Some thoughts about the Adolescent archetype and Goldilocks

Marica Rytovaara, a Training Analyst with the SAP, is speaking on the adolescent archetype and the Goldilocks Factor on 1 October.

Returning from my summer holiday I was intrigued by people engaged in levitational rituals only to discover that they were performing the sitting-rising test which prophetically bestows either
extended life or imminent death. Our fear of mortality activates the puer ( puella) archetype and drives us to take up extreme sports to retrieve the high octane feeling of being intensely alive. We all recognise the escapism of the old Romeo who runs off with a new Juliet or the Shirley Valentine and Stonehouse scenarios of morphing into new identities.

The puer aeternus is usually described as a charming but shallow Peter Pan and Marie Louise von Franz like Jung tended to personify an archetype.  Like all archetypes it has both a positive and a shadow side. In my talk I want to think about the vitality of the puer and how it brings growth and individuation in its wake. The shadow comes to the fore when we become trapped in a repetition compulsion. The gossip pages recently showed an ageing Leonardo di Caprio onto his fourth blonde look-alike, but the search for finding one’s true self before it is too late, to feel alive and deeply understood, is also what drives us into therapy and is the meaning behind Goldilock’s porridge that was “just right”.