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Archetypes & Aspects of self 

The categorization of traits into feminine and masculine is as old as humanity itself. In the teachings of wise individuals from various spiritual traditions and in my studies of psychology and psychotherapy, I learned how early on we are influenced about which traits "belong" to girls and boys. And which behaviors are seen as typically masculine or feminine. This means that everyone immediately recognizes the archetypes of the Shields of your Inner Family. Archetypes, not stereotypes: if you have a female body, it's up to you whether you want to display traits that belong to the inner woman. It's your choice whether you also provide room and attention to traits of the inner girl, boy, or inner man. All four have their own value and are equal.

You can use your archetypal aspects of self as 4 shields, 4 styles to create what brings you happiness, what is valuable to you. You can also smoothly switch between your four different styles, which is useful in times of change. We call this Dancing with your Shields, and that's what you learn in working with the Shields of yourInner Family. This way, you get used to the idea that you have all those traits at your disposal. And that you're free to develop qualities in your life that you want – in other words, to become the Director of your Inner Family.

Since I was inspired to create this model in 2006, thousands of people use my method as a common language and metaphor to discuss challenging situations, gain insights, and see solutions. I hear feedback that it works, and moreover, that it's an inspiring and light-hearted approach to quickly gain clarity and control. By viewing yourself and others in this new way, you can bridge differences more easily and create something together. After all, you have 4 styles to utilize and you look at every situation through 4 lenses: a change of perspective brings you new perspective!

Whether you're a coach, (HR) advisor or manager, therapist or trainer, whatever your target audience, whether you're looking for a framework model or some extra tools for your toolkit: you are very welcome!

"The methodology of the Inner Family is clear and helps to view things from a different perspective and step out of my fixed patterns for once!” - Niekolien