Patterns of the Psyche

These patterns are based on psychological theories that explain how we defend ourselves to avoid pain. Thoughts, motivations, desire and feelings that are difficult to deal with often are projected onto those around us.  

This is a deep psychological mechanism that everyone struggles with on a daily basis. We have certain beliefs that alter our perception of the world based on a past negative experience. A belief causes a chain reaction of defensive patterns that reinforces the original thought. Often these beliefs begin to develop in childhood, and the pattern strengthens itself throughout a lifetime. 

Defensive thoughts and feelings seem to be a matter of survival on the surface, but really they end up proving the original belief to be exactly true. Once you can identify the pattern, it is possible to learn from these negative patterns and eventually be released from the cycle. 

Of course, this highlights the unbalanced side of the pattern and not everything here will apply 100%. And I’m sure that you have changed a bit as you have grown, and will continue to do so your whole life, so take this in with curiosity and see how it shows up in your life.

Belief – The perceived way the specific pattern type seeks love. This is often based on the viewpoint of a child. 

Situation – Childhood situation that makes belief seem true, which often demonstrates an inability to properly respond because of age. 

Defense – Thoughts that try to protect you from the original belief, which puts a  psychological/emotional wall between them and the world. 

Interaction – Outward behavior is often guarded, and causes the Pattern Type to unconsciously push away others. 

Proof – The result which often proves the original belief to appear true, reinforces the pattern.

1 – The “Philosopher”

Example: I am more comfortable in non-reality than in the present moment. I often escape into books/movies/thoughts or avoidance behaviors to avoid facing issues or people because the outside world seems scary or difficult to deal with. I might seem checked out or disorganized at times rather than being able to share my thoughts and creative insights with others.

Transference Cycles: Experiences feelings of alienation, reinforcing the need to  withdraw from the present situation. Constantly faced with being split between the internal(spiritual) and external(physical) worlds because of inherent fear. 

New Belief: I can be present for my life.

Gift: Easily connects to intuition and creativity; often manifests through artistic pursuits, philosophical endeavors or innovation. 


2 – The “Romantic”

Example: I have experienced or perceived a lack of love, attention or nutrients as a child. I try to take what I need either by pulling people in, or eventually taking what I want. If I don’t get my needs met, I might try to get even closer and draw energy/emotions by becoming clingy or obsessive, which may push people away if it is too intense. Then I tend to feel abandoned and “give up” on everything in dramatic fashion, only to go and seek my emotional fix elsewhere.

Transference Cycles: cause others to be suffocated by the Romantic and not want to  be around them much. 

New Belief: I can be enough for myself.

Gift: Extremely sensitive and sweet, especially with animals, children and elders; may lean toward social work or counseling and will in turn nourish himself.

3 – The “Giver”

Example:  I belive that if I give to others, I’ll be loved. I offer my time, work, money etc… (sometimes unsolicited) but I doe not require a return on my investment, or am too shy to ask for compensation. I suffer from the “Nice people do it for free” kind of thinking, but deep down I eventually feel resentment from being taken advantage of and may explode with anger at some point. Then I feel really bad about it all and try to appease the guilt by being nice to someone else or trying harder. All the while, ignoring or neglecting my own needs, thinking the good will of others will “trickle down” to me if I continue to sacrifice myself.

Transference Cycles: This continual suppression and denial of their own emotions paired with not getting compensation for their efforts will often manifest as someone who appears very sweet and giving, but who also has a side that may be resentful and possibly explosive.

New Belief: I can put myself first. I can meet my own needs without neglecting others.

Gift: Incredibly generous, gregarious and helpful; natural negotiator, teacher or care-giver with much warmth and creativity. 

4 – The “Warrior”

Example: I have to be in control of the situation and do the best thing for myself and others. I can step up to the job at hand no matter what, and will be the natural leader in any situation (because no one else can do it right). I may be overpowering or intimidating to others, but I’m just trying to make sure that everything is done right. I don’t take feedback well and find that I’m the one standing alone with all the responsibility because everyone else quit or I don’t trust they are up to the task. See how I need to be in charge??

Transference Cycles:It is difficult for the Warrior to cooperate with others and he  usually is quite impatient and critical because he cannot allow anyone else to be right. When his “subordinates‟ desert him because of this behavior it supports the belief that he is unsupported and has to have control in every situation. 

New Belief: I can trust others to help me..

Gift:Courageous, capable and strong; excellent leadership qualities; will lead others by example of his honor and integrity.

5 – The “Perfectionist”

Example: I am loved because of my performance and/or appearance. I will work harder than necessary to achieve a certain goal or achievement. Any perceived flaw will ruin how I am seen/loved by my community or myself. I need to hide my flaws and not be vulnerable, which may lead to anxiety/depression symptoms, causing withdrawal from social or family groups. Iou end up being my worst critic, and don’t realize how everyone adores me.

Transference Cycles: On the inside, the Perfectionist Type is terrified of being vulnerable and therefore conceals or denies his feelings because they are dangerous, messy and unpredictable. 

New Belief: It’s good enough. I don’t need to be perfect all the time.

Gift: Appears put-together, balanced and pleasant; has an eye for detail; will bring an element of sophistication to the job at hand.  

You can see how the first pattern has loose boundaries about giving, and the second has strict boundaries for the self. One pattern compensates for the other. You’ll find that maybe you have perfectionist tendencies in the workplace and giving tendencies with your family. When you get to the explosive/guilt or withdrawal/anxiety place in the pattern, stop and observe yourself. Where are you feeling it in your body? How are you reacting? What can you do differently?

There are also 3 other patterns that I consistently observe in my practice, and since we only had 1 conversation, it is likely that your 3rd pattern sneaks in every once in a while and throws a wrench in everything – possibly in a needy/victim way. Let me know if you would like more info.

Of course, this is a lifetime practice, and you will get many, many chances to watch yourself fall into the less productive pattern. Be gentle with your growth here (and observe how your partner’s pattern affects you both). It is not an instant transformation, but a lot can change with just knowing about your own patterns and focusing on shifting them, while also having empathy for your partner’s patterning. The trick is to not be stuck in these negative/false belief patterns and to live from the new beliefs, able to fully express your gifts.

Patterns of the Psyche