The seven types
We all have an inherent psychological DNA that under the right conditions sprouts like a seed.
The Seven Types describes these psychological qualities and their distinctive features so you can recognize them in yourself. With this insight and understanding, you can develop them even further.
Why am I so sensitive, why do I feel so much? Why do I need to be in control? Why are my emotions so extreme and my passions so intense? Why is beauty so important to me, even more than food?
The Seven Types: honour your differences
At times most of us wonder about our emotional reactions and psychological nature, especially when comparing ourselves to others. We can see ourselves in other people but if we look a bit closer we soon realize that we are all unique.
Every person is different and unique. Even brothers and sisters are different, despite growing up under the same conditions and belonging to the same family. We all have a unique developmental pattern. Key to upbringing is ensuring the nurturing of the psychological seeds we are born with. Through this we support and strengthen a child’s inherent qualities. But this also applies throughout our lives. We all have unrealized potentials that can be brought to life.
But what is this psychological DNA? The Seven Types and Psychoenergetics postulates that everything is energy – our thoughts, emotions, and bodies are energy. Every human being radiates energy, which manifests as our psychological qualities.
We all radiate different types of energies
Mads is extreme and intense in his behaviour. Line is moody, spontaneous, and playful. Anton is completely immersed in his thoughts and a bit of a nerd.
When we try to describe how people and even ourselves are, we often miss the deeper pattern behind a particular type of behaviour. An analogy is how we experience a forest. A botanist will see and experience a forest differently from someone who is ignorant about trees and plant life. The botanist will see an oak, ash and beech while someone else will see only ‘trees’. The same is true of different energy types; our insight and understanding allows us to appreciate their unique qualities.
Let us see how Roberto Assagioli, the founder of Psychosynthesis, understands this in a very practical way (Transpersonal Development: p. 47-48):
“Energies radiate outwards from the personality as if from a great source of light; luminous rays shine out and pervade the atmosphere. This irradiation occurs spontaneously – I would almost say inevitably – and this explains the effect the mere presence of a person who has had transpersonal experiences has on those with whom he or she comes into contact.”
When an “energy psychologists” look at people they see energies expressed as different types of psychological and physical behaviour. When we begin to read and understand the world of energies, we learn to understand other people. We recognize our own and others’ motivations, we gain insights into ourselves and become better at cooperating with others.
The Seven Types was further developed by Søren Hauge and Kenneth Sørensen based on Roberto Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis Typology and Perennial Philosophy. After years of experience and cooperation, we wanted to create a new language and practical approach to working with the Seven Types. We founded the company www.jivaYou.com with a team of IT consultants with the purpose of offering online identity profiles based on this psychology.
The Seven “Energy” Types
“Everything is energy” is the basic principle behind what Roberto Assagioli called Psychoenergetics and the teaching of The Seven Types; the universe, nature and man are all expressions of energy. That is why it is appropiate to call the Seven Types for Energy Types. There are seven different energy types, each with their own distinctive character. In relation to man, these different energy types are expressed at all levels of human personality.
Here is an overview of the Seven Energy Types seen as seven energies, qualities and intelligences:
- The dynamic type expresses itself as will, purpose and ambition. Leaders, heroes, pioneers are all characterized by this kind of energy, and they radiate courage and determination. (Assagioli’s Will-Power Type)
- The sensitive type radiates feeling, empath, and insight. Teachers, counsellors and healers express this energy, and they come across as friendly and compassionate. (Assagioli’s Love-Illuminative Type)
- The mental type radiates intelligence, perspective and curiosity. Thinkers, communicators and merchants belong to this type, and they come across as intelligent and sharp. (Assagioli’s Active-Practical Type)
- The creative type expresses imagination, empathy and aesthetics. Artists, mediators and therapists are coloured by this energy, and they radiate humour and spontaneity. (Assagioli’s Aesthetic-Creative Type)
- The analytical type radiates logic, rationality and knowledge. Researchers, analysts and scientists belong to this type and come across as serious and reliable. (Assagioli’s Scientific-Rational Type)
- The dedicated type shows passion, idealism and activism. Activists, romantics and advocates are influenced by this energy, and they radiate enthusiasm and sincerity. (Assagioli’s Devotional-Idealistic Type)
- The practical type expresses action, organization and practicality. Administrators, project managers and entrepreneurs are influenced by this energy, and they radiate efficiency and action. (Assagioli’s Organizer-Ritualistic Type)
The Seven Types is based on the seven psychological functions
What’s the source of these energies from a psychological perspective? We assume that the seven energies arise in humans because of the seven psychological functions that govern human life.
The Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung (1875-1961) proposed a theory of four psychological functions that today is widely used, especially in the field of personality typology. The four functions are: thought, feeling, intuition and sensation. We understand ourselves and the world through these four functions.
The Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974) suggests seven psychological functions. Assagioli’s model represents the basis for our understanding of The Seven Types. These seven functions enable the intelligence and consciousness needed to navigate through life. I should specify here that it is the Self who is the conscious “I” and represents the self-aware consciousness in all humans.
In the circle diagram we see seven psychological functions. There are seven brain centres and intelligences that convey and produce the different psychological qualities.
Our starting point is that all humans possess will, feeling, thought, imagination, logic, passion, and action.
No intuition? According to Jung and Assagioli, intuition is an important psychological function. We agree with this; however we see intuition as a transpersonal function and so did Assagioli. He discriminated between the normal and transpersonal psychological functions:
“This personal self is the human core at the ordinary level, the level of personality. It is the center of our ordinary psychological functions: mind, emotions, sensation, imagination, etc.
Likewise, at our higher human level there is an entity that is at the center of the higher functions – artistic inspiration, ethical insight, scientific intuition. This is our real core: it is there in all of us, but the personality is generally not aware of it at the ordinary level.”
In this short introduction we have chosen to focus solely on the psychology of the personality.
The seven psychological functions of the Seven Types are:
WILL: Your ability to make decisions and choices. The will says something about the intention behind an action.
FEELING: Your ability to sense what is happening in yourself and others on an emotional level. Feelings communicate whether the experience is pleasant or unpleasant.
THOUGHT: Your ability to reflect, see and understand connections. Through thought you understand your experience using words and concepts.
IMAGINATION: Thought and feeling together allows you to imagine what you do not yet know or have not yet seen. With the imagination you can create something new that brings with it new possibilities.
LOGIC: Will and thought together produces analytical, focused, and penetrating thinking, enabling you to take strategic action. Logic discerns between what is right and wrong, true and untrue based on logical thinking.
PASSION: Feeling and will together makes you goal oriented and ambitious, driving you to achieve something important you desire.
ACTION: Will, feeling, and thought together triggers concrete practical action aimed at tangible results. (This is Assagioli’s Sensation combined with the body’s ability to act)
These seven psychological functions and qualities are always available, but not in equal measure because we have not developed them to the same degree. They are therefore expressed differently.
You may have recognised certain qualities that you think are particularly well developed in yourself. For example, if you are driven by WILL, this will appear in your identity profile as dynamic qualities or talents.
Psychosynthesis Typology use Seven Energy Types at five levels
Psychosynthesis Typology is similar to other systems such as Jung’s 8 types and the Enneagram’s 9 types. What is unique about Psychosynthesis typology, however, is that it describes types on five levels: Body, Emotion, Mind, Personality and Soul.
At each level, one energy dominates, so the body, feelings, thoughts, personality and soul will be coloured by one of the seven energy types.
Psychosynthesis Typology is about finding a place for ourselves through these five psychological levels and the combination of types we possess. With the addition of the introverted and extrovert aspects of the different types, a complex image of human psychology emerges.
Above is a model of the five psychological levels inspired by Maslow’s “pyramid of needs.” Here the conscious “I” functions as a light connecting the lower and upper parts of the pyramid.
The four lower levels symbolize what is called “ego needs,” while above, at the level of essence, we find our “being needs,” for meaning and spirituality.
We can all access the seven energies, but some will be more dominant than others, and this will indicate your inherent psychological DNA. Typologies can easily become narrow simplifications of complex realities. Some of this danger can be avoided by the nuances introduced in Psychosynthesis Typology and The Seven Types.
The above diagram is a mandala, showing the fundamental features of The Seven Types. At the centre is the sun, which gives life to the seven energies, which constitute the Seven Types. Within the first circle are the seven psychological functions: will, feeling, thought etc. and in the next circle the Seven Types. In the outer ring are the seven archetypes or Soul Types connected to the level of Soul.
No human being is a type
Your psychological DNA corresponds to the type of energy which dominates in your body, emotions, mind, personality and Soul. But there’s always an x-factor that no typology can capture. This is the wisdom and maturity of the individual, which influence how our qualities and talents manifest. Two people raised by the same parents and with exactly the same energy on all five levels can still be different. Their psychological maturity will determine how their natures unfold.