Projective Tools

“The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.”

Carl Jung

Projective tools serve as carriers for the unconscious content to reach the conscious level, so you can effectively deal with such content without identifying with it or attributing it to other people.

When should you use projective tools?

The most appropriate situation when you can use them is when you feel stuck on a conscious level. You cannot see the problem clearly, even though you have seriously considered and analyzed it from a rational point of view.

In other words, when you have exhausted the capacity of your “left side of the brain” then your “right side of the brain” (which is a creative and intuitive part of you that looks at life with different “eyes”) comes to help.

Well-known traditional projective tools include Tarot cards, I Ching, and Astrology.

They symbolically represent a variety of archetypes, showing motives and stories from mythology, fairy tales, and ancient religions. That makes them more suitable to become projective screens of deeper unconscious content with roots in the collective unconscious.

Modern projective tools include different tests, such as the Rorschach test, and psychologically-based games, such as the “Points of You” cards.

These cards are closer to your real-life experience than other projective tools are, as most people find it more comfortable to connect to the photos and stories presented on them.

Projective tools are closely related to the phenomenon of projection – a psychological mechanism that involuntary transfers your characteristics from inside of your psyche and attributes them to an external object.

Projection disappears once you become aware that characteristic you have attributed to an outer object actually belongs to you.

It’s a widespread mechanism that we all use in our lives, and it can be a positive one as it helps establish interpersonal relationships or create works of art.

It can also be harmful, for example, when negative personality traits are projected to other people – when you accuse others of being guilty of what you yourself are actually responsible for in reality.

The projected material is coming from your unconscious psyche. It shows your hidden emotions, thoughts, flaws, talents, and other traits that you keep unconscious because you cannot accept them but rather assign them to others.

Projective tools can be used to “catch” such unconscious material that you ordinarily transfer to others, so that you can deal with it consciously and integrate it into your life. This will result in the impression of having more control over life.

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