all that good with moment-to-moment Se, but nevertheless, Se colors their overall expression.  So this function is multi-faceted in that it seems to play two different roles within the same personality.

Can you describe ways in which Se operates for you as a process in the personality microcosm, but has also provided you with a sense of purpose?

Now onto the Shadow functions: 

Opposing Role / Backup: extraverted iNtuition for the INFJ
We might be able to develop skill in the process of Ne, but usually we get stubborn and contrary and refuse to cooperate using it.  Thus, we may not use it to serve our own best interests.  On the other hand, if it gets expressed positively, it may support our leading role process and assist it toward success.

Critical Role / Discovery:  introverted Feeling for the INFJ
This function often emerges under stress, and is how we can attack with criticism (ourselves and others).  Once it appears, it may be unrelenting in its negative expression.  On the positive side, Fi can help us make profoundly important discoveries, if we allow it to.

Deceiving Role / Comedic:  extraverted Thinking for the INFJ
Te is usually considered untrustworthy, and might fool INFJs into making mistakes, such as bad decisions.  But on the positive side, it can offer a refreshing way of laughing at ourselves and not taking matters too seriously.

Devilish Role / Transformative:  introverted Sensing for the INFJ
This function can be very destructive, and we often regret actions we take while under the spell of it.  INFJs are generally clueless about how to access this function, and it tends to just erupt unexpectedly.  But (as with the Beebe model), it is possible for Si to be transformative -- it might provide a spark to create something new altogether, like a phoenix rising from ashes.

And that's the Berens' version of the Beebe model, featuring both positive and negative spins to every process.  I tend to switch between using both these versions of this model, sometimes exploring archetypes and their manifestations, and sometimes analyzing the role a process has played -- both in myself and others.  Whichever way you use it, it can be an endless source of fascination and self-discovery.

concepts taken from Understanding Yourself and Others: An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, by Dr. Linda Berens & Dr. Dario Nardi


 Dynamics of Personality Type: Understanding and Applying Jung's Cognitive Processes, by Dr. Linda Berens

* * *