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What Story Are You Living?

A Workbook and Guide to Interpreting Results from the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator

Are you a fan of Jung and Jungian archetypes?

Then this is the book for you!

Organized into nine chapters, this book helps you understand the kind of life story you are currently living. We are, the authors tell us, story-loving creatures. Our lives are stories, and the stories we live have been told in the past, and will be told again in the future. The only thing that really changes is the details and the meanings we take away from the story of our lives. This is an interesting and very different take on helping us explore our selves and our lives.

This is a workbook, meaning you are expected to be an active participant in learning about your own personal story. To that end, two copies of a self-administered and self-scoring psychological assessment are included — the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator. The authors walk you through, step-by-step, the administration and scoring of the indicator, and then help you interpret the meaning. The authors are good at walking you through and helping you with your journey. I never felt like they assumed I knew all the background and history of Jungian archetypes, and I never felt abandoned in my quest for self-knowledge down this intriguing road.

What’s an archetype? An archetype is a psychological structure reflected in symbols, images and themes common to all cultures and all times. They are universal themes embodied in characters, known by virtually all people and all cultures.

There are twelve main archetypes along the three stages of the “hero’s journey,” which map out our gradual progression to individuation and becoming a fully realized human being. Rather than a linear journey, the path is actually a spiral one, where a person may constantly revisit previous stages and themes with increasing awareness and wisdom.

In this journey, we “play out” twelve main archetypal patterns: The Innocent, The Orphan, The Warrior, The Caregiver, The Seeker, The Lover, The Destroyer, The Creator, The Ruler, The Magician, The Sage, and The Jester.

Will this book, “awaken your unrealized potential and hidden strengths to improve personal and business relationships, find new direction in career planning, or replace unproductive life patterns,” as the marketing copy suggests? Maybe. It’s a little like Tarot cards to me, though, and the more you believe in the underlying concepts of Jungian psychology, the more useful you’ll find these results (think something like an Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, except focused on our stories more than our specific personality components).

I believe that sometimes when we step outside of our normal “safe zone” of beliefs and try something new, it has the potential to show us something we never knew about ourselves. That is what I found with this book. While not providing me with any breathtaking insights, it allowed me to view my life from a different perspective, helping me gain new perspective on it in a way I don’t think I could have as easily achieved without the book.

So with that in mind, if you’re looking for a different and imaginative perspective in your life, and a way to help better understand your life story, this is a recommended and invaluable resource in your journey.

163 pages, softcover with two copies of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator Instrument and Scoring Sheet.

What Story Are You Living?

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John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2016). What Story Are You Living?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 May 2016
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 May 2016
Published on Psych All rights reserved.