Podcast – Episode 0396 – The John Beebe Eight Function Model Of Personality

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia introduce Dr. John Beebe’s Eight Function Model of Personality and discuss its usefulness for personal growth.


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • The value of coaches – Joel explains why he and Antonia sought out personal coaching from John Beebe on his Eight Function Model Of Personality.
  • Antonia’s plan for how this model will make its way from their personal growth journeys into the personal growth content they produce.
  • How do you identify your shadow-function stack? Check out our article on The Car Model as a base to learn about your first four functions.
  • Introducing the concept of topos – viewing the 8 functions as archetypal energies, based on their position in the stack.
  • What are the names John has given to each of the 8 function positions?
  • Understanding the interplay of the 8 functions through the “axis of self versus the axis of relating”.
  • Diving into the energy and role of each of the 8 functions:
    • The Driver (dominant) function: The Hero – thinking of this as the function we use to save the world.
    • The Copilot (auxiliary) function: The Parent  – understanding the mother/father energy this brings, and its relational qualities.
    • The 10-Yr-Old (tertiary) function: The Eternal Child – why this function is insecure and seeking validation, in spite of skill development.
    • The 3-Yr-Old (inferior) function: The Anima/Animus – learning to understand the amplification this function is seeking.
    • The shadow functions: understanding them in terms of their “choreography” rather than “development” – and what you need to consider when exploring them.
    • The 5th function: The Opposing Personality – the avoidant nature and multiple faces of this function.
    • The 6th function: The Senex/Witch – the role of withering authority.
    • The 7th function: The Trickster – why this function uses child-like tricks to attempt to get its needs met.
    • The 8th function: The demon – why this function can embody both darkness and light.
  • Questions to ask yourself to identify when a shadow function may be presenting itself.
  • Some final thoughts on the messages we receive from our shadow functions.

Dive deeper into John Beebe’s work on The Eight Function Model in his book: Energies And Patterns In Psychological Type: The Reservoir Of Consciousness

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  • Eric

    Re: 5th function being frustrating…

    (INTP here)

    Passive-aggressive, avoidance, paranoid, seductive

    I have seen this kind of interaction within myself when dealing with ExTJ managers. Also our IT “change control” process (entirely born from ESTJ managers), there is a tendency among me and other IxTPs … e.g. my ISTP former manager (now more or less equal colleague)… both of us have a tendency to sometimes “forget” the change control process and make system changes on our own… It’s a passive-aggressive & avoidant dynamic I see myself take part in frequently. I’ve become better at this as I’ve aged (*cough* been burned/reprimanded). But I probably do it in other contexts where I haven’t been burned (yet).

    • Eric

      Dang. The idea of Te doms – there is a former ESTJ manager on my mind – regards 5th function Ti with a measure of paranoia reminds me of how this manager used to express in private, disdain for software developers who “littered” certain servers with a variety of processes & scheduled jobs that ended up becoming critical to certain business processes (organically embedded in the architecture) and how we needed to have a separate server (read: separate bucket, Si-style) or a separate team-managed process to handle all of these. I’m implying here that many of these software devs were Ti users, which I don’t know for sure but it’s plausible. The idea of parking your code wherever it will run is something I’ve done before and I feel it’s a common shortcut for folks who don’t want to do the “work” of finding and defining the properly compartmentalized place for it.

      He didn’t have such a wordy description of this though, the phrase was something to the expression of “excrement bucket.”

      • Eric

        Aside, thank you so much for these podcasts! The insight I’ve received is nothing short of amazing. I have John’s book on my to-buy list soon but these archetypal descriptions are just so relatable & I’m grateful you have produced this.

        I suspect going forward, John’s 8-function model and the archetypes are going to be my main point of “intellectual focus” after I’ve seen Dr. Nardi’s Jung-on-Yoga program through.

  • Rebecca Mielke

    I listened to the entire podcast twice and parts of it several more times. Thank you! Although it is a stretch at this time, I think it will be really useful!

    You asked for specific examples, so here’s what I’ve got:

    As an ENFJ, I’ve realized for years that I hide my own preferences from myself. I’ve been working hard to remedy that, and my work as a Style Coach uses a specific methodology to help clients connect to their own aesthetic preferences.

    An area of focus for me has been musical preferences. It feels like I didn’t even have permission to have my own until recently. So I have been working on my own Pandora stations and changing the car radio when I don’t like the song, etc.

    But I’m not always that grownup about it. And I don’t think I should have to ask more than once. Recently, my partner was playing his station that really gets on my nerves; apparently, when I asked him to change it, he invited me to choose whatever I wanted; instead, I went and got my headset and started listening to a podcast.

    This is how passive/aggressive opposer energy showed up for me in this case.

    Thanks again for all the good info! I’m looking forward to future exploration of the topic in more specifics.

  • Anita Ashland

    I enjoyed this episode and am glad you are highlighting this typology system. I have been blogging about Beebe’s model for a couple of years to try and help make it more understandable for people.

    I appreciate what you do to try and bridge the divide between Jungian typology and modern typology.

    • Gene D

      As a great man once mused “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” This seems to scream for an 8 function approach.

    • Jared Vaughan

      Best description I’ve heard of Beebe’s model yet. In Beebe’s model the 6th function is generally called the critic. Because in the case of an ENTP, they are critical of other people’s thinking. Or in my case as an INTP I am critical of what I want for the future. Also the trickster also refers to the fact we often trick ourselves into thinking we are good at it when we are not. And according to Socionics, Darionardi and else where, it is our weakest function. Even weaker than the 8th function. Thanks again.

  • Adrian

    Hey Antonia and Joel,

    I really liked how you went through the different attitudes of the shadow functions. Lots of new information for me that I hadn’t heard of before.

    Nonetheless it was kinda hard to translate the abstract explanations to my concrete 4 shadow functions.

    Could you maybe in the future do some in depth podcasts, where you go into the shadow of all 16 types and talk about how each of the functions manifest in each of the shadow slots?

    That would be super helpful!

    All the best from Germany!

  • Marguerita Whitby

    Thank you for explaining the last three awful and confusing years of my life:) nailed it!

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