08 April 2009

The Winnieagram: Christopher Robin and personal growth

Christopher Robin and Personal Growth

The eight ‘Poohsonalities’ are essentially eight different ways in which we respond to the problems and challenges of everyday life. To the extent that we tend to rely on one of these responses to the exclusion of others, we become unbalanced, less than fully human.

The most positive aspect of the Winnieagram is its strong affirmation that every one of us contains all of these ‘Poohsonalities’. Inside every Tigger there is an Eeyore struggling to get out (and vice versa). As we exercise our neglected ‘Poohsonalities’ we become more balanced, better integrated individuals. And the end result of that process? In addition to the individual ‘Poohsonalities’, the Pooh corpus also gives us a picture of the well-integrated, fully rounded human being – that picture is Christopher Robin.

In common with Jung, the Pooh corpus sees a deeper significance in this individuated self. Here the self is identified as Christopher, literally the Christ bearer. Similarly Jung identifies the archetype of the self as the divine image in the human psyche.

However, the process of individuation is fraught with difficulties. Jung and Pooh agree that anyone who embarks on the process confronts a wide range of dangers. In the Pooh corpus these dangers are represented by a variety of metaphors, ranging from Pooh’s often frustrated searches for ‘hunny’ to the disastrous heffalump hunt. As the outcome of the latter reveals, in such circumstances only the guidance of someone who has already reached the Christopher Robin state can enable the individual to move forward (escape from the heffalump trap). Thus, just as Jung insisted that analysis of the unconscious should not attempted without the assistance of a qualified depth psychologist, so Ursinian psychology stresses that development towards the Christopher Robin state requires the guidance of an accredited Winnieagram counsellor.

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