To educate anyone effectively it is essential to understand their learning style and personality type. In Archetypes for Spiritual Direction, Bruce Tallman applies this principle to the task of spiritual direction, using as his model the "archetypes" identified by noted psychologist Carl Jung.
Archetypes, according to Jung, comprise the contents of the "collective unconscious," the vast universal mind that all human beings share in. Archetypes are power centers hardwired into the male and female psyche/soul that subconsciously control everything we do. They manifest themselves in every culture and every age in healthy and unhealthy ways. The healthy archetypes are inner guides or "heroes" that help us fulfill our destinies.
Tallman describes the way the four foundational heroic archetypes--the Sovereign, Warrior, Seer and Lover and their eight anti-heroic counterparts--the Tyrant, Abdicator, Sadist, Masochist, Manipulator, Fool, Addict and Frigid--affect the way male and female spiritual directors and guides give spiritual guidance. His book also describes how heroic or anti-heroic seekers are formed. And it addresses how seekers can cope with an anti-heroic spiritual director and how all spiritual guides/directors and seekers can become more heroic by activating their healthy archetypes; how all of us can discover the spiritual heroes within.
Archetypes represent a third major educational tool that can be used in spiritual direction and guidance besides the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram. There are many books about archetypes and many about spiritual direction, but no other book addresses how archetypes affect the way people do spiritual direction.