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Stress-coping and individuation in enfp-type women : theoretical integration and development Wolfe, Heather P. 1999

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STRESS-COPING AND INDIVIDUATION IN ENFP-TYPE WOMEN: T H E O R E T I C A L I N T E G R A T I O N A N D D E V E L O P M E N T by H E A T H E R P. W O L F E B . A . , Universi ty of Br i t i sh Columbia, 1984 Dip . Ed . , Universi ty of Br i t i sh Columbia, 1992 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A A p r i l 1999 © Heather Pamela Wolfe, 1999 i n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r a n a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y sha l l m a k e it f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s m a y b e g r a n t e d b y t h e h e a d o f m y d e p a r t m e n t o r b y h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t is u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n sha l l n o t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t m y w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t o f T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a D a t e D E - 6 ( 2 / 8 8 ) i i Abstract Through a combination of grounded theory method and orientational qualitative inquiry, this study focused on integrating and building upon components of cognitive-transactional stress-coping theory (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, Lazarus, 1991) and Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theory (Jung, 1921/1971, Myers & McCaulley, 1985) through the exploration of extraverted women's stress-coping processes. Six women (age range 31-42) scoring ENFP on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Form G Self-Scorable, Revised) participated in semi-structured interviews taking approximately 90 minutes each. Results indicated general categories of stress-related storing and releasing dynamics, involving both physical and psychological dimensions. The model developed focused mainly on stress involving people, as the women emphasized this as being more personally relevant than task-oriented stressors, and the examples given in their narratives reflected this emphasis. In addition to external behaviours, the results outline intrapsychic processes described by the women, including cognitive-emotional processing of the stressful events. Attention was given to meaning-making and self-actualizing through the stress-coping process (individuation). The women's interview narratives indicated a multifaceted appraisal process linked with issues involving ongoing identity consolidation and reintegration. An overall resulting theme of transcending stress is discussed, presented from an integrated cognitive-transactional and Jungian theoretical perspective. Future implications regarding research and counselling practice are noted. i i i Table of Contents Page Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Tables v i i i List of Figures ix Acknowledgments x Introductory Overview 1 Statement of the Problem 4 Significance of the Study 4 Research Questions 6 Research Method Chosen 6 Summary 7 Literature Review 9 Overview of the Cognitive Transactional Model 9 Cognitive Appraisa l 10 Coping 12 Myers-Briggs Type Theory 14 The Scales 15 Inferior Function Theory 19 Addi t ional Theoretical Information 23 Comparing the Transactional Model and Type Theory 24 Coping as Problem-Solving/Decision-Making 26 IV Personality Type as a Resource 28 Summary 33 Methods 35 Method Choice Elaboration and Rationale 35 Participants 37 Measures 39 Reliability 39 Validity 40 Procedures 42 Participant Selection 42 Interview Protocol 43 Participant Responses 44 Data Analysis Process 45 Trustworthiness 49 Results 51 Presentation of the Results Model 53 Physical/Emotional Storing of Stress 60 Stress Releasing 64 Task-related Stress and Prioritizing 65 Resentment and Keeping In Behaviours (Masking), Anger and Acting Out Behaviours (Impulsive Releasing) 67 Pre-ventative Strategies 71 Isolating/Withdrawing 76 Cognitive-Emotional Processing 81 Cognitive Organizing and Internal Clarifying 84 Empathizing and Perspective Seeking 87 Processing with a Cope-Partner 89 Control Issues 91 Aspects of stress from lack of interpersonal/situational control 91 Accepting situational lack of control/having faith 94 In-volving: Gaining Inner Intimacy Through Introspection, Insight, and Intrapsychic Inventory 96 The importance of relationships: With one's self and with others 98 Meaning-making and stress as a positive learning experience: Evolving and self-actualizing through the stress-coping process 103 Type-Related Conceptual Linkages 107 Staying out of'Ruts'/Evoking Positive Change 110 Transcending Stress 114 Inner Core 116 Results Summary 119 Self Memos (Endnotes) 122 v i Discussion 127 Wri t ing Perspective and Process 127 Overview of Key Issues to be Explored 129 Conscious Versus Unconscious Processes 131 Self-Regulation Theory 134 Identity Possibilities 139 Ego, Self, and Individuation 147 Developmental Issues of Ego and Self 152 Introverted Sensing 156 Perception and Appraisa l 160 Appra isa l and Emotion 163 The Role of Typological Feeling i n Appraisa l 165 Jungian Complex Theory, Primit ive and Evolutionary Release 170 Emotion, Affect, and Releasing 173 Spheres of Consciousness 176 Automatic Processing, Instincts, and Archetypes 182 Appraisal , Emotions, and Meaning 185 The Feeling Function and Repression 187 Repression and Storing 191 Disconnection and Dissociation, Phenomenology and Epistemology 192 Repression and Bodily Cues 195 Emotional Awareness 198 vii Somatic Intuition and 'Feeling' 201 Masking, Self-Masking, and Persona 207 Survival Games and Related Theories of Self-Protective Strategies 211 The Path Towards Personal Growth 223 Transcendence 226 Return to the Research Questions 230 Limitations of the Study 233 Future Implications 235 Research Related Implications 235 Counselling Related Implications 236 Unidentified Identity 241 References 243 Appendixes 251 Appendix A: Demographic Information Sheet 251 Appendix B: Newpaper Advertisements 252 Appendix C: Informed Consent 253 Appendix D: Semi-structured Interview Guide 254 v i i i List of Tables Page Demographic Description of Participants 38 ix List of Figures Page Figure 1. The "zig-zag" problem solving model 27 Figure 2a. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Storing 55 Figure 2b. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Releasing i 56 Figure 2c. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Releasing i i 57 Figure 2d. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Releasing iii 58 Figure 3. The Atom Symbol 118 X Acknowledgments Working on this thesis has been a journey in itself. I am thankful for the opportunity to have learned so much during this process, and would like to express my appreciation to those who helped along the way. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my Supervisor, Dr. Bonnie Long (Dept. of Counselling Psychology) for being a constant source of encouragement from beginning until end, and being a true 'cope-partner.' I am thankful for the many hours of time she spent meeting with me to discuss theory, help with conceptual clarification, offer useful feedback, and "hear me out" when I was trying to organize my thoughts. I am also deeply appreciative of the academic respect given in allowing me to pursue my deepest interests without constraints, at my own pace, to make this such a rich learning experience for me. I would like to thank Dr. Ann Hilton (UBC School of Nursing) for being on my committee, for the extra time spent advising me regarding the grounded theory method, and for helping me with my data analysis procedure. I appreciated Ann's upbeat, straightforward manner and thoughtful, constructive criticism that contributed to the refining of my methods section and results. I would also like to thank Dr. Carolyn Mamchur (SFU Faculty of Education) for being on my committee as a content expert in Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theory. I appreciated Carolyn's enthusiasm and support for my project, for being there to touch base with at times along the way so I knew I was on the right track, and for the care taken in reviewing and providing feedback regarding my final work. XI I am grateful to my parents, Naomi Wolfe & Jack Wolfe for their unwavering confidence in my abilities, and for always encouraging my academic interests. Their constant love and support has been invaluable during the years spent pursuing my graduate degree. I offer special thanks to my Mother for also always being such a wonderful 'cope-partner.' I would like to thank the many family, friends, and well-wishers who took an interest in my work, and offered encouragement along the way (even those who told me to "just finish it!"). Thank-you also to Diane Pollard for providing a captivating initial introduction to type theory (1991, 1992) that sparked my lifelong interest in the field, and for her interest and support at the proposal stage. Last, but far from least, I thank all the women who participated in this thesis research, particularly the six women who agreed to be interviewed, of course for their time, but above all, for sharing their personal experiences in such an honest, articulate way. Their (often eloquent) narratives, are the mainstay of this thesis, and I thank them for their contributions to my own learning experience, and to the field of counselling psychology. 1 Introductory Overview Although the field of stress and coping has a long history of research efforts, there has been a great deal of inconsistency regarding definition of the phenomenon and confusion concerning selection of appropriate measures (Cohen, Kessler, & Gordon, 1995). In the psychological literature, there has been long-standing contention between belief i n the overall importance of personality as opposed to situational variables, or "trait vs. state." Lazarus (1966) and Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have developed the widely respected "cognitive transactional model" that acknowledges the importance of both situational and personality-related variables. In this model, psychological stress is defined by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) as "a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources or endangering his or her wel l being" (p. 19). A major point of emphasis i n this model is the concept of cognitive appraisal. Pr imary appraisal focuses on evaluating whether or not stress exists based upon individual construal of harm, loss, threat, or challenge, secondary appraisal focuses on the assessment of available resources to deal wi th the perceived stress (Folkman, 1984). A shortcoming of the theory, and related research, is the failure to take into account specific personality-type differences i n how people perceive and process information, and attend to subsequent decision-making, even though these are integral components of the appraisal process. The theory is, therefore, incomplete. The purpose of this study is to 2 explore the stress appraisal and coping process, wi th added attention to Jungian personality type as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) . The M B T I (original development by Briggs & Briggs-Myers, 1962) was chosen because it is process-oriented i n nature, and is a measure that acknowledges the importance of situational/environmental variables. I propose that the M B T I scales also appear to be relevant to appraisal dynamics. Ferguson and Fletcher (1987) cite the M B T I and its related "type theory" as being differentiated from trait-like personality theories by its focus on dichotomies of psychological processes that people prefer to use when taking i n information and acting on their worlds. They add that the M B T I has a theoretical origin, based upon Car l Jung's (1921) theory oi Psychological Types. Lawrence (1993) explains: In Jung's theory, a l l conscious mental activity can be classified into four mental processes or functions-two perception processes (sensing and intuition) and two judgment processes (thinking and feeling). What comes into consciousness, moment by moment, comes either through the senses or intuition. To remain i n consciousness, perceptions must be used. They are used-sorted, weighed, analyzed, evaluated-by the judgment processes, th inking and feeling (p. 7). These processes appear to be integral components of the cognitive appraisal used to identify stress and initiate coping efforts. Al though there has been a great deal of empirical research using the M B T I (see Myers & McCaulley, 1985), Short and Grasha (1995) reviewed the literature and found few studies examining the M B T I and it's relationship to stress and coping. This, however, does not preclude a r ich theory that addresses 3 conceptual issues of stress and coping that are often substantiated by clinical counselling experience (e.g., Duniho, 1992; Quenk, 1993a). The MBTI appears to be unique as a personality-type measure in having its own stress-coping theory originating from the scales and related type theory on which the instrument is based. The non-pathological nature of the MBTI scales makes it ideal for use in counselling a "normal population." Indeed, "the MBTI is probably the most widely used instrument for nonpsychiatric populations in the areas of clinical, counseling, and personality testing" (Devito, 1985, p. 739). In my own review of the literature, I was unable to discover any research that specifically attempted to link the more "mainstream" transactional stress and coping theory with Myers-Briggs type theory, although there have been a small number of quantitative studies (e.g., Garden, 1985, 1988; Hammer, 1989) in which MBTI dimensions are associated with stress-coping outcome measures. Payne (1991) speculates on possible linkage between certain Myers-Briggs type components and the primary and secondary appraisal models and problem-and emotion-focused coping styles proposed by Lazarus and Folkman (1984), however, there is no research available to substantiate this perspective. As well, because the MBTI measures dichotomous preferences but does not preclude use of less-preferred styles, correlational studies attempting to link components of the MBTI with transactional coping styles would do little to further a deeper understanding of the dynamic nature of the stress-coping process indicated by the cognitive-transactional model. 4 Statement of the Problem Lazarus's model, although well researched, appears to be lacking in personality-type related information necessary to further build upon stress appraisal and coping process-related knowledge. The transactional model, although advocating the concept of individual appraisal, seems to have ignored the portion of such appraisal that involves the non-evaluative information processing that precedes evaluative decision-making. Concurrently, theoretical discussions of stress-coping based upon MBTI theory, although incorporating clinical experience, have little empirical substantiation. Type theory, however, appears to contain the very elements elaborating differences in individual appraisal that Lazarus has overlooked. It would be logical to assume that an approach that is able to examine the stress-coping process with a theoretical awareness of both orientations, may consequently add a great deal to further our understanding of the dynamics inherent in individual differences in the stress appraisal and coping process. This would be useful to counselling practitioners in increasing their awareness of what kinds of processes are common for certain personality types, and understanding individual differences that may be based in clients' preferred ways of perceiving and organizing their worlds. Significance of the Study There is a great deal of conceptual overlap between the transactional model of stress-coping and Myers-Briggs type theory. Conducting research exploring the phenomenological process of stress appraisal and related coping efforts with a theoretical sensitivity of both models allows for an inductive 5 generation of theory integrating and building upon significant components of the two existing theories. This attends to some of the lesser developed or researched tenets of both models. The intent of this study was to explore the dynamic process of stress appraisal and related coping efforts using purposive sampling based on Myers-Briggs typology. Because stress-coping issues are prevalent in counselling practice, knowledge incurred from this study may be a useful addition to practice-related issues. A major aim in conducting this research was to encourage counselling practitioners to broaden their range of thought in attending to individual differences in client appraisal and definitions of their experiences of stress and related coping processes. I consider the MBTI and type theory to be most valuable in understanding normal fundamental differences in ways people perceive and act upon their worlds. Upon first exposure to type theory (D. Pollard, personal communications, May, 1991 through July, 1992), I was intrigued by how accurate the type descriptors generally were. However, I was also aware of some existing problems and discrepancies with consistency of some type-related dimensions, largely attributable to changes in situational conditions. Indeed, the concept of attempting to adapt to environmental demands by accessing the less preferred components of one's type, when called for, is integral to considering type as a personal set of preferences, as opposed to traits. 6 Research Questions The main research question in this study is: Do theoretical components of the stress and coping cognitive-transactional theory 'fit' with those of type theory regarding the stress appraisal and coping process? Sub-questions are: (a) Given the knowledge of people's (MBTI) personality-type preferences, what is the nature of their stress-coping processes? (b) What situational/environmental contexts are mentioned to illustrate these descriptions of process? (c) What are the (extraverted) Myers-Briggs personality type-identified women's opinions/insights regarding their own stress-coping efforts? (d) Can categories of personal meaning regarding stress-coping processes be identified, specific to type preferences and type dynamics? Research Method Chosen Grounded theory was chosen as the guiding research method that makes this theory exploration, integration, and elaboration possible. The grounded theory method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) is an "inductive approach to theory building" (Rennie, Phillips, & Quartaro, 1988, p. 140) and is mainly used to explore qualitative data, obtained through interviews. Emerging theory is "grounded" in the data. Because of its inductive nature, there are no predetermined hypotheses, and researchers using this method often avoid reading related literature until the investigation has been completed (Rennie et a l , 1988). The addition of the "orientational qualitative inquiry" approach (Patton, 1990, p. 86), allows me to begin with "an explicit theoretical or ideological 7 perspective that determines what variables and concepts are most important and how the findings will be interpreted" (p.86). This is important in accommodating my proposed theoretical integration of cognitive-transactional theory and type theory. Patton confirms that in using orientational qualitative inquiry, the findings of the study "are then interpreted from the perspective of that preordinate theory" (p. 86). This study integrates the two methods (grounded theory and orientational qualitative inquiry) approaching the research problem from a predetermined theoretical perspective, but with no predetermined hypotheses, and a willingness to challenge and build upon pre-existing theory if the data so suggest. Patton suggests that "the researcher be very clear about the theoretical framework being used..."(p.87). Therefore, the literature review provides an overview that compares cognitive-transactional theory with type theory. Summary To summarize, the cognitive-transactional model of stress and coping proposed by Lazarus (1966) and Lazarus and Folkman (1984) and Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theory (Jung, 1971; Myers & McCaulley, 1985; Myers, 1991) appear to have conceptual overlap that could help augment both models. However, there has been no research to date focusing on a possible integration of the two theories to give deeper attention to the process-oriented nature of stress-coping. Therefore, a grounded theory method using orientational qualitative inquiry was used to explore the nature of various emphases of Myers-8 Briggs type-related processes used in stress appraisal, resulting coping efforts, and accompanying meaning structures. Thus, the intention of this study was not to uncover correlational links, but rather, to provide descriptive data focusing on personal stress-coping constructs to encourage a sensitivity toward (Myers-Briggs) personality-type differences related to information-processing and decision-making functions. I initially chose to interview only extraverted types in order to narrow the focus from 16 Myers-Briggs types to eight. I later further narrowed my focus to one particular extraverted type (ENFP) from the eight extraverted types existing. Data were analyzed with a theoretical awareness of both cognitive-transactional and Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theories, and new theory generated to help build upon and integrate those already in existence. 9 Literature Review There are many similarities between the cognitive appraisal theory of stress and coping and Jungian/Myers-Briggs type-theory-related explanations regarding individual differences in appraisal and coping efforts. Because the purpose of this study was to explore possible commonalities between the two theories and to provide a theoretical extension, it is first necessary to review the current literature regarding both theoretical orientations. I begin by introducing the main concepts in the cognitive-transactional model of stress and coping, then outline Myers-Briggs type theory, and finally, compare the two positions. Overview of the Cognitive Transactional Model Lazarus (1966) and Lazarus and Folkman (1984) are to be credited with developing the "cognitive transactional model" of stress and coping that posits both personal (personality-related) and environmental/situational factors as being important in understanding how stress is defined. This is in contrast to previous trait models that placed greater emphasis on personality alone. Psychological stress refers to "a particular kind of relationship between the person and the environment... in which demands tax or exceed the person's resources" (Lazarus, 1990, p. 3). Personal resources are comprised of both external resources (e.g., social support) and internal/psychological resources, defined by Pearlin and Schooler (1978) as "personality characteristics that people draw upon to help them withstand threats" (p. 5). Stress, in a 10 transactional model, is created when an imbalance exists between environmental demands and available resources (Aldwin, 1994). Cognitive Appraisal Regardless of the environmental situation, it is the individual's perception of what has transpired, the cognitive appraisal of the event, that, in effect, defines the existence or non-existence of stress. How a person perceives her or his situation or circumstances is influenced by individual differences, in a complex interplay between innate personality characteristics and past, current, and future environmental demands. People imbue personal meaning to every occurrence, therefore, "stress and emotion, too, depend much more on the inferential meanings about what happened than on what actually happens" (Lazarus, 1990, p. 8). Lazarus (1966) has outlined two main modes of evaluating a potential stressor: (a) primary appraisal evaluates the significance of an event in respect to one's well being, and (b) secondary appraisal evaluates coping resources and options. Folkman (1984) further explains that a transaction primarily appraised as stressful includes the possibility of actual harm/loss, potential threat, or challenge (an opportunity for growth, mastery, or gain). These are not necessarily mutually exclusive. She adds that a primary appraisal is shaped by an array of personal and situational factors, the most important personal factors being beliefs and commitments. Folkman defines beliefs as being pre-existing ideas about reality that serve as a "perceptual lens," (p. 840) and commitments 11 as being personal values, ideals, and goals. Once an occurrence (or non-occurrence) has been primarily evaluated, coping resources are evaluated with respect to the situation. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) maintain that primary and secondary appraisals do not occur in a purely linear fashion, and, indeed, often operate in the manner of a feedback loop. Folkman (1984) adds that "primary and secondary appraisal converge to shape the meaning of every encounter" (p. 840). Lazarus and Folkman (1984) also identify a third kind of cognitive appraisal: reappraisal, which is a changed primary or secondary appraisal. They elaborate: Reappraisal refers to a changed appraisal based on new information from the environment and/or the person. A reappraisal differs from an appraisal only in that it follows an earlier appraisal. Sometimes reappraisals are the result of cognitive coping efforts; these are called defensive reappraisals and are often difficult to distinguish from reappraisals based on new information, (p. 53) Cognitive appraisal, then, is recognized as a dynamic process that evolves over time (Cohen et al., 1995). Because of the emphasis on process, measurement procedures are often problematic due to difficulties of attempting to measure an ever-changing system (Derogatis & Coons, 1993). Monroe and Kelley (1995) report that approximately 49 different appraisal scoring schemes have been examined. Lazarus (1990) infers that perhaps more attention needs to be paid to subjective definitions of stress and coping, noting, "If we define stress in terms of appraisal, which refers to the personal meaning of encounters, we do not need to be uneasy 12 about subjectivism. Quite the contrary, this is precisely what we want to know" (p. 8). Coping Lazarus and Folkman (1984) define coping as consisting of "cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person" (p. 141). They explain that these cognitive and behavioral efforts are always changing as a result of ongoing appraisals and reappraisals of the person's active relationship with the environment. The emphasis on the word "efforts" is important, as Folkman (1984) notes that coping is defined independently of outcome, explaining that "coping refers to efforts to manage demands regardless of the success of those efforts" (p. 843). Stone, Kennedy-Moore, Newman, Greenberg, and Neale (1992) explain that according to transactional theory, appraisal and coping are two separate processes that have a reciprocal influence on each other over time (p. 22). Folkman (1992) elaborates: The coping process begins with a person's cognitive appraisal of a person-environment relationship. The appraisal includes an evaluation of the personal significance of the encounter (primary appraisal) and an evaluation of the options for coping (secondary appraisal). In primary appraisal the person asks "What do I have at stake in this encounter?" and in secondary appraisal the question is "What can I do?" Together, primary appraisal and secondary appraisal shape emotion quality and intensity and influence the coping response, (p. 34) Folkman and Lazarus (1980) have outlined two major types of coping efforts that, they purport, result from the appraisal process: (a) problem-focused 13 coping: an attempt to do something constructive specific to the management of the problem causing distress, (b) emotion-focused coping: efforts to regulate emotional consequences with the stressful event. There may be individual differences in the potential to "successfully" draw upon either of these two kinds of coping efforts, and some people may be more adept at one kind than another. Therefore, an individual may function better in a situation that by circumstantial definition, calls for one type of coping effort over another as a more effective solution. Folkman (1984) clarifies that both forms of coping are used in most stressful encounters, the relative proportions vary according to how the circumstance is appraised. Folkman admits that coping and appraisal are inexorably intertwined, and sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other. "In short, many coping strategies can have an appraisal function in that they shape the meaning or significance of an event, and, conversely, many forms of appraisal can have a coping function in that they can help regulate distress" (p. 845). Fleishman (1984) notes that "coping refers to both overt and covert behaviors that are taken to reduce or eliminate psychological distress or stressful conditions" (p. 229). Therefore, measures of behaviour alone, without sufficient attention to complex meaning structures are inadequate in considering motivation and private logic. Thoits (cited in Sutherland & Cooper, 1990) in addition to concurring with the existence of problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies, suggests a third strategy, perception-focused coping: "cognitive attempts to alter the meaning of a situation, so it is perceived as less 14 threatening" (p. 94). This, of course, is a good example of Folkman's description of the interactive nature of coping and appraisal, and illustrates the need to explore individual process involved, rather than just outcome. Myers-Briggs Type Theory The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-report measure of individual differences in personality type preferences originally developed by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers (1962), based on Carl Jung's (1921/1971) theory of Psychological Types. Psychological type theory follows the assumption that: much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the way individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their reactions (Myers & McCaulley, 1985, p. 1). Knowing about the way people process environmental information and consequently make decisions regarding the information obtained is essential to the concept of cognitive appraisal. Therefore, it lends itself well to a cognitively-oriented discussion of stress appraisal and coping processes. It is important to note that Myers-Briggs type theory acknowledges that situational factors (including family atmosphere, work situations, etc.) are able to influence representation of type preferences, and it is therefore an interactive and contextually-focused personality theory. Myers and McCaulley (1985) caution that because the MBTI was designed to implement a theory, it is imperative to 15 gain a thorough understanding of the theory in order to properly understand the MBTI. The Scales The MBTI (Consulting Psychologists Press) is a forced-choice, self-report instrument of personality type. There are four scales in the MBTI that measure dichotomous preferences. Therefore, there are eight categories of measurement to consider. The theory postulates that although we exercise all categories at one time or another (even all in the same day), within scales, one pole is naturally preferred, much like "handedness" (Myers, 1991). What makes the MBTI unique amongst most psychological measures is that the two poles of preference both have equal value and lack any linkage to psychopathology. Indicating one's preferences by completing the MBTI results in a four letter "type" (e.g., ENFP). There are 16 possible four letter types in all. The scales are as follows: Extraversion/'Introversion (E/I) are attitudes of energy flow and refer to a person's relative interest in the outer and inner worlds. Extraverts will typically direct their energy flow outward, being more at ease acting upon the outer environmental world, and thus, the 'object.' Introverts typically draw energy back inward, and therefore, are more comfortable focusing on the inner world, and thus, the 'subject'. It is interesting to note that due to this difference, the theory (Quenk, 1993a) acknowledges that "depression is harder on extraverts than it is on introverts in that depression involves turning inward to the introverted mode of being" (p. 58). 16 Sensing/Intuition (S/N) are two different perceiving functions, and identify a person's preferred way of taking in information. This includes becoming aware of things, people, situations, and ideas (Myers, 1991). Sensing types prefer attending to what is concrete, measurable, and reality-based, focusing on perceptions from the five senses in the 'here and now.' Intuitive types prefer focusing on patterns of relationships, future possibilities and implications, and use abstract speculations and global inferences based more on instinctive, unconscious "hunches" than conscious information from the five senses (hence, the term "sixth sense"). Myers (1991) elaborates that type theory suggests that because it is impossible to perceive through both sensing and intuition at the same time, the function that is most preferred from an early age will be favoured and used most often, whereas the other will be less attended to. She adds, When people prefer sensing, they are so interested in the actuality around them that they have little attention to spare for ideas coming faintly out of nowhere. Those people who prefer intuition are so engrossed in pursuing the possibilities it presents that they seldom look very intently at the actualities....Which ever process they prefer, whether sensing or intuition, they will use more, paying closer attention to its stream of impressions and fashioning their idea of the world from what the process reveals. The other kind of perception will be background, a little out of focus, (p. 2) These two processes are likely very important in how people initially try to make sense of life events. Thinking/Feeling (T/F) are two different judgment functions, and describe a person's preferred way of making decisions and coming to conclusions. Thinking types prefer using an evaluative approach based upon objective, 17 impersonal logic. Feeling types prefer an approach based upon subjective, personal values. Although the difference in this dichotomy can best be typified by a focus on either "the head or the heart," it is important to clarify that the term "thinking" does not necessarily imply a greater use of intellect, and the term "feeling" does not necessarily imply a greater display of emotion. Because these preferences are naturally exercised from childhood, people often feel safer, are happier, and function more effectively in situations that can be best served by the kind of judgments that they are better able to make (Myers, 1991). Judgment/Perception (J/P) are attitudes referring to organizing and managing one's outer environment. Those who prefer judging management gravitate toward closure, and most often like to have things settled and decided. Those preferring perception management usually are most comfortable with a more open-ended "wait and see" approach. Myers (1991) elaborates: There is a fundamental opposition between the two attitudes. In order to come to a conclusion, people use the judging attitude and have to shut off perception for the time being. Al l the evidence is in, and anything more is irrelevant and immaterial. The time has come to arrive at a verdict. Conversely, in the perceptive attitude people shut off judgment. Not all the evidence is in; new developments will occur. It is much too soon to do anything irrevocable, (p. 9) Obviously, all people use both judging and perception at varying times, but degree of preference for one over another will indicate which is a more comfortable process in terms of the overall outer lifestyle. The J/P preference indicates which of the two preferred functions of the type is used in the extraverted attitude. Because extraverts use their most preferred function externally, in an extraverted type, the J/P preference also 18 indicates the dominant function, which will be either the preferred judging or perceiving function, depending on this last letter of the four letter type. Therefore, extraverts having a "J" at the end of their type will have a dominant "judging" function of either thinking or feeling, whichever was indicated as preferred. Alternatively, extraverts having a "P" at the end of their type will have a dominant "perceiving" function of either sensing or intuition. (Introverted types follow a different pattern as they keep their dominant function within, however, this will not be elaborated upon, as this study focuses on extraverted types only.) The dominant function is defined as the "most preferred mental process...the core or guiding focus of one's personality" (Myers & Kirby, 1994, p. 4). Myers and Kirby further explain that people use their dominant function mostly in their preferred world of energy focus—the outer world for extraverts and the inner world for introverts, and as such, the dominant function of an extraverted type is more outwardly visible. For example, in the case of an ENFP type, the dominant function is "N"-intuition, which is the preferred perceiving function designated by the "P", and is extraverted. The other preferred function remaining that is not dominant serves as an auxiliary "helper" to the dominant function and provides balance between both judgment and perception, and extraversion and introversion. As such, in the ENFP type, the auxiliary function is "F'-feeling, the preferred judging function, and is used from an introverted stance. The tertiary function is defined as the 19 opposite of the auxiliary (and in this example would be "T"-thinking) and is considered third-in-command. The inferior function is defined (Quenk, 1993a) as the fourth, least preferred mental function when engaged in unconscious use, outside the realms of our control. When used consciously, it is merely considered to be the fourth function, not the inferior, however it is still typically the least developed of a person's four functions. The inferior function in the ENFP type is introverted sensing, the polar opposite of the dominant extraverted intuition. Although the inferior function is considered to be introverted in an extraverted type (because it operates in the opposite attitude of the dominant), Myers and Kirby (1994) comment that the attitude (extraverted or introverted) of the tertiary function is less consistent. Inferior Function Theory Quenk (1993a, 1996) has written a great deal concerning the speculated role of the inferior function during a stressful episode. Although I considered omitting this information here to prevent bias in analyzing the interview data, I include it as demonstrative of how type theory is currently theoretically applied to stress/coping. Because it is part of my current type-related knowledge domain, it would not be appropriate to withhold it from this literature review. Quenk (1993a) notes that when the Association for Psychological Type began its Myers-Briggs training program in 1979 that discussion of the inferior function was not part of the curriculum as its workings were not very well understood. Through personal clinical observations and initiating discussions 20 amongst training participants, Quenk was able to substantiate and elaborate upon inferior function theory and its role in stress and self-regulation. Quenk (1996) explains that psychological type theory assumes a hierarchy of conscious energy amongst the four mental functions. Although everyone is capable of using all four of these mental functions in order to situationally adapt, type theory subscribes to the concept that we all differ in natural energy allocation of these functions. The dominant (most preferred) function (if there are no impeding situational/developmental circumstances) uses the largest share of conscious psychic energy, and is therefore most capable of primary conscious direction. The secondary/auxiliary function uses the second-largest share of conscious energy, and is of assistance to the dominant function by virtue of its 'residence' in the opposite 'attitude' (in the case of ENFP the dominant intuition is extraverted, the auxiliary feeling is introverted). As well, the auxiliary provides balance in its different mode of usage (in the ENFP type, a dominant perceiving (information seeking) function is augmented by an auxiliary judging (evaluating/decision making) function. The tertiary function (third in the conscious energy hierarchy) is relatively unconscious, and is therefore not easily directed and controlled. Quenk posits that the attitude of the tertiary function is somewhat ambiguous; the tertiary (thinking function in the ENFP type) may be associated with both extraverted and introverted attitudes. The least preferred function, the inferior function uses the greatest amount of unconscious energy. Quenk emphasizes that "the unconscious energy of our inferior function is equal in amount to the conscious energy available to our dominant function" (1996, p. 21 3). She adds that this unconscious energy remains relatively undisturbed and "quiet" as long as the dominant function is busy in conscious use. Quenk (1996) notes that fatigue, illness, and stress are likely precursors to inferior function 'eruption'. This is because in such circumstances and conditions, a person's conscious psychic energy becomes diminished (as a result of the dominant function being overworked), thus enabling the less conscious aspects of one's personality to become energized and emerge. In specifically acknowledging stress as an inferior function trigger, Quenk explains, "Both physical and psychological stress forces us to use all our energies to combat whatever is causing the stress. This depletes conscious energy resources" (p. 5 ) . Quenk (1996) mentions that alcohol and mind-altering drugs are also inferior function triggers, as "these directly lower our level of consciousness by lowering control of physical reflexes, social inhibitions, and the like" (p. 6). Quenk (1993a) refers to the process of unconscious energy (via the inferior function) taking the place of energy accompanying the more conscious, dominant function as being "in the grip" (p.55). When the tertiary function is also involved, the person is then 'stuck' using less preferred, less proficient ways of both perceiving and judging. Quenk (1993a) emphasizes that "deliberate use of the least preferred functions is quite different from the involuntary occurrence, or 'attack' that we describe as being in the grip of one's inferior function" (p. 48). Quenk (1996) explains that from a Jungian point of view, "the unconscious is an invaluable source of information that can enhance our 22 development and enable us to have increased freedom to direct our own lives" (p. 6). Because our inferior function is our closest link to the unconscious, despite the associated distress, Quenk notes that being "in the grip" of the inferior is often a precursor to personal growth. She adds, "it aids the psyche in regulating its own psychic energy so that growth and adaptation can proceed through our lives" (p. 6). Quenk (1993a) emphasizes Jung's postulation of the necessity for the inferior to (for the most part) remain outside of conscious control, thus being able to "provide access to the contents of the unconscious, the source of growth and development of the personality"(p. 54). She adds that Jung therefore considered the inferior function to be "a powerful tool of self-regulation, the necessary element that makes our completion possible" (p. 54). Quenk (1993a) cautions, however: Bear in mind also that the inferior function is the doorway to the unconscious and all its contents. Once opened, a wide variety of unpleasant and undesirable 'stuff may emerge. This is one major source of the confusion, distress, and distractions we experience when we are not ourselves. We are faced with all kinds of repressed, neglected, and otherwise unfamiliar parts of ourselves, (p. 71) She further posits: An inferior function experience cannot fulfill its self-regulating purpose if we deny it, reject it, or try to get rid of it. Yet we often resort to such 'solutions' because we feel uncomfortable, anxious,.... However, the dynamics of the inferior function suggest that most episodes come to an end naturally, regardless of whether we profit from them. (p. 69) 23 Additional Theoretical Information Type theory posits a developmental model in which the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions are explored in greater depth, in that order, as an individual ages. Thus, as a person matures, she or he is more likely to have greater flexibility in using less preferred functions, although situational variables are also significant. The hierarchical positions of the functions, however, are theorized to remain intact. I have included this discussion of hierarchical ordering of the four functions because I believe that conceptually it may be highly relevant to the stress-coping appraisal process. [Due to the complex nature of MBTI type theory, the MBTI Manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) should be consulted for further clarification.] I elaborate further in the section following in which I compare the cognitive-transactional model with the MBTI model of stress. It is important to note that although MBTI theory is intricately specified, it is still a theory, and therefore open to revision. It also must be noted that theory regarding the dominant and auxiliary functions has not been well substantiated in research (Devito, 1985), and all preferences in a person's type are "assumed to interact in complex nonlinear ways..." (Wiggins, 1989, p. 538). Therefore, despite my familiarity with the theoretical tenets of the MBTI, I prefer to use a research approach that favours inductive analysis, so that the data form the basis for flexibility in the theory. 24 Comparing the Transactional Model and Type Theory Because the MBTI and related type theory focus so much attention on perceiving and judging (evaluative, decision-making) functions, such theory would be helpful in augmenting the understanding of personality-related differences in the cognitive appraisal of stress, and subsequently, coping processes. Long and Kahn (1993) suggest that "appraisals are, in effect, an integration of the individual's personal agenda and perceptions of the environmental context" (p. 297). This description of "personal agenda" parallels the concept of hierarchical ordering of Myers-Briggs type preferences (dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior), and their related dynamics. Type theory, like Lazarus's (1966) and Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) cognitive transactional model, acknowledges the significance of situational context, specifically, the impact that person-environment interactions may have on the use and emphasis of the various MBTI functions and attitudes. In discussing MBTI results with a client, it is imperative that the counsellor help the client ascertain if the type scored is, in fact, a true preference, or indicative of environmentally-related adaptation. One important clarification that must be made is that the MBTI was designed to measure habitual preferences between rival alternatives both equally healthy, positive processes. The scales in the MBTI were not designed to measure traits or behaviours (Myers & McCaulley, 1985), although correlations between type preferences, traits, or behaviours are certainly possible. Myers 25 (1991) explains that because naturally preferred type processes are exercised more often than least preferred ones, surface traits tend to be acquired that grow out of the basic preferences beneath. Problems exist if "type" is treated as "trait" in research, and more emphasis is placed on the outcome alone than on the process gone through on the way to the outcome. This is because it is the perspective and personal meaning behind the observable action that is most relevant. Although two people who score the same type would likely use very similar cognitive processes, individual differences in a number of other factors (including, for example, culture, family atmosphere, environmental differences, life circumstances, and stage of type development) may result in different outcomes. Concurrently, people having diametrically opposed type preferences may arrive at a similar outcome, but by the use of very different cognitive processes. This explanation, differentiating process from outcome, parallels that of cognitive-transactional theory explained by Lazarus (1993): Coping thoughts and actions under stress must be measured separately from their outcomes in order to examine, independently, their adaptiveness or maladaptiveness. I make the contextualist assumption-with considerable empirical support-that whether a coping process is good or bad, adaptationally speaking, depends on the particular person, the specific type of encounter, in the short or long run and the outcome modality being studied.... There may be no universally good or bad coping processes, though some might more often be better or worse that others, (p. 235) Jungian type theory appears to be a possible "missing link" between two approaches to coping that Lazarus (1993) identifies as being in opposition in the literature: style, emphasizing personality characteristics, and process, "efforts to manage stress that change over time and are shaped by the adaptational context 26 out of which it is generated" (p. 234). Lazarus has focused attention on defining differences between approaches emphasizing style (trait) and process in coping related research, favouring the coping-as-process approach. Lazarus (1993) explains that "from a process perspective, coping changes over time and in accordance with the situational contexts in which it occurs" (p. 235). This is congruent with type theory, and will be further addressed in the next section along with some other issues discussed by Lazarus, for which at least partial clarification could be provided by augmenting the transactional model with type theory. Coping as Problem-Solving/Decision-Making Lazarus (1993) remarks that in the past, coping has been studied under the domain of decision making, with a sole emphasis on cognitive processes, at the expense of motivational and emotional components. Lawrence has developed a decision-making/problem-solving model that addresses all of these components, based on Myers's belief (cited in Lawrence) that good problem solving can be conceptualized as a sequential use of the four perceiving and judging functions: sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling. Lawrence refers to this as the "zig-zag" analysis (see Figure 1), explaining that in an ideally efficient process, equal attention would be given to each function in an order that would be logically conducive to problem solving: 27 T. Figure 1. The "zig-zag" problem solving model First, sensing would be used to identify the "facts" (of course there is always a bias here in terms of subjective appraisal of what is most salient). Second, intuition would be used to relate meaning of the assessed facts in terms of relationships to prior experiences and brainstorm possibilities for finding a solution. Third, thinking judgment would help to analyze logical consequences of possible action(s). Finally, feeling judgment would address personal values related to consequences of each considered option. Lawrence (1993) explains that although a "balanced" analysis equally emphasizing all four processes would be highly effective, type theory acknowledges that in reality, each of the 16 types will likely put heaviest emphasis on the dominant function, followed by the auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions. As such, although the basic zig-zag sequence is still followed (e.g., in appraisal and related coping efforts), what differs, according to type, is the emphasis placed on preferred processes, and lack of attention to those less preferred. In this temporal sequence, at some point, one may need to go back and attend to a process that has been, for the most part, overlooked. This illustration 28 is in accordance with Folkman and Lazarus's (1985) description of coping as a process with complex feedback loops and constant updating. Lawrence comprehensively outlines theoretical strengths and weakness of each type in problem solving and suggests strategies for improvement. Lawrence's model also helps substantiate Aldwin's (1994) opinion that "differences among stress researchers arise primarily because of the varying degrees of emphasis put on individual components and because of disagreements about the causal ordering of the components" (p. 43). Personality Type as a Resource Payne (1991) theoretically concurs that there is some conceptual overlap between MBTI processes and Lazarus's (1966) problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies, linking NF with emotion-focused coping and ST with problem-focused coping. From the results of his (1984) study on personality characteristics and coping patterns, however, Fleishman warns that the problem- versus emotion-focused dichotomy is likely too coarse, and a more complex pattern of interrelationships exists. His general comments regarding the role of personality in the coping process are in tandem with the concept of the dynamic nature of type. Fleishman suggests: Rather than isolate a single personality characteristic as the sole resource that influences coping, it seems more reasonable to assume that several characteristics, acting together, affect the resultant coping response. Certain personality characteristics may relate to some kinds of coping but not to others. In particular, some personality variables may relate to problem-focused coping, and others may relate to emotion-focused coping, (p. 231) 29 It is interesting to notice that Fleishman (1984) specifies personality-characteristics as resources. Schlossberg (1994) also notes that personality can act as an inner resource, and recommends use of the MBTI to explore this in further detail. Moos and Schaefer (1993) describe personal resources as "relatively stable dispositional characteristics that affect the selection of appraisal and coping processes and, in turn, may be altered by the cumulative outcomes of these processes" (p. 238). Hobfoll (1989) also comments that "personal characteristics are resources to the extent that they generally aid stress resistance" (p. 517). To truly act as resources, Hobfoll emphasizes, personal characteristics must be valued by the individual. He adds that environmental circumstances often have the potential to threaten or deplete resources. If we view familiarity and a preference toward exercising one's dominant (and possibly auxiliary) function as a personal resource, stress, which threatens the "balance" of typological functioning, may cause turmoil in the coping process. Mamchur (1984) elaborates: ...when placed in a strange or threatening environment, an individual can lose confidence in his natural way of behaving. As a result, preferences are often abandoned and the person either jumps uncomfortably from one function to another, truly trusting none, or may actually "change" type and cling desperately to his inferior function, (p. 198) Heikkinen (1986) advocates identifying and coming to terms with one's own (MBTI) personality style as a way to begin to adjust to perceived demand levels and to attempt to modify one's typically stress-inducing behaviour patterns. He adds that not only are one's preferred processes developable 30 resources, but aspects of less preferred processes are quite learnable, and often helpful i n adjusting to situational needs. He cautions that one must be careful not to ignore preferred type-oriented needs, but adds that it may, at times, be quite helpful to exercise conscious flexibility i n trying opposite preferences when they would be situationally effective. He explains: For example, introverts rather than striving to become extraverts can benefit from accepting their need for, and developing their use of, time alone. They can also benefit, however, from learning how to act l ike extraverts when needed, without attempting to change their basic personality structure, (p. 559) This is an example of using a less-preferred attitude at the service of a preferred one, and would l ikely result i n a much more productive outcome and higher comfort level than randomly skipping from one process to the next. Type theory would hold, however, that less-preferred attitudes and functions are more difficult to master, and are never quite experienced to the same strength as the preferred ones. When a person has been concentrating on exercising an opposite preference due to situational constraints, outcome results may "change" on the M B T I . This, though, would not truly indicate a change i n "true type," but rather, an indication of answering the questions based on how one would like to be instead of what one's true preferences are when able to behave i n a most natural, unconfined manner. Spielberger (cited i n Hobfoll, 1989) suggests that certain events are stressful i f they are considered to be threats to the phenomenological self, and are therefore thought of as "ego-threats" (p. 514). A change i n a previously confirmed and qualitatively validated type would l ikely be a reflection of an 31 individual's efforts to adapt to a stressful situation by "camouflaging" in a manner that would temporarily and situationally lessen threats to this phenomenological self. Although not specifically type theory related, the results of Segovis's (1990) doctoral research investigating the structure of work-related coping also appear to support the notion of type-related adaptational efforts. Using grounded theory method, Segovis conducted a qualitative, longitudinal study interviewing 13 savings and loan managers to determine how they coped with stressful occupational problems. Over 200 work-related incidents were analyzed. Results identified the highest level of stress experienced by the managers as paradigm stress, "a disintegration of people's fundamental understanding of their world and values" (p. 1306A). From the interviews, Segovis identified a proactive coping theory in which participants attacked distressful events with multiple coping strategies through a "tinkering process." This is similar to the idea in type theory that when use of our most familiar function or attitude is not successful in meeting our needs, we will attempt to try something less familiar, but possibly more effective, depending upon the situation. Problems in coping processes, then, are likely to occur when an individual is confused as to what kind of personal resources would serve as a helpful way of attending to a particular situational context, or is greatly lacking in familiarity of a situationally useful, less preferred process. To further complicate matters, appraisal processes and subsequent perception of personal efficacy likely impact 32 upon one's likelihood of seeking out social support (see Holohan & Moos, 1986). Folkman (1992) concurs that when a poor fit exists between appraisals and patterns of coping, distress will likely persevere, or even escalate. From a Myers-Briggs type perspective, we all have special "gifts" (Myers, 1985) in the form of our dominant and auxiliary functions, but are not as well equipped to exercise our tertiary or inferior functions in as reliable ways. Duniho (1992) notes that "when you put stress on any system, its natural vulnerabilities start to show" (p. 15). He adds that properly understood, type can help us to understand our vulnerabilities. We are then able to address these weaknesses and consciously work at strengthening them or seek out effective help to compensate. This agentic perspective closely resembles that of Lazarus's cognitive appraisal model (described by Roskies, 1991) that posits: Rather than being the passive victim of environmental forces, or his or her own body, the individual is seen as a thinking, feeling being actively monitoring his or her relationship with the surrounding environment and seeking to maintain or improve it. Furthermore, because both the person and the environment are changeable, the individual is not necessarily the victim of his or her past but can change cognitions and behavior from one stress episode to another, and even within a single stress episode, (p. 420) Quenk (1993b) emphasizes psychological typology as "a dynamic system embodying complex movement and interaction among elements" (p. 10), clarifying that although type theory holds to stable preferences-a person can still suspend a natural preference to operate from an opposing one, if this is situationally beneficial. One would hypothesize, however, that a person could 33 become more adept at this adaptational functioning if she or he had an awareness and understanding of more habitual preferences. Summary To summarize, there are many parallels between Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theory and the cognitive-transactional model of stress and coping developed by Lazarus (1966), Lazarus and Folkman (1984), and other theoretically similar models in the psychological stress and coping literature. It has been noted that the purpose of this thesis is to explore Jungian/MBTI typology as a possible missing link between what Lazarus (1993) sees as varying approaches to measurement-style and process. Lazarus concurs that "approaches to coping as style and as process are both essential in that they each address different aspects of the problem" (p. 243). He also suggests that it would be worthwhile to attempt to combine the two approaches without sacrificing what is unique to each one. He seems particularly intrigued by the question of whether coping strategies depend on trial and error over time or "particular threat contents" (p. 238). Type theory would appear to be an ideal position from which to explore these questions, and the answer may well reinforce Folkman and Lazarus's recent (1991) integration of emotion into the formerly cognitive domain. In all, my review of the literature appears to indicate a need for greater emphasis on theory integration to comprehensively address complex and dynamic processes in individual differences in stress appraisal and related coping efforts. Although traditional cognitive-transactional theory (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) describes "a dynamic cybernetic system in which reciprocal 34 interactions occur between the individual's cognitive, perceptual, and emotional functions, on the one hand, and the characteristics of the external environment, on the other" (Derogatis, 1982, p. 273), an exploration of perceptual functions preceding and interacting with the evaluative component of appraisal appears to have been overlooked in the research. Because MBTI categories attend to fundamental differences in both perception and judgment (evaluation) aspects of personality type as well as acknowledging the relevance of the situation, type theory may be a suitable and complimentary addition to the more traditional stress-coping theories. 35 Methods Method Choice Elaboration and Rationale From a thorough review of the stress-coping research, Avison and Gotlib (1994) have concluded that "regardless of the choice of methods, it seems clear that the assessment of stressful experience is fraught with complexity" (p. 318). Monroe and Kelley (1995) add that although cognitive appraisal is the major focus of current stress theory, lack of existing measures of appraisal likely indicates a lack of comprehensive understanding of this process at a fundamental level. Monroe and McQuaid (1994) report that approaches based on interview methods are becoming more widely acceptable, advocating use of the semistructured interview followed by an analysis based upon theoretical relevance. This is likely because personal interviewing may be the only way to better understand stress-coping processes at a level integrating personal constructs and motives. Because my research questions are theoretically-based and require qualitative exploration, and because the purpose of this research is to explore, clarify, expand, and link theoretical concepts regarding stress appraisal and coping process from both transactional and MBTI theories, a grounded theory method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was chosen, using orientational qualitative inquiry (Patton, 1990). Strauss and Corbin (1990) define the grounded theory approach as "a qualitative research method that uses a systematic set of procedures to develop an inductively derived grounded theory about a 36 phenomenon" (p. 24, emphasis in the original). The purpose of my study is not to generate entirely new theory, but to build upon and to create linkages between existing stress-coping theory and Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theory from an empirically grounded stance. Silverman (1993) points out that there has been some criticism of grounded theory because it sometimes fails to acknowledge implicit theories that guide the research at the early stage. Because a goal of my research is theory triangulation, it is important to clarify that I also adhere to the principles of orientational qualitative inquiry. Patton (1990) explains, "Orientational qualitative inquiry begins with an explicit theoretical or ideological perspective that determines what variables and concepts are most important and how the findings will be interpreted" (p. 86). He adds that the perspective of the researcher determines the focus of the inquiry, and the findings are subsequently interpreted from the perspective of the guiding theoretical perspective. Patton emphasizes that as long as the researcher is clear in stating the theoretical framework being used, "orientational qualitative inquiry is a legitimate and important approach to theoretical or ideological elaboration, confirmation and elucidation" (pp. 86-87). Adhering to this method allows me to explore process in a theoretically-oriented way. The nature of this study is descriptive and exploratory; and despite the guiding theoretical orientations, the resulting research data are the basis of any theoretical expansion. 37 Participants Due to the nature of this study, I used purposive sampling by Myers-Briggs type. I initially limited the study to include only women preferring extraversion in order to narrow the scope from 16 types to eight. This was later further confined to those women with ENFP type preferences due to MBTI results. A female population was chosen in order to provide some homogeneity in the narratives. As well, age of the participants was kept within a 16 year span (ages 30 to 45) to control as best as possible for developmental confounds in type. A total of six women were interviewed. The following information is taken from demographic information sheets (Appendix A) completed by the women following their interviews (see Table 1). The women ranged in age from 31 to 42 (M=36.5). Two women identified themselves as being single, and four as being married. One of the married women disclosed during the interview that she was separated and planned to get a divorce. The married women had either one or two children. Ages of the children ranged from toddlers to adolescents. Educational level ranged from high school completion to completion of undergraduate degrees (As well, one woman was currently enrolled in a vocational college program). Job status and descriptions were as follows: (a) Elementary school teacher/full time, (b) Self Employed Accountant/Consultant-varied work schedule, (c) Part time volunteer and student, (d) Secretary/full time, (e) Full-time Mother, and (f) Full time Mother/part time self-employed sales and farming. Regarding approximate yearly household income, one 38 Table 1 Demographic Description of Participants Participants Pseudonym Shammi Jessie Patricia Toni Age 39 Relationship status S Children 0 37 M 2 42 M>Sep 1 Education BA/BEd BComm lyr. PS CGA 36 S 0 B A Margo 31 M 2 2yrs. PS Erica 35 M 2 G12 Occupation Teacher Accountant Volunteer Secretary FT/Mom FT/Mom FT SE PT FT PT Sales Household $30-50,000 76-100,000 51-75,000 30-50,000 <30,000 51-75,000 Income Ethnic Indo/ Origin Canadian English/ Irish/Scottish Canadian Irish/German Irish Canadian Canadian Religion Believe in G-d* Agnostic NP/Catholic Christian Anglican Baptist Non-Denominational Note: S = single; M = married; Sep = separated; B A = Bachelor of Arts; B E d = Bachelor of Education; BComm = Bachelor of Commerce; CGA = Certified General- Accountant; PS = post-secondary; G12 = grade 12; FT = full time; SE = self-employed; PT = part time; NP = non-practicing. * 'G-d' is used rather than spelling out the entire word, due to my religious beliefs. 39 indicated under 30,000, two 30,000-50,000, two 51, 000-75,000, and one 76,000-100,000. Ethnic origins reported were: Canadian, Indo-Canadian, English/ Canadian/White, Irish, Irish/Scottish, and Irish-German descent, born in Canada. Religions listed were Anglican, Baptist, Christian, Non-practicing Catholic, Agnostic, and "Believe in G-d, but don't belong to any organized religious group." Measures Because (in addition to age and gender) the interview participant selection process was based upon written MBTI results, it is necessary to give further information regarding this measure before continuing to the procedures section. The scales and a theoretical overview have already been presented in the literature review. This section provides information regarding reliability and validity of the Indicator. Reliability The MBTI Manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) discusses various kinds of reliability and related research (see Chapter 10). Myers and McCaulley summarize that "the estimates of internal consistency reliabilities for the continuous scores of the four MBTI scales are acceptable for most adult samples" (p. 169). Murray (1990) notes that "the reliability of the M-B Indicator has been improved in recent years particularly by improving the internal consistency indices" (p.1190). McCaulley (1990) summarizes the test-retest reliabilities of the individual scales of the MBTI and concludes that they are comparable to those of other personality instruments. Devito (1985) reports good test-retest 40 reliability coefficients, ranging from .87 (seven weeks) to .48 (14 months), noting the least stable test-retest reliability appears to be on the T/F scale in males. McCaulley adds that most test-retest changes over time occur in preferences with low scores. The MBTI Manual presents a useful guide for measuring approximate degrees of preference strengths and weaknesses. Categories include: Very Clear Preferences (scores of 41 or higher, or 31 for F), Clear Preferences (scores from 21-39, or 29 for F), Moderate Preferences (scores between 11-19), and Slight Preferences (scores between 1-9). It must be noted that strength of preferences does not necessarily imply better usage of a process, "a larger score simply means that the respondent, when forced to choose, is more clear about what he or she prefers" (Myers & McCaulley, 1985, p. 56). When preference scores are slight, a change of one or two answers could change the type letter designation. This often reflects tension between opposite poles of preference, not equal excellence (Myers & McCaulley, 1985). Therefore, for the sake of clarity, people revealing slight preferences on the MBTI were not interviewed in this study. Validity Chapter 11 of the MBTI Manual comprehensively addresses validity-related issues. Myers and McCaulley (1985) explain that "because the MBTI was designed to implement Jung's theory of psychological types, its validity is determined by its ability to demonstrate relationships and outcomes predicted by the theory" (p. 175). They add that if Jung's theory describes existing 41 preferences, and if the MBTI sufficiently identifies these preferences, then surface behaviours should be congruent with the theory, taking into consideration the allowance for measurement error, developmental stage, and environmental constraints that may interfere with the outward expression of type preference. Any time the MBTI is written with the mindset of fitting in according to the expectations of others rather than answering items according to natural, truly felt preferences, validity of the results are at stake. Carlyn (1977), in providing an assessment of the MBTI, reports that "Myer's extensive account of the construction of the Indicator [1962, pp. 83-87] includes the criteria used for choosing and scoring items, and provides considerable evidence for the instrument's content validity" (p.468). Carlyn also adds that in looking at four studies that examine the MBTI's ability to predict choice of major and success in college, moderate predictive ability has been found. Construct validity of the MBTI has been demonstrated in various domains, including career choice, learning and teaching styles and correlations with other personality and interest measures. McCaulley (1990) reports, "in general, correlations are in the predicted directions, and MBTI scales do not correlate with measures of unrelated constructs" (p.123). As well, Hammer and Yeakley (cited in McCaulley, 1990) interviewed 120 adults to study best-fit type. The interviews took place from same day to 2 years after completing the MBTI. Eighty-five percent interviewed agreed with all four MBTI preferences, and the 15% disagreeing on one preference originally showed low preference scores. 42 Procedures Participant Selection Participants were solicited from newspaper advertisements in The Province Newspaper and UBC Reports (see Appendix B). The newspaper advertisements requested that interested women, ages 30 to 45, who considered themselves to be extraverted, respond to me by telephone. One hundred and forty-six women responded to the advertisements. Of these, 48 women were available to write the MBTI (Form G Self-Scorable, Revised) in group settings of between 12 and 15. The location for completing the tests was a classroom on the University of British Columbia campus. The participants wrote the MBTI under my supervision in order to keep writing situations uniform and to avoid ethical problems due to possibly unreturned forms (if forms were instead sent out by mail). Prior to writing the MBTI, all prospective participants signed a consent form (see Appendix C) that noted confidentiality and confirmed their agreement to participate in a future interview, if so requested, following the scoring of their MBTI forms. Careful attention was given to advise participants of the nature of the instrument and to reinforce the non-pathological nature of all results. I emphasized that participants should choose answers that best identified their preferences most generally occurring across a variety of situations, particularly when they felt at ease and relaxed. This protocol is more likely to produce valid results. 43 Upon completing the MBTI, participants were asked to put a first name and telephone number in a sealed envelope, so that I could contact them to return their tests results. Their MBTI forms were also identified by number. I told the women that they may be contacted for an interview some time after the forms were scored. I explained that for my study, I needed to select interview participants who had Myers-Briggs scores within a certain range, however, this was not a judgment in any way on the status or normalcy of their scores. Upon hand scoring the MBTI forms, I eliminated those women's forms that showed ties on any of the MBTI scales, or whose preference scores were not at least in the mid-moderate range, in order to increase the likelihood that the women interviewed would agree that their type results 'fit' for them. After eliminating all of such test forms, no type other than "ENFP" was represented by more than two women. Useable forms scoring ENFP totalled 12. As such, I interviewed only those women with ENFP preferences. Interview priority was given to those women whose MBTI preference scores were clear, or closest to clear (some being high moderate, some being very clear). I interviewed a total of six women scoring ENFP type preferences. Interview Protocol Interviews were held in a seminar room on the UBC campus, and took approximately 1 1/2 hours each. Al l interviews were audio-taped, with participant consent (see Appendix C), and later transcribed verbatim, with each line numbered for reference. Participants were assured of confidentiality, and told that although quotes from the interviews would be used in the final thesis, 44 their names and any other identifying information would not be used. I explained to each participant that I was not looking for any particular response, and the purpose of my study was to add to the existing information on stress and coping. I emphasized the importance of each participant answering as honestly as possible. I also noted that no responses given would be considered 'better' than others, and all contributions given would be a valuable addition to my research. I then asked the participants if they had any questions regarding the research. The interview schedule was semi-structured. I followed an interview guide (see Appendix D) but remained flexible to spontaneous changes. Therefore, additional questions were added to each interview, for the purpose of clarification, depending on individual participant responses. I allowed the participants free range to discuss various stressors rather than limiting the discussion to a stressor of a specific domain, because part of my research question was to ascertain if there are general processes occurring when varying stressors are appraised, and to note definitional descriptions of the stress and coping process. Following their interviews, the women completed a demographic information sheet (see Appendix A). I then gave the women the option of receiving a brief summary of the research when it had been completed. Participant Responses I was impressed with the fluidity and depth of the answers the women gave to my questions, and the articulate sharing of what appeared to be quite profound and meaningful learnings that had been accumulated as a result of 45 ongoing self-observation. Al l of the participants showed a high level of self-awareness, and a history of regular introspective thought processes was evident from the nature of the responses. The women were given their MBTI results following completion of their interview. When asked if all of the scales they scored preferences on fit for them, five of the six women validated all four scales. One of the women validated her N, F, and P scores, but was unsure as to whether she preferred E over I. Her interview was maintained in the study as three out of the four type measures fit well for her, and her interview responses appeared to fit in theoretically with the other interview accounts. Data Analysis Process The data analysis was guided by Glaser and Strauss's (1967) constant comparative method that involves systematic categorization until patterns emerge. Through open coding, memoing, and diagramming, I determined core categories. "Open coding is the part of the analysis that pertains specifically to the naming and categorizing of phenomena through close examination of the data" (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Strauss and Corbin offer three different ways of doing open coding: (a) line-by-line analysis, (b) coding by sentence or paragraph, (c) coding of an entire interview. I open coded in a somewhat circular fashion in order to address both global and specific concepts derived from the data. Memos and diagrams were also important elements of data analysis; memos helped to preserve my abstract thinking in written form, diagrams illustrated a visual 46 representation of conceptual relationships (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). These procedures were necessary to facilitate theoretical integration and extension. Initially, I read through each interview, underlining and highlighting portions that at the time, seemed especially interesting and relevant. I made memoing notes in the margins about initial impressions and ideas I had about the data. While reading through the transcripts, I also got a 'feel' for similarities and differences within and between the six women's accounts of differing events. I then focused on one interview, and followed through on each experienced stressor incident/occurrence in terms of what had happened, and the woman's resulting coping behaviours and outcomes linked to the incident and coping process. This included physiological responses, emotional reactions, thought processes, immediate reactions, more carefully thought-out reactions, and plans for future ways of handling such a situation. I also documented the meaning attached to the incidents/occurrences discussed and took note of mentioned acquired learnings. Initially, I did this in a fairly simple manner, using the exact words of the participant, and keeping the concepts fairly simple. This was to help me get used to breaking down events and reactions into smaller pieces to attend to how the same person could react quite differently based on context. Carefully looking at each situation and the process that accompanied it allowed the context to be kept clearly in mind. I especially looked for what it may be about the appraisal of particular situations, including beliefs and values, if documented, that prompted certain patterns in coping process. 47 Once I had completed the first interview analysis, I similarly analyzed two more of the interviews. These particular three interviews were chosen first for analysis because these women had commonalties related to their living situations (all were currently married, raising young children). Using the constant comparative method, similarities and differences were noted within and across these three interviews. At this point, I compiled excerpts of quotes that seemed illustrative of various kinds of stress assessment and subsequent reactions for each interview. The remaining three interviews were then analyzed and integrated into the existing data, with special attention to data confirming or refuting existing categories, as well as the possibility for further inductive analysis and pattern making. As with the first three interviews, I continued to use constant comparative analysis within the women's accounts as well as across the other interview data. I did not continue interviewing more than six women, because it appeared that the six interviews narratives contained a reasonable amount of information and richness of data to answer my research questions and generate a model. Throughout the analysis, exact descriptive words were used, and relevant quotes identified, to help reflect the decision trail. I wrote memos to document possible insights regarding Myers-Briggs type (for later attention in addressing and writing up theory), but did not attend to any specific elements of type when initially formulating categories and constructs from the data. I also wrote memos regarding comments and beliefs noted by the women, and possible links 48 and applications to counselling practice as well as those pertaining specifically to what I recalled from the stress-coping literature. Next, for the three interviews I had done in detail, I began to "mind-map" to visually reflect the patterns and their various properties and dimensions. This helped me to follow the inter-relational constructs, processes, and behaviours. Depending on the situational determinants, alternatives in processing were examined and linked. Key categories and sub-categories were noted through axial coding, and by further making use of selective coding and diagramming, the beginnings of a preliminary model evolved. I then re-charted for the three initially analyzed transcripts separate and overlapping situational triggers and reactions/ways of coping, some of this being somewhat "decision-tree-like." This helped to illustrate the richness of the data, and confirm or refute what had been inductively analyzed. I next continued to analyze the remaining three transcripts, again making use of the constant comparative method, to check constructs within the interview, between the latter three transcripts, and finally, against the initial three, and the conceptual model. The data appeared to, for the most part, fit in conceptually with the analysis that had already been done, and some saturation of coding began to be evident. I continued to re-survey the data to see if there were particular pieces, attitudes, strategies, or constructs unique to a particular woman, or areas that may have required further clarification from the women themselves. Upon re-examining the data in a more global sense, I gained further clarity regarding 49 self-observed behaviours mentioned by the women, and the accompanying cognitive-emotional process. Analysis continued during my writing of the results section of this thesis. Some categories were consolidated, and others expanded upon. I re-examined my findings in light of available evidence to properly "ground" the theory, and revised accordingly. Conceptual linkages continued to be made throughout visual illustration of the model. Trustworthiness Lincoln and Guba (1985) emphasize the importance of maintaining a continually updated record of the data analysis process, and refer to this as an audit trail. They advocate the keeping track of all thought processes and decisions regarding the data from the time the interviews are first conducted and transcribed. My attention to notating my thoughts and reactions to the data helped clarify and more consciously address conclusions I may have arrived at somewhat intuitively, based on tacit knowledge. I also noted any questions I was thinking of or speculations regarding theory to build trustworthiness into the research and enhance confirmability of findings. Researchers using grounded theory typically categorize their own data, however, it is noted that "independent categorizing by research collaborators can be useful as a check on the perceptual field of the primary investigator" (Rennie et al., 1988, p. 143). This serves to enhance creditability of the study. As such, my research Supervisor and one of my committee members were consulted 50 during the data analysis to help monitor any biases or oversights on my part. Throughout the analysis I kept in mind that "while creativity is necessary to develop an effective theory, of course the researcher must always validate any categories and statements of relationships arrived at creatively through the total research process" (Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 28). Because I have learned from my own work with psychological type that there are often many exceptions to "textbook" explanations of type descriptors, I was careful to stay open-minded and not remain rigid to theory in compiling my results. This openness to continue to accept new information, regardless of the theoretical inconsistencies facilitates validity in my research. In conducting this study, my interests lay not in proving or disproving any of the existing theory, but instead, in exploring, with a healthy curiousity, how components of type theory and cognitive transactional theory may meet or overlap, and in identifying this (if evident), to explore how such results affect both theoretical frameworks. 51 Results In this chapter I outline, elaborate on, and discuss the narratives of the six women I interviewed, and present my emergent model of stress-coping process as i l lustrated by this sample of women wi th (Myers-Briggs) E N F P type preferences. To provide anonymity and protect confidentiality, the women have been given pseudonyms. (In transcribed quotes, I refer to myself by my init ials , H P W . ) Because the interviews are so r ich i n content and descriptive detail, I offer many substantial quotes; I could not possibly do the women justice by summarizing their responses, when verbatim, their discussions were so thorough and expressive. As well , these quotes allow the reader an inside glimpse at the thought processes and language usage of women scoring E N F P . The discussion section w i l l assume the reader's familiarity wi th the interview quotes, as these w i l l be helpful i n exploring further conceptual/theoretical l inks regarding the interview data. A l l of the women's quotes w i l l be presented i n italicized print i n order to stand out from the rest of the document. Al though the flavour of the E N F P type preferences is evident throughout the quotes used, un t i l the very last part of the results section, I mainly focus on categories that emerged and concepts generated without specific in i t i a l attention to psychological type. Because, however, I adhere to tenets of orientational qualitative inquiry (Patton, 1990), 'self memos' (endnotes)* are used to br ing attention to and address type-theory-related conceptual linkages. Integration of * The 'self memos' begin on page 122, at the end of this section. 52 these self memos into the text is essential to synthesis of the theory; the emergent theory would remain incomplete without proper acknowledgment and integration of type-related elements. Therefore, summarization and consolidation of the theory includes specific attention to type, including information that has been referred to in the self memos. Some of the ideas in these self memos, however, are still in rough form, and will not be further explored until the discussion section. Therefore, I advise the reader to merely treat the self memos as an indicator of my thought processes, and to suspend judgment regarding their content until further exploration in the discussion. Because the stress-coping processes of these women were often non-linear and dynamic, overlap exists in conceptual illustration. Therefore, although headings are used for organizational clarity, quotes often contain examples applicable to prior or upcoming sections in addition to those that are section-specific. As a result, the model presented becomes increasingly additive. The model emerged at both a macro and micro level. Essential to the model are the concepts of storing and releasing stress. The concept of stress storing (or storage) was generated from the women's descriptions of stress as being experienced as bodily-felt tension and physical discomfort accompanied by emotional agitation. Their emphasis on stress as an uncomfortable bodily-felt experience indicated that for these women, stress was stored in a physical/emotional way. At a macro level, their (bio-emotional) goal was simply to release the stored stress. This occurred in a number of ways: deliberately, 5 3 impulsively, and thoughtfully. At a micro level, this included a complex physical/emotional/cognitive process that often resulted in self-actualization, personal evolution, and in many cases, transcending stress through developmental maturation and depth of self-knowledge (the main emergent theme of this model). Al l sub-categories within the women's stress-coping processes entailed some form of stress releasing, whether simple or complex, deliberate or incidental. Rather than categorizing stress specifically by situational/locational context, the major focus of differentiating emphasis for the women was whether or not their perceived stressors included interactions with people. For example, the coping process for work-related stress was described as being very different depending on whether the stress was privately task-related or socially conflict-related. Indeed, most of the women's narratives were focused on the discussion of stress involving some form of relationship-orientation or social interaction. These interpersonal stress encounters often resulted in eventual intrapersonal self-analysis. As such, there was a strong element of cognitive-emotional complexity and reactivity that appeared to guide the stress-releasing (coping) process. Presentation of the Results Model For the women, the stress appraisal and coping process was comprised of various components that worked in a dynamic, sometimes linear, but mainly non-linear fashion. The women became aware of the existence of stress for them 54 through bodily-felt tension/discomfort (Figure 2a). Their descriptions of this tension signified an emotional component, and that stress storing had taken place. (I subsequently outline the three kinds of stress storage that emerged.) During this process, the women sometimes deliberately hid their stress from others (masking) and sometimes even from themselves (self-masking). When stress was stored, it caused physical and emotional discomfort, and had to be released in order to alleviate the discomfort. Releasing for manageable, task-related stress (Figure 2b) entailed a concrete form of cognitive organizing that consisted of task clarifying and prioritizing. This was followed by taking action. Subsequent task completion resulted in simple, uncomplicated release. People-related stress was dealt with in a different manner (see Figures 2c and 2d). If there was a low or medium associated emotional charge (Figure 2c), 'public' socially-related pre-ventative strategies (humour, discussing) were employed in an effort to deflect or diffuse stressful situations. If immediate, simple release occurred, and there was no further storage, the stress was diffused. However, if the release was incomplete, further storing appeared to take place, that could result in a later cumulative higher emotional charge. When the emotional charge felt was high (Figure 2c), if the women displayed outward angry, impulsive reactions (yelling, acting out) directed toward others, this resulted in short term, incomplete, primitive release accompanied by guilt. The women would then proceed to isolate/withdraw in order to cognitive-emotionally process the stress. (Figure 2d). If the women immediately withdrew 55 Storage To Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema © H e a t h e r Wolfe. 1997 Part 1: Storing P e r c e i v e P o t e n t i a l S t r e s s o r N O STRESS N o b i o - e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n P o t e n t i a l s t ress h a s b e e n d e f l e c t e d N o s t r e s s i s e x p e r i e n c e d / N o s t ress ' s t o r i n g ' o c c u r s M O S T R E S S O R B i o - e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n o c c u r s B o d i l y - f e l t t e n s i o n p r e s e n t S t r e s s i s e x p e r i e n c e d / s t r e s s ' s t o r i n g ' o c c u r s S t r e s s i s a p p r a i s e d a n d s t o r e d i n t h e b o d y . A m e r g e r o c c u r s b e t w e e n p h y s i c a l t e n s i o n / d i s c o m f o r t a n d e m o t i o n a l t e n s i o n / d i s c o m f o r t . A l l c o p i n g e f for t s a r e a t t e m p t s to r e l ea se the s t o r e d s t ress . T h i s o c c u r s at v a r i o u s l e v e l s o f p h y s i c a l a n d c o g n i t i v e - e m o t i o n a l s t ress r e s o l u t i o n . T H R E E K I N D S O F S T R E S S ' S T O R A G E ' I D E N T I F I E D : 1) T e m p o r a r y / t r a n s i e n t s t o r a g e S T O R I N G ^ 2 ) D e f e r r e d s t o r a g e (by ' m a s k i n g ' s t ress) # 3) C u m u l a t i v e - o l d ( c - o l d ) s t o r a g e ( w i t h ' s e l f - m a s k i n g ' ) Figure 2a. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Storing 56 Storage To Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema Part II: Releasing: ©Heather Wolfe, 1997 (A) 'Manageable'* task-related stress not involving conflict with other people (Low emotional charge) ^unmanageable task-related stress was not discussed) 1) Concrete Cognitive Organizing: • Task clarifying: List tasks to be completed—mentally, and often on paper • Task prioritizing: Ordering of tasks to be completed according to time availability 2) Taking Action 3) Task Completion Result: SIMPLE, UNCOMPLICATED RELEASE Figure 2b. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Releasing part i 57 Storage To Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema ©Heather Wolfe. 1997 P a r t I I : R e l e a s i n g (B) P e o p l e - r e l a t e d s t ress : W h e n s t ress i n v o l v e s c o n f l i c t a n d / o r a n g e r w i t h o t h e r s ( a n d s o m e t i m e s self) P o s s i b l e R e a c t i o n s : 1) L o w o r m e d i u m e m o t i o n a l c h a r g e : P u b l i c p r e - v e n t a t i v e s t r a t eg i e s ( h u m o u r , d i s c u s s i n g ) R e s u l t : S i m p l e r e l e a s e (s t ress d i f fused) S T O P 2) H i g h e m o t i o n a l c h a r g e : O R I n c o m p l e t e r e l ea se F u r t h e r S t o r i n g : m a y r e s u l t i n l a t e r h i g h e m o t i o n a l c h a r g e / I m p u l s i v e R e l e a s i n g R e a c t i o n (a) A n g r y , I m p u l s i v e R e l e a s i n g : ( y e l l i n g , a c t i n g ou t ) @/! volume 11 i ) P u b l i c d i r e c t i o n a t o t h e r s R e s u l t : S h o r t t e r m , i n c o m p l e t e , ' p r i m i t i v e ' r e l ea se , w i t h g u i l t ( m o r e s t ress) > » p r o c e e d t o R e a c t i o n (b): i i ) p r i v a t e l y as a p r e - v e n t a t i v e s t r a t e g y to m i n i m i z e p u b l i c o u t b u r s t s ( I s o l a t e / W i t h d r a w w i t h i n t e n t o f a c t i v e , p h y s i c a l r e l ease ) R e s u l t : I n c o m p l e t e ( s o m e t i m e s ' p r i m i t i v e ' ) r e l ea se S T O P O R » > p r o c e e d to R e a c t i o n (b): Figure 2c. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Releasing part i i 58 Storage To Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema Part II: Releasing ©Heather Wolfe, 1997 (B) People-related stress (cont.): When stress involves conflict and/or anger with others (and sometimes self) Possible Reactions: 2) High emotional charge: Reaction (b) (may occur without reaction (a) activity): Quiet, self-calming Isolating^Withdrawing DO NOT DISTURB proceed to Cognitive-Emotional Processing: may include re-emerging and external cognitive-emotional processing with a 'cope-partner' Cognitive-Emotional Processing (sorting things through) T level 1 level increased depth Depth of In-volving Journey into Inner Self Meaning-making & Learning (developmentally additive) (Level 2 depth of exploration does not always occur) If level 2 depth of exploration occurs»> EVOLUTIONARY RELEASE: Accepting, re-emerging & re-establishment of Self in "universe unfolding as it should" (with option of taking agentic action) Transcending Stress Figure 2d. Storage to Release Evolutionary Stress/coping Schema: Releasing part i i i 59 and performed active, physical release (running, yelling) i n private (Figure 2c), incomplete (sometimes primitive) releasing would s t i l l occur, but without feelings of guilt. The women sometimes stopped at this incomplete release, and other times remained by themselves to perform self-calming activites w i th the intent to further process the stress. Of course, at times, the women immediately isolated/withdrew without any outward angry releasing. Cognitive-emotional processing (Figure 2d) was multi-layered. Decisions were made during processing as to whether to react to the stress or "let it go." Empathy was sometimes used to view things from another's perspective. The women also attempted cognitive organizing and problem-solving regarding emotional issues. If the stress was relationship-linked, there was a need for communication following processing. Sometimes, another person acted as a cope-partner to help wi th necessary external processing and to lend support. A t an even deeper level, the interview data show a great deal of In-volving— introspective awareness, resulting insight, and the practice of taking of intrapsychic inventory to assess overall life satisfaction. Maintenance of relationships wi th significant others appeared to be paramount to the women's wel l being. Learning from past experiences and striving to improve on current undesirable patterns was often mentioned. The women also retroactively attributed meaning to prior stressful events, i n many instances, as positive learning experiences. In general, how they were feeling about themselves i n 60 their overall life situation, had a great effect on the purported efficacy of their coping efforts. Deep levels of cognitive-emotional processing led to a journey into the self that prompted evolutionary release, and ultimately, transcending stress through re-emerging and consequently re-establishment of self in the "universe unfolding as it should" (from one of the women's quotes). This appeared to entail a degree of acceptance of life circumstances. Agentic action, however, was taken when deemed necessary. Physical/Emotional Storing of Stress When I asked the women to describe what the overall experience of stress was like for them, five out of six made reference to physiological/body symptoms without being specifically asked about this. They seemed to be quite aware that their experiences of stress included physical tension, discomfort, and sometimes, illness manifestations, and were able to identify where in their bodies the stress symptoms existed. At times, they also linked these physical feelings of discomfort to emotional stress. Jessie, for example, mentioned, "My stomach is usually my first indicator that emotionally, or mentally, or whatever it is, it's not working for me. "This is indicative of how she would begin to attend to inner psychological dissonance through noticing physical indicators. The women referred to their experiences of physical/emotional tension in various ways, such as feelings of restlessness, or keeping things inside. I take the term "storing" from Erica's description of physically absorbing stress: 61 I think that I cope with stress fairly well. I can juggle a whole lot of things on my plate, but I think if I'm going to absorb it, mostly I store stress in my body. I go for weekly massage therapy; I can tell when I need to be there And I get to the point sometimes when I'm feeling really, really well, and I don't go for a month, and things still continue to build up in between my shoulder blades across my back seems where I store it. Toni focused on feelings and sensations, linking physical and psychological agitation, even though I had asked her about behaviours: HPW: When you're under stress, and you're by yourself, if you're at home, or, you know-what's going on in terms of-Is there anything that you do differently than when you're not under stress? Just when, you know, you have a chance to be by yourself? Toni: Yeah. I usually feel it in my gut. HPW: Tell me about that. Toni: Tension. Tension, and I feel a knot-um, lack of peace, and a lack of quiet, so I'm not able to-feel very restless, and I know something's going on. I'm not quite sure what.1 Shammi also expressed awareness of internal manifestations of stress when I asked her what the "overall experience of stress" was like for her: Well, there again, depending on the stress, I'd say it's-uh, I don't know how to describe it, 'cause I've never really thought about describing it before. I guess I feel it in my stomach, like this is kind of-I don't know-just-I don't know how to describe it. Just this uncomfortable feeling in my body. And maybe that's why I have to clean, maybe that's why I have to do something physical. I've never thought about it that way before, but I would say that it's this physical sensation in my body. And when I was younger, I would keep a lot of my stress inside, and I had eczema, and my Mother took me to the doctor. He said, 'Well, do you have a lot of stress, or are you upset about things?-you don't talk..."Cause when I was younger, I kept a lot more quiet, and I kept a lot of things inside, and I did have, like, really bad eczema, and they felt it was, like, stress induced, so-And sometimes, it does come back, but it hasn't come back for a long time. So, you know, sometimes it does manifest itself physically, too. 62 Jessie recounts how it took being diagnosed with Crohn's disease to encourage herself to begin paying more attention to her "body triggers" and "listen more to my body" in order to better recognize the emotional discomfort caused by her demanding job schedule: It got to such a point that I was physically getting ill Sunday nights and not being able to go in to work on Monday. And was just getting to a point where, generally, with me, I have to get physically ill before I sort of say-I mean, my body says, 'Listen! You're not listening to me! I don't like what you're doing here!' And I think I was probably more like that when I was younger, and I'm becoming more and more aware of my body triggers.2 Generally, my body tells me. I listen more to my body now. I listen when my stomach gets tight. So I don't wait until I'm really, really sick. I know that my stomach's tight, so I know it's a problem. And my stomach is usually my first indicator that emotionally, or mentally, or whatever it is, it's not working for me. And it has to be right for my soul3, it has to be right with my heart,4 it has to be right with my stomach.5 And then I can carry forward, and that's generally my guide-my gut feeling, my heart. I listen to that. Yeah, that's my guide. Although it was often mentioned that reactions may depend upon the kind of stress in question, generalizations were often made regarding physical complaints, without alluding to any specific situational example. As indicated by the quotes above, Toni, Shammi, and Jessie specifically referred to discomfort in their stomach or "gut." In addition to her muscular tension, Erica, somewhat more generally, commented, "I have a lot of stuff going on internally that I can just really feel the churn." Margo's stress manifested in the form of migraine headaches. Erica also spoke of often ending up with a headache when feeling "stressed out." Only Patricia did not describe physical indicator's of stress. 63 I identified three different kinds of stress storing or "storage" from the I ; women's narratives: 1. Temporary/transient storage occurred when stress was experienced, but identified and dealt with fairly expediently. 2. Deferred storage occurred when stress was quickly recognized, but put on hold until a more convenient or safe time arose to address it. I refer to the conscious and deliberate hiding of stress from others as 'masking'. Masking sometimes resulted in eventual feelings of resentment (stored anger) sometimes 'impulsively released' through 'acting-out.' 3. Cumulative old storage (c-old storage) occurred as a result of stress that continued to be ignored (a longer term form of deferred storage), until depth of emotional discomfort and escalated body discomfort intervened, signaling that something was wrong. If the link was made between the physical upset and emotional stress, the source of the stress was then explored and addressed. This is apparent in Jessie's previous quote when she mentioned, "my stomach is usually my first indicator that emotionally, or mentally, or whatever it is, it's not working for me." I use the term 'self-masking" to identify when any of the women discuss being aware (often only in retrospect) of pretending to themselves that everything was okay when it really was not. The self-masking could also then lead to resentment. Putting something into c-old storage can be a way of trying to cope, as is taking something out of c-old storage and addressing it when ready. Shammi 64 explained, "as a child I was sexually abused, so coping with that was like dealing with that, because I sort of buried it for a long time and didn't want to deal with it. That was stressful." She later discussed seeking help as an adult from a therapist. The general pattern evident in the women's narratives appeared to be that some kind of uncomfortable bodily sensation accompanied the identification of stress for them. Jessie elaborated regarding her experience of stress, in this case accompanied by feelings of anger: Your body reacts. It has its own little emergency system built into it, and that's the way you deal with it. And I can control when I scream and yell at someone or not, but the initial reaction of stress within me is something I really can't control. I can just be aware of it, and try to release it in a positive fashion. So I also find that tai-chi is really good that way; if I'm in a stressful situation, or if I'm waiting for someone, I don't sit and stew about it, I'll do my tai-chi.... This example helps lead into the concept of stress releasing. Stress Releasing Alongside their discussions of stress storing, the women also identified the act of stress releasing. This concept of releasing emerged from the many times that the women expressed relief when through varying acts, they were able to let go of their physical and emotional tension that had been stored. Rather than just a specific category, releasing is also a conceptual phenomenon that occurred throughout the coping process, at differing levels of depth and stress resolution. Releasing is apparent throughout many of the interview segments to follow. As well, Shammi's prior mention of "maybe that's why I have to clean, maybe that's 65 why I have to do something physical" after noticing the "uncomfortable feeling" in her body is an example of releasing behaviour. Shammi subsequently mentioned that the act of cleaning also helps her to "think things through" and is calming. The women differentiated between releasing they considered to be positive, such as exercising, cognitive-emotional processing, or communicating (these will be addressed subsequently), and more negative forms of releasing that were momentarily effective, but likely to cause further interpersonal problems (and consequently, further stress storage), such as yelling at someone or "acting out" (impulsive releasing). Releasing that accompanies (and often enhances) other components of the stress-coping process will continue to be noted in further sections. Overall, situation 'appropriate' releasing appeared to be an integral part of the outcome of transcending stress for the women, as this resulted in more 'transient-endings' of stress and less c-old storage. Task-related Stress and Prioritizing In the remainder of the results I elaborate upon the women's discussions of stress involving people. However, I first must clarify that task-oriented stress also appeared to involve stress storing and releasing, but at a much less complex depth of process. Stress storing appeared to be temporary in the examples the women gave, and release that followed task completion occurred at an uncomplicated level that was unlikely to have any long-term or depth implications. 66 When stress was more concrete, involving manageable task-completion not emotionally complicated by interpersonal matters, prioritizing helped to keep tasks from snowballing, thus keeping potential stress at bay. Margo advised: You just sit down, you take a deep breath, and you sort of write out a mental list- 'Okay, I've got so many things to do, it's-I don't have time!' I go, 'Well, what do you gotta do?' You know? 'How much time do you need?'And if you sit down and actually think about, 'Okay, well, I gotta do this, and this and this, and I've got this much time to do this'-Well, don't worry about the things that you can't deal with right now. You deal with the immediate, the things that you can deal with, at that immediate, you know, right now, type of thing. You prioritize. And then, you know, if you get a couple of things that are bothering you over and done with You just sit down, and yeah, you prioritize, and think about it, and then just start doing it.6 And you're-once you start, once you actually-instead of thinking about the problem-you're doing something about it, you feel better. And it's like, you go, 'Wow! that wasn't so bad after all!' Jessie confirmed, "If it's a work thing, it's just getting the job done. Or just writing it down on paper, maybe, getting it clear in your mind, and then getting the job done, you know? Try and prioritize your time." Erica agreed, "Lists seem to help me because if I know what's in front of me, and I know that there are these 15 things that I have to accomplish today, I just get at them, and they're done, and that eliminates a lot of stress." She maintains, It's fun to look at circumstances that are 'unsolvable', and find the answer. And I think it's how you approach it. If you say, 'Oh, I can't ever climb this mountain, instead of taking that first step-One of my favourite sayings is, 'How do you eat an elephant?-One bite at a time!' You know, I mean, you can't shove this whole thing down, but it's just a matter of getting in there, rolling up your sleeves, and getting started. Boy, things sure feel good when a project is done, and you can stand back, and just have fun with it along the way. That's the one thing we've learned. Even with the kids, you know, 67 things seem momentous, and Til never get through that', but do it together, and let's get started and see. And lots of times if you make it fun, what initially starts out to be very stressful, really isn't. And it's how you approach it. Task-oriented stress, therefore, required some cognitive organizing and strategizing, but did not appear to involve the processing of emotions. Alternately, people-related stress involved a variety of dynamics and behaviours, as indicated in the model. In this next section, I return to the discussion of people-related stress, specifically, the links the women mentioned between "keeping things in" (storing) and the acting out behaviour that often followed (impulsive releasing). Resentment and Keeping In Behaviours (Masking). Anger and Acting Out Behaviours (Impulsive Releasing) Al l of the women mentioned feelings of anger in their discussions of stress. Because experiencing anger was identified as being frustrating, during the provocation or experience of sudden, intense anger, there appeared to be an urgent need for immediate release, sometimes resulting in acting out behaviours. At times, the intensity of the felt emotion prompted yelling or "exploding." Margo admitted her penchant for slamming doors. She admitted that it really does not solve anything, but appeared to enjoy the rush of the physical release: When I get angry, I really like to slam doors and cupboards and stomp my feet, and stuff like that. Because I get so frustrated, all I do is curse and swear and just-And well, my husband comes from, he's got sisters and brothers, so you learn how to communicate your feelings. Well, he can just, you know, go off, and 'rar rar rar rar rar'. And I just look at him and tell him to f-off or something, and 68 slam a door. And so we learn that doesn't quite work, but at the same time, it gives you that release. Margo recognized that deliberate masking of stress caused it to become stored, prompting her outbursts. Alternatively, communicating served as a calmer, more effective form of release: Because my husband is stressed, I try-I hide it, because I don't want it to affect him, you know1? So I'm, 'Oh, Honey, you know, don't worry, you know, things will work out'. And then-HPW: So where does it go? Margo: Um, it stays inside me for a while, and then, later on, sometimes I won't sleep as well at night, or stuff like that. But, if it gets to the point where it's really bothering me, then I'll start slamming cupboard doors and PMS-ing, and doing things like that. But usually, we'll just wait 'til the kids go to bed, and if we're having a real rough time, grab a bottle of wine, sit outside on the patio and talk. When I asked her what she particularly likes and dislikes about how she tries to cope with stress, Margo identified communication as positive and acting-out as negative, but also admitted that even though she could think of more appropriate means of physical release, she was unlikely to change: What I like about coping with stress is the fact that I can communicate really well. The things that I don't like about coping with stress is that I really like slamming doors. It feels good-I should get a punching bag or take up jogging, or something like that. But, yeah, I don't-I don't really slam doors anymore, but I stomp my feet. When I first get mad, I swear, which is pointless But, I mean, I dislike it, but I can't see it really changing too much, because that's human nature. You've gotta get mad, and then you cope with it, right? I think that's what you do when you're mad. Like if you're destructive and you're hurting people, well then, you've gotta do something about it, but if it's like stomping your feet or slamming a door, well, it's noisy, but it's really not too destructive unless you get carried away, But-do you understand? Do you know what I'm trying to say? That you have that initial blow-up. I think that's 69 what-I shouldn't say, well, I dislike-yeah, dislike's not that strong of a word-so, yeah, I dislike. Patricia explained how her masking and storing of stress leads to eventual emotional outbursts: "When I experience stress, I usually keep it to myself for a while, and then I sort of blow up, I think." She elaborated, describing the incongruity between what she shows on the outside, and how she feels on the inside: Patricia: I think I tend to react more to people who are close to me. HPW: So let's start with the ones who, you're saying they don't know-you're not close-so-because... Patricia: Because I don't act like I'm upset. I act like everything is fine, and, 'Oh, that's okay, it doesn't matter'. HPW: So that's on the outside. Patricia: That's on the outside. But actually, it does matter. I feel resentment inside. And you know, I feel like actually, I don't count, and for some reason, I give the message that it doesn't matter that I don't count, (laughs) and then, but then, the resentment builds up. Patricia discussed how her habit of eating when under stress is linked with the feelings of resentment she experiences when she does not acknowledge things that bother her: "I eat when I'm under stress. I generally try and act like everything is okay until it goes too far and then I don't know quite what is the point." I later asked her "Why do you think you eat? What, when you're doing it helps you out-or makes it appealing?" She responded: I don't know. I feel like I'm treating myself, and-but I'm really not, 'cause then I feel guilty afterwards. But it's just sort of like, I'll just please myself, you know? And, you know, I think probably we were rewarded with food when we were little or something, or pacified with food-sort of like it's going to pacify you, but really, it doesn't. 70 So, you know, a lot of people I know when they are going through stress lose twenty pounds-I gain twenty pounds. Although eating when under stress is considered enjoyable and soothing by Patricia in the moment, it provides no long term benefits; none of her feelings of resentment are released, and she feels further self-resentment (guilt) for eating and not acknowledging the relevance of her feelings. Eating then, serves as a 'keeping in' behaviour-the food being both emotionally comforting and also possibly serving to 'push down' feelings, facilitating c-old storage. Patricia later added that this was not something that she felt works well for her, and, therefore, she is attempting to address stressful events more immediately. She explained: I don't like that I let things go too far before I deal with them. And I think that I probably put more stress on myself by doing that. And I'm trying not to do that. I'm trying to deal with things as they come up, than have them build up. And I think that works a lot better for me. When I asked Patricia if there was anything else she might want to change about how she copes with stress, she discussed how she might more constructively deal with feelings of anger, keeping the more productive aspects, and eliminating the non-productive parts: HPW: Is there anything else you might want to change about how you try to cope with stress? Patricia: Change? Well, just the anger. The uh-But I don't know-Do you ever totally get rid of anger? You know? Is anger healthy or unhealthy? I don't know. Sometimes it's a great motivator. You know, it was anger that motivated me to finally make a decision about my marriage. I could have been there for the next forty years! So, sometimes, anger is good, but I think you have to use it the right way, and I think sometimes I don't use it the right way. 71 HPW: What's the difference? Patricia: The difference is- if you lash out at someone. Like if some-like, say my husband makes me angry. Like, I should stop to think of why is he making me angry, and then, calmly say, 'You know, what you did there made me angry.' Because even when he gets defensive, don't react to his defensiveness, just stay with 'What you did made me angry, you know, I'm just letting you know.' Instead of, 'Why did you do that?!' sort of thing, and then he's really on the defensive. You know, you don't get a good-you don't accomplish anything when you react with anger. The other person is like a brick wall by then. So I'm still learning. Pre-ventative Strategies Although the women acknowledged their yelling and acting out behaviours and admitted that the accompanying release sometimes felt good, they also expressed regret and remorse for these outbursts. As a result, they felt pleased discovering, developing, and implementing alternative strategies that minimized or prevented full-blown stressful episodes. This resulted in the emergence of the category of pre-ventative strategies, so named because when the women found ways to safely vent (release) feelings of frustration when they were beginning to feel stressed, they were less likely to vent their feelings later in a negative manner. These strategies, in providing alternate, non-toxic ways of outwardly venting, deflecting, or diffusing (minimizing the impact of stressful anger), pre-vented more harmful verbalization and acting out. Erica reviewed a somewhat comical learned strategy she put into practice a number of years ago to stop herself from yelling at her young children when she was feeling stressed: I've spent a lot of time digging through a lot of self-help books, and one of the things that really stuck with me, was something that Tony 72 Robbins had said about breaking patterns. And I used to yell at the kids, and I made myself a promise one day. And they were like three or four years old (They are now ten and eleven), and I was really stressed out, that is what I would do. And, I mean, these poor little things would just cringe, it was like, 'Aah!' I was never physical with them, but I was very loud, and I hated it so bad, it just tore me up, that I determined that if I caught myself doing that again, it was a specific thing that I was going to do that I'd read about in this Tony Robbins book. And I'm standing in the kitchen, yelling at these kids, and I thought, 'Okay, you've made yourself this promise; you have to do it if you want to break this pattern. 'And I took a full glass of water, and went 'whoosh!', and threw it on my face as I was yelling at these kids. And they looked at me, and their eyes got this big, and we all started to laugh-it was just hilarious! And I said, 'That's what I'm going to do every time I yell at you from now on!'And as I told you earlier, I used to yell at my kids-I don't do it anymore, and I think that's one of the things that's important. Erica also mentioned the benefits of exercising to release stress: "I'm learning that exercise definitely helps. And if I'm really wigged out, I'll go for a walk, or if I go down to the gym, run on the treadmill, or, you know, do something that makes a difference." She also had recently acquired the practice of primal screaming, explaining, "When things are really, really crazy and I'm stressed right out, I get in the truck and I roll up all of the windows and I just primal scream." She maintains: It's very effective; it's one of the things I do really well. I used to be a yeller-I used to yell an awful lot at the kids. And that, of course, was always more stressful, because then, you deal with the guilt of being a parent and thinking you need more control. But, yeah-the primal screaming works really well. Erica further acknowledged the release that screaming provides, adding, "it really does just sort of spit all that stuff out and you feel so much better afterwards." 73 Jessie discussed the combination of running and screaming as a helpful release in dealing with her stressful anger: In terms of my emotional self, if I feel like it's something that is out of my control, I'm stressed out and I'm out of control, I can get really angry about it, or I can be upset about it inside. HPW: How do you know when you're feeling-Jessie: It's just like a welling up inside, I just feel that urge to just scream or run or do something. And generally, if I feel that uptight or that upset, that's what I do. I ask someone if I can, if there's someone there (to look after the children), I just go outside for a walk, go down to the beach. Go for a run. Run and scream and yell at the sea, or whatever. But I get it out of my system. These are good examples oi external (solitary) pre-venting: getting something out of one's system by yelling or talking out loud (with the possible accompaniment of physical activity), making sure one is alone and therefore not directing the venting/releasing at someone else, which could potentially cause further stress. It is also possible to practice internal pre-venting, as demonstrated by Jessie: I was listening to my husband argue at me and he was really angry, so I started to do tai-chi movements. Because I knew he was just angry, and throwing things off, and I thought, 'well, I really can't listen to this, but I can't leave the room.' So I just got into sort of a meditative thought,7 and he kind of figured out-he just sort of stopped and he sort of walked away for a bit. And then he came back and he actually wanted to talk, and there was a difference...and then I listened, and then we talked. But you know, the other is this mental meditative thing that I'm getting into now in the last year, and it's really great, and you get to calmly deal with it and not sort of take in their garbage. Yeah-like trying not to let yourself get stressed in the first place, be aware the situation's coming and try and deflect it. That for me is the next step, you know? I know how to deal with the situation when it comes, but to be so sensitive and aware of the situation that you see something possibly build up and diffuse it before it builds up into a stressful situation. 74 Here, Jessie combines inner calming through meditation with outer releasing through tai-chi. Metaphorically speaking, the outer movements would seem to be warding off the verbal attacks, helping her to deflect the stress. Jessie continued this discussion citing use of humour as a way of diffusing stress when used both internally, to reframe a stressful situation with her boss as being less personally threatening, and externally with her husband: HPW: Okay, is there any other way you do it other than just... Jessie: Well, I was just thinking, I think it was a sense of humour. I deal with one person at work, working on a long-term contract. One of the bosses is very opinionated, very obstinate, obnoxious. But sometimes when he comes up to me and he is just yelling, inside myself there's something humourous about it, and that helps me deal with that situation, you know? And realizing that it's his problem is-he doesn't have the ability to communicate to other people-just not taking it personally.81 think that when my husband and I are fighting, he uses humour really well and we will start bantering back and forth. And I find that humour is a good stress reliever. It's really a very good way of dealing with something. It diffuses the situation, the tense situation. Margo also mentioned that she and her husband use humour: "That's sort of how we deal with stress-humour, and the fact that we do-we communicate." Just as exercise was helpful in healthy externalization and release of physical tightness, for the women, talking about the problem appeared to release the pent-up emotional and cognitive workings that had been harnessed inward. This pre-ventative communication, then, takes the place of masking in order to prevent further storing, anxiety, resentment, etc. Regarding her relationship with her husband, Erica recounted: Talking about it often times makes all the difference. If I have a lot of anxiety and my husband and I have had an argument about 75 something, my typical response would be just simply to go into the bedroom and close the door and crawl into my cave and stew about it for a little while. And all that does is tend to manifest more stress, when I finally get to the point where I say, Okay, we need to talk about this; I've pouted in here long enough9 and he's obviously not going to come in and rescue me, so I'd better go out onto the couch and talk to him. And once we get a chance to talk things out, then it's fine and then it's gone. Often times in dealing with stress, if I'm talking about it or working through something, I'm very emotional, and I tend to cry. It's not so much in anger or frustration, it's almost like that's the release for me, is just to be able to sort of shed the tears, and with every drop, it's like a little bit more of it leaves, until you're all done. She emphasized, "Communication has been the key. If you talk about those things while they're little things, they never become big things. And that's one thing I've learned-talk to people."Therefore, pre-ventative communication serves to diffuse relationship stress by "circum-venting" conflict, by maintaining appropriate communication and by doing so, lessening build-up of i l l feelings and consequently, outwitting stress. Margo also confirms: My husband and I, we let each other know, like, 'I'm in a bad mood, I'm really stressed', and we can tell when we're getting that way, so we try to communicate a lot so we don't have these big massive fights or anything like that. We don't let anything build up. By warning her partner of her mood, Margo encourages honest communication and controlled venting of her current feelings (different than when she slams cupboard doors!). This furthers her personal sense of having control over herself and the immediate situation, and this pre-venting, as opposed to heat-of-the-moment venting (otherwise know as yelling) allows for some external clearing, eliminating some of the external clutter from being drawn in (internalized). As previously mentioned, even though Margo realizes 76 that communicating her stress to her husband is helpful, she admits to masking and storing when she senses that he is experiencing his own stress and does not want to burden him with her own problems (and he returns the favour). This eventually leads to physical upset, and consequently, acting out behaviours. Paradoxically, confidence in her self-perceived maturing coping process prompts her to deliberately keep things in, promoting a false sense of control, that later becomes unbridled (slamming cupboard doors, etc.). Isolating/Withdrawing Al l of the six women reported needing time alone when under stress in various situations. They referred to this in ways such as, "I will withdraw," "I go take my space," "I will remove myself totally." Time alone could mean either literally in solitude (isolating), or, when this was not possible or desirable, physically distancing one's self as much as possible, and turning inward, away from outside goings on (withdrawing). Withdrawing was also referred to as becoming quiet. Isolating/withdrawing served a number of varying purposes, such as preventing further angry outbursts, and facillitating self-calming/cooling off. Four of the women specifically mentioned that once they began to calm down they were then able to thoroughly internally process all the feelings and thoughts evoked by the stressful circumstance in order to decide what to do next (see section following on cognitive-emotional processing). Eventually, isolating/withdrawing was followed by re-emerging and communicating. 77 Therefore, withdrawing was sometimes used as a safeguard not only to self-calm/cool-off, but conjointly to prevent potential outbursts of verbal abuse or yelling, so the lines of communication would remain open following the processing time. As such, withdrawing can also sometimes be considered a pre-ventative strategy. Jessie explained: I think talking it out is really important. If you're angry, cool off first and then talk it out, you know? Because you don't always feel rational and calm in a situation, and I would just-I'm not the kind of person that is going to lash out at someone else. I'm not the sort of person that is going to say things that are mean and kind of below the belt to take revenge on someone else, but I've gotten that sort of abuse thrown at me in the past. But my answer is to generally walk away from it and cool off. Patricia also confirmed: Lots of times I will remove myself totally. Like, especially with my husband, I absolutely have to remove myself from him, in that, he thinks I'm in a mood, but, it's just-give me some space to calm down before I can deal with him again. Later in the interview, when I asked her what she really likes about how she copes with stress, Patricia added that her improved ability to objectify and distance herself emotionally ("step back") is useful to put things in better perspective, minimize negative thinking, and avoid impulsive reactions on her part: I can step back now. I seem to be able to step back from things, and take a deep breath, and think, 'Okay, how am I going to get through this? It's not that bad, and there is a way to get through it.'And think about what I'm going to do, and how I'm going to react, rather than react before I think of how I'm going to react.10 Erica speculated that her withdrawing under stress and conflict may originate from her childhood family atmosphere: 78 I think a lot of times, especially as women, we tend to repress. And I know that in my household, we were never allowed to discuss conflict. Whatever my father said was law. And whether he was right or wrong-lots of times, in my opinion, he was wrong-you don't have a chance to express that. So I find that in conflict, and in stressful situations, my initial response is to be quiet and not say anything. Shammi offered a comprehensive example of how situational circumstances combined with the magnitude of her resulting emotions can influence whether she will withdraw and think things through (process), or release anger more impulsively by yelling and screaming. She explained that withdrawing enables her to "weigh" things and strategize, but this is not always possible if strong emotions prevail: HPW: Do you think that others know when you're upset? Shammi: Yes, they do. HPW: How do they know? Shammi: It either shows in my face, or I'm just really quiet. And I usually talk a lot, as you can tell, and if I'm quiet, people wonder what's wrong with me, so they will say, 'Well, you've been awfully quiet today,' and I'll just say, 'Well, I have a lot on my mind.'.... HPW: ...When you are experiencing stress, do you act differently than you normally would? Shammi: I tend to just withdraw, and be more quiet. And I guess the feeling that comes to mind is just the not talking. I don't usually leave rooms. I usually just be quiet. But then, it would depend on how angry, how stressful it was. I might leave the room if there was something upsetting me. But usually, it's just I will withdraw. HPW: How do you make sense of this? Why do you think you do get quiet and not talk? Shammi: Because I think sometimes, depending on the situation, if somebody has said something to upset me, I weigh my opinion of if I get up front with them, if it would change the situation. And I figure, well, if it's not going to change, then I figure, well, 'Why fight it?-Just leave it,' because it's their opinion and my opinion. If it's something to do with that, then I won't usually argue, but if it's something that I feel is a principle, then I wouldn't be quiet, I wouldn't withdraw Well, Christmas is very stressful with my brother, because my brother has a drinking problem.... Well, my brother and I went to visit my mother at Christmas-time, and we had a family argument, and I didn't withdraw, I yelled and screamed, and everybody was really shocked because I usually don't do that. HPW: So how come that time you did? What was different? Shammi: They just made me really angry. And he was wrong. I mean, what he had done was he had been drinking too much and he got into this argument and he turned the tables around, and got my mother involved in the argument so that they were both blaming me for something that was totally opposite to what the argument he even started about HPW: So what is it that kind of pushes you over the line? Shammi: You know, I was trying to figure that one out-when he pushed me over the line. And I don't know what it was that did it. He just said some really hurtful things about the past,11 and it made me cry is what it did. And then, because he made me cry, I just struck out....12 HPW: What is it you wished people understood or knew about you the most when you were experiencing stress? Shammi: Um, that's hard. When I'm experiencing stress-you mean like if I feel that I'm being misunderstood? HPW: If that's something that's stressful to you. Any time you're experiencing stress, where there is something that you wish people understood about you better. Shammi: No, I don't think so. Because the people that I know, know me well enough to know that if I am under stress, there are certain things that I do, and they will give me the time to work it out, and then, and then they know if I need help that I always ask them, or I will talk to them about it, but I need time to sort it out in my head 80 first before I discuss it with them. So I guess what I like is for people to just leave me alone to work things out. I don't like people to be poking at me, saying, 'Well, tell me what's wrong right now', because then I won't. I'll just withdraw even more and have to figure it out. And I think that maybe just goes back to when I was much younger, and that whole sexual abuse thing, like it was just a pattern that I developed was withdrawing and having to figure out in my mind what was going on. Although Shammi linked her withdrawing process to childhood sexual abuse, as previously noted, all of the women (Erica unfortunately also experienced childhood sexual abuse) discussed isolating/withdrawing when under stress. Jessie for example, explained the same need to take her space and be left alone in order to sort things through before re-emerging to communicate: HPW: What is it you wish people understood or knew the most about you when you're experiencing stress? Jessie: That I need my space. Most importantly. Like, if I am stressed, I don't want someone-I don't need someone taking care of me, and sort of all over me. I need someone-I need people to get out of my way. I just need time alone to work it out, if I'm upset. Or if I'm ready to talk, I need to be able to sit down and talk to him (her husband) about it. Or, whatever-deal with the situation. But the one thing I hate is, I don't like people feeding me, or taking care of me, or coddling me, or molly-coddling me. Anyway, I just don't like that, and it sort of aggravates the situation, rather than makes it better. Erica answered the same question in much the same way, needing a "time out," but with the exception of sometimes wanting physical/emotional comforting from her husband, even though at times she is conveying the opposite message: HPW: What is it you wished people understood or knew the most about you when you are experiencing stress-if you came with a little manual? Erica: That I simply need a time out. I think a lot of times people tend to take a step back, and they want to remove themselves from that-or 'give me time.' My husband, and I speak of him constantly, 81 because he's usually the only one that I'm dealing with in this circumstance-people tend to walk on eggshells I think, around a situation that is stressful, or if somebody is angry, you just sort of want to leave them alone and let them deal with their own stuff. What I need, and I've said this, all you have to do is just hold me, and it all goes. If I'm doing this, and I'm building all up, and I'm standing in the kitchen and I'm saying 'don't touch me', I really mean 'just hold me that much tighter'. And that makes the difference for me. If I came with a manual, it would simply say, 'When Erica is starting to boil, take her by the hand, lay her down on the bed, give her a cuddle, talk softly, and say, 'Hey, what's going on?' And I'm out-and it's all gone, and it's all over. It's when people choose to ignore you, and make me feel, or I choose to feel, like the whole thing is insignificant, or that I'm making a big deal out of something. Well, if it is a big deal, if it's upset me, it should be treated like it's important. Cognitive-Emotional Processing A great deal of the women's narratives referred to examples of thinking things through, "weighing things" (as Shammi previously mentioned), empathizing, perspective-taking, internal organization, trying to make sense of things/meaning-making, and learning. This cognitive-emotional processing appeared to be an integral part of coping with, and often concurrently releasing stored stress and this was often referred to in the content of the narratives. Cognitive-emotional processing proved to be elaborate and multi-faceted, comprised of both strategies and awarenesses, and was constantly evolving. I developed the term "re-solving" from the women's many examples of using cognitive-emotional processing as a means to re-evaluate the stressful situation that had occurred from new angles in an additive kind of way. This helped them to arrive at intrapersonal and (when applicable) interpersonal resolutions. 82 Toni discussed how she tries not to store or "stuff things, because it interferes too much with her level of functioning. Instead, her constructive way of releasing is to explore the origin of her angry feelings and from there, devise a plan of action. Her process of releasing is enhanced by this cognitive-emotional exploration: Toni: I try not to be in denial for things, but of course, when you're in denial, you don't know you are-(laughs). HPW: Pretty hard to know, yeah. Toni: But because, because I like, I don't know, because I-I can't really hang on to stress and function very well. HPW: What happens? Toni: It's hard for me to be in denial. (HPW: Oh, okay.) Do you see what I mean? It would be hard for me to just stuff something. HPW: What cues would you get if you tried to do that for too long? Toni: I think other areas of my life would be affected that I would just know. I'd be, if I'm feeling anger, I'd want to know why I was feeling anger. So eventually, I'd figure out where the source was. (HPW: Okay.) And it may be affecting relationships, but it may, a source may be somewhere else. But eventually, I'll catch it.(HPW: Okay.) And then either I'll correct my end of it, or confront people that may be, for example, manipulation is a good one, because it's something that somebody else does to you. If I recognize that that's the source of my anger, then I recognize the manipulation happening. I'll also want to figure out, is this something-why am I susceptible to it? Why didn't I recognize it sooner? HPW: Okay. So figuring out a lot of things, then. Or trying to. Toni: I try to, yeah. I try to clean it up as much as I can. Cognitive-emotional processing was sometimes accompanied by outer physical "busy-ness" that appeared to serve as a continued means of self-calming. 83 As such, "busy-ness" facillitated the cognitive-emotional review, allowing additional releasing by providing a physical means of self-calming.13 What Toni spoke of metaphorically ("7 try to clean it up as much as I can"), Shammi described literally how her outer busy-ness in the form of cleaning helps her to "think things through": Usually, if I'm under stress, I tend to clean things. I don't know why that is-Some people eat, but I tend to go home and wash my floor or clean my fridge or organize cupboards...and I find, I don't know, that just seems to calm me down, and as I'm cleaning, I tend to think things through, and I sort of talk to myself, I guess, out of the stress, or find ways to cope with it, instead of just-like, over-reacting When I asked Shammi if she thought that her practice of cleaning when under stress was effective, she replied, It is effective, I guess, because it's sort of putting my thoughts in order. (HPW: While you're cleaning?) Yeah, I think, okay, the cans of corn go here, and things go there-And I mean, I don't do it very often; I don't have a sparkling clean house or anything. But every once in a while, I do re-order things and neaten towels. It helps. I mean, it's better than eating, which is what some people do. The urgency of need for physical release prompted more vigorous physically-based activity to take precedence such as the previously mentioned examples of exercising. The need for emotional release over physical release prompted a more non-physically active processing, but outer busy-ness such as Shammi's "re-ordering" of cans in her cupboard still commonly accompanied such processing, it was just not as dramatic as running or other forms of exercise. When in the company of others and unable to isolate, outer busy-ness in the form of task-attending also acted as camouflage so as not to draw 84 attention to psychological withdrawing. Toni reported, regarding workplace-related stress, If stress is coming from outside, and I'm in a situation, it would be good to be able to pull back Sometimes I can do that right there, you know, just pull away-go take a coffee break. HPW: Okay, so when you were talking before about needing some time alone, did you mean alone, by yourself, not just alone away from the situation? Toni: Um, I can be alone, even in a group (laughs). HPW: Okay, tell me about that? Toni: Sometimes you can pick a different task to do that can help you think, some kind of a mindless task, but usually not involving relating to other people for a while. Toni added, however, that if the stress was perceived as being more severe, she would prefer to remove herself entirely: "If it's an extreme stress, I'll want to get away physically, especially if it's involving people." hike Toni, the other women usually preferred to do their cognitive-emotional processing while isolating or withdrawing before discussing things with others. Cognitive Organizing and Internal Clarifying Sorting through the barrage of incoming external information presented in various situations was noted as challenging by some of the women. Their discussions appeared to identify two kinds of information to sort through: that which involved relating to others, and that revolving around task-oriented jobs. Problems involving people involved more complex, internally-based processing, whereas problems involving tasks had a more externally-based pragmatic focus. 85 Purely task-related stress did not appear to involve aspects of cognitive-emotional processing. Jessie and Toni mentioned that when trying to figure out how to re-solve stressful interpersonal conflict, they experienced mental confusion due to feeling overwhelmed with seeing many different perspectives and components of information. Quiet time alone to sort through all of the information helped them to piece it all together in a way that made more sense. By this re-examining and pattern-making, they were able to gain insight subsequently used towards developing solution-focused strategies. Jessie concisely articulates this process: Mentally, I think if it's something where if it's a stressful situation and I haven't dealt with it, like it's a conflict or something that I have to resolve, I will play in my mind over and over what has to be, all the little parts and components of what is going on, and try and see if I can fit it together somehow and at least come to some sort of resolution.14 Or something-discover something out of it. Part of the mental confusion is just that there's too much information that's thrown at me at one time, and I'm just anxious because I can't handle that at one time. And it's just a matter of splitting things up and trying to figure out-just take it piece by piece and put it all together in some sort of rational fashion. Try and figure out something that would work; if there's a solution. Toni also spoke of trying to create some order out of the problem and being challenged with the multifaceted nature of her own internal processing. In this example, Toni is referring to stress caused by difficulties communicating with someone who she must deal with at work: HPW: Okay. When you're under stress, when some of, you know, these things are happening, say, at work, what feelings or thoughts might you have? Toni: Feelings I might have are-frustration, anger, feeling trapped, or-thoughts I might have are: What exactly is the problem?-Is this 86 something that's my problem or their problem? Obviously it's my problem because I'm involved in it, but-is this something I can correct? How? Is it a fault in my character or a fault in my communication skills? Or is it a fault in theirs? And if it's a fault in theirs, what is it that I need to do differently so that they will understand? If it's a fault in-if it's a fault in their-if it's something that they're doing that's against me, for whatever reason, how can I communicate to them this? How can I confront them on this? I guess my thought process always goes to- 'Okay, what should it look like? What would I like it to look like? How can I get there?' (laughs) HPW: Okay, this is what you're thinking about and you're feeling. And what are some things you might try to do to cope with the stress? Toni: Well, first of all, as I said before, I would want to focus on-I'd want to try to focus, period. Usually, when it's stressful, it's kind of confused and seems like it's all over the map. But then I'd like to focus it. Focus my attention on what the problem is, and if it's a few problems, then try to narrow it down.15 And then my attention would go to-How best can I approach this? And think of stages, 'cause it may not be just one time meeting, so try to think of ways I can approach it, whether it be a direct confrontation or indirect. (HPW: Okay.) So it could be just ways of changing my behaviour-Setting up boundaries that I haven't had, to prevent the person from causing stress-to prevent them from abusing whatever-So not allowing privileges that maybe I did before. So that would be another good idea. Or it could be confronting directly. So just letting them know what's bothering me, if I felt that would be beneficial / think that the key is that it usually is a process. It's not usually one thing, It's usually a number of things that culminate in some eventual solutions. Paradoxically, when I asked her if there was anything she might like to change about how she copes with stress, Toni spoke of wanting to focus more objectively on multiple interpretations in the heat of the moment, in order to reduce quick judgments on her part: I'd like to not-Td like to learn to take more of a breath or pull back a bit more and be less judgmental immediately (laughs). HPW: Can you tell me a little more about that? 87 Toni: Yeah. Sometimes, you know something can happen, and in-in almost every situation, there's a multitude of ways of looking at how you interpret it, and if-you know, a relationship, for example, if somebody approaches me and I immediately interpret it and find it negative, I'd like to have several interpretations immediately, instead of putting them in a box-like putting their-putting their approach in a box, or their response in a box. I'd like to have several boxes, or even a mystery box-okay, now I need more- I'd like to learn more of that skill.16 From the example that Toni offered regarding a comment her boss had made, it seems that her goal, in exploring multiple interpretations, is to minimize the likelihood of a defensive or resentful attitude on her own part, by stepping back and allowing alternative explanations to appear. Having the alternate explanations, or 'instant reframe' readily available, also makes it less likely that she will take negative behaviour from others as a personal affront. Empathizing and Perspective Seeking Looking at the event from a perspective other than their own while processing seemed to help the women diffuse and release internal feelings of anger and bring greater understanding to the situation. This then made it easier for them to decide what to do next to re-solve the situation. The perspective seeking was done while isolating and processing. Shammi recounted: If somebody has caused me some problem, I usually try to-what I'll do first of all, I guess what everybody does, overreacting, and say, 'Oh, I'm angry!' And then I usually try to see the other person's perspective, and so I'll talk it out with myself, like, 'Okay, well this is what I'm feeling, but now they could be feeling like this,' and then I calm down. And then I decide either to, say, react to the stress or just let it go. Or sometimes you do have to take action, depending on what the problem is. 88 Shammi commented that although usually this process went on in her head, sometimes she would talk to herself out loud. After "talking" it over with herself, and possibly writing in her journal, she would then discuss the situation with friends, soliciting their opinions as a reality-check: If it's sort of upsetting stress, or a situation, I'll talk it over with my friends as well, and say, 'Well you know, this is what happened, and I don't know if I'm overreacting or if you think I'm being silly', or-And then just try to like I say, just deal with it, because I-over the years, I've had lots of different stressful situations, which most people have, and sometimes I think I do overreact and sometimes I think I'm oversensitive. And so, if I'm being oversensitive I like to make sure that I'm not, because I realize over the years, at my advanced age now (39), that sometimes I have been wrong and I have overreacted to certain stressful situations, so I just try to calm down and talk myself out of them. Erica purported, when you're fighting with someone, it's about trying to look at it from their point of view, and trying to weigh it, and trying to think, 'well, how could I have done this better?' And letting go of the anger, and trying to reach out to that person, and try to resolve the problem, whatever it is. Jessie also emphasized her feelings of caring and concern for others as an important factor in resolving stressful interpersonal situations and maintaining harmonious relationships. She gave the following response when I asked her what she really liked about how she tries to cope with stress: I like the fact that I keep in that positive attitude, and that most of all, I try and put the other person first as much as possible. If it's another person involved. And ultimately, I kind of-I always think with the end in mind. That I, ultimately, I really care about this person...and there's no winner out of this argument. I just want to resolve this argument. And that's ultimately, I mean-when even at work, you know, I care about the people I work with, and I care about my boss and stuff, and I don't want to have conflicts with 89 them. I seldom, if ever, do have conflicts with them as a result. But I always go into it in mind that I'm just trying to do what I feel is best. I'm trying to listen to my heart about the situation, and I care about you, and I care about what's going on.17 So I think my motives are good. I have a positive attitude. And I care about other people, so, I think that-those are positive things of stress, you know? Processing with a Cope-Partner As previously mentioned, during their cognitive-emotional "sorting through" processing, occurrences were looked at from a number of various 'lenses' and viewpoints in an attempt to begin the act of re-solving the stressful situation. After processing alone, the women sometimes found it useful and comforting to confide in an intermediary, such as a friend who could serve as an uninvolved "listening ear."I refer to such a support entity as a 'cope-partner/ because the women emphasized the importance of having someone listen non-judgmentally-not offering solutions, but by virtue of their supportive attention sharing in facilitating processing, releasing, and helping them feel less alone. It is important to note that through the cope-partner, the processing moved from an introverted venue to an extraverted one.18 Patricia, referring to her group of close friends, explained: I think sometimes you just need someone to listen to you-you don't really need someone to solve your problems. You really know what your problem is and you know what the answer is, but you really need to share it with someone. And I think that it just sort of, you know, sort of like taking a weight off your shoulders, sometimes when you share it with someone. And, just knowing that someone is there for you, it helps.(HPW: To feel supported?) Support. Like you're not all out there on your own. 90 Jessie also found comfort in supportive, non-problem-solving-focused listening: / think I also would wish that-and this applies more to men, because men are very solution-oriented-if they didn't try to find answers for me. You know? Like instead of telling me what to do-like if I'm in a stressful situation, say, 'Well, you know, the way you have to deal with that is...' You know, that's irritating! You know, I think I, when I-if I'm going through a stressful situation, you don't necessarily, especially if it's someone's ill, like a kid's ill, or something like that, you don't want someone else telling you all their problems. You don't want them telling, say, 'I know exactly how you feel, because I have so and so and so.... You don't necessarily want that. You just want someone that will say, 'Hey, are you okay?' And, Anything you want to talk about?' You know, just an open, listening ear-if they ask you what you need, or, 'Can I help you with something?' Just to make the burden a little easier. Not someone saying, 'You know what?-You should get some more rest'. Or, 'You should eat more.' Or, 'You should-' You know? These shoulds. I mean, a manual on my life would say...'Don't tell me never, always, or should. PLEASE! Shammi mentioned G-d as a helpful cope-partner: Over the years, with all the things happening to me , it was just believing in G-d that helped me. When I was a youngster, my Dad used to say, 'Well, G-d is everywhere'. We didn't have like an organized religion-type thing happening, but that's what I always remembered. And through a lot of times when there was lots of dark times, that's what kept me going, was that I wasn't alone, and that there was always somebody there to listen, and that's sort of what kept me going. So, I don't know what that says about my stress and coping skills, but that's what got me through. Erica expressed the helpful contribution of her therapist as a cope-partner: When I find things are getting out of control, and I can't find the answers, there's a therapist that I really like, and I know quite well. And lots of times he just allows you to talk your way through it, and is very supportive. 91 Toni noted that being listened to and feeling supported by a close friend allows both emotional release and facillitates externalized processing: Can't always cry on my own, but if I can talk to somebody that I feel support from, than I can often cry, which is very releasing. Or just talk. Just to be able to have somebody that can listen. Just to be able to talk to them, and I can usually process while I'm talking. Although Toni's "somebody" is a friend, this summation could easily describe the principle behind some forms of counselling, especially empathic listening.19 Control Issues Aspects of stress from lack of interpersonal/situational control. With many of the women, difficulties arose when they felt frustrated that they were unable to have more control over a situation. This was more likely when other people were involved, who in some way minimized their own sense of agency. Erica admitted to being a "control freak" and discussed how very emotionally stressful it is to her when she feels she is not able to exercise control over external situations and there are too many loose ends all around. In this example, it is her husband who she sees as interfering with her feelings of control-dealing with the uncertainty of a situation that she was not able to be 'in charge of,' then resulted in a great deal of stress for her. Eventually, she released her feelings of stress by first venting with a cope-partner (her massage therapist), and then communicating her agitation to her husband: I'm a control freak. I didn't realize how much of one I was until I put myself in situations where I don't have control. And when we were looking at buying this house, we seriously looked at six others before we purchased this one. And before we put the offer in on this, I was constantly on this roller-coaster ride of not knowing, are we going to move before my husband comes? (back from his out of town work) 92 Are we going to continue to look at houses and bid on houses and play this stupid real-estate game?-to the point where you're not sure from one day to the next whether you have a house, or if you're moving, or when-That indecision makes me nuts!-To the point where I broke down about a month ago-and it's very seldom that I get really emotional and cry, unless of course it's happy stuff. But for me to be so stressed out that I've gotta lay down and have a cry about something, it doesn't happen very often. But I was feeling so bad, and I was in at massage therapy, and I said to my massage therapist, 'I just can't handle not knowing what's going on!' And I had a good cry there. And I went home, and I said to my husband, 'I can't do this anymore. I can't stand not knowing. You're going to be leaving (for out-of-town work) soon. If we don't bid on this house and we don't get this house, you have to promise me that we're gonna quit looking until the fall.'Because it was like- 'yes, we're gonna buy-no, we're not-oh, maybe we will-and then-no, no-after this that's it -we're not looking at any more'. And in two days, we're back to the realtor again! HPW: Tell me what the hard part that is-about the not knowing? Erica: Not being able to plan it. I'm a planner. I need to be able to be a person who makes lists. Once we knew that the house was happening, (claps her hands) then I was in action. I could look after house cleaners to come in and do this, I could set up the movers, I could make arrangements for all of these other things. And when I know, and things are sort of like ducks in a row, I'm fine. It's when everything's scattered and I'm feeling like the Australian shepherd that has to start herding all these things, and corralling things together, that's what makes me crazy. I'm very organized, and I can't stand the dis-organization of not knowing what's going on. When I asked Patricia what she wished that people understood or knew about her the most when she was experiencing stress, she commented on the difficulties faced as a result of having to live with the repercussions of decisions that she had not been able to contribute input towards: And let me be part of the decisions, you know? It's very hard to deal with a situation, like, say-finances. I've got to live with a terrible financial situation. It would be easier for me to live with a terrible financial situation if I got to make some of the financial decisions. 93 You know? It's easier to deal with something if you were part of it, and it's easier to live with your mistakes than someone else's.20 Margo also discussed how lack of control over financial situations was stressful for her: You know, it's just little drawbacks, like-the outfit my husband's sub-contracting for right now, they just informed him that he's only getting paid once a month. Well, you've got your cable and hydro and all that. They come in the middle of the month. And it's like-it would have been nice to know ahead of time so we could have budgeted for this. And, so it's things like that that get you really stressed. Shammi discussed how she felt more able to cope with the stress of her father's death itself than having to deal with the other family members during his illness and the planning of the funeral: ...like with my father dying, I mean that is something totally out of your control, so you just have to deal with it.* And I guess it's just human nature-you just sort of go numb. Like what I remember about that was just kind of being in a fog, and then having to go through it and coming out of it. And that was fine. But I guess more of the stress when my dad died was-(HPW: How long ago was that? Shammi: -1991)-the family. Dealing with his family was very stressful, because they were very-they wanted his funeral done in a certain way, and it was different than what he had wanted. I was given instructions, so it was very difficult to deal with them, but I did it the way he wanted it to, so that was fine. But that stress was-I don't know if that was even stress, it's more like the grief side of it. But the stress was when he had the heart transplant and I was going to work and having to go visit him and keep contact with all the family members and balance everybody. It was very hard. I mean, sometimes you look back on it, and you wonder how you did it, but you do it, and I don't know where you-how you do it, but you did it. You just think, 'Well, I don't ever want to have to do that again.' * See section immediately fol lowing on accepting si tuat ional lack of control. 94 Accepting situational lack of control/having faith. Although unpleasant, the women accepted certain situations in terms of the realization that complete control is simply not always humanly possible. When they assessed events/occurrences as those beyond any human control, the women were more likely to accept their non-alterable limitations. This did not appear to be disempowering, as the women spoke of not wanting to hinder progress by dwelling on what could not be changed, but instead to continue adding positive contributions to the situation whenever possible. So in a way, relinquishing control in certain situations gave way to the women's subsequent feelings of self-empowerment due to not fighting against the current, and being able to "let it go" (promoting emotional releasing). Jessie explained how she processed and reacted to the stressful event of her young daughter's illness and surgery: I'm not a worrier by nature. I'm a person that kind of looks at things and weighs them, and if I can do something about it, I do something. If I can't do anything about it, I let it go. And a lot of her surgery was you just had to let it go, I could just sort of accept whatever happened. HPW: How did you come to that? Jessie: I think-I think what happens, and this has happened in other illnesses I've faced, like my own illnesses and other people's, it's sort of like, you don't have a choice about it. Something comes up, and you have to-you can choose to face it or deny it. And in the long run, if you deny it, you're basically going to have to face it anyway, it's just a more painful process. And it's more painful for everyone, so you might as well be honest and face it and deal with it, and try and support that person, or whatever is needed. And try to get out of your own worry and your own problems and think about what the other person needs. And if it's my-like, I know for myself, and my own illness, it's feeling-trying to get out of myself arid say objectively, 95 'Okay, I as a sick person, what do I need to get better?' Or, 'How do I need to cope with this if I can't get better?' And then make those changes. And then what I can't change, just accept. Sometimes, faith appeared to take over, evident in an inherent belief that, as Shammi maintains, "the universe will unfold as it should." (Three of the six women gave examples along this line.) This sometimes translated into a paradoxical optimistic fatalism, the notion that things happen as they are meant to happen (belief in destiny). Optimistic fatalism does not result in inertia but rather less fighting against the current, and more making use of what the universe has to offer, instead. When I asked her if she remembered an event that could have potentially caused her stress, but did not, Shammi gave this example, along with her personal philosophy about having faith: I got flooded out of my basement suite about a month ago. Yeah, I came home, and there was just water everywhere, and my friends were more stressed over it than I was, and I was like, 'Well what do you want me to do?'And I had to go stay at a friend's place, and it was very inconvenient, but, I don't know-I didn't feel stressed. I was just like- 'Well, that's how it is.' So I didn't worry about it. Lately, like I say, I don't get too stressed over things. HPW: Why do you think that is? Shammi: I don't know-I think maybe just because, I've just gotten more into-you're going to laugh-that sort of spiritual side of life. Like, I've always had like a little voice that tells me what to do, and if I listen to this little voice, I don't have problems in my life. So I don't know why this is, but if I don't listen to the little voice, then all these things will go wrong, but if I listen to it, then things will go right.21 But, I don't know, I mean people at work always laugh at me because I always say, Well, the universe will unfold as it should.' And I find it does-like I just don't worry about it anymore. The decision I made to come back to university (to get her teaching degree) was really scary to me. I didn't know-It was like jumping off a cliff and not knowing-And it's like I jumped over that cliff, and somebody caught me, and has just been helping me ever since. So I don't worry about those kinds of things anymore, which my friends I think find kind of odd because I don't know if I have a job in September or not, but I'm not worried about it. So, I don't know, it gives me a certain amount of peace. I don't know if it's just because I've gone through so many stressful things before and I've come through them, and so now, it's like, 'Oh, this is-These things don't worry me so much anymore.' HPW: What does the voice tell you? Shammi: I don't know-just to have faith I think, (laughing) and 'don't worry.' And I don't, and everything works out. But if I force things or push them too much, then I struggle, and little things will go wrong, but just little things, but not anything major. HPW: What would prompt you to push it too far? Shammi: Because sometimes my logic voice will say, 'Well, you're crazy because you're listening to this little voice.' It's sort of like the voice of reason versus the spirit... Do you watch Star Trek? (HPW: I've seen it.). Okay, well you know Spock? It's sort of that kind of an analogy. So, it's usually that the voice of reason is telling me that this is crazy and that, you know, this faith thing has no form and no substance, so how can you believe in it? And then the other voice will say, 'Well, because that's what you do.'And you have faith, and you just do it.22 In-volving: Gaining Inner Intimacy Through Introspection, Insight, and Intrapsychic Inventory The women's narratives showed how getting to know themselves (introspection), recognizing and gaining understanding of their processes (insight), and as a result, the ability to direct desired changes, appeared to be benefit of age and maturity. Patricia elaborated: In the last two years, I've really sort of been looking into myself and realizing why I do things and why I react, and what I'm going to put up with and what I'm not going to put up with. And, you know, what's good for me and what isn't good for me. 97 She later added, "I finally feel like I know myself now. And I feel I didn't take the time to know myself before." I refer to this increasing depth of inner intimacy as "in-volving" (internal evolving), which, as I subsequently address, appears in the women to be an integral precursor to their global emotional evolving and self-actualizing process. Shammi discussed the difference in her coping process now, compared to when she was younger. She admitted that although her outward calming/ordering behaviour has not changed that much, what has changed is her awareness of the process. She also recalls how her past masking and storing behaviours resulted in skin problems: HPW: So it doesn't sound like there's a lot you'd like to change then, about how you cope with stress Shammi: Not any more-may be five or six years ago it would've been, but that was-no, even before that. Maybe about ten years ago, because I didn't cope with it, I just tried to ignore it. I mean, I had the eczema and all that kind of stuff. HPW: What else was different then? I mean, how you tried to cope, or-Shammi: I think I just didn't think a lot about-like I did the cleaning and all of that, but I didn't know why I was doing it. You know? And now when I do these things. I'm more cognizant of why I'm doing this. I understand it a lot better than before. It was like this automatic thing that I did, more like a robot, instead of a thinking person. So now I just like the thoughtful thing that goes with it. Shammi attributes the change to the therapy she received regarding childhood sexual abuse, and confirms working hard to "think about what you're doing more." 98 From the interviews, it also became evident that some of the women also took intrapsychic inventory every now and then to see if they were evolving as they would like to be. Examples of composite questions being processed included: How do I feel about myself? What is my sense of self-worth? A m I in control of my reactions to outside events? Can I accept myself as I am? Can I forgive myself for my mistakes? What is the difference between my current self and the person I would like to become? What is my overall current life emotional state of being? Intrapsychic inventory may also be accompanied by evolving. When new self-knowledge enables one to re-evaluate old patterns and choices, then one can take something out of c-old storage (cumulative old storage) and begin to change the incongruent aspects into something more desirable. For example, Shammi explained her decision to forgive her mother for a history of emotionally abusive behaviour: "Now I think I've forgiven her, because to be angry at her for all of that would just make me too bitter. And I don't like to be that way, so I decided that it was easier to forgive her." The importance of relationships: With one's self and with others. The women's appraisals of their overall life situations (including retroactive and current examples), state of security and contentment, and concurrently, view of self, appeared to be important indicators as to how pleased they were with their consequent coping effort and strategies. This included assessments of their relationships with others. Jessie, having mentioned her 99 experiences with depression and bulimia, documented her accompanying internal process during the ordeal in great depth, starting with taking intrapsychic inventory about how she views herself, as well as her relationships (she refers to this as a "checklist"). She managed to articulate the complexity of what resulted for her (I cite the entire disclosure due to richness of information): I think when I'm depressed, and I do get depressed, then I know that I need to make some changes in my life. And also when I'm depressed, my eating habits become really poor-either I eat way too much or I eat nothing at all-or they become really erratic in some way. HPW: Is there a difference between when you overeat or when you hardly eat? What triggers-Jessie: No, it's just the same-it's depression. It's like feeling some sort of void, or I'm feeling emptiness, and something is not being fulfilled in myself. And then I know I have to make some changes. And generally, at that point, I go for long walks and I kind of look and view everything in my life-it's like a checklist-you know? The things that are right and wrong. And I think what it is that's missing. And sometimes it could be just a void that I've intentionally cleared, but the frustration of not knowing where to go next can be depressing. You know? Clear something off of the table that you know is not good for you, but then you don't know what's coming up, and you think, 'Oh my G-d,'you know? 'This is emptiness inside of me-I can't fill this thing.' And when I first left work, the first year was really hard that way. I had some tough days because I thought, you know, I felt good, because I'd gotten rid of something, but I hadn't filled it with anything else. And I was sort of at a loss about how to deal with the situation. And my eating habits became really poor, and I think I became almost sort of bulimic, you know, I'd eat too much, and then I'd throw it up and stuff like that, because I'd start punishing myself for eating so much. And then I started getting really involved in the community, and I did a lot of volunteer work at the (kid's) school, and I became the volunteer coordinator at the school, and I became very, very active at the school. And very, very involved in the kid's lives, and so I sort of got out of myself, putting my energy into other people and other things. And I sort of grew and developed.23 And at 100 first it was very little, and then I started to get busier and busier and busier, and then it sort of filled my life. And then I started getting larger contracts and I'm a lot busier at work now, and now I'm like, 'Wow! This is too much!' It's the opposite right now, I'm just trying to juggle it all and making sure that, especially my husband, which is what the argument was last night was about, making sure there's time for him in a busy life, you know? Because I'm a person that likes to be busy, and I think I've realized that about myself, that I don't do really well when I have lots and lots of time on my hands. But I've learned something from that too, you know. But the depression was-but I was depressed beforehand too, when my job wasn't going anywhere and I wasn't facing up to it24, and I was getting sick all the time and I wasn't eating anything. So I dealt with that, and got that out of my way, and then I felt the depression coining into that void in my life. And not wanting to fill that void with things, wanting to let things happen naturally. And that's what I did, I sort of fought that depression and let it sort of naturally sort of come together and come to me. And I felt that if I forced it, it would be a forced fit, and wouldn't be the right thing, and I'd end up back in the same spot that I was two years ago. So it was really important for me to just stay open.25 And I still am like, when this contract ends, I'm sort of planning to go into different venues, different things, and I have some really good offers come my way, and I'm just sort of saying, 'Well, you know, take the opportunities and see what happens, and try not to be too stressed about it. And new jobs and new ventures always are a little stressful, but it's a good stress. And just take it like one step at a time and get into it slowly. HPW: How long did the bulimia go on? Jessie: A couple of years HPW: And what do you think triggered that initially? Jessie: Feeling I had no control in my life, it was like, out of control. Work was overwhelming me, or life was overwhelming me-I didn't know what direction I wanted to go in, and feeling a loss, and feeling unable to cope with it inside. And also that stuff sort of feeds on itself, you know? You get this sort of sugar addictions-maybe I have that sort of compulsive-addictive nature, I don't know, or not. But it was like, I think it was just like filling a void, filling a hole. It's the holes in your life, you can face them, or you can fill them. And I was just trying to fill them. 101 HPW: So that was the eating part. What about the purging part? Jessie: Getting control-oh, absolutely. HPW: How old were you? Jessie: That was just a year or two-recently. HPW: I don't remember how old you are, so-Jessie: Tm 37 now, so 31 when I was diagnosed (with Crohn's disease), and with the kids and stuff, so these last couple of years have- And I think part of getting myself back, is trying to get a handle on my inner self, trying to get that all sorted out. So I really am trying to read books on understanding just different philosophies, and reading poetry, and just sort of getting in touch with the more artistic side of my nature, because I've always been so heavily involved in business, and get in touch with the artist in me, the spiritual side. Yeah. So feelings of a whole person. And dealing with those issues around working in relationships. I say 'working' on relationships, because I think it's like a life-long job-I don't think you ever sort out that one. Every time I think I've sorted it out, I just hit another snag. Because you change, because I change, and every time I change, I bring like a ripple effect to everything around me-itjust ripples out. And some of the changes are painful; they are not all easy changes. HPW: And has the bulimia stopped? Jessie: I think so. Every so often I slip back, but yeah, I think it has. HPW: Did you go for counselling? Jessie: No. Comparing Jessie's earlier quote regarding the situation surrounding her daughter's surgery, with this last quote in which she commented on feeling no control in her life, I initially wondered why in the first scenario she was able to accept the circumstances, while in the second, it affected her so much more deeply. The explanation seemed to be, for Jessie, that it is much more difficult 102 for her to deal with intrapsychic issues, where she is apt to be self-critical, than anything happening in the outside, more external world.26 Jessie explained: ...even when my daughter was sick in the hospital, and she was screaming in pain and stuff like that, and I was thinking, 'How do I deal with this?' But I'm almost like I was dealing with it by putting all my thoughts on her, and all my prayers on her, and doing my best for her, and being there for her. That helped me deal with it. And so I didn't even think about my own stress until she was much better, and suddenly I was sick because I got all my stuff that had piled up. And my own health deteriorated. HPW: At the time, you were quite immersed with her. Jessie: Well, that's right. And yeah, immersing myself, I guess that's a good word for it, immersing myself in whatever the problem is. And better if it's something outside of myself, it's easier to deal with. Something inside of myself usually takes a lot longer for me to sort through. Because it's hard to change, you know? Like if you see there is a basic flaw in your own personality, and you know, internally, it's something you're not dealing really well with, it's hard to sort of say, Well, I'm going to change this about myself.' It's really, really hard. Jessie had earlier admitted, "I'm my own worst critic, and if I'm going to be hard on anyone, it's going to be me first in terms of, you know, who I punish in a situation." When I asked her what she might want to change about how she tries to cope, she affirmed: I think I need to be more forgiving. To develop a more kinder and forgiving attitude towards myself. You know? Give myself the same benefit of the doubt I give other people. Which I don't. You know, I'm pretty hard on myself. The other thing, I think is-and I think what comes with that also is-and I think I'm a lot stronger than I used to be, but keep on growing within myself, so that I get a stronger and stronger sense of who I am, so I'm not so intimidated or influenced by things around. 103 Margo also spoke of past feelings of depression, and related coping under stress to a personal self-assessment, that for her, is influenced by satisfaction with her marriage: When I was younger, when I'd get really stressed, and I'd get really depressed, and then, I'd, you know, occasionally got suicidal. And -uh, I think it-a lot of it has to do-How you cope is how you feel about yourself. And, since I'm in the relationship that I'm in, that-well, hey, I like myself, you know? And if I was told that 'Tomorrow, you're going to stay exactly the way you are, you can't change anything, physically, or whatever', it's 'Okay. Fine!' That is, I'm very, very secure and very happy in my relationship, so that helps a lot with the way I cope. I mean, if you're-if you're in a bad relationship, or you're having a-you're not-things aren't well at school, or on the job, I think that all affects the way you deal with it. Meaning-making and stress as a positive learning experience: Evolving and self-actualizing through the stress-coping process. Generally, all of the women displayed a currently optimistic, self-empowered attitude, despite having gone through some difficult past experiences. Gleaning learning from previous stressful life experiences was of major focus to them, and appeared to reinforce their own sense of agency. Al l of the women spoke of lessons they had learned, were presently learning, or what they aspired to learn and change in the future, sometimes as a result of prior experiences. It was through focusing on this learning that the women were able to establish retroactive meaningfulness to negative events in the past and establish a positive and agentic outlook to the future. As a result, in general, the women were quite pleased with the effectiveness of their coping efforts, and 104 suggested some positive aspects of stress and how their experiences had contributed to their personal growth. When I asked Erica what she both liked and disliked about how she tries to cope with stress, she mentioned disliking stress, but then focused mainly on how she views stress as an opportunity for self-knowledge and personal evolve ment: Well, I dislike having stress (laughs). And every once and a while, things go really smoothly for a while, and you think, 'Oh-oh!' You sort of wait for the other shoe to drop—you know it's got to be out here somewhere. More and more, all the time I like who I'm becoming-1 like the way the transition has happened, and that I'm dealing with stress in a much healthier way. Talking about things for me is a big issue, and I think sometimes you gain clarity just even being able to do that. So I like stress, because ultimately, it's sort of like the calm before the storm, rightl-when you know you're going to have to deal with something, and you're comfortable with knowing that you can. And there's a strength in that, and there's a sense of accomplishment when you come out the other side And that has been some of our biggest growth as a family, is dealing with stress, and I know that a lot of times families in tragedy will find that they dig deep and real bonds are developed in situations like that. And I don't ever wish that on anyone, but I think that a lot of times, our biggest growth is through stress, and we learn a lot. Usually I only have to learn it once, so you know, there's always something new. Margo emphasized the importance of learning to adapt to change and finding new strategies, specifically, regarding dealing with her young children: It's a learning experience-that's what life's all about is learning. You can make sense of it, and figure it out, and it's like, 'Okay, well, this works, let's do this.'And then the kids will develop and change, and it's like, 'Okay let's try something new.'So we're very open-minded. 105 Jessie expressed how she was able to attribute positive meaning to dealing with having Crohn's disease, echoing the sentiment regarding life being about learning and personal growth: The process of facing an illness and surviving it, and challenging it, and then growing and getting something positive about it, just shows to me, not just myself, like even more so in other people. Like I have a friend now who is going through breast cancer, and attitude is everything. Attitude is everything, and you gotta look at life's challenges in a positive way, and you can learn from everything. And life is a learning process and a growing process. And the worst thing you can do is to stop growing. And the most important thing you can do in life is to keep growing and building on your relationships.27 Patricia expressed confidence and peace of mind in her ability to learn future coping skills, and as a result, her ability to deflect stress, thus being able to feel more in control of her future. She shares with Shammi (see previous section on control) the same optimistic fatalism (including, like Shammi, the accepted uncertainty of future employment) that both gives her a sense of peace and allows her to persevere with her efforts and plans: / think I'm learning to avoid stress. And realize stress isn't as bad as what it could be. HPW: Can you tell me more about that? Patricia: Well-I know, like-Okay, I know my marriage is breaking up. That I've been home for years, and I have to go to work. And I could be getting freaked out because I don't have a job, and I'm still in school, and this may not lead to a job. But I just feel that whatever is meant to happen will happen. And I know what's ahead of me, and I just have to plan on it. Like, I know that I'm going to be buying this household. Well, I'm capable of it. And I'm going to have to learn to manage my time well, and also take help where, when it's offered and look for ways of getting around things. Instead of staying at home thinking, 'Oh my G-d, I can't do this/' I know I actually can do it, and there's people who are in worse situations than me who have done. So I think before, I got stressed 106 out by what could happen, now I know it's just a matter of learning how to cope. When I next asked Patricia to tell something about the process of how she was able to get to this point, she comprehensively answered, mentioning the concepts of introspection, taking intrapsychic inventory, insight gained through reading books (as Jessie had mentioned) and discussions with a cope-partner: HPW: So can you tell me a little about the process of change? How did you get from one to the other? Patricia: I don't know, I read quite a few books, and just, I've really done a lot of thinking in the last two years. And thought about what qualities I like, and what qualities I don't like. And what's good for me, and what's good for my daughter, which I think if I look after me and I look after my daughter, everything else will take care of themselves. Whereas before, I thought I had to take care of everybody So I don't know how I came to the realization. And I've had a lot of long walks with my best friend, and she's a very good listener. And I think that really helped. And just the feedback. And also, sometimes you don't really see yourself or see things in yourself, and someone else has to say, 'But you know, you are good at this' or 'You can do that!'And that helped. When I asked Patricia, at the end of her interview, if there was any other information she would like to share about stress and coping that she thought I would find useful, she offered this philosophy: I've just looked at other people with stress and realized that they can cope. And there's always something, a reserve inside you that you use. And you always know you're going to live through this. You will get by it and you'll learn from it. HPW: How do you know that? Patricia: 'Cause I just know. 'Cause I just-I know that my grandparents before me, had very stressful times, and they came through it, to look back on it. And you know, our-my parents lived through a war, and everything was turned upside down, and they came through it. There were people who-and they were in-they 107 weren't right in the war zone, they were in Glasgow, it was being bombed. But there were kids in London that were being bombed every night and still survived. And you know, we were always hearing of people who'd gone through a major crisis, and there's some sort of coping mechanism there. And everyone handles it differently, and there's not a right way or a wrong way—You have to find the right way for you. And I just think you come through. ...it's just I think I'm a fatalist, I don't know, and whatever's meant to happen will happen. And if it's happening, it's for a reason So, I think there's always good that comes with change. And you have to learn from it. And I think, you know, my daughter probably thinks it's the worst thing that ever happened to her, but I think she'll learn from it. And if she makes a poor decision when she's older, she'll learn, 'yes, you can survive.'So that's a good lesson for her. HPW: How much control do you think you have over things? Patricia: I think I've got all the control I need. But I-which I didn't think I had before. I didn't allow myself-and now I feel like it's up to me. Referring to her own imminent divorce, Patricia added: My marriage, my husband has definitely run the show. So I think that's what, when you're thinking of control, that's what I'm thinking of, is that I will have to run my own show after this, and I will have to make my own decisions and live with my decisions. But wherever I end up, is where I'm going to end up. You know, I think whatever job I end up with is the one I'm meant to be with, at that time. And I think you just sort of have to take it as it comes.28 Type-Related Conceptual Linkages When developing my theoretical model from the women's narratives, I realized that the emergent theory felt very incomplete without attending to type-related conceptual linkages. I must clarify, first, that I did not go searching for type analysis, but rather, my type knowledge base continued to intervene with plausible speculations and interpretations regarding the women's introspective processes as indicated by their narratives. While initially analyzing the data, I 108 avoided type categorizations (although I did memo noticed linkages). However, a good deal of what emerged was, from the women's examples, already using 'type-related language,' without their awareness of it. This became especially evident when re-reading the women's discussions of how they viewed themselves, and the increasing amount of time and effort they expended on getting to know themselves better. From a Myers-Briggs theory perspective, those with ENFP type preferences, having an extraverted dominant function, are initially more focused on their place in the outer world than on the process of their own inner world. Therefore, ENFP's begin to get to know themselves 'insight-out' (dominant extraverted intuitive insight, externally focused) rather than inside-out. With the developmental differentiation of the auxiliary introverted feeling function, however, there is increased attention toward the subjective component of 'world in the self,' rather than just 'self in the world.' When experiencing stress, the women's natural tendencies were to withdraw and begin what often resulted in quite an elaborate internal cognitive-emotional process that, at a deeper level, was linked to a process targeted at exploring nuances of inner self-intimacy and self-focused insights. When re-reading the discussions of these processes, I was reminded of a saying I read on poster art, "You have to go in before you can find out" (R. Stine). The women's cognitive-emotional coping efforts and processes then, served as the bridge into self-exploration and 'quality time' spent on accessing their auxiliary introverted feeling function that may not have occurred without the external stress triggers. 109 To these women, the re-emerging again and interacting with the outer world was essential to both their re-energizing, and also, as extraverts, to be able to experience their new learnings in interactions with others. In this way, they were able to receive feedback (both directly and incidentally) that allowed them to monitor their purposeful growth. The saying, 'It's what's inside that counts,' is therefore not inaccurate, but an incomplete representation of the focus and direction of these women's coping processes. The extraverted intuition and introverted feeling functions work in tandem to provide direction and balance. What appeared to be essential for these women is that the extraverted intuition (in the perceiving attitude) always remains accessible, providing a much needed link in times of stress to optimistic possibilities, taking risks, and having the patience to 'wait things out' and not rush to premature closure. This is evident in Jessie's deliberate attempt to "not force things," but to instead "stay open," and "let it sort of naturally come together." Faith in intelligent destiny helped to supply patience in the process and reinforce the meaningfulness of difficult situations, shown by Patricia's belief, "if it's happening, it's for a reason," and Shammi s confidence that "the universe will unfold as it should." These attitudes may help counteract the emotional discomfort and doubt that can arise during the taking of intrapsychic inventory. Jung (1971) notes that "The four functions are somewhat like the four points of the compass" (p.541). Similarly, I see the perpetual return to the 110 dominant, extraverted, intuitive perceiving process (in these ENFP type women) as a compass, always pointing towards north, to energize and guide, offering speculations and alternatives to stressful events, as well as facilitating an inherent trust in purposeful (but malleable) destiny, This "N" compass (the "N" now standing for intuitive), indeed 'encompasses' all of the other cognitive-emotional processing taking place, its 'magnetic pull' directing each of the women back to their dominant extraverted world after the focus on inner intimacy and the introspective process is sufficiently complete. Because the 'in-volving' is led by the introverted feeling function, a more appropriate name for the process is 'inf/j-volving' to honour the role of the (inner) introverted feeling function's role in the journey into the inner self. (This will be elaborated upon in the discussion section.) Staving out of 'Ruts'/Evoking Positive Change The women's efforts to be involved in outside activities (extraverting), emphasizing making changes and trying new things, maintaining variety (NP), focusing on relationships with others (NF), and allowing themselves to take their time when necessary to sort things through and not rush the process (P), encouraged maintenance of an optimistic, empowered attitude following difficult times. So even during periods in their lives when they were 'closed for renovations,''they remained 'open to re-innovations' (through the help of their "N' compass). In this way, they were able to continue to 're-invent' themselves through what they learned and put into practice following the stressful incidents I l l that 'forced' inner intimacy and deeper values exploration. Some of the women's answers to my question "How do you get out of a rut?" help to further illustrate this portion of the process. Jessie, for example, comprehensively addressed the question: How do I usually get myself out of a rut? I change things. I usually look at what's putting me in a rut, and I do what I can to change it. For example, I seldom get in a rut because I'm a person that-for example, I've never found life boring, and there's always things to do, so if I get tired of one thing, well, there's a thousand and one other things to do. My problem is that I usually have too many things on my plate. And I used to keep a lot of variety, so there's always something to look after. But in a rut, I think the only time I got in a real rut was a couple of years ago with my job. But my health was deteriorating, and so forth. And the way I got out of that rut is I finally-I just got the guts to say, 'Stop! This isn't right for me!'And even though-what scared me is that I thought my whole world would collapse if I wasn't working because I've put so much energy into working, and I thought, well, it was so much a part of my identity at that point. And yet, it really wasn't making me happy. And it was part of that rut. But having the guts and the courage to stop something that's not good for me, and take a chance on something unknown-and I think that's-yeah-and try new things. Always trying to be open and try new things. Generally, reaching out to people is a good way for me to deal with a rut. If I'm too isolated you can get yourself in a rut. And the biggest rut was-the biggest rut was in myself, you know? Not acknowledging the fact that I could do more. Not putting enough value in my abilities, not enough confidence in the fact that I could-gee. And then it was okay to take some time to myself. And I really look at that time as a gift rather than a source of anxiety. It was an opportunity for me to relax. And never saying no to an opportunity-that's a good way to get out of a rut. The more you close yourself off-the more you're open to ideas and thoughts and other people and other things going on around you, and the wider you're awareness of what's going on around you, the less chance you'll have of being in a rut. 112 Shammi also spoke about a rut relating to her job, and subsequently making changes, maintaining variety, getting out more, and relaxing about time constraints: Being in a rut? Well lately I really haven't been in a rut since I came back to school and did all that kind of thing (got her teaching certificate). Being in a rut was the job that I had before I came back to school. And to get out of it, I just changed my life-you know, that was a pretty big change. Right now, if I was in a rut, it would be because I need to make some new friends, and it's hard, because of my age group and you know, everybody's married, and it's kind of hard. And it's just going out more and doing more things-socializing. I don't feel I'm in a rut because I have so much happening with the school, and just, I'm going to be moving and all kinds of things are happening, so if I do get in a rut, I'm not in a rut for too long. But I don't worry-1 don't call them ruts. The way my life has gone, I usually have periods of like a lot of stress or inactivity, and then I think of it as a time to recharge my batteries. Just time to relax, just sort of relax time. I don't call it being in a rut. I think of it as fate just kind of being kind and letting you relax and enjoy what you've got-right now, instead of always sort of having to be grasping for something. HPW: Do you relax about it? Shammi: Yeah. HPW: So when you said before about the work part, 'Well, you know I was in a rut with that, and I just changed my life-Shammi: (Laughing) It wasn't easy-that's how it seems when I tell people, they go, 'Oh, so you just changed!' That's how it seems when I look back on it, but it wasn't that at all. I mean, I was working in a law firm (as a legal assistant). I was really unhappy just because I was so bored with the work and I didn't like the environment, and I didn't know what to do. I mean, I knew I wanted to come back to university because I had one degree and it was either go to law school or teacher-some post graduate work, but I didn't know what it was. So I just sort of thought about it for a while, and bought that book What Color Is Your Parachute, and did all that, and thought about and tried not to stress over it, and just think, 'Well, maybe one day I will change-maybe I will do something else. What do I want to do?' And-I don't know-I guess when I sat down and did the list of 113 what I liked about my job, what I did was a lot of teaching. And then I thought, 'Well, why don't I be a teacher? Why don't I try that?' And then it all, like I say, it all sort of fell into place. And as I was saying to you before, that was stressful deciding to quit my job and just come back to university. And I don't know how that worked out, but it did, and it was-I remember when my father died, people said to me, 'This is sort of the worst thing that will probably happen to you, but when you look back on it, what you'll see is that this devastating event will sort of be a turning point.' And that's what, I hate to say it, as soon as my dad died, things started to go well for me, like professionally, and I don't know why that is, but that's just how it seems.. And I don't know if fate or the spirit world or G-d, I don't know-I don't know. That's just how it went, and things did change, and now I'm much happier because I like my—I love teaching! Just all the way around it's much better for me. A lot less stress because I enjoy-I don't even call it work because -I just call it 'going to school' because it doesn't seem like work Yeah, it's great! But I know it just didn't happen like that. (Laughs) Even though it does seem like that! To me sometimes it does seem like that, but of course it didn't go like that-there was a lot of thinking that went into it. And organizing and planning and all that sort of thing. Not to mention having to get accepted back at UBC. So-Yeah. Another commonality discussed was having a vision of desired change (extraverted intuition) and acting on it when the desire (or discomfort) was strong enough. Toni explained how her secretarial job, started 5 years ago to pay off her student loan while doing something unstressful to recover from the stress she had experienced as a student, was becoming a rut. (She was the third woman to discuss ruts being specifically work-related.) She proceeded to elaborate upon a number of possible multiple futures for herself that included a large spectrum of different interests she might like to pursue taken from dreams and ideas she's had for many years. (This discussion is demonstrative of her intuitive perceiving process.) She also discussed how she had set the wheels in 114 motion to act upon her dream to live in France for a year and how she saw this kind of action as helping her to stay out of ruts: I've had some dreams and ideas gathered from when I was very young and as I was growing. And I think putting them all together trying to figure out a thread and try to just focus instead of on the big thread that you're going to do all of your life, 'cause I don't think that's really who I was ever meant to be. I think my life was meant to be in three year increments, or you know, just sort of-it seems like variety suits me much better. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if I got involved in small business, or got involved in some music, or got married, had kids, or got involved with kids somehow. But I, I also— religion is really important to me.... And I have a strong desire to be involved with children that come from um, what I call 'prisons.' So dysfunctional families where they're locked in Helping them see that they have-they don't have to be locked in-they can move beyond that. So I'm not quite sure how that will work out, but I also have seen myself involved in public speaking and integrating drama into my public speaking so I can see how these things could all join together. Photography is also a big love of mine, and I'd like to combine that with children. Start it out in France. Maybe put a collage together, or a book. But I would love to do children from all walks of life from all over the world. Anyway, these are some of my dreams. (HPW: Lots of things.) So, I'm starting to put one of my dreams into place, and I'd like to make that more of a pattern in my life-putting my dreams into reality. So I think that's how I'm going to stay out of ruts. Transcending Stress The main emergent theme from the narratives of the six women was transcending stress (moving beyond the grasp of stress) accompanied by the processes of self-actualization, in(/)-volving, and intrapsychic/emotional evolving, within a developmentally maturing coping process. Here, outlook rather than outcome was the focus of the women's self-satisfaction with their coping efforts, and self-empowerment appeared to be developmentally additive as a result of an increasing ability to gain comfort with inner intimacy and subsequently to give 115 their inner emotions a voice. It is important to note that the extent to which self-actualizing and transcending stress took place depended to a great extent upon the depth of inf/)-volving and inner intimacy reached as well as subsequent linkage of the introverted feeling process back to the extraverted intuitive world. TJie International Webster New Encyclopedic Dictionary (Kellerman, 1972) defines transcendentalism as "any philosophy based upon the doctrine that the principles of reality are to be discovered by the study of the processes of thought, or by emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical" (p. 1046). In regard to the philosophy the women discussed, I would change the above reference to "reality" to that of "subjective reality." The rest of the definition fits well- "the study of the processes of thought" paralleling their cognitive-emotional processing, and the reference to "emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical" is certainly shown in the dialogue of their narratives. A good example of this is Shammi's comment: "I'd like to think of the spirit world, and there's more to us than just reason, and that there's more of this kind of thing that binds all of us together than just nothingness." For the women, being able to transcend stress was certainly not applicable to every situation, but was indeed a growing life philosophy that worked with additive life experience to better put new and old situations into perspective. Becoming more self-assured and comfortable with their own processes, transcending stress, at times, meant experiencing stress but attempting to have more 'transient endings' of stress-more temporary/ transient 116 storage of stress that dissipated quickly instead of being deferred or put into c-old storage, dwelling on the past. This was the result of the women finally being able to get to know themselves 'inside out' (not just, as previously mentioned, 'insight out') and bringing the previously unexplored part of themselves out into the open to create a more holistic state of being. This 're-invented self was then better able to rise above adverse circumstances and situations. Jessie, for example, recounted her journey of being diagnosed and coping with Crohn's disease, and discussed how her coping process resulted in a more integrated sense of self: I finally got diagnosed, and I was in a key position in a large firm, and the hours were very demanding on me, and I was sort of thinking I was feeling really ill, thinking I really had to change. So, I resigned my position and I just stayed home and just set up my own practice in my house. It was very much part time; I spent a lot of time with my kids and a lot of time on my own. And I changed my eating habits, and I changed my exercise program, and I just got in touch with myself, and got in touch with people around me a lot more. Got a lot closer to people around me.29 Now I'm sort of starting to get back into the swing of wanting to do more and more and more, and I'm sort of out there trying to stretch my wings, and I'm ready to take on more jobs, and I'm taking courses, and I'm into different martial arts. Life's so exciting-I've got lots of opportunities.301 sort of got out of that rough period, and I feel much better and much wholer, and better, and much able to give more to other people. So it's been a really good experience-made something really bad really positive. Inner Core When trying to ascertain from the interviews just what exactly moderates the impact a stressor will have on the stress appraiser, I was cognizant of how often the women made reference to how life events and their resulting introspective interpretations affected their very essence of being. This 'essence' is 117 best l ikened to an inner core, deep i n the subjective self-defining, multi-faceted constitution of every one of us. From the women's narratives, it appeared that this is where they recognized and dealt wi th the person they had been, who they currently were, how they considered themselves to be evolving, and how they wanted to continue to grow to be. Despite the sense of continuity, at least for the women interviewed, inner core constructs appeared to be i n a constant state of flux and under ongoing scrutiny of self-examination; every stressful event appeared to somehow shift self-perceptions, and had emotional repercussions, either positive, negative, or neutrally sustaining. To summarize, the inner core appears to constitute one's intrapsychic essence, i n terms of self-perception and perceived path of self-actualization. Every incident/event presents a course of feedback towards the inner core. As such, it appears that broadly-based, negative circumstances, or events, cause an overall energy depletion of the 'energy force field' surrounding the inner core, making one more vulnerable to the day-to-day demands and nuisances. Therefore, every situation is assessed, from the context of harm, loss, threat, and challenge (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984), not just as an isolated external situation, but from how this a l l w i l l affect the inner core/essence, as it exists i n this moment i n time (with a remembered past and an imagined future) i n a deeper, intrapsychic sense. The inner core, then, symbolically belongs at the center of the atom symbol used to illustrate the dynamic nature of cognitive-emotional processing (See Figure 3). It is surrounded by an 'energy force field' that when disturbed, 118 y -Cogni- f ive - e y r r t o f c r a l processing n ~ O 0 A O 7 U 0 D ^ a Figure 3. The Atom Symbol 119 can affect the inner core. Storing appears to take place around this energy field. The various components and dynamics of cognitive-emotional processing interactively revolve around the inner core. The kind of release experienced appears to be proportionate to the intrapsychic depth of process reached. Through the interviews, I got the impression that the inner core could be strengthened and enhanced by positive influences congruent with the women's individual value systems and world views. This allowed for movement towards a constantly evolving ideal self (self-actualizing). It also appeared that the more overall sense of agency and satisfaction the women felt regarding their coping efforts, the less exhausting and arduous the process became. The learning gained from the experience was empowering. Alternately, certain stress instigators, such as conflict with others, seemed more likely to promote inner core-related disturbances. Results Summary The women described their experiences of stress in a manner that included physiological as well as emotional aspects. The experienced stress was consequently stored in a physical/emotional manner. Three kinds of stress storage were identified: (a) temporary/transient storage, (b) deferred storage, and (c) cumulative old (c-old storage). Stress was sometimes masked (hidden from others) and/or self-masked (temporarily hidden from self, and subsequently 'discovered' later). Feelings of resentment often built up from hidden stress. 120 The women described various ways of releasing the stored stress, both physically and cognitive-emotionally. The women differentiated between uncomplicated, task-related stress and stress involving interactions with others. Task-related stress appeared to involve simple, uncomplicated releasing based on cognitive organizing, prioritizing, taking action, and task completion. Alternately, people-related stress involved impulsive, 'primitive releasing' (due to spontaneous anger or anger built up from masking or self-masking), pre-ventative strategies to minimize stressful outbursts, and thoughtful cognitive-emotion processing that occurred at various levels of intrapsychic depth and stress resolution. Cognitive-emotional processing was multifaceted, and included attention to: cognitive organizing and internal clarifying, empathizing and perspective seeking, 'external' verbal processing with a "cope-partner," and control issues, both interpersonal/situational and non-relationship related life circumstances. Increased depth of process (in-volving) included the gaining of inner intimacy through attention to introspection, insight, and the taking of "intrapsychic inventory," used to review self-standards. The women also cognitive-emotionally explored their relationships with self and others, and emphasized the act of meaning-making, and viewing stress as a positive learning experience through which they were able to intrapsychically evolve and self-actualize. The stress-coping process the ENFP women described, therefore, emphasized many aspects of both extraverted and introverted processes. They 121 displayed their preference of a typological (intuitive) perceiving attitude not wanting to rush their process, and, as Shammi noted, believing that "the universe will unfold as it should." The depth of in-volving described appeared to be 'led' by the auxiliary introverted feeling function, and was therefore renamed "in(f)volving." The women's optimistic, meaning-oriented, life outlooks regarding coping efforts resulted in emergence of the theme of transcending stress. Their stress-coping-related self-insights appeared to be cumulative and developmentally additive. The extent that self-actualizing and transcending stress took place appeared to depend on the depth of in(f)volving reached, as well as external linkage and practice of learning gained through cognitive-emotional processing. The learning gained was further empowering to the women, and appeared to build up their "inner core" an (esoterically) apparent subjective, self-defining, "essence" that appeared to be attacked during intrapersonal stressful interactions. The inner core seems to have links to the past, present, and (imagined) future. 122 Self Memos (Endnotes) irrhere is something very interesting about the interplay between the dominant extraverted intuition, and inferior introverted sensing. As we are physical beings, intuition is "felt" within the body, in those with dominant extraverted intuition, through a function (introverted sensing) that is not well developed or understood by them. It is therefore sometimes confusing to the intuitive dominant person to have a "gut feeling" that something is not right, but not necessarily be able to identify what that is, as it is often originating from the unconscious, but mixed with outside events. There is even the possibility of some fine tuning to future happenings, but not being able to consciously discern what that is. "Restless" is one of the adjectives used in Introduction to type in organizations (Hirsh & Kummerow, 1990) to describe ENFPs-one of the few words used as a descriptor of any of the 16 types that does not have a completely positive connotation. Restlessness is possibly a result of never being entirely sure how to interpret, or whether to trust one's 'gut', identifying the connection with the physical discomfort, and trying to figure out exactly what the feeling is linked to, both within the world, and within one's self. 2Maybe it is not that the body cues are not noticed, actually, the extraverted intuitive dominant's unconscious attention to inner detail is quite finely tuned. The problem is, there may be a great deal of storing or "stuffing" occurring as a form of denial, aimed at self-preservation. It could also be a result of the perceiver component of putting things off to wait and see—deferring things to handle them at a later time, because there are other things that keep coming up that need to be dealt with, and one just cannot afford the luxury of slowing down. The problem is that the physical body just cannot handle that much storing, and therefore, physical symptoms gradually escalate until there is no choice other than to stop and make major lifestyle changes. This is usually aimed at allowing the personality type's natural lean to re-emerge. Afterwards, the cognitive-emotional processing begins to work towards making the changes more analytically acceptable in terms of creating less dissonance between the real and ideal selves. 3Intuition is metaphorically spoken of as originating from the soul. 4The heart is metaphorically where "feelings" originate from, and is commonly referred to by feeler types. 5Maybe this is the place where the ENFP's conscious and unconscious processes meet and merge, and where the "gut feeling" is sometimes experienced. 123 6Notice the shift from the ENFP to opposite ISTJ process here. The focus is now on thinking about the present (sensing) rather than future (intuition), objectively prioritizing the task (thinking), and dealing with it expediently (judging). Doing this without too much trouble is possible due to the impersonal nature of the task; there are no relationship issues present and no personal value judgments to be made, and therefore, a lack of feeling function involvement. introversion away from the hurtful comments is accompanied by outward busyness (tai-chi movements). This concentration on the detailed physical movements (sensing) distracts her from focusing on her auxiliary feeling function, which would be evaluating the effects of the remarks her husband had made, likely causing emotional upset. So, instead of storing tension from attending to the hurtful remarks, Jessie is filtering out what she can by introverting, and releasing what has been able to penetrate by the tai-chi. Because this process also seems to discourage her husband from continuing, and he actually returns, allowing communication, more storing does not occur; communication (assuming it is positive and productive), facilitates complete release, and the situation is resolved. 8Just as use of appropriate humour with others diffuses uncomfortable or stressful situations, Jessie has found that using humour as a tool to see things from a different perspective from within, helps to diffuse attacks to her auxiliary feeling with some objectivity of the tertiary thinking function, and as such, protect her from taking things too personally, and feeling hurt or "put down." 9There seems to be a limit to the time an extravert can take to process in an introverted fashion and have it be productive. Especially where it is concerning some sort of intimate relationship, the longer there is insufficient communication, the greater probability of storing and discomfort (or in some cases, possibly depression). 10The being able to "step back from things" seems to indicate a shift to the tertiary thinking function. The thinking about reacting before reacting, rather than reacting before thinking indicates a shift to consciously making use of the introverted process. nInvoking emotional incidents from the past has likely triggered the inferior introverted sensing function due to the strong emotional component. 12Because the sensing function is introverted in an ENFP, there may sometimes be a "don't cry out loud" mentality, in terms of felt vulnerability when those who are not chosen confidantes, or even someone disliked are witness to a private display of emotions. This is then followed by resentment and anger that such a 124 person was able to see one's private side. Once this has occurred, however, the flood gates have been opened, and the angry part may come out strongly. 1 3In addition to providing an outlet to self-calming, giving the conscious, dominant, extraverted intuition a rest by focusing on outer sensing-thinking-type ordering activities may allow for inner quieting, encouraging some unconscious input to filter through. 1 4This is an example of the dominant intuitive process in action together with introverted thinking, attending to finding and identifying/organizing patterns and relationships and developing systems of meaningfulness. 1 5I refer to this as "Tying-up loose "N's"! 1 6Toni was the only one of the women who did not completely validate her MBTI results, not being sure whether extraversion or introversion fit better for her. As a result, she may not have as clearly defined a dominant function as the others, and may be imposing judgment too quickly on situations before she has had a chance to look at differing perspectives. Previously, however, she appeared to have the same problem as Jessie, the opposite problem of looking at things from so many perspectives that one becomes overwhelmed with information (a common problem for intuitive types). 17The ability and attention to empathize with others (making use of the feeling function in a non-egocentric way) seems to help diffuse the stress. 1 8This is an important step for someone who prefers extraversion as their energy source, as saying things out loud often makes them more "real" and this act helps the processor to "hear" what they have thought through, and decide if it feels congruent. Existentially, sharing with a cope-partner also helps prevent feelings of extreme aloneness, as Patricia and Shammi point out next. 19Maybe, with this type, the person-focused Rogerian approach is more useful than it is sometimes credited to be, especially when the focus of the session is stress-related, and the client does not want to be "helped" with the problem-solving aspect. With an introverted type, the focus might be soley on the "venting" aspect, as they are often able to process quite comfortably internally. But, with extraverted types, external processing and venting are often one and the same; it is not until they hear themselves say something out loud, and preferably in the company of another person, that what they are saying actually becomes real, and is then further subjected to internal processing and checking of their values system, to see if it really fits. 125 2 0From a type perspective, Erica's preceding commentary is somewhat puzzling in terms of the intuitive perceiver preference usually being thought of as able to tolerate ambiguity quite well. However, Patricia's commentary clarifies this, in terms of the element of control; ambiguity seems to be better tolerated if the events are within one's own control (even with the variable of fate) rather than being dictated by someone else's decisions. 2 1The "little voice" is her intuition, which she finally specifies at the very end of the interview: "Like I say, it's my little voice, and I have this intuition about those kinds of things." 2 2This is a description of her tertiary and inferior functions (thinking and sensing), representing the logical and concrete, challenging her dominant and auxiliary intuition and feeling. As expected with ENFP preferences, the trust in blind faith may sometimes waver, but will eventually prevail. 2 3This is the extraverted energizing process; energy must be externally expended in order to be able to 'boomerang' back and promote further re-energizing. 2 4This is an example of self-masking, which, in Jessie's narrative, appears to be energy-draining, because of the incongruity between her true inner feelings and her outer behaviour. As mentioned in the section on "storing," the women discussed how this kind of self-masking led to physical illness or discomfort. 2 5 A n example of the perceiving attitude in action. This is later echoed by some of the other women, and nicely summed up by Shammi's belief that "the universe will unfold as it should." Jessie demonstrates the belief that premature closure may eliminate future possibilities. (And a vision of these possibilities helps those with ENFP preferences to maintain trust in an optimistic future.) 2 6This makes sense from a type theory perspective, as the auxiliary feeling function is a judging function, and because it is introverted, the emphasis is more on self-criticism from within. 2 7 A well versed example of the intuitive feeler's strong valuing of personal growth and relationship-building. Note that holistic growth for these women includes both internal-personal growth aided by values exploration, and also growth that cannot occur without the synergistic relationship-oriented interactions with others. 2 8Again, demonstrative of the extraverted perceiving (P) attitude, like Jessie's prior statement about "staying open." Relinquishing this aspect of control appears to free up room for growth, promoting personal evolution, unlike when 126 energy is being expended trying to maintain the illusion of constant control, which is ultimately impossible. 2 9When there is a continued lack of closeness to special people in an NF type's life, there is a great deal of resulting stress and unhappiness due to the primacy of value placed on relationships. 3 0This perspective of having a lot of opportunities or options available is essential to the well being and continued positive outlook of those with established ENFP preferences. Personally speaking, it does not really matter if the options are always exercised, as long as they exist, it is very comforting and reassuring. 127 Discussion Writing Perspective and Process In this discussion, I return to the literature to further explore and to integrate my interview results with existing theoretical perspectives, in an additive way. While compiling my results, I took special care to look only to the interview data, and not explore or conceptually relate to outside sources of information. The model I developed, however, left me wanting to uncover existing information that could bring clarity to concepts that felt somehow 'unfinished.' Rather than forcing the data to unnatural closure, in the spirit of grounded theory research, I left the model as it was until I completed a secondary literature review. From my perspective of "orientational qualitative inquiry" (Patton, 1990, p.85), authors whose theories I mainly draw on are those of Lazarus (1991), Lazarus and Folkman (1984), Jung (1971), and other Jungian-based authors. Being an avid generalist, however, I also explore other sources in the stress/coping field that offer information relevant to the model. What led this secondary literature search was the content of my interviews and the desire to offer a greater depth and breadth of perspective to those results. This includes a discussion of type theory that extends beyond Myers-Briggs-related type theory to a more general Jungian-based typological perspective. Lazarus's (1991) theory continues to be interwoven within this discussion as it pertains to further exploration of the interview results. Lazarus has attended to a vast number of perspectives that support the intricacy of the 128 stress/coping process. His more recent attention to unconscious appraisal dynamics and emotion is most relevant to the integrative nature this section. My approach in writing this discussion is from the point of view of a participant/observer. Given that ENFP is representative of my own type preferences, the process of researching and writing this discussion has been a deep exploration for me into my own intrapsychic processes. I have, however, tried to remain true to having the emerging and integrated theory be grounded in the results of the women's narratives. I do not deny, however, that being myself an ENFP, there cannot help but be an ENFP orientation to this further interpretation of the ENFP women's interview results. This is helpful in the sense of being able to notice patterns of relationships between the interview narratives and existing theoretical knowledge, sometimes more easily recognizable due to my own shared experiences. I am careful, however, to back up my theoretical expansion with examples the women gave. Therefore, even at times when some distanced objectivity of perspective may be lacking, there is still a theoretical grounding available from the earlier detailed quotes cited from the women's responses. During further exploration of the interview results, I was able to come to a number of conceptual inferences from the data that I later found reiterated (or should I say, pre-iterated) in the literature. I was therefore able to go through the exciting process of experiencing and intuiting my own conceptual/theoretical discoveries and have these reinforced by reading like-minded interpretations in 129 the literature. Therefore, this process has been an exciting journey of new found knowledge and an enhanced understanding of psychological type, ego psychology, stress appraisal, and coping process. At times, the introduction of theoretical links adds clarity to my model, while at other times, it points to the need for further theoretical exploration and understanding. Particularly regarding Jung's theories, volumes have been written offering explanation of his esoteric concepts; it would therefore be unwise to profess total clarity of conceptual comprehension. It is my intent, however, to call attention to the relevance of these concepts to the data, and therefore, to an understanding of the stress/coping process. Overview of Key Issues to be Explored Given Lazarus's (1991) attention to both conscious and unconscious appraisal elements, Quenk's (1993a, 1996) work regarding the inferior function, and the significance of self-masking and c-old storage to my results model, I decided to further explore the Jungian theoretical literature regarding conscious and unconscious processes. Upon doing so, it became clear to me that much of it was extremely relevant to my model, and that typology, if used in the context of tacit intrapsychic processing (as opposed to a psychoeducational communications-related framework) cannot be divorced from Jung's other theories regarding conscious and unconscious interplay, ego and self. Becoming better acquainted with Jungian ego psychology was helpful in clarifying the vague concept of an 'inner core' that emerged from the interview data. Also 130 attention to Jung's concept of individuation, first discussed in Psychological Types (1921/1971), helps clarify my concept of in(f)volving, developmentally and thematically, regarding the overall importance the women placed upon meaning-making, learning, and personal growth. After beginning this section by presenting issues regarding conscious and unconscious processes, self-regulation theory, and identity theory, I explore Jung's concept of individuation, and developmental issues of ego and self. I then proceed to outline type dynamics as related to appraisal issues. In order to further explore the ENFP women's tacit appraisal processes, I needed to familiarize myself with the nuances of introverted sensing (the women's inferior function), and present this information as it applies to perception and memory. I then expand upon the concepts of perception, appraisal, and emotion, for theoretical clarification. This includes a discussion of the important role of the feeling function in the appraisal process. Exploring the interplay between the introverted sensing and feeling functions and "feeling memory" (Hillman, 1971, p. 109) led me to information regarding Jungian complex theory, and its relevance to primitive and evolutionary release. To further clarify issues revolving around type dynamics, I introduce Newman's (1990) theory of two typological "spheres of consciousness" (p. 25). This is helpful in gaining an enhanced understanding of Lazarus's (1991) mention of unconsciously-based "automatic processing" (p. 155). 131 I next integrate the relevance of emotions and meaning in the appraisal process, and discuss the defense mechanism of repression, as directed by the feeling function. I clarify the link between repression and storing. I then address the conflict between phenomenological and epistemological issues the women faced as a result of the appraisal process, and the resulting dissociation/ repression that likely took place. I also further discuss physical indicators of possible repression/c-old storage, (as mentioned by the women). I then tie in the importance of emotional awareness (Steiner, 1997) to evolutionary releasing, as complicated by the occurrence of masking and self-masking. I next introduce Delunas's (1992) theory of self-protective Survival Games, outlining (often unconscious) strategies intuitive-feeler (NF) types may employ when core emotional needs are not being met, as supported by the interview data. I conclude by discussing the women's path towards personal growth, and the central theme of transcending stress, as relevant to individuation and identity consolidation. Conscious Versus Unconscious Processes In the literature, a major theoretical argument to be attended to is that of conscious versus unconscious efforts in the stress appraisal and coping process. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) specify that although appraisal is often implied to be a "conscious, rational, and deliberate process" (p. 52), people are not always aware of elements within their appraisal processes. Lazarus and Folkman admit that "cognitive appraisal may also be shaped by agendas that are below the 132 person's awareness" (p. 54), and indicate that they are somewhat familiar with Jungian type theory, noting: Our position allows the concept of appraisal to be integrated with depth or psychoanalytic-type theories. For example, the Jungian notion of superior and inferior functions, where one function predominates while the other is submerged, implies that a suppressed tendency may emerge from time to time to influence thought (e.g., appraisal), emotion and behavior Appraisal theory thus need not be restricted to personal agendas that are accessible and easily operationalized; less accessible agendas and processes...are also fair game (p. 52). Despite this attempt to clarify unconscious processes, Lazarus and Folkman do not further attend to this matter much in the remainder of their collaborative research efforts. More recently however, Lazarus seems to have gained some 'unconscious awareness' and ego-related integration. In Emotion & Adaptation (1991), Lazarus states: ...there is probably more widespread interest and acceptance of the idea of unconscious mental activity among academic psychologists today than ever before. I believe that psychology, especially the subtopics of emotion and adaptation, would be seriously impaired without reference to unconscious or preconscious processes (p. 162). He concedes: Throughout my discussion of subtle meanings and vertical or depth analysis of the emotion process, there has been an assumption, not always made explicit, that conscious meanings may differ dramatically from those operating below the surface as a result of processes of defense. The danger of an exclusively surface analysis of an emotion, especially if it is based solely on what a person reports, is that we will mistake what is observed because it is on the surface for what is happening at a deeper, presumably unconscious or preconscious level. .... This possibility leads me to the striking proposition that two appraisals might occur at the same time, one unconscious and another conscious, and, in a sense, both could be valid (1991, p. 166). 133 Parkinson (1995) points out, "Despite the details he offered concerning the content of the evaluative judgements involved in the appraisal processes, Lazarus has rarely been precise about the process of appraisal" (p. 30). Newman (1990) suggests that Jungian type theory is likely a valuable tool in facilitating a better understanding of the appraisal process: the inner world "consists of such 'subjective stuff as states of mind and internal mental processes, things that can only be indirectly studied. To understand these internal images and processes requires a cognitive perspective. This cognitive perspective is rooted in Jung's early conceptions of psychological processes, and, yet, is as current as the latest research on brain function and personality. (P- 1) Cognitions, however do not stand alone—as Lazarus (1991) discovered, emotions are inexorably inter-related. Further exploration from a type theory perspective helps explain why. In analyzing the women's interviews, I acknowledged the many descriptive accounts given of their coping processes, as documented in the results. However, until I subsequently examined the data thorough deepened type exploration and further literature review, I was not able to comment on the more tacit nuances of their experiences. Through comparing, contrasting, and combining various seemingly unrelated theoretical views, it is possible to gain an enhanced understanding of how stress-coping theory interweaves conceptually with Jungian typological theory and ego psychology with remarkable relevance. I believe that by further examining the results of my research data through type theory and the broader subjects of ego psychology, identity-related theory, and individuation, some light may be shed on the role of unconscious processes. 134 Jung believed the psyche to be self-regulating (Quenk, 1993a) and "thus able to correct itself when it is 'out of balance,' as well as to progress toward completion..." (p. 279). I earlier reviewed Quenk's (1993a, 1996) discussion of the relevance of the inferior function (as being the closest to the unconscious) to the self-regulative, compensatory process. It is useful to add to this a broader view of the self-regulation literature as it applies to the women's processes. Self-Regulation Theory There are some interesting parallels between self-regulation as discussed in type theory and by others in the psychological literature who do not appear to be acquainted with Jungian type theory. Rosenbaum (1988) purports, "Any effort at coping with stressful events involves attempts at self-regulation In fact, the coping process should not be understood without reference to the self-regulatory process" (p. 484). Baumeister, Heatherton, and Tice (1994) have authored a book entirely devoted to the subject of self-regulation failure. They broadly define self-regulation as "any effort by a human being to alter its own responses" (p.7), and discuss the idea of unequal, competing, hierarchical, multiple processes operating in parallel within human beings (a similar premise to type theory). They explain, "self-regulation begins with competition among such multiple processes. Self-regulation is a matter of one process overriding another, and that result emerges from competition among these parallel processes" (p. 8). They add 135 "self-regulation involves higher processes overriding lower processes; when the reverse happens, it is failure of self-regulation" (p. 8). Paradoxically, according to Jungian theory, it is the 'inferior' function that needs to temporarily 'override' the 'superior' functions in order for the deepest kind of intrapsychic growth to occur. In the midst of the process, however, there is the "in the grip" (Quenk 1993a, p.55) sense of temporary self-regulation failure. Quenk explains that "an inferior function experience creates something like chaos in a personality, altering the prominence of each typological element, energizing aspects that have little energy, putting aside usually reliable and trustworthy parts of ourself (p. 59). Interestingly, Chaos Theory (from the science of physics) purports that nonresistance to chaos actually helps facilitate a more progressive level of reorganization (Wolinsky, 1994). One may theorize, then, about how an entirely consciously-focused, organized state may actually be a state of intrapsychic ignorance, particularly in extraverts, when attention is directed away from the self to the outside world. Attention to inferior function manifestations allows for greater receptiveness of messages emanating from the unconscious-the "inner higher self (Loomis, 1991, p. 2) where the 'chaos' is allowed temporary reign. Baumeister et al. (1994) believe "a very significant and central part of the self is its activity as a self-regulator" (p. 6). Singer (1994) adds that "the self is oriented toward union of consciousness with the unconscious" (p. 219). In the case of the women interviewed, attention to bodily signals (emanating from unconscious processing) 136 prompted concentration on inner attention and promoted cognitive-emotional processing that likely would not have occurred without this 'prompting' to turn inward. Baumeister et al. (1994) explain that a great deal of research and theory regarding self-regulation discusses the concept oi feedback loops, stemming from systems theory. I review this here as I believe it also pertains to type theory and the model generated from the women's coping experiences. Baumeister et al. (1994) give the example of a room thermostat regulating temperature, and cite the acronym "TOTE" loop (test-operate-test-exit) as synonymous with feedback loops, showing the sequence of steps in such a system of self-regulation. The initial test phase is in reference to comparing the current situation with a desired standard. Baumeister et al. define standards as being "abstract concepts of how things should be" (p. 9). They add that "when standards are unclear, ambiguous, lacking or conflicting, self-regulation will be less effective" (p. 9). For the ENFP type, intuition together with introverted feeling creates these "abstract concepts of how things should be" (Baumeister et al., p. 9). Thompson (1996b) describes introverted feeling as "a cognitive 'place' having impossibly ideal relationships and social schemes" (p. 4) he likens to "Utopia." Stress appears to 'stir up' these idealized standards when they are threatened or in flux, causing a need to re-assess and re-evaluate prior-based beliefs held that may not have yet been consciously attended to or addressed. 137 Elaborating on the "TOTE" feedback loop model, Baumeister et al. (1994) continue that if a discrepancy exists between the current circumstance and the desired standard, then an operation phase ensues as a form of adjustment, followed by another test, and exit when reality conforms with the desired standard (much like reappraisal). They maintain that there are three variables important for the self-regulating process: First, people must have standards to target (this is inherent in the introverted feeling process, the auxiliary function in ENFPs). Second, monitoring (self-monitoring or feedback from others) must take place. "People can only regulate themselves successfully if they pay attention to what they are doing, or if they have some other way of gaining knowledge of their responses" (p. 9). Monitoring was quite evident from the women's narratives, and included being aware of feelings manifesting from social interactions, the taking of intrapsychic inventory, and subsequent seeking feedback from significant others. Inner attending was also undertaken, although admittedly, the somatic cues sometimes took longer to notice. Third, "people must have some means of operating on themselves in order to bring about the desired change or responses"(p. 9). The women discussed that learning from stressful circumstances was important to them, and they appeared to take a great deal of care in their relationships with others. In summary, Baumeister et al. (1994) conclude: Understanding self-regulation as an override process portrays the problem as one of competition between responses, and indeed in many instances of self-regulatory challenge people feel as if there is 138 an inner conflict going on, in which they are pulled in opposite directions, (p. 9) This bears remarkable resemblance to Spoto's (1995) Jungian-based discussion of how conflicts between the conscious and unconscious result in a lack of psychic balance concurrently affecting one's psychological and physiological state of being: It is when the balance between conscious and unconscious life is seriously upset, when the law of compensation is violated, that we can imagine one pole in the psyche behaving as though the other pole did not exist. In these instances, one may expect a 'fight', 'conflict' or 'disagreement' to create a new balance within the overall personality. The opposing sides of the individual's psyche will then often 'tense up' and cause actual and distinguishable physical manifestations (symptoms) as the personality undergoes the process toward growth, transformation, or reconciliation with itself, (pp. 37-38) This, indeed, sounds similar to the women's descriptions. Spoto's (1995) mention of somatic tension is reminiscent of the women's comments that stress was initially noticed by them through physical symptoms. The women mentioned increased bodily-felt awarenesses as personal stress indicators, and used language emphasizing both physical and emotional discomfort. As noted in the results, the concept of stress storing emerged from the women's discussions of some kind of uncomfortable body-felt sensations and accompanying the identification of stress for them. This was often noticed together with feelings of emotional tension/agitation and restlessness, which is why I titled the category Physical/Emotional Storing of Stress. Storing, then is disruptive to self-regulation. 139 Identity Possibilities The inner conflict that Baumeister et al. (1994) and Spoto (1995) discuss is representative of the discrepancy between reality and 'ideality,' only of course, 'reality' is always a subjective construction (as are 'ideal' standards). The 'conflict' then, is truly an intraspsychic confusion of what Quenk (1993a) refers to as "parts of ourself (p 59). Delunas (1992) theorizes that "fragmented parts of the self'(p. 137) in intuitive-feeler (NF) types "may be repressed,"(p. 137) "projected onto someone else," (p.137) or "stored in the muscles" (p. 137). (I elaborate on Delunas's theory later in this chapter.) Kaplan (1996) notes Burke's proposal of "a merger of identity theory and interruption theory" (p. 137). Like Baumeister et al. (1994), Burke (1996) also uses the analogy of a feedback loop, which he links to identity processes. Burke explains that "When an identity is activated, identity processes operate continuously through time to maintain congruence between the identity standard and reflected self-appraisals" (p. 147). He expands: An identity process is a continuously operating, self-adjusting, feedback loop: individuals continually adjust behavior to keep their reflected appraisals congruent with their identity standards or references. In familiar situations, this adjustment process is nearly automatic, requiring little or no attention. Since the identity process is continuous, the amount by which one's reflected appraisals differ from one's identity standard is kept small. The existence is of a relatively large discrepancy is likely to indicate some type of interruption in the identity process that has suspended the normal condition of continuous congruence between reflected appraisals and the identity standard (Stotland & Pendleton, 1989 ). (p. 147) 140 Burke (1996) explains that according to (Mandler's) interruption theory, "interruption of more organized and salient processes (such as identity processes) leads to the heightened autonomic activity experienced as distress" (p. 148). This is what he refers to as a "Type / interruption"(p. 148). Burke goes on to describe three remaining types of interruptions (of which I will mention two): Type II interruption follows the premise that "people have more than one role identity, and that it is possible that maintaining one identity acts to undermine and interrupt the processes that maintain another identity..." (p. 148), which may result in role conflict. A good example of type II interruption is Jessie's realization that the demanding hours of her job were interfering with her being able to attend to her artistic, spiritual, and relationship needs. Even though she noted, "I finally-I just got the guts to say, 'Stop! This isn't right for me!," Jessie admitted, what scared me is that I thought my whole world would collapse if I wasn't working because I've put so much energy into working, and I thought, well, it was so much a part of my identity at that point. And yet, it really wasn't making me happy. (Type ///interruption is an expansion of type II and not particularly relevant to the discussion.) Type IVinterruption (Burke 1991, cited in Burke, 1996) is based on the concept that all of us have multiple identities that are "episodic in nature and the continuity of their processes is routinely interrupted, and therefore a certain amount of distress is built into the functioning of all identities" (p. 149). Although Burke notes that there is not much research available regarding this type IV interruption, there are apparent parallels with 141 other theoretical approaches, including type theory, that fit in with the women's narratives. Burke's (1996) mention of multiple identities that are "episodic in nature" (p. 149) mimics the various typological functions, in both conscious and unconscious states. Jung (1971) supports the notion of "traces of character splitting in normal individuals" (p. 464). Watkins and Watkins (1997) also hold that "persons are multiplicities, not unities" (p. 9), discussing the idea of a core ego, along with various ego states. The idea of various ego states as "covert multiple personalities...each one with specific functions and limited behavior repertoire" (Watkins & Watkins 1997, p. 95) is also analogous to the various typological functions. Stress constantly re-challenges our notion of an integrated self by giving us glimpses of lesser known elements of self-showing us what we're 'really made o f Singer (1994) explains: The ideal of the individuation process, as Jung described it, is the conscious realization and integration of all the possibilities contained within the individual. Needless to say, few people achieve individuation. As with so many ideals, it is more valuable to engage in the process than to lust after the distant goal. (p. 134) For an ENFP, the phrase all the possibilities is extraordinarily multifaceted. The imagined non-realization of any of the imagined self-possibilities are losses that must be constantly dealt with in order to pursue any specific possibility in 'reality'. An example of the concept of episodic identities is shown though Toni's discussion that "I think my life was meant to be in 3 year increments, or you know, just sort of-it seems like variety suits me much better." Toni outlined a good number of multiple possible futures, adding, "I'd like to 142 make that more of a pattern in my life-putting my dreams into reality. So I think that's how I'm going to stay out of ruts." For Toni, the notion of having to choose one particular path meant losing her other potential 'selves,' whereas keeping the dreams as potential possibilities, paradoxically served as creating a more integrated sense of'self,' empowered by the strength of choice of options. Thus, the imagined existence of options is more important than the actual exercising of them; to an ENFP, possibility is everything (see results self memo 30). Despite Singer's (1994) advice regarding individuation that "it is more valuable to engage in the process than to lust after the distant goal" (p. 134), for ENFPs, 'lusting after the distant goal' is, indeed, part of the process. Prematurely closing off any potentiality is, as Lazarus and Folkman (1984) would word it, harm, loss, or threat. Physicist Everett (as cited in Wolf, 1989), purports that all futures existing in infinite parallel universes actually occur, but, as Wolf adds, "we are only aware of the universe layer we happen to be on and not the others" (p. 211). I would suggest that ENFPs (with dominant intuition) are often quite aware of some of these alternate parallel universes, and this is what sometimes causes internal conflict-not knowing which road to take, or being 'torn' between alternatives (including unconsciously-based competing desires). Physical indicators of stress may then indicate 'repressed-growing' pains-symptoms of stunted potentiality, and resulting discomfort with an unmanifested energy force. An incomplete 'primitive release' of the stress tension that does not involve a sense of emotional growth, then, is bound to leave 143 unresolved emotional issues that are likely to resurface with similar situational cues. On more of an internal, micro-cosmic level, Wolinsky (1994) discusses the theory of internally-based parallel worlds, noting From the point of view of a personality, it can be said that we are all composed of parallel worlds, or in psychology jargon, parts of ourselves. Each world which some people call roles, parts, sub-personalities, I-dentities, false selves, ego states, or schemas. Different schools of psychology have different names for these parallel worlds, (p. 52) Pert (interviewed in Goldman, 1998) offers a similar perspective that gives a fascinating enhanced definition of stress: I see emotions as the trigger that sends us into one altered state or another. Furthermore, I think one of these states is an intuitive, all-knowing state in which we may know every thing that's happened and everything that ever will happen. For example, if I define stress using this new paradigm, it may well be that stress is actually a conflict over which altered state you want to be in. (pp. 50-51) Pert's description of an "intuitive, all-knowing state" sounds like a combination of access to Jung's concepts of the personal unconscious and collective unconscious, with a focus on the workings of introverted intuition, "the cognitive mode that connects us to the unlimited symbols of the unconscious, providing us with a variety of perspectives for viewing life" (Loomis, 1991, p.82). Monte (1995) describes Jung's concept of the personal unconscious as consisting of both contents that have "lost their intensity and were forgotten or not attended to" (p. 317) as well as material that has been repressed due to its unacceptability to the ego. Everything in the personal unconscious has once been 144 conscious, and therefore is available to become conscious once again. Alternately, the collective unconscious represents the larger, "nonpersonal, objective layer of the unconscious that is the repository of the archetypes" (Quenk, 1993a, p. 277). Monte (1995) explains archetypes as "primordial images and ideas that have been common to all. ..from the beginning of life" (p. 318). He notes that Jung viewed archetypes as "prototypes or molds of emotional reaction" (p. 318) to timeless events (such as sunrise and sunset). Therefore, the concept of archetypes is inherent in Pert's (1998 in Goldman) comment. I speculate that although stress appraisal entails evaluation of circumstance, the actual initial stressful-emotional state may involve the experience of a barrage of undifferentiated subjective perceptions. Wolf (1989) explains that conscious awareness gives us the choice to go where we would like to be, given time. Stress, however, temporarily shuts off the focus on conscious awareness in order to give the unconscious a voice. We then must strive towards gaining more conscious awareness of unconsciously-based messages. I caution, however, that although awareness is important, awareness alone is not enough. To make personally valued, situationally appropriate choices requires the gift of good judgment and objectivity of perspective. When under stress, the strong internal sensations and emotions the women spoke of may have temporarily impaired this process. Even though consciously acknowledging and attending to inferior function episodes is more psychologically profitable than ignoring them (Quenk, 1993a), 145 there are inherent difficulties apparent in this complex process. Spoto (1995), explains that we often take the conscious side of our personality, having worked at improving it, to be our "true and good self (p. 76), and will resultingly attempt to ignore the less conscious, 'out of character' elements of self. Spoto notes that ironically, it is in working at developing the more conscious elements of one's psychological type and becoming more well differentiated (separating the conscious and unconscious realms) that the inferior function may become more of a problem. He points out, "consciousness is never sufficiently or ordinarily aware of its rootedness in the unconscious" (p. 39). Spoto elaborates: As a consequence, the differences within a personality often become competitive with a person's conscious psychological type. As such, just as the 'strange' is trying to break into consciousness, it is pushed more and more to the periphery of consciousness or beyond, (pp. 76-77) Spoto further surmises, Such a person sooner or later will have to contend with the feeling of being peculiarly separate or divided from him-or herself, a psychological problem that is the modern equivalent of being cast out of the Garden of Eden for the second time. When this happens, consciousness will eventually be presented with the new and difficult task of handling what has happened to the personality 'in exile', (pp. 77-78) Despite the ENFP type's extraverted focus in terms of direction of conscious psychic energy, it is evident that there are rich introverted workings in process at all times. I strongly suggest that, coming myself from an extraverted standpoint, it is necessary to put an end to the misleading message used in some type-oriented writings-'with an extravert, what you see is what you get.' I particularly dislike Card's (1993) 'introcentrically'-focused inaccurate portrayal 146 of extraverts. Card writes, "For Extraverts, the external world IS reality. For introverts, their perception of the external world is what matters" (p. 23). Card also makes the statement that "it is possible for Extraverts to live their entire lives and never become acquainted with their Introvert mode..." (p.17). However, that is equivalent to suggesting that there are untold masses of extraverted people walking around as empty shells, using only their dominant function, and devoid of any sense of internal selfhood. Fortunately, Jones and Sherman (1997) offer a different viewpoint: "Having three introverted preferences can make an extravert sometimes uncomfortably aware of the inner world" (p. 69). (Remember, however, Quenk, 1993a, believes that the tertiary is ambi-attitudinal.) Spoto (1995) points out, "For Jung, energy going out signifies extraversion at a conscious level as well as introversion at the unconscious level" (p.37). Spoto further explains: ...the extraversion-introversion polarity is the issue for Jung, not simply extraverting or introverting. For when one is consciously extraverting, something has happened to the other half of the polarity, something less detectable because it is no longer conscious, but just as real in terms of meaning for the whole individual, (p. 37) Although we cannot simultaneously exercise two perceiving functions or two judging functions in consciousness, as Spoto explains, when we are engaged in consciousness, there are significant workings going on simultaneously in the unconscious that we are at the time unaware of, but are nonetheless extremely meaningful. Lazarus (1991) speaks of a similar concept when he discusses the 147 likelihood of two appraisals, one conscious, one unconscious, occurring at the same time, and acknowledges Jungian theory. Ego. Self and Individuation Key to understanding dynamics of conscious and unconscious processes within stress appraisal is the (Jungian-based) understanding of ego dynamics within the psyche, the totality of one's personality "comprising the various contents and relationships that exist between conscious and unconscious life" (Spoto, 1995, p. 194). This includes attention to the ongoing relationship (Spoto, 1995) between ego, the center of consciousness (Jung, cited in Campbell, 1976), and Self, "the center of the psyche, as the ego is the center of consciousness" (Spoto, 1995, p. 194). Singer (1994) elaborates that the self incorporates both the unconscious as well as the conscious, therefore, the ego is part of the self. She adds that as such, the ego is both all of known consciousness, as well as potential consciousness. Kaufmann (1989) defines the ego as "the experiential being of the person" (p. 127). He adds, "It is the sum total of thoughts, ideas, feelings, memories, and sensory perceptions" (p. 127). Stein (1998) refers to the ego as "one's T-ness'" (p. 21), noting, "The term ego refers to one's experience of oneself as a center of willing, desiring, reflecting, and acting" (p. 15). Pascal (1992) points out that Jung designated the ego as part of the ego-complex, "as he saw the ego as a reflection of the many processes and contents making up ego-consciousness, held together by the gravitational force of their relation to consciousness" (p. 67). 148 Although I had not read this earlier, my choice of the atom symbol to reflect cognitive-emotional processing follows Pascal's description. Upon perusing the Jungian literature, I also noticed a link between the vague 'inner core' and personal 'essence' I construed from the interview data and the notion of a stable ego base that is indicative of one's known personhood. Stein (1998) elaborates, "While many features of the ego clearly do develop and change, particularly with regard to cognition, self-knowledge, psychosocial identity, competence, etc., one also senses an important continuity at the heart of the ego" (p. 21, italics added). He adds, "Probably the essential core of the ego does not change over a lifetime" (p. 21, italics added). The ego, however, does not necessarily 'feel' this stability under stress. Stein (1998) notes that despite being the center of consciousness, Jung theorized that the roots of the ego extend into the unconscious. Spoto (1995) describes the ego as a "'battlefield' between a person's conscious and unconscious life" (p. 191). He adds, "The ego is especially concerned with problems of personal identity, reality testing, and continuity over time. As such, it simultaneously faces outward toward external reality and inward toward internal reality" (p. 191). Lazarus (1991) notes that "ego-identity is probably involved in all or most emotions, but in different ways, depending on the type of ego-involvement that is engaged by a transaction" (p. 150). The issue of personal identity arose often in the women's interview accounts; pondering upon their life decisions, as well as interactions with (especially significant) others was key to furthering 149 understanding of themselves. What I refer to in my results as the taking of intrapsychic inventory parallels what Stein (1998) refers to as the "self-reflective ego" (p. 22). No matter how much effort is put into introspection, however, it remains an intrapsychic frustration that "The only content of the self we know is the ego" (Jacobi, 1973, p. 131). As Singer (1994) explains, "From the point of view of the ego, growth and development depend on integrating into the sphere of the ego as much as possible of that which was formerly unknown" (p. 219). Jung refers to this process as individuation, further defined as (Loomis, 1991) "the movement toward wholeness, toward increased consciousness..." (p. 13) and as "a process that has as its aim the realization, or actualization, of an individual's unique personality" (p. 13). Delunas (1992) explains that for the intuitive-feeler (NF) type, the greatest core need is to perceive oneself, and be perceived by others, as authentic. She adds that as such, there is an emphasis on self-actualization, and relationship-building. This is very consistent with the women's interview narratives. In the results section, I discussed the women's accounts of how assessments of their interpersonal relationships contributed to their inner self-evaluations. Because Spoto (1995) defines the individuation process as "the business of becoming who one is destined to be in relationship to the world and one's self..." (p.41), it is hardly surprising that interpersonal relationships 150 significantly impact intrapersonal appraisals. Mattoon (1981) similarly discusses: Individuation is not solely an inner process...it is marked by an improved capacity for relationships with people who are the objects of one's positive and negative emotions. Whatever conflicts exist within one are mirrored by the conflicts between oneself and those with whom one associates and on whom one makes projections, (p. 181) Given the aim of the individuation process, however, there appears to be a great paradoxical challenge. Mamchur (1996) points out "the NF's craving for constant change in the pursuit of finally discovering the real, true self (p. 84). Loomis (1991) purports, "the process of individuation requires that you maintain your own sense of identity and that you willingly engage the process, accepting responsibility for who you are" (p. 13). How does one, then, welcome pursuit and integration of'new' externally- and internally-based knowledge, while concurrently maintaining an inner core identity that can continue to be viewed as authentic? If one changes/upgrades one's views, does that admit a previous lack of integrity? The paradox then, appears to be, how can one be authentic and keep changing, and at the same time, how can one be truly authentic without changing? How is it possible to be genuine and real while undergoing metamorphosis, and at the same time, how can one present one's self as the 'true' self without continuing to search for a more authentic self-definition in response to continuing life events? In this light, stress may be perceived as both a threat to one's current self-concept/identity, and also as a challenge to re-151 evaluate the integrity of one's value system and strive toward congruity of thought and future behaviours. An identity, therefore, cannot be authentic without these stress motivated reassessments and subsequent updates. Perhaps this is why the process of individuation is defined as being lifelong (Mattoon, 1981) and may occur in more than one temporal mode. Sartre (cited in Sloan, 1986) posits, "a life develops in spirals; it passes again and again by the same points but at different levels of integration and complexity" (p. 126). Lifelong growing as a person was an important value to the women in this study. Jessie discussed the lifelong dimension of'working on' relationships: I say 'working' on relationships, because I think it's a lifelong job-I don't think you ever sort out that one. Every time I think I've sorted it out, I just hit another snag. Because you change, because I change, and every time I change, I bring like a ripple effect to everything around me-it just ripples out. And some of the changes are painful; they are not all easy changes. Jessie, realizing her propensity toward self-criticism, discussed wanting to become more self-forgiving and also emphasized her need to build up ego-strength as a buffer to her perceptions of outside happenings. She confirmed this as a need to "keep on growing within myself, so that I get a stronger and stronger sense of who I am, so I'm not so intimidated or influenced by things around." Patricia talked about building upon her capabilities by reading self-help books and doing "a lot of thinking in the last 2 years" about what self-qualities she did and did not like. Margo reinforced, "It's a learning experience-that's what life's all about is the learning." "Life is a learning process and a growing process," confirmed Jessie, practically verbatim to Margo's comment. In my results, I 152 discussed the women's concentration on introspection, insight, and intrapsychic inventory-a kind of 'taking stock' of one's ideologies and behaviours. Al l of this seems to synthesize to support the women's interest in the process of individuation. Mattoon (1981), discussing Jung's theory, comments that the process of individuation "is not directly observable, but one sometimes has a sense of glimpsing the essence of one's being—what one was 'meant' to be" (p. 182). This obviously involves turning one's attention inward, and is parallel, conceptually, to what I referred to in the results as in(f)volving. The women commented on their growing satisfaction with their individuation process. Erica alluded to this when she commented, "More and more, all the time, I like who I'm becoming-I like the way the transition has happened, and that I'm dealing with stress in a much healthier way." Patricia explained: In the last two years, I've really sort of been looking into myself and realizing why I do things and why I react, and what I'm going to put up with and what I'm not going to put up with. And, you know, what's good for me and what isn't good for me. She confirmed, "I finally feel like I know myself now. And I feel I didn't take the time to know myself before." Developmental Issues of Ego and Self Developmental^, in the ENFP types interviewed, stress/coping from their mid-thirties onward may be synonymous with re-establishment of inner perspective and self-integration. Although some stage-developmental theorists (e.g., Erikson) link adolescence with the struggle with identity formation, there 153 appears to be with maturity and age, a complexity of layers of selfhood that continue to build upon (and sometimes discard) components and nuances of identity that strengthens, only to waiver once again following ego-threatening incidences. Indeed, it is inherent in Jungian theory that the truly 'mature' person "is one that is in process of development, not one that is in perfect balance" (Mattoon, 1981, p. 108). The reason for this lack of intrapsychic, progressive 'stability' is that because the self incorporates the ego, it is actually the self that instigates the individuation process (Singer, 1994). Singer explains that the goal of individuation is different for the self than for the ego. She elaborates, "Where the ego was oriented toward its own emergence from the unconscious, the self is oriented toward the union of consciousness with the unconscious" (p. 219). "The ego is the seat of subjective identity while the Self is the seat of objective identity" (Edinger, 1972, p. 3). Therefore, it is not surprising that from the interview results, initial stress appraisal involved getting caught in an extreme imbalance of subjective one-perspectived focus, while 'transcending stress' involved enlargement of perspective. Edinger (1972) gives further elaboration of ego-self relations, explaining: the task of the first half of life involves ego development and progressive separation between ego and Self; whereas the second half of life requires a surrender or at least a relativization of the ego as it experiences and relates to the Self. (p. 5) Edinger adds that this is not a linear occurrence, but rather, a circular/spiral one, comprising of "alternation between ego-Self union and ego-Self separation 154 that seem to occur repeatedly thoughout the life of the individual..." (p. 5). A central focus of intrapsychic development, then, involves activity around the "ego-Self axis" (Edinger, p. 6), a symbolic umbilical cord-like "vital connecting link between the ego and Self that ensures the integrity of the ego" (Edinger, p.6). The developmental aspect of ego-self relations may explain Patricia's comment about finally feeling like knowing herself. Edinger (1972) clarifies that individuation is only able to proceed "when the ego-Self axis reaches consciousness..." (p. 7) and a "conscious dialectic relationship" (p. 7) occurs between ego and Self, or to put it another way, between one's consciousness and the origins of consciousness. Jung (cited in Campbell, 1976) notes that "the psychological 'transcendent function' arises from the union of conscious and unconscious contents" (p. 273). Singer (1994) clarifies that the transcendent function is an independent entity-it "belongs neither to the ego sphere nor to the unconscious, and yet possesses access to each" (p. 274). Spoto (1995) refers to the transcendent function as the "'fifth,' or 'quintessential,' function" (p. 132). Spoto adds, "The transcendent function, if we can let it, can link us back to the unconscious in such a way that the power of the Self begins to resonate meaningfully in one's life and soul" (p. 138). The complication to the ascendance of the transcendent function is concentration on control of ego-consciousness. I later arrived at the conclusion that part of transcending stress, for the women was being able to give up control to gain growth. 155 The occurrence of stress, however, incites 'power struggles' between some of the typological functions, causing ego disturbances. Spoto (1995) explains, "the tertiary function has considerable power as a result of the tension created between it and the auxiliary function, the inferior function has immense power created by the opposition of consciousness and the unconscious" (p. 85). Spoto reinforces that the inferior function "remains loyal to the unconscious throughout the individuation process" (p. 86). Therefore, in addition to their participatory role in the dynamics of consciousness the typological functions are also active in what Fincher (1991) refers to as the "threshold between conscious and unconscious contents" (p. 35), which likely is parallel to the ego-Self axis (Edinger, 1972). The resulting activity may be in the realm of what Lazarus (1991) refers to as "automatic processing" (p. 153). The Self incorporates the ego and as a result, continually tries to maintain ego integrity (Edinger, 1972), however, ego integrity cannot occur until the core ego (Watkins & Watkins, 1997; Stein, 1998) is able to direct (at least temporary) psychological entente between the multiple ego states/typological functions. Stein (1998) clarifies: As Jung describes the psyche, there is a network of associations among the various contents of consciousness. Al l of them are linked directly or indirectly to the central agency, the ego. The ego is the center of consciousness, not only geographically, but also dynamically. It is the energy center that moves the contents of consciousness around and arranges them in order of priority. The ego is the locus of decisionmaking and free will. (p. 19) It is not surprising that Jung considered the concept of free will to be inherently limited (Stein, 1998); free will exists within consciousness, however, 156 "the contents of the unconscious...curtail the free will of the ego" (p. 34). Stein elaborates: When the psyche takes over the ego as an uncontrollable inner necessity, the ego feels defeated and has to face the requirement of accepting its inability to control inner reality just as it has come to this conclusion regarding the larger surrounding social and physical worlds. Most people in the course of their lives come to realize that they cannot control the external world, but fairly few become conscious that inner psychic processes are not subject to ego control either, (p. 34) Jones and Sherman (1997) add that increased consciousness comes through acknowledgment and integration of differentiated, dichotomous processes: The tension of opposites is necessary to become conscious; further consciousness requires integration of paradox and transcending opposites Transcending the tension of the four functions and integrating the paradoxical nature of opposites in general are the goals of individuation. (Jones & Sherman, 1997, p. 71) In order to delve deeper into the ENFP women's internal stress appraisal process, it is necessary to first explore the workings of the "doorway to the unconscious" (Quenk, 1993a, p. 71) their inferior function, introverted sensing. Regardless of its ordinal 'position' as a typological functions, introverted sensing is important in translating external perceptions into subjectively experienced ones. It is also important in 'storage' regarding long-term experiential memory and associated affective links. (Newman, 1990). Introverted Sensing Myers and Kirby (1994) outline that introverted sensing is used to "direct energy inward to remember external reality and events, as well as internal thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, memories" (p. 12). Jung (1971) postulated 157 that introverted sensing is related to "changes in the internal organic processes" (p. 461). Myers and Kirby add that the focus is on subjective experiences in the present and past, and this information is then integrated into an "internal storehouse of information for retrieval when needed" (p. 12). Newman (1990) refers to this as "experiential memory" (p. 10), noting that this "experiential memory consists, essentially of the sum total of previous sensation-mediated experiences"(p. 10), and adding that this includes "memories of our subjective responses to those experiences" (p. 11). Thompson (1996a) gives added clarification regarding memory to the process of introverted sensing (which he abbreviates as "Si"): Introverted Sensing feeds experiential memory by providing subjective, visceral and emotional experiences and the categorization of sensory data. Si creates and records in memory an instinctual response to external and internal stimuli. Internal responses and sensations are organized and stored in this memory, providing a mechanism for the Si to recall experiences and responses from the past. (p. 61) Thompson (1996a) further illustrates the process of how (well differentiated) introverted sensing operates, elaborating: A stimulus provided by the external world is quickly replaced by an internal sensation evoked by the external stimulus. The subjectivity (internal focus)... creates an internal reality mediated by Thinking, Feeling, past associations and experiences. There appears to be no direct relationship between the strength of the external stimulus and the strength of the internal response evoked in the person. The external stimulus evokes an internal sensation that, once evoked, becomes surreal and takes on a character, direction and strength of its own. This all happens in real-time and is focused on the immediate internal experience, (pp. 59-60) 158 It is important to note that the process illustrated above must be viewed in a somewhat fuzzy and vague manner (as in myopic vision) to understand this function from a fourth/inferior function point of view (although awareness and understanding of the tertiary and inferior functions increases with age). Nonetheless, as Spoto pointed out, when one is consciously extraverting (as ENFPs do when using their dominant function), there is a rich unconscious world of introverting going on. Therefore, despite a lack of conscious awareness of the process, internal sensations are constantly being evoked by outside events. As well, they are highly personally subjective, often making sense only in terms of each person's unique overall psychological nature and cumulative worldview. I would also suspect that from an inferior function stance, these internal sensations and memories may sometimes be unusually overpowering and intense. In times of stress, as an inferior function, the process of introverted sensing can be foreign and confusing, 'taking over' in an unconsciously-linked way. This is further complicated by the theory that not only is the inferior function thought to be linked with heightened emotion emanating from the unconscious (Mattoon, 1981), but that "emotional reactions are immediately bound up with our sensations" (Van der Hoop, 1939, cited in Newman, 1990, p. 5). Newman (1990) similarly notes that his own research has led him to infer that "one of the most important cognitive functions of sensation is the direct perception of emotional states"(p. 5). Introverted sensing is therefore involved in 159 both creation of affective-related memory and later perceival of the affective states. Even in conscious awareness, it is difficult to know how currently perceived information may affect future transactions. Gazzaniga (1992) believes that "slight, transient events in our consciousness can have powerful, long-ranging effects on what we think-even for brand new beliefs..."(p. 134). Gazzaniga explains: we humans base many of our inferences about personal and environmental events on what is happening in our immediate state of consciousness. We make use of the data we can call upon the spot, and this plays a powerful role in determining the nature of the belief or explanation we develop for events in our lives, (p. 134) Notice the similarity between Gazzaniga's emphasis on the relevance of inferences made in the immediate moment, and Thompson's (1996a) description of the process of introverted sensing being "focused on the immediate internal experience" (p. 60). As Myers and Kirby (1994) mention however, there is also a "internal storehouse"(p. 12) of past subjective experiences that can be called upon, mediating 'reality' into (as Thompson describes) something more cumulatively, personally 'surreal'. So it appears that the women's primary (unconscious) stress appraisal was likely based upon externally provoked internal conflict. The somatic/affective cues that the conflict produced were then followed by subsequent attempted appraisal of the internally evoked emotional state. Because, as Thompson (1996a) points out, "there appears to be no direct relationship between the strength of the external stimulus and the strength of 160 the internal response evoked in the person" (p. 59), focusing solely on the triggering event is of little use when strong emotions have been stirred. Indeed, even one's current self-assessment of an emotional reaction is incomplete without attending to longer-standing tacit belief systems behind it. The "subjective responses to...experiences" (Newman, 1990, p. 11) that are encoded in experiential memory can only be formed when perceptions are appraised. This occurs through a "continuing evaluation of the significance of what's happening for one's personal well-being" (Lazarus, 1991, p. 144). To begin exploring how the functions, in their respective attitudes, contribute to the ENFP women's appraisal process, it is first helpful to differentiate perception and appraisal from a typological standpoint. Perception and Appraisal Introverted sensing, being a perceiving function, is concerned with attending to incoming information (including emotional states) in a highly subjective, but non-evaluative way. Jung (1971) confirms that the perceiving functions, sensing and intuition, " make us aware of what is happening, but do not interpret or evaluate it" (p. 539). The process of appraisal must be performed together with a judging function. The emphasis on evaluative appraisal is key to Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) theory. In fact, they go so far as to confirm "we agree that appraisal determines emotion" (1984, p. 25), the reaction of which may be immediate, later adding that "emotion and information (and therefore cognition) are conjoined for large portions of the evaluative appraisal process" (p. 161 277). It is the logistics of this complex appraisal process (both conscious and unconscious) that require deeper exploration from the vantage point of the ENFP women. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) posit that as humans, our ability to adapt successfully "rest(s) on the ability to make...evaluative perceptions" (p.24). As a dominant perceiver type (with an emphasis on information gathering rather than decision-making), I was initially puzzled by Lazarus and Folkman's emphasis on evaluation to the point of their referring to perceptions as evaluative. I was able to gain some clarity by reading parts of Jones and Sherman's (1997) type-related definition of "If You Prefer a Judging Style (J)" (p. 14): You evaluate an object as soon as it is perceived, so that the two step process seems like one. This means you automatically come to some assessment of whatever you are dealing with; sometimes prematurely, of course. It is difficult for you to separate your perception of the object from your assessment of it. (p. 14) I suggest that this conjoined perception/evaluation process does not occur only in those 'preferring a judging style'. Particularly, in the case of stress appraisal, I would add that any perceived threat to inner core values involves automatic appraisal and sometimes, as a result, 'premature evaluation.' Lazarus and Folkman (1984) concur: we do not wait until the environmental code is fully unraveled through information processing before we evaluate what is going on; we respond early in the processing sequence to partial cues, sometimes with such speed that meaning and emotion seem to occur simultaneously with perception. The phenomenon of subception-the autonomic discrimination of a threat without conscious awareness...illustrates this process. We are able to use 162 grossly incomplete information from the environmental display to make inferences about its significance for well being; we do not have to completely process all the information from the display, (p. 277) Lazarus and Folkman add, "When information is appraised as having significance for our well being, it becomes what we have called 'hot information' (Folkman et al., 1979), or information that is laden with emotion" (p. 277). This, of course, is accompanied by physical indicators. It is, in fact, the physiological involvement that gives the 'feel' of emotion—there is no such thing as non-somatic, conscious emotion, or stress. Pert (1997), using the term "mobile brain" (p. 188) discusses the communicative integration of body and 'mind'. She summarizes her research confirming that neuropeptides and receptors travel all through the body's nerves and can be identified as "molecules of emotion" (p. 133). Pert adds, "Sigmund Freud, were he alive today, would gleefully point out...the molecular confirmation of his theories. The body is the unconscious mind!" (p. 141). Jung (1971) also maintains that "The distinction between body and mind is an artificial dichotomy" (p. 524). Therefore, unconscious 'inferences', the results of appraisal, although not in cognitive awareness, are constantly circulating through our 'being.' I realized upon reading this, that the 'particles' of releasing I drew in Figure 3 (the atom symbol) correspond to Pert's "molecules of emotion" (p. 133)! It appears then, that cognitive-emotional processing stimulates releasing at a molecular level as well. 163 Pert suggests that it is our emotions that "decide what is worth paying attention to" (p. 146). She concludes: We can no longer think of the emotions as having less validity than physical, material substance, but instead must see them as cellular signals that are involved in the process of translating information into physical reality, literally transforming mind into matter. Emotions are the nexus between matter and mind, going back and forth between the two and influencing both. (p. 189) If, as Pert states, "The body is the unconscious mind," and emotions are "cellular signals" that transform "mind into matter" (p. 189), this supports Lazarus's (1991) assertion, "emotion, as I see it, always includes cognition" (p. 173). Of course, the cognition is often tacit. Lazarus adds that emotion "is a response to a particular kind of meaning" (p. 173, italics added). He explains: for a cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion what is most relevant is the process of obtaining meanings out of an adaptational encounter, especially meanings having to do with personal significance for well-being of what is going on. This is what defines the concept of appraisal, (p. 168, italics added) Therefore, a great deal of unconscious appraisal regarding significance for one's well being has occurred by the time emotions are recognized and acknowledged. The bodily feelings the women described are representative of the automatic "evaluative perceptions" that Lazarus and Folkman (1984, p. 24) discuss. Appraisal and Emotion Underlying the generation of primary appraisal are the concepts of beliefs and commitments—beliefs being pre-existing ideas about reality and commitments being personal values, ideals, and goals (Lazarus & Folkman, 164 1984). Lazarus (1991) elaborates upon the relation of knowledge to beliefs, and appraisal to commitments: Knowledge has to do with beliefs about how things work in general and specific contexts. Appraisal is a personal evaluation of the significance of this knowledge in a particular encounter or existentially. Knowledge is apt to be cold, appraisal hot and more proximal to emotion because it has to do with what a person has at stake in an encounter or in life. (p. 168, italics added) There is a relationship between the introverted thinking function and knowledge/beliefs, and the introverted feeling function and appraisal/commitments. Meier (1989) explains that the thinking function takes what is perceived and categorizes it "according to a priori ideas" (p. 96) The feeling function, alternatively, evaluates the perception according to subjective pleasantness or unpleasantness, and resultingly, "how it affects me, what it means to me" (Meier, p. 96). It is important to emphasize that the definition of feeling as "what it means to me," is originally specified by Jung (1971) as establishing of meaning through personal values, whereas definition of the thinking function is specified as enabling a recognition of meaning through categorical/conceptual connections. This discussion about differing kinds of typological meaning bases is particularly relevant to Lazarus's (1991) definition of appraisal. Indeed, this is the nature of introverted thinking versus introverted feeling-introverted thinking provides a more of a knowledge-based, systems-oriented evaluation of meaning, whereas introverted feeling meaning is based on values that are personally, subjectively relevant and self-applied. Lazarus adamantly states, 165 "mere knowledge does not result directly in emotion" (p. 145), adding, "without personal significance, knowledge is cold, or non-emotional" (p. 144). Although the introverted thinking function does establish a 'subjective' meaning base, it is in terms of absolute truth, any "meanings having to do with personal significance for well being" (Lazarus, p. 168) are construed through the feeling function. Therefore, when existing perceptions or knowledge are linked with personal ego-related relevance, this involves feeling function appraisal. As such, the "memories of our subjective responses" (Newman, 1990, p. 10) stored in introverted sensing "experiential memory" (Newman, p. 10) have come into being through feeling function appraisal. Theoretically, the feeling function, as an independent typological entity, is no more functionally affect-linked than the thinking function. It is, as are all the typological functions, cognitively-based (Loomis 1991). Loomis (1991) states, "Since Jung specified that the eight modes are mental functions which, in their true essence, are separate from emotions, they may be viewed as cognitive modes. Loomis explains that "The word cognitive derives from cognoscere, which means 'to know'" (p. 37). Al l of the typological functions, therefore, are "our ways of knowing" (p. 37). This sounds similar to Lazarus's (1991) previous mention of "more than one way of knowing" (p. 169). The Role of Typological Feeling in Appraisal Loomis's (1991) specification of the typological functions as all being 'cognitive' is important to emphasize in the context of the definition of cognitive 166 appraisal. As the process of typological feeling entails cognition, and emotion cannot result without some form of feeling-tinged appraisal occurring, the theoretical argument between the primacy of cognition versus emotion is a virtually a non-issue. Lazarus (1991) similarly maintains, "we need to recognize that emotion is a superordinate concept that includes cognition in a part—whole relationship" (p. 173). The (introverted) feeling function (in establishing personal values and significances) is undeniably the basis of primary appraisal in the women's accounts (and likely more theoretically generally as well). This is specific to Lazarus's (1991) emphasis on the great relevance of personally-linked (and therefore ego-related) meaning to the process of primary appraisal. Jung (1971) explains, "Feeling is primarily a process that takes place between the ego (q.v.) and a given content, a process, moreover, that imparts to the content a definite value in the sense of acceptance or rejection ('like' or dislike')" (p. 434). Lazarus notes that "ego-identity is probably involved in all or most emotions..." (p. 150). Hillman (1971) suggests that Jung's description of feeling operating in a such a quick acceptance/rejection, like/dislike mode occurs when it is functioning "on a more primitive level" (p. 110). Indeed, the primitive releasing that the women described followed this kind of quick stress appraisal. Hillman adds that the feeling function "judges by values" (p. 110), but further explains, "The more differentiated and rich this set of values, the slower may be the process of feeling" (p. 110). This slower, more thoughtful form of feeling occurred in the 167 women's deliberate cognitive-emotional processing after they had isolated/withdrawn from the scene of the stress. Hillman notes that in the course of more mature feeling judgment, "the feeling function balances values, compares tones and qualities, weighs importance and decides upon the values it discovers" (p. 110). In ENFPs, when feeling is used maturely as an auxiliary to the dominant intuition, it is considered to be operating as a rational function (Jung, 1971). Typologically, both feeling and thinking functions are considered by Jung to be "rational," meaning "that which accords with reason" (p. 458). Jung further clarifies: Thinking and feeling (qq.v.) are rational functions in so far they are decisively influenced by reflection. They function most perfectly when they are in the fullest possible accord with the laws of reason. The irrational functions, sensation and intuition (qq.v.), are those whose aim is pure perception; for, as far as possible, they are forced to dispense with the rational (which presupposes the exclusion of everything that is outside reason) in order to attain the most complete perception of the general flux of events, (p. 459) The reflectivity that Jung speaks of normally includes a thoughtful comparison of that which is internal and subjectively based and that which is external and considers alternate viewpoints. This occurred during the women's cognitive-emotional processing, which included talking to a 'cope-partner' for gained objectivity. The less reflection that accompanies feeling appraisal, however, the more it begins to lose its degree of 'reason.' The feeling process involved in the quick "subception" that Lazarus and Folkman (1984, p. 277) refer to is quite dissimilar 168 from that of more thoughtful reappraisal shown during the more deliberate in(f)volvment that was part of cognitive-emotional processing. The quick inferences about environmental significances made for well being during subception involves use of the feeling function in what Jung (1971) refers to as a "concrete" (p. 435) mode, "mixed up with other functional elements, more particularly with sensations" (p. 435). Jung refers to this as "feeling sensation" (p. 435). In this case, feeling "operates with spontaneity, responding directly to a situation before analyzing its many aspects to determine its worth or usefulness" (Singer, 1994, p.331). What Singer means here is similar to the 'premature evaluation' I referred to earlier in the context of Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) discussion about making (unconscious) inferences for personal well-being without extended processing of information. Jung (1971) provides clarification regarding how it is that feeling, a cognitive function, may become affect-linked. Jung theorizes that feeling "allies itself with every sensation" (p. 434) and "when the intensity of feeling increases, it turns into an affect (q.v.), i.e., a feeling-state accompanied by marked physical innervations" (p. 434). He adds, "Feeling is distinguished from affect by the fact that it produces no perceptible physical innervations, i.e., neither more nor less than an ordinary thinking process" (p. 434). It appears, however, that although the process of feeling is cognitive, the feeling function, through alliance with sensation (Jung, 1971), is able to make holistic, somatic inferences. Jung explains that sensation (sensing) "is an element of feeling, since through the 169 perception of bodily changes it gives feeling the character of an affect" (p.462). When the (introverted) sensing function is inferior (as with the ENFP women), however, its association with the feeling function disturbs feeling as an otherwise rational process, and draws it into a more somatically valuative experience that is tainted with inferior function-related primitive affect. This affective over-reactivity, however, brought about through primitive "feeling-sensation" (Jung, 1971, p. 435), is not at all synonymous with emotion. Consciously unprocessed, it is merely a somatic/affective 'rerun' of past evaluations that may no longer apply. The less time taken in reflective, evaluative processing, the more likely it is that the appraisals are based on memory schemas and past appraisal conclusions. This occurs at an unconscious level. Hillman (1971) explains, "A pre-requisite for feeling is...a structure of feeling memory, a set of values to which the event can be related" (p. 109). If inner core-related values are triggered, then there is also likely something in experiential memory triggered (unconsciously) that through introverted sensing, includes "memories of our subjective responses to those experiences" (Newman 1990, p. 11). One is then 'trapped' in experiencing present affect of a past experience. The more c-old storage in existence, the more possibility to be pulled back into the affect of the past during stressful episodes. Lazarus (1991) confirms: Much in life is a restatement of past struggles, which as a feature of our personal history is an integral part of the emotion process.... In effect, many appraisal decisions have all been but made, and need only the appropriate environmental cue to trigger them. 170 Deliberation is not needed to appraise these instances, because the appraisal patterns have, as it were, already been set in advance, (p. 151) Jungian Complex Theory. Primitive and Evolutionary Release The triggering Lazarus (1991) refers to, in Jungian terms, is known as the constellation of complexes (Stein, 1998, citing Jung). A complex is defined as "a personally disturbing constellation of ideas connected together by a common feeling tone" (Jung, 1913, cited in Monte, 1995, p. 302). Stein (1998) cites Jung's clarification of how complexes are structured, and further elaborates upon complex theory: "...the feeling-toned content, the complex, consists of a nuclear element and a large number of secondarily constellated associations." The nuclear element is the core image and experience on which the complex is based-the frozen memory. But this core turns out to be made up of two parts: an image or psychic trace of the originating trauma and an innate (archetypal) piece closely associated to it. The dual core of the complex grows by gathering associations around itself, and this can go on over the course of an entire lifetime, (p. 52) My concept of c-old storage appears to coincide with what Stein (1998) describes as "frozen memory" (p. 52), the "psychic trace of the originating trauma" (p.52) that is the basis of a complex. Stein's assertion that the process of gathering associations can continue through life is congruent with the 'cumulative' part of my c-old storage acronym. Again, there is another 'core' mentioned, this time, the core of the complex. And again, the atom is a relevant symbol of illustration-Stein describes complexes as "psychic entities outside of consciousness which exist as satellite-like objects in relation to ego consciousness but are able to cause ego disturbances in surprising and sometimes 171 overwhelming ways" (p. 40). Stein actually mentions the example of an atom in an extended description, noting: The complexes have energy and manifest a sort of electronic 'spin' of their own, like the electrons surrounding the nucleus of an atom. When they are stimulated by a situation or an event, they give off a burst of energy and jump levels until they arrive in consciousness. Their energy penetrates the shell of ego-consciousness and floods into it, hereby influencing it to spin in the same direction and to discharge some of the emotional energy that has been released by this collision. When this happens, the ego is no longer altogether in control of consciousness or, for that matter, of the body. The person becomes subject to energic discharges that are not under the ego's control. What the ego can do, if it is strong enough, is to contain some of the complex's energy within itself and to minimize emotional and physical outbursts, (p. 44) Stein's (1998) above description is very similar to my inference of an 'energy force-field' that protects the inner core and is only penetrated by occurrences that cause deep, intrapsychic threat. Although Stein asserts that "complexes are created by trauma" (p.54), I suggest that substituting the phrase 'personally appraised ego-threatening stress' for 'trauma' would be more globally accurate. Stein cites Jung as including the notion of internal "moral conflict" (p. 54) as within the personal trauma realm. Stein elaborates, "Now ego-consciousness may have one set of principles and values, while the unconscious takes up a contrary position. The person is torn by inner conflict..." (p. 78). Stein adds that Jung posited that "when energy is not spent adapting to the world and is not moving in a progressive way, it activates the complexes and increases their energy potential in the degree to which the ego loses available energy" (p. 78). Stein explains that this drains energy from consciousness and often results 172 in "depression, crippling ambivalence, internal conflict, uncertainty, doubt, questioning, and loss of motivation" (p. 78). Paradoxically, however, Stein (1998) notes that this uncomfortable state activates attention to the inner world (as opposed to just focusing on outer world adaptation) and forces the person to consequently attend to the task of inner adaptation (like cognitive-emotional processing). He adds that this new inner adaptational process synergistically "lead to a fresh outer adaptation" (p. 79), with the bonus of added personal maturity "precisely because of the confrontation with the unconscious-the complexes, personal history, foibles, faults and all the other troublesome and painful issues that surface during regression" (p. 79). Stein adds that this process is what defines individuation. This is the nature of evolutionary releasing. The outer manifestation of a complex results in what I refer to as primitive releasing (acting out, yelling, etc.) that the women discussed. Stein's (1998) description is similar to Jessie's statement "I can control when I yell and scream at someone or not, but the initial reaction of stress within me is something I can't really control. I can just be aware of it and try to release it in a positive fashion."This is in accordance with Stein's note regarding the ego attempting to "contain some of the complex's energy within itself and to minimize emotional and physical outbursts (p. 44). If the energy is only contained, and not cognitive-emotionally processed, it is likely to resurface (possibly even more strongly) with similar situational cues. 173 My own research indicates that primitive release will indeed provide relief from physical tension, but likely at the expense of long term, deeper emotional release-thus Hillman's (1971) referral to affect as "partial, one-sided release dynamisms" (p. 42). This is because only the extraneous affect is being discharged, the deeper previous meaning-base is not being addressed. What I have termed 'evolutionary release', a more deliberate, thoughtful, kind of cognitive-emotional processing, is more likely (depending on depth of processing) to initiate cumulative, mature, psychological growth, with an expanded meaning base. Vaillant (1997) reinforces that "Mindless catharsis of emotion, venting, or acting out is never encouraged" (p. 208) for her clients. Regarding her model of affect restructuring therapy, she elaborates: Mere ventilation of feeling is not the point. Although there may be some relief that results in the short term run from venting or complaining, this rarely resolves problems. The point of affective experience is to contain it long enough to understand the real need and decide on a proper course of action in real life (p. 208). Emotion. Affect, and Releasing There is a problematic, semantic, definitional confusion in the literature between emotion and affect. This is relevant to my results, as what I term as 'evolutionary release' through depth of cognitive-emotional processing is akin to taking emotions to a thoughtful, integratively transcendent level, whereas 'primitive release' appears to be unharnessed negative affect provoked by 'attack' of inner core values. Clarifying the term 'cognitive appraisal' from a typological perspective, I would define it as the process of evaluating multiple existing and incoming perceptions in a variably meaningful way. Primitive release results 174 when the feeling function is engaged in a non-rational, undifferentiated manner in appraisal. Loomis (1991) states that "Jung saw the differentiated functions as mental processes" (p.34). She adds that therefore, "Emotions ... are not part of the differentiated psychological types" (p. 34). I argue, however, that Loomis's (1991) statement is misleading in that what I refer to as 'evolutionary release' is akin to thoughtful, 'mental processing' of emotional states, resulting in deep, meaningful, intrapsychic knowledge. This process requires differentiated use of the typological functions. I suggest that such a process results in evolutionary emotion, an internal integrative state causing a shift of perspective involving a synergistic meld of body/mind congruence- in a sense what Lazarus (1991) refers to as "embodiment" (p. 59). Hillman (1971) maintains that Jung does not sufficiently attend to the important distinction between affect and emotion. His theoretical/definitional clarification is helpful in gaining better understanding of differences in the two kinds of feeling processes, rational and non-rational, and is enlightening in terms of the meaning-making that the women discussed. Hillman explains: an examination of the academic literature (see my Emotion) gives some ground for considering affects as rather primordial, partial, one-sided release dynamisms, rather close to...the term 'inborn (instinctual) reactions,' or... 'primitive reactions.' Affect lowers the mental level to...the inferior part of a function. Emotion, on the other hand, is a total event of the personality, based perhaps in affect or having an affective component, and containing a feeling dimension. Many levels are activated, and consciousness becomes transformed through an emotion to a symbolic kind of consciousness. Emotions are highly significant states. They provide 175 depth. They give and bring meaning; they disorder and create at the same time, and they present the experience of body-consciousness. In a nutshell: emotion embraces both affect and feeling and more as well; feeling is a partial activity associated with consciousness, mainly; affect is largely a physiological expression, (pp. 104-105) (Note that Hillman's usage of the word 'feeling' is in the typological sense.) As Hillman points out, affect can be part of the emotion process; but affect itself does not generate meaning, nor add to body consciousness but rather is associated with the inferior function and somatic uncontrolled confusion. Jung (1971) comments, "The inferior function always puts us at a disadvantage because we cannot direct it, but are rather its victims (p. 540). Hillman's mention of affects as "rather primordial, partial, one-sided release dynamisms" (p. 104) and '"primitive reactions'" (p. 104) is parallel to what I label as 'primitive release' in my results model (also akin to the Jungian concept of complexes). This entails all the 'outburst' kinds of reactions the women recounted as occurring early in stressful episodes, such as door slamming, yelling, etc. There was nothing thoughtful about these reactions; unlike Hillman's description of emotion, they did not "provide depth" or "give and bring meaning" (p. 104) unless the occurrences were later cognitive-emotionally processed. Hillman's (1971) definition of emotion is in accordance with that of TThe New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary (Thatcher, 1971): "a moving of the mind or soul" (p.285). Loomis (1991) cites Jung as noting, '"for complete orientation all four functions should contribute equally'" (p. 34). Equal contribution, however, does not mean equal emphasis. Jung (1971) states, "the products of all functions 176 can be conscious, but we speak of the 'consciousness' of a function only when its use is under control of the will" (p. 405). Jung maintains that when a secondary function overpowers a primary function, this results in a "change of attitude" (p. 406) that then shifts the whole perspective in an unnatural way. In ENFPs, auxiliary feeling is supposed to be at the service of dominant intuition, however, given feeling (the auxiliary function) "allies itself with every sensation" (Jung, 1971, p. 434) (the inferior function), and when its intensity increases, "turns into an affect" (p. 434) we then have a case of'the tail wagging the dog,' because feeling has lost its rational stance that intuition requires for balancing. Jung indicates, "the auxiliary function is possible and useful only in so far as it serves the dominant function, without making any claim to the autonomy of its own principle" (p. 406). As previously mentioned, in ENFPs, 'rational,' thoughtful, auxiliary feeling comes about when in service to the dominant extraverted intuition. However, as discussed, by nature, regardless of type preferences, the feeling function has an additional, non-rationally-based alliance with the sensing function. To further explore the effects of this dynamic, it is useful to introduce Newman's (1990) theory of the two typological spheres of consciousness. Spheres of Consciousness Drawing on Jung's typology, Newman (1990), in his brief but theoretically expansive publication, A Cognitive Perspective on Jungian Typology, has proposed the idea of "intellectual (T/N) and emotional/experiential (F/S) spheres 177 of consciousness" (p. 25), the 'intellectual' sphere residing in the left hemisphere, and the 'emotional' sphere in the right hemisphere. This is based on the results of his (1985) doctoral dissertation on hemisphere specialization and Jungian typology. According to Newman's (1990) theory, feeling and sensing comprise "two poles (expressive/receptive; judging/perceptual) of a 'cognitive sphere' dealing with emotional experience" (p. 6). Thinking and intuition, then, comprise two other poles of a cognitive sphere with a mental/intellectual focus. Although I greatly appreciate Newman's theory, I have difficulty with the labels; if the typological functions are all considered 'mental functions,' why specifically designate the T/N sphere as 'mental?' As I understand his theory, however, it helps to clarify his likely intention of designating the F/S sphere as one with connections to somatic/emotional involvement, whereas the T/N sphere does not appear, on its own, to have these bodily 'connections', and is far more exclusively 'cerebral.' This is relevant to Lazarus's (1991) distinction between knowledge, that alone is unable to directly result in emotion, and appraisal requiring a focus on "personal significance for well being" (p. 168). Although there is certainly communication between the spheres, as Newman (1990) points out, there are different forms of interaction occurring in the various types. Newman postulates that in all intuitive-feeling types, the dominant and auxiliary functions operate in different spheres of consciousness (as do the tertiary and inferior). Specifically in the ENFP type, according to 178 Newman's theory, the dominant intuition and the tertiary thinking function operate in the intellectual/mental sphere, the auxiliary feeling and inferior sensing in the emotional/experiential sphere. Newman (1990) purports, "In the SF and NT types, the perceptual function comes under the direct regulatory influence of the judging process" (p. 7), while what characterizes ST and NF types "is the unregulated operation of the perceptual function" (p. 8). Newman adds that it is in these ST and NF types "that we would expect to see the freest and most natural expression of the perceptual process" (p. 8). Newman's opinion is that in NF types, "developed feeling means a relatively weak thinking function, and thus, 'unregulated' intuition" (p. 8). There are a number of problems with this last part of Newman's (1990) theory. Newman fails to take into account the type differences (regarding dominant and tertiary functions) between dominant intuitive NFs and dominant feeler type NFs. He therefore disregards which is dominant, the perceiving (intuition) or judging (feeling) function, as well as inferior and tertiary function significance. He also does not attend to age and commonly accompanying developmental focuses in type development. The most integral part of the problem is that Newman, in not discussing how his theory 'works' regarding stress appraisal, seems unaware of the important role that the judging functions have in stress appraisal, regardless of whether they are internally (same sphere as the preferred perceiving function) or externally (different sphere than the 179 preferred perceiving function) based. Whether the influence is blatant or tacit, both perceiving and judging functions have an interactive influence on each other, which I will discuss as applied to the ENFP process. Newman's (1990) concept of the two typological spheres is intriguing, therefore, I will elaborate where he leaves off, with some degree of creative license. Newman's opinion that for NF types, intuition is 'unregulated,' requires exploration and clarification. The nature of intuition is to look at things from multiple perspectives. Therefore, in ENFPs, it makes sense that rather than being, as Newman suggests, unregulated, intuition at different points enlists both auxiliary feeling in the affective sphere of consciousness (feeling being connected with affect through sensing), as well as subsequent use of the same sphere tertiary thinking function. As such, there may be quick 'sphere to sphere' communication. This indeed appeared to be the case during cognitive-emotional processing for the women in this study. * Perhaps with women, this is experienced on a more significant scale than with men, due to a thinner corpus callosum. What is important to remember, is that for the judging functions to be helpfully, rationally supportive, dominant intuition must exercise the leading role-that is, intuition cannot be passively 'regulated,' but rather, should make integrative use of any regulative input. *Specific to the data, "Cognitive Organizing" performed appeared to be an NT sphere strategy, while "Empathy and Perspective Taking" seemed to involve NF dynamics. 180 During stress, for the women, there appears to be a lack of opportunity for regulative input from the auxiliary feeling function due to an abrupt increase of activity in the F/S sphere. Following Quenk's (1993a) discussion of inferior function activity, the diminished energy of the dominant function (in ENFPs) that leads to eruption of the inferior is likely due to this abruptly increased activity in the F/S sphere that leaves it overworked, without auxiliary balance. Problematically, Newman (1990) only addresses that in NFs (and STs) the position of the dominant function is in a separate sphere than the auxiliary; he does not discuss the repercussions of the auxiliary function, in these types, being in the same sphere as the inferior function. This is surprising, considering his iteration that "One of the things that makes Jung's theory of psychological types unique is that it is a dynamic theory of personality" (p. 3). He adds, "Jung maintained that both of the attitudes (E/I) and all of the functions (S/N, T/F) operate in everyone's psychology" (p. 3). Newman (1990) confirms that "Feeling is the function which is principally responsible for the regulation of our emotional life" (p. 5). This holds true regardless of one's conscious type preferences. The "emotional life" (p. 5) that Newman refers to is not always necessarily a conscious one. It appears that in ENFPs, introverted feeling leads a multi-dimensional existence, functioning in a thoughtful, fairly conscious and differentiated manner as an auxiliary to dominant intuition (and therefore 'consciousness'), and, more affectively (as described by Hillman, 1971) interacting with the inferior introverted sensing 181 function resulting in affect based on the triggering of experiential memory. The experience of stress appraisal (through the feeling function), by definition, includes some valuation of perceptions. However, when perceptions involve inferior introverted sensing, there may initially appear to be more reactivity than regulation. Goleman (1995) describes such an occurrence that corresponds to experiential memory being triggered in a subception-like (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) process. Goleman refers to the "emotional mind" (p. 295), which may correspond to specific F/S sphere-contained activity. Citing the work of Toobey and Cosmides, he explains: When some feature of an event seems similar to an emotionally charged memory from the past, the emotional mind responds by triggering the feelings that went with the remembered event. The emotional mind reacts to the present as though it were the past. (p. 295) Goleman adds, "The trouble is that, especially when the appraisal is fast and automatic, we may not realize that what was once the case is no longer so" (p. 295). Recall that in describing the process of subception, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) discuss using "grossly incomplete information from the environmental display to make inferences about its significance for well being" (p. 277). Feeling memory as "a set of values to which the event can be related"( Hillman, 1971, p. 109) may be influenced in ENFPs by dominant intuition's inherent pattern-making/linking 'talents.' Lazarus's (1991) discussion of "automatic processing" 182 (p. 155) confirms the undertones of "abstract and symbolic significances" (p.155) associated with the process of emotional appraisal: In all likelihood...we have probably underestimated the importance of resonances or automatic processing even in the adult emotions. Though they can be so equated, we should resist equating the automatic with the primitive, because automatic processing can involve complex, abstract, and symbolic significances that through experience can be condensed into an instant meaning, (p. 155) Automatic Processing. Instincts, and Archetypes The "automatic processing" that Lazarus (1991) refers to can be explained nicely from a typological standpoint by Newman's (1990) discussion of how sensing and intuition as perceiving processes are differently "involved in the immediate recognition of significant aspects of experience" (p. 15). Newman posits that recognition is a cognitive process comprised of three levels. He explains: "The first level involves the perception of the stimulus itself. The second entails the comparison of the stimulus with previous experience, or memory. At a third level, significance is attached to the stimulus" (p. 15). Newman reviews that for sen-sin-g-related recognition, the levels consist of "1) the sensation function itself; 2) experiential memory; and 3) the instincts, or those 'basic patterning processes which organize the unique ways in which we perceive and respond to life"'(p. 16). Newman (1990) illustrates that the processing involved in intuitive recognition is quite different from that of sensing recognition. He elaborates: What are initially perceived by intuition are not the physical properties of the stimulus, but certain symbolic or abstract qualities which attract attention. These qualities are then compared with previous acquired intuitive knowledge, stored in what I have termed 'symbolic memory.'.... Al l of this, of course, takes place quite 183 spontaneously, in "the unconscious." At the third, and deepest, level of processing are certain "innate forms" of perception, (p. 16) Newman further explains that this third, deepest level is, according to Jung, archetypal. He cites Jung as noting that together, the instincts and the archetypes form the collective unconscious, "the deepest layer of the human psyche" (Stein, 1998, p.88). The latter part of Lazarus's (1991) discussion regarding automatic processing involving "complex, abstract, and symbolic significances that through experience can be condensed into an instant meaning" (p. 155) is analogous to Newman's (1990) description of intuitive processing and the accompanying existence of symbolic (archetypal) memory. According to Newman, symbolic, memory "condition(s) all 'psychic' or mental processes in the same way that the instincts condition our response to physical and biological experiences" (p. 16). Kaufmann (1989) notes that symbols are what allows the unconscious to communicate with consciousness. Kaufmann further explains how the role of archetypes coordinates with individual life circumstances: Archetypes exist in us as potentialities: our life circumstances (our particular culture, our family, and our environment) determine in which way and which of the archetypes are actualized. The archetype, or psychic propensity, has to be activated (or evoked) by an experiential reality which endows it with its specific form. (p. 121) Kaufmann's discussion of "experiential reality" (p. 121) activating the covert archetypal potentiality corresponds to Lazarus's discussion of experience combined with "symbolic significances" creating "instant meaning" (p. 155). 184 Monte (1995) points out that "archetypes invariably involve great emotion" (p. 323), noting that Jung saw archetypes as "a residue of ancestral emotional life" (p. 318). He clarifies that this follows Jung's speculation of associated symbolic memory (from early humankind) being representative not of actual physically perceived events, but rather, of '"the fantasies caused by the affects they arouse'" (Jung, 1931, cited in Monte, p. 319). The complication here is it appears that concurrent to the creation of symbolic memory would be an introverted sensing-related imprint of internal reactions—a parallel to Lazarus's suggestion of 'experience' being able to alter the meaning of a symbolic automatic processing. Of course this experience may be at a personal rather than collective unconscious level. Stein (1998) suggests that, "In practice and actual experience, instincts and archetypes are always found in mixed and never in pure form" (p. 102). He clarifies that from a Jungian perspective, instinct "is shaped and structured in the psyche by an archetypal image" (p. 233). Because of the intrapsychic mixture between instinct and archetype-archetype being "activated (or evoked) by an experiential reality" (Kaufmann, 1989, p. 121), under stress, it may be difficult at times know if the feeling function is appraising sensory input or intuitive input, or, most likely, a combination of the two. Following Jung's (1971) premise that sensing is "an element of feeling" (p. 462), and given the instinct/archetype mix (Stein, 1998), it is likely that all synergistic intuitive-feeling processing entails at least some degree of sense-185 memory-related accompaniment (out of immediate conscious awareness), and therefore tacit communication with the F/S sphere. This may explain why the term 'gut feeling' has a mixed intuitional as well as somatic interplay. As intuition is defined as "perception via the unconscious" (Jung 1971, p. 538), in dominant intuitive ENFPs, no incoming perceptions are really entirely in the conscious domain other than a conscious concentration on using extraverted sensing [for example (hopefully!) when driving]. Appraisal. Emotions, and Meaning Goleman (1995) explains that neurologically, it is the amygdala that "acts as a storehouse of emotional memory, and thus of significance itself (p. 15). He adds, "life without the amygdala is a life stripped of meaning (p. 15). This is likely because, as Lazarus (1991) posits, meaning is relational, and emotional memory may prompt a self-monitoring of previous commitments based on deep personal essence of being, as opposed to situational compromise. Recall that according to Hillman (1971) emotions "give and bring meaning" (p. 104). Lazarus and Lazarus (1994) conclude, "An emotion is a personal life drama, which has to do with the fate of our goals in a particular encounter and our beliefs about ourselves and the world we live in" (p. 151). They add, "each emotion has its own unique plot, comprised of appraisals that reveal particular personal meanings" (p. 292). As alluded to in my results model, it is the conscious processing of the stressful experience that leads to an evolutionary emotional state and intrapsychic growth. What I mean by this is 186 not to discount the influence of unconscious processing, but rather, to point out that it is not until our cognitive consciousness 'catches up' to more tacit workings that we can really become clear headed and disentangled from inner conflict that may be occurring. Therefore, it follows that if we are not conscious of our emotions, in a holistic way, there is a resulting paucity of meaningfulness. This is because if value-laden meanings are not progressively, contextually updated, a temporal confusion of identity may occur given the workings of experiential memory. That is, there can be a reversion back to the 'feelings' of an old place and time. Lazarus (1991) confirms, "Meaning and identity, once found (or rather created or adopted), can also be lost or threatened with loss, which could have profound emotional significance" (p. 335). Upon recognizing the theme of 'transcending stress' in the women's narratives, I wrote the memo, Ts the stress being transcended past, present, or future stress?' Charmaz's (1991) research on chronic illness, the self, and time, resulted in a sub-category of experience she calls "Transcending Past Emotions" (p. 224). Charmaz posits that it is only in loosening "anchors to the past" (p.224) that "new possibilities for the present and future arise" (p. 224). This concept appears to aptly apply to my interview results. Lazarus (1991) similarly purports, "The only way we can rid ourselves of distressing emotions and attain peace of mind-assuming we might want to—is to renounce or change the very commitments on which they depend..." (p. 468). In the present study, thoughtful cognitive-emotional processing appeared to involve 187 use of the feeling function, in a rational mode, under the direction of the dominant intuition, supplemented by introverted thinking updated knowledge. This input was then integratively processed into the reappraisal. The thinking function allows for temporal continuity of past-present-future (Thompson, 1996a), but (in the ENFP type) in keeping the valuative emphasis on feeling values, the personal 'essence' does not change, but deepens and matures with a broadened perspective. The Feeling Function and Repression Unfortunately, there are 'roadblocks' to this integrative process within the stress-coping schema. Such a process requires inter-spherical communication, but when experiential memory is triggered, such communication closes down. Indeed, while active in the F/S sphere (Newman, 1990), introverted feeling may become 'renegade,' and stubbornly want to hold on to its 'old' values. Newman confirms that "Feeling is the function which is principally responsible for the regulation of our emotional life" (p. 5). He adds that in doing so, "feeling has the capacity to alter experiences in the emotional sphere—affects, memories, even perceptions in some cases-before they have reached consciousness" (p. 21). Newman further elaborates: Whereas sensation allows us to recognize and react to our immediate emotional experience, feeling brings control and reflection to emotional life. In feeling, emotions are combined under the influence of existing feeling values. Through this function, our experiences, and the emotional valuations associated with them, become deepened and differentiated, or if unacceptable, repressed, (p. 6) 188 Duniho (1992) observes that "the Feeling function, even normally, has a tendency to censor memories so that they become something more palatable" (p.35). He explains that excess, one-sided use of feeling creates an overall lack of objectivity-for people caught in this mode, "everything will be perceived as happening to them, and their response to this will be adamantly emotional or affective" (p. 34). Duniho purports that the non-objective state created as a result of one-sided use of feeling: would be untenable for most of us unless we can keep out of consciousness a great deal of those parts that we experience as unpleasant. Therefore, monomanic Feeling persons will repress, forget, and color reality to fit with what feels good. (p. 34) In ENFPs, feeling likely becomes one-sided when it becomes invoked through a past incarnation as a result of sense-memory. It is then no longer working as an auxiliary at the service of intuition, but instead, involved in the affect of experiential memory. Introverted feeling likely appraises triggered information from the past that is a threat to current ego-stability. Still motivated to protect ego-consciousness, however, it attempts to withhold any threatening information from dominant intuition's T/N sphere. This requires a disassociation with the dominant function. There is also a 'self-serving' aspect occurring, in that repression 'helps' introverted feeling temporarily avoid having to face dealing with restructuring value systems that may no longer be congruently valid. Therefore, repression is also carried through by introverted feeling at the service of perpetuating its own values. 189 The act of repression probably occurs in response to secondary appraisal; we do not repress just because we know we are 'in trouble,' but rather, due to a distrust in our own ability to effectively handle the impending threatening demands. I believe a good way of expressing this is "cognitive diffidence" (my term)-77ie New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary (Thatcher, 1971) defining "diffidence" as "a distrust of one's self; a doubt respecting some personal qualification; want of confidence" (p. 241). This would be akin to a feeling a lack of what Lazarus (1991) refers to as "coping potential" (p. 150). Kaplan (1996) emphasizes that "self-evaluation" (p. 180) centers around "situationally relevant self-imposed demands" (p. 180). He suggests a cumulative, self-conceptual effect, noting, "The person's characteristic self-feeling is a function of personal history of past self-evaluations and concomitant self-feelings. As a result of past experiences, the individual develops an 'affective expectancy set'" (p. 181). This reinforces the concept that perception of the external situation is intricately interwoven and directed by subjective judgments related to relevance to multi-temporal self-conceptual associations. Margo's statement, "How you cope is how you feel about yourself," implies that self-judgments have a tremendous impact upon how newly perceived information is evaluated; the same event may be evaluated quite differently by the same person in a different temporal/developmental existence of self-evaluation. The coping process, then, can only take advantage of inner resources that are acknowledged as existing specifically at the time of the stressful encounter. 190 Cognitive diffidence differs from cognitive dissonance, Festinger's (cited in Pinker, 1997) concept of "an unsettled feeling that arises from an inconsistency in one's beliefs" (Pinker, p. 423). Cognitive dissonance, however, also appears to play a role in repression, being akin to Lazarus's (1991) specific mention of feeling shame as a result of "a failure to live up to one's ego-ideals" (p. 150). What may be going on here, typologically, is that the introverted feeling's 'ego-ideals' are 'performance audited' through unconsciously-based observation of "self-feeling" (Kaplan, 1996, p. 180). Kaplan posits: When the person internalizes a value, he or she is conditioned to respond affectively (that is, with feeling) to the awareness and conceptualization of being more or less distant from the desirable state symbolized by the value. Momentary self-feelings reflect the contemporary exacerbation of need disposition stimulated by current self-evaluative responses, (p. 181). Kaplan's (1996) description of internalizing values parallels my concept of inner core involvement. As well, Kaplan's mention of an affective response following values internalization sounds similar to Jung' prior mention of feeling being able to gain the character of affect when its intensity increases, via alliance with sensations. Sensing, then, 'tunes in' to the emotional experience, but the feeling function is quick to repress undesirable ego-threatening information. Newman (1990) adds that "feeling regulates the activities of sensation...by actively shaping (and repressing) aspects of sensate experience in the service of its particular values" (p. 26). It appears, then, that for the women, the feeling function was somehow 'in charge' of the boundaries of ego 191 consciousness, repressing not only threatening cognitions from conscious awareness, but also in repressing somatic cues. Repression and Storing Vaillant (1993) states, "To cope fully is to experience reality fully" (p. 108). However, as Lazarus (1991) ponders, "what happens to the emotion generation process when it is kept unconscious as a result of a process of defense?" (p. 167). I refer to self-protective repression of threatening information and emotion as self-masking. Once the self-masking occurs, it is probable that the 'ghosts' of the unexperienced components of emotion and related schema go into c-old storage, existing latently in unattended to "Molecules of Emotion" (Pert, 1997) throughout the body. Pert confirms, "I believe that repressed emotions are stored in the body-the unconscious mind—via the release of neuropeptide ligands, and that memories are held in their receptors" (p. 147). This helps explain Gazzaniga's (1992) previously mentioned note that "slight, transient events in our consciousness can have powerful, long-ranging effects on what we think..." (p. 134). Pert's discussion of the storing of repressed emotions leads me to re-evaluate what I previously refer to as stress storing as more likely being the containment of stress-related emotions-processed, but rendered unacceptable to consciousness due to its ego-threatening content. This adjustment requires me to change the title of my conceptual category of physical/emotional storing of stress to simply "physical/emotional storing." (This change does not effect my sub-192 categories of temporary/transient storage, deferred storage, and c-old storage.) The logistics regarding repression lead me to infer that for storing to be truly temporary/transient, there must not be any emotionally-based unconscious appraisal that may later become evoked/constellated. Disconnection and Dissociation. Phenomenology and Epistemology Lazarus (1991) discusses the phenomenon of "disconnection" (p.337) or "distancing" that occurs as a result of perceived emotional threat. Lazarus (1991) cites Schwartz's (1979, in Lazarus 1991) use of the term "disregulation," (p. 337) explaining it as "loss of communication among the parts of the brain, which normally allows the normally integrated system of feedback loops to go out of control" (p. 337). This mention of feedback loops is similar to comparisons I drew earlier between self-regulation and return to optimal use of type functions in their conscious, hierarchically-based, but dynamic way. Although for Lazarus, cognitive processing is necessary for emotion building, Lazarus elaborates upon the notion of disconnection regarding various levels of thought (as Hillman, 1971 mentions), some of which may not be in sync with emotional experiencing: ...when disconnection occurs among the components of the mind and between the mind and the environment, there are contradictory thoughts, feelings, and actions, and action is inconsistent and disorganized. What a person thinks may be out of touch with the emotions that are experienced or the motives that shape action. This must mean that this person is being governed by one set of thoughts that are unconscious, but there is a conscious set of thoughts, which are different. The person does not feel like doing what intellectually he or she thinks should be done.... (p. 337) Through the stress/coping experience, there is a challenge to reinstate the psychological entente between the typological functions that signifies a 193 progression at individuation and self-actualization. This was evident in the women's narratives regarding the good that had come from stressful situations by providing an opportunity for learning about oneself and one's relationship with others. One of the major focuses of my interview analysis was a section on the emphasis by the women of examples regarding "Meaning-Making and Stress as a Positive Learning Experience: Evolving and Self-Actualizing Through the Stress-Coping Process." This is an illustration of evolutionary appraisal. The invoking stressor, however, is defined by its ability to promote dissention between typological 'ego-states' alerting the perceiver to some inherent incongruity of values, commitments, and beliefs. Spinelli (1994) denounces the existence of a "psycho-analytic unconscious" (p. 157) and the notion of repression, in favour of his theory of "dissociated, or divided, consciousness" (p.152), somewhat similar to Lazarus's (1991) discussion of "disconnection" (p. 337). Spinelli, citing Ross (1989), emphasizes that rather than viewing dissociation as only in the domain of psychopathology, it occurs commonly in the "normal psyche," for example, in the phenomenon of selective attention. Spinelli adds that according to his theory of "consciously unreflected dissociation" (p. 157): what has tended to be understood as the process of'making the unconscious conscious' may be more adequately described as a movement 'from disownership towards ownership' in that it does not involve the uncovering of lost or forgotten material, but rather, the acknowledgment of thoughts, affects, memories and the like as not being somehow alien but, more properly, 'belonging to one's self. (p. 157) Spinelli accordingly posits the possibility that: 194 many, if not all, such dissociations reveal that awareness at a phenomenological level has been somehow dissociated from the epistemological knowledge or belief contained in the awareness such that the experiences are not 'owned' or acknowledged as 'belonging to' the experiencer. (p. 157, italics added) Reviewing Spinelli's definitions of phenomenological as concerning experiential aspects of self-awareness, and epistemological as regarding knowledge- or belief-based aspects (p. 153), I am reminded of Newman's (1990) theory of the two typological spheres of consciousness. I draw a link between Newman's F/S (emotional) sphere and the phenomenological aspects of consciousness, and the T/N (intellectual) sphere and the epistemological aspects of consciousness. I reinforce this link with Newman's comment that both feeling and sensing are "psychological processes which integrate perceptions, memories, and other cognitions into our total experience" (1990, p. 5). Newman also notes that sensate experience includes '"experiential memory' and the instinctive emotional responses which condition basic forms of the sensory experience"(p. 13) as well as information regarding our own emotional states. This information is not knowledge-based, but rather, experiential. And it is not the kind of information that is able to be 'understood' by the T/N sphere as a separate entity, other than analytical rationalization. Toni, in her interview, commented that it was not easy for her to "hang onto stress and function very well." She expressed that it would be hard for her to just "stuff" something, and added, "If I'm feeling anger, I'd want to know why I was feeling anger. So I'd eventually figure out where the source was." What Toni appeared to be insinuating is that once she is able to identify and name her felt emotional 195 experience, she can then begin cognitively processing the emotion in a thoughtful way to gain self-knowledge, and hopefully appraise deeper meaning. Repression and Bodily Cues As repression eliminates the awareness of 'problematic' emotion from conscious awareness (Delunas, 1992) no degree of thoughtful meaning-making can occur until the emotions are experientially 'felt.' The unconscious always has within it the 'truth,' and the bodily-felt symptoms that the women described appear to be physical indicators of this. Zajonc (1980) (upon quoting part of a poem on feelings by E.E. Cummings) discusses feelings (i.e. awareness of sensations) as "nearer to an 'inner truth'" (p. 151). Lerner (1993) adds: The body not only seeks truth (again to be distinguished from momentary honesty) but also, for want of a better word, it stores truth. When we're ready, our body may provide us with clues about painful truths that our conscious mind has repressed, (p. 193) Through the women's interview narratives, it is apparent that although repression instigated by the introverted feeling function does take place causing c-old storage, the unconscious is not fond of keeping issues in 'deep freeze'-it requires too much energy, and therefore blocks unconscious energy flow. Singer (1994) explains that from a Jungian point of view, "Of utmost importance is it that the unconscious material flow into consciousness, and furthermore, that material from consciousness flow into the unconscious, adding new elements which dissolve, transform and renew what has been present all along" (p. 412). Rewording Lerner's (1993) above comment taking into account Pert's (1997) definition of the body as the unconscious mind, one can infer that the 196 unconscious mind uses physical indicators as a 'wake-up call' to attend to inner truth that can no longer remain dormant because it is blocking intrapsychic energy flow. Uncomfortable physical indicators accompanied by emotional tension then begin to manifest. Eventually, the old feeling values reach their inherent 'expiration date,' and introverted sensing picks up the 'spoilage' manifesting in the form of bodily symptoms. Pert (1997) explains the physiological consequences of what I refer to as c-old storage: When stress prevents the molecules of emotion from flowing freely where needed, the largely automatic processes that are regulated by peptide flow, such as breathing, blood flow, immunity, digestion and elimination, collapse down to a few simple feedback loops and upset the normal healing process, (p. 243) As previously mentioned, Loomis (1991) notes that we infer a stressed versus a relaxed state of being through our bodily sensations. The difficulty is that with extraverted types: ...the tendency...is so outer directed that even the most obvious of all subjective facts, the condition of his own body, receives scant attention. The body is not sufficiently objective or 'outside,' so that the satisfaction of elementary needs which are indispensable to physical well-being is no longer given its due. The body accordingly suffers, to say nothing of the psyche He feels his loss of equilibrium only when it announces itself in abnormal body sensations. These he cannot ignore. It is quite natural that he should regard them as concrete and 'objective,' since with his type of mentality they cannot be anything else.... (Jung, 1971, p. 335) To further complicate matters, when (as in ENFPs) introverted sensing is inferior, it likely takes even longer to attend to the physical indicators. Loomis (1991) elaborates regarding undifferentiated/ inferior introverted sensing: When introverted sensation is poorly developed, individuals lack a bodily sense of who they are. These individuals may develop eating 197 disorders, becoming overweight or anorexic. They live with stress and anxiety, ignoring the feedback from their inner body mechanisms. Aches and pains are dismissed, and only a catastrophic illness can force them to consider their bodies, (p. 87) Notice that Loomis (1991) says "ignoring" the feedback from their inner body mechanisms" (p. 87) as opposed to being unaware of the feedback. This insinuates that the 'signal' is coming through, but is not being attended to (see results self memo 2) likely because of a conflicting focus on that which is external taking priority, or due to complications with repression. As long as the signal is not attended to, its meaning cannot be appraised. My interview data largely support Loomis's (1991) perspective regarding those with poorly developed introverted sensing lacking "a bodily sense of who they are" (p. 87). As suggested by Loomis, Patricia discussed overeating and gaining weight when going through stress and/or masking stress, Margo mentioned often drinking wine with her husband to relax, which would numb any existing physical tension (problematically, as Quenk, 1993a, points out, this encourages emergence of the inferior function). Erica expressed: What a lot of other people would find to be really stressful I just take in stride-but when stress finally does get me, I usually 'crash and burn'. ...at that stage of the game it's absolutely more than I can bear and often times I end up physically ill. Most dramatically, Jessie discussed her battle with stress-induced bulimia, as well as how it was not until her diagnosis with Crohn's disease that she spoke of starting to "listen more to my body." I repeat Jessie's quote here as there is within it information that warrants further discussion: 198 Generally, with me, I have to get physically ill before I sort of say-I mean, my body says, 'Listen! You're not listening to me! I don't like what you're doing here!'And I think I was probably more like that when I was younger, and I'm becoming more and more aware of my body triggers. Generally, my body tells me. I listen more to my body now. I listen when my stomach gets tight. So I don't wait until I'm really, really sick. I know that my stomach's tight, so I know it's a problem. And my stomach is usually my first indicator that emotionally, or mentally, or whatever it is, it's not working for me. And it has to be right for my soul, it has to be right with my heart it has to be right with my stomach. And then I can carry forward, and that's generally my guide-my gut feeling, my heart. I listen to that. Yeah, that's my guide. Therefore, what Jessie is saying in metaphorical language is that it has to be "right" (congruent) with both her conscious and unconscious (holistic) being, and then she can "carry forward" (another way of saying getting 'unstuck') from previous self-deception and beginning the process of temporally appropriate individuation. Attending to bodily cues that signify something being amiss is the first step to gaining "emotional awareness" (Steiner, 1997). Emotional Awareness Gained consciousness of tacit emotions appears at various levels. Steiner (1997) has created an "emotional awareness scale" (non- psychometric) illustrating his theory of various levels of experienced emotional awareness (or lack of awareness) that has relevance to the women's accounts. The physical tension and discomfort (stomach-aches, headaches, muscle tension) the women reported appears to fit into his category of "physical sensations" (p. 38). Steiner equates the physical sensation level of emotional awareness with "somatization," noting, "the physical sensations that accompany emotions are experienced, but not the emotions themselves" (p. 38). This is due to an overall lack of awareness 199 of the emotions, what Steiner refers to as a state of "emotional illiteracy" (p. 38). As Jessie noted, it was helpful, as she got older, to learn to link the experience of physical sensations with emotional issues needing attention and exploration. In addition to specific physical indicators, what some of the women cited was a somewhat non-specific perception of emotion from the unconscious that they referred to as tension and restlessness. Von Franz (as cited in Boa, 1992) provides a well versed (Jungian-based) theory regarding the origins of restlessness: Restlessness is caused by a surplus of bottled-up energy, which makes us fuss around all the time because we are not connected with the dream world or the unconscious. Or that energy can take the form of an all-pervading anxiety, a fear that somewhere, something dark is lurking and might happen at any minute. Then one is anxious about nothing all the time. These symptoms result from an unawareness that there is bottled-up energy in the unconscious which we do not tap and which we do not integrate into consciousness, (p. 29) The women indicated that experiencing the body-felt tension was informant of 'something' being amiss-but that 'something' was not always easy to identify. This emotional tension and restlessness the women discussed seems to fit with Steiner's (1997) category of "primal experience" (p. 39). Steiner explains that ih the primal experience stage, "a person is conscious of emotions, but they are experienced as a heightened level of disturbing energy that is not understood and cannot be put into words" (p. 39). This is congruent with Toni's comment, "I usually feel it in my gut Tension, and I feel a knot-lack of peace and a lack of quiet... feel very restless, and I know something's going on. I'm not quite sure what." Shammi also is a good example of this phenomenon-when I 200 asked her what the "overall experience of stress" was like for her, she initially expressed the difficulty of providing verbal description, commenting: I don't know how to describe it, 'cause I've never really thought about describing it before. I guess I feel it in my stomach, like this is kind of-um-I don't know-just-I don't know how to describe it. Just this uncomfortable feeling in my body. Newman (1990) points out that "intuitions are not capable of direct expression" (p. 15). He adds, "That is why we so often experience frustration in translating intuitions into communicable reality. Our capacity to grasp the whole far exceeds our means for expressing it" (p. 15). Newman posits that this verbal expression of the intuitive experience appears to be particularly difficult for intuitive feeling (NF) types, explaining, "It is not so much that they are 'at a loss for words,' as that words are at a loss to fully express what they feel" (p. 15). Vaillant (1997) referring to Tomkins's (1984, cited in Vaillant) affect theory, explains that "in this model, the unconscious is operationalized as inner experience that has not acquired a verbal label (p. 427). Steiner (1997) adds that in the primal experience stage, a person is "very vulnerable and responsive to emotions, but unable to comprehend or control them" (p.39). Primal experience, then, sounds much like the Jungian theory of the constellation of complexes. It is of interest that Watkins and Watkins (1997) posit, "People may be well aware of their actions, yet not be aware of the unconscious motivations that initiate them" (p. 9). Jessie's self-observation supports Zajonc's (1980) viewpoint, "One might be able to control the expression of emotion, but not the experience of it itself 201 (p. 156). Parkinson (1995), in discussing common assumptions of emotion, remarks, "We often feel ourselves to be victims rather than originators of our emotion, suggesting that something vital must be going on in the darkest recesses of our internal machinery to produce such a compelling set of signals" (p. 267). This is akin to LeDoux's (1986, 1992, cited in Goleman, 1995) concept of "emotional hijacking." In the case of the women, it appears that the unconscious introverted sensing is manifesting heightened attention to what's going on within the body to 'say'—'stop attending to what's going on out there and start paying attention to what's going on in here, because there is important self-information to be attended to and worked through.' Thus, in(f)volvement begins with first noticing and attending to physical signals. This begins with noticing introverted sensing perception. Vaillant (1997) confirms, "The feeling in the gut however crazy it may seem is a valid signal that something needs to be attended to" (p. 222). Once this occurs, it is likely that introverted sensing is able to perceive the 'hidden' (self-masked) emotional discomfort (stored emotion) from mobile "molecules of emotion" (Pert, 1997) throughout the body. Somatic Intuition and 'Feeling' Schulz (1998) (from a non-typological perspective) refers to three basic kinds of intuition: visual, auditory, and somatic. (I would personally add a fourth type-a purely cognitively-based 'knowing.') My self memo 1 basically describes what Schulz refers to as "somatic intuition," (only I did not label it as such when 202 I wrote the memo, as her book had not yet been published!). Schulz holds that those who are "somatic intuitives" (p.340) receive "somatosensory input or body feelings, about themselves and others" (p. 340), sometimes referring to this as a 'gut feeling'. This may be similar to Jung's (1971) position that concrete sensation (as opposed to abstract, aesthetic sensation) "never appears in 'pure form', but is always mixed up with ideas, feelings, thoughts" (p. 462). He adds: Normal sensations are proportionate, i.e., they correspond approximately to the intensity of the physical stimulus. Pathological sensations are disproportionate, i.e., either abnormally weak or abnormally strong. In the former case they are inhibited, in the latter, exaggerated. The inhibition is due to the predominance of another function; the exaggeration is the result of an abnormal fusion with another function.... It ceases as soon as the function with which sensation is fused is differentiated in its own right, (p. 463) Jung (1971) adds that as perceiving functions, both sensing and intuition possess "an intricate certainty and conviction" (p. 453). However, while sensing's 'certainty' "rests on its physical foundation" (p. 453), intuition's 'certainty' "rests equally on a definite state of psychic 'alertness' of whose origin the subject is unconscious" (p. 453). It is possible, therefore, that in the process of stress appraisal that is mixed with strong emotions and marked physical indicators, there may be a temporary state of fusion (in ENFPs) between intuition and the inferior introverted sensing functions allowing them to become somewhat enmeshed, resulting in what some of the women referred to as a vague 'gut feeling'. Jung (1971) further elaborates regarding the possible confusing interactions between intuition and 'sensation': 203 ...since extraverted intuition is directed predominantly to objects, it actually comes very close to sensation; indeed, the expectant attitude to external objects is just as likely to make use of sensation. Hence, if intuition is to function properly, sensation must to a large extent be suppressed. By sensation I mean in this instance the simple and immediate sense-impression understood as a clearly defined physiological and psychic datum. This must be expressly established beforehand because, if I ask an intuitive how he orients himself, her will speak of things that are almost indistinguishable from sense-impressions. Very often he will even use the word 'sensation.' He does have sensations, of course, but he is not guided by them as such; he uses them merely as starting points for his perceptions. He selects them by unconscious predilection It is not the strongest sensation, in the physiological sense, that is accorded the chief value, but any sensation whatsoever whose value is enhanced by the intuitive's unconscious attitude. In this way it may eventually come to acquire the chief value, and to his conscious mind it appears to be pure sensation. But actually, it is not so. (p. 367) What this acquired valuation manifests in is a 'feeling' that denotes some increased form of consciousness. So how then does one define the term "feeling"? Feeling in terms of consciousness implies an awareness; given our bodily existence, feeling is also linked to sensations. Asking someone the question, "How are you feeling?" may be an inquiry regarding their physical health, emotional mood state, and likely incorporates a holistic combination of the two. Inquiring, "how do you feel about that?" implies feeling as an evaluative appraisal with an emotional link-otherwise, one would ask, "so, what do you think?"-but often, this too may include an emotional component-the cognitions and associated emotions are paired. As well, subsequently, we may think about how we feel, and so on. In keeping track of the typological nomenclature, there is colloquial layperson's language to further confuse the matter. The idea of having a 'gut 204 feeling' is thought of by some as their intuition at work, even though typologically, intuition, on its own, is defined as a cognitive function that "does not have strong subjective responses" (Singer, 1994, p. 331). This is further complicated by the saying, "I just sensed it" or " I just had a feeling" in the context of intuitive self-feedback. Gazzaniga (1992), although based on a neuro-biological framework, concludes that rather than focusing on a strictly neurological perspective, it is helpful to consider that "human consciousness, at its core, is a feeling..." (p.203). My results self memo 1 regarding intuition being 'felt,' although on the surface is puzzling, is congruent with Gazzaniga's comment analogizing "feeling" to a state of consciousness/awareness-there is a 'feeling' associated with the transformation of intuition from the unconscious to recognition of it in consciousness. As well, introverted sensing perceives the internal, physical indicators of consciousness, and, in a roundabout way, may also operate as a kind of'grounded receiver' of nonverbal, unconsciously-based intuitions. The sensations, in turn, are appraised by the feeling function. Loomis (1991), in synergistically interweaving typological theory with the Native American medicine wheel, links the feeling function with "the place of bodily knowing" (p. 40). She explains, "Often our values of what we like and dislike are difficult to articulate but we still know what we like. The feeling function and our values are part of our bodily knowing" (p. 40). This, again, 205 speaks of appraisal "embodiment" (Lazarus, 1991, p. 59). Hillman (1971) confirms: As a process that is always going on and that gives or receives feeling-tones-even the feeling tone of indifference-this function connects both the subject to the object (by imparting value) and the object to the subject (by receiving it within the subjective value system) It therefore functions as a relation and is often called 'the function of relationship.' .... Events that are not evaluated but are merely perceptually recorded or entertained in the mind as fanciful intuitions have not been felt, and so I cannot be said to have any relationship with them nor they to me. (pp. 109, 110. italics added) Hillman (1971) links consciousness with the 'feeling' of an evaluation that imparts personal value. Stein (1998) explains, "The ego must deal with emerging unconscious contents by making judgments about their value and sometimes decisions about whether or not to act on them" (p. 103). Hillman concludes, "feeling relates subject to object, to the contents of one's psyche as values, and to one's subjectivity as general feeling-tone and mood" (p. 110). Lazarus (1991) similarly discusses the idea of "resonances," suggesting: If we are to fully comprehend how emotions are generated, I think we need to give more attention than we have to relatively inarticulate processes like 'resonances' between wishes or fantasies and what is actually encountered, even as adults, as well as to complex, abstract matchings and functional equivalences. For a want of a better term, resonance refers to an amorphous or ineffable sense of connection between what is in us and something in the outer world, (p. 154) This implies a gained consciousness of our own inner processes. Cairns-Smith (1996) also philosophizes, "for me the word that comes nearest to the essence of consciousness is feeling" (p. 184). Cairns-Smith believes that 'feeling' denotes consciousness, therefore, the notion of unconscious 'feelings' 206 is an oxymoron (as there is no embodiment). It is important to re-emphasize that 'feeling', here, as well as in type theory, does not mean emotion, but rather, a (sometimes non-specific) subjectively evaluative, 'knowing' state of awareness. As such, Vaillant's (1997) discussion of the existence of unconscious emotions (being non-verbally labelled inner experiences) still makes sense in the context that until the emotions are sensed and identified as such, there is no awareness and valuation of them in the unconscious, and therefore, no 'feeling' surrounding the unconscious emotional state. Steiner (1997) refers to this experience on his emotional awareness scale as "numbness" (p. 36), equated with the state of alexithymia. Steiner elaborates, "People in this state are not aware of anything they call feelings or emotions. This is true even if they are under the influence of strong emotions" (p.36). Steiner adds that in such a case, "emotions are in a sort of deep freeze, unavailable to awareness" (p. 37). This is, in a sense, emotion in limbo. Having re-delegated the concept of stress storing to storing of emotion and its accompanying energy force, this description is uncannily like my concepts of c-old storage (especially Steiner's use of the descriptive term "deep freeze") and unconscious self-masking, and parallel to the notion of repression. Paradoxically, there appears to be some kind of painful awareness associated with 'non-feeling'—it is the feeling of insubstantiation of energy, positive or negative. Jessie alluded to having such an experience when she spoke of feeling a "void," or "emptiness." 207 Masking, Self-Masking, and Persona Fineman (1995) suggests a tie between what I refer to as self-masking (disassociation/repression) and masking (deliberate hiding of stressful emotions to others) that helps explain Jessie's discussion of emptiness as well as the way some of the other women withheld expressing growing feelings of resentment in order to maintain social niceties. Fineman posits two possible problems that may occur when a 'mask' (in Jungian terms, this is the persona) is created to hide one's true feelings from the world: Either "the tension between inner feelings and the requirement of outward display is simply too great" (p. 130), and as a result, "the mask cracks" (p. 130), or "the mask and the inner feelings become fused...to the extent that people begin to lose touch with their own feelings" (p. 130). Singer (1994) adds, "Often, the ego becomes identified with this persona" (pp. 220-221). This is then a block to the ego-integrity that the Self continually tries to maintain (Edinger, 1972) as the persona is only a false, adaptive-oriented 'front.' As long as there is adequate conscious awareness of the persona-related activity, and no persona-related clash with deep internal values, it is likely able to remain helpful for socially adaptational purposes. However, the interview results showed the often fine line between masking and self-masking, and accordingly between deferred and c-old storage (a.k.a. repression). The women's experience of increased feelings of resentment in response to masking efforts showed some level of ego/persona confusion. The women appeared to highly 208 value both the cultivation of interpersonal relationships as well as intrapsychic growth. Because introverted feeling (the auxiliary function of the ENFP type), is described as "a cognitive 'place' having impossibly ideal relationships and social schemes" (Thompson 1996b, p. 4), it is not difficult to understand the primacy of interpersonal relationships to the women interviewed, and the emphasis the women put on stress involving people being more of a concern than task-related stress. Quenk (1993a) differentiates how "introverted feeling types focus on inner harmony and being at peace with themselves" (p. 42), whereas "extraverted feeling types devote their energy to maintaining harmony in the outer world" (p. 42), however, she is specifically referring to dominant introverted and extraverted feeling types (in her example she refers to an INFP and ENFJ). For the most part, the ENFP type women appeared to value both inner and outer harmony-a main element of turmoil and inner conflict being how to resolve the two in a congruent way. Inall, efforts to please others would eventually cause resentment or agitation if these efforts went against inner (sometimes initially unacknowledged) convictions. From the interview data, though, there appeared to be more depth and complexity regarding being at peace with one's self (although this included living up to one's self-standards regarding relationships), with the deep intrapsychic focus on introverted feeling. Thompson's (1996b) definition, then, is incomplete because he neglects to add 209 the element of ideal self-standards that are measured through experiences with interpersonal relationships. Because Spoto (1995) defines the individuation process as "the business of becoming who one is destined to be in relationship to the world and one's self (p. 41), it is hardly surprising that interpersonal relationships significantly impact intrapersonal appraisals. The efforts made to enhance relationships that ultimately were not congruent with Self-directed ego integrity caused internal conflict. Isabel Briggs Myers (1977) appropriately warns feeling types: ...you mustn't let the temporary weight of what matters to other people let you in for a long-term commitment that you cannot, without comfort and equanimity, sustain. This is a trap that feeling types fall into. I phrase it to myself in the vernacular: Don't be nicer than you're going to be able to keep up. (p. 4) Jung (1917, cited in Monte, 1995) states, '"Whoever builds up too good a persona...naturally has to pay for it with irritability" (p. 322). The irritability likely stems from a perceived lose-lose situation. Stein (1998) explains that the reason people are reluctant to give up a persona is that "The persona protects one from shame, and the avoidance of shame is probably the strongest motive for developing and holding on to a persona" (p. 121). The unfortunate paradox for NF types is that the shame they may try to avoid by enhancing social roles through the persona nonetheless exists in an alternate form through self-assessment of intrapsychically inauthentic behaviour. The initial hope of realizing intrapsychic congruence with one's ideal interrelational self painfully vanishes with the first trace of consciousness of underlying feelings of socially-related resentment. 210 Positive reinforcement from others, however, is a seductive reward. Therefore, although self-imposed standards do not necessarily have external origins, the 'environment' can certainly add complications to self-standards. I purport that sometimes, an introverted preferred attitude of a function may be in conflict with its socially adaptive 'flip-side' extraverted attitudinal counterpart. The women's narratives showed this to be particularly true regarding the feeling function. The women discussed situations where they were clearly attempting the use of extraverted feeling, but began experiencing resentment when the continued practice of this ran contrary to introverted feeling self-principles. Interestingly, Hillman (1971) speculates a possible bi-directional "ambivalence" (p. 123) inherent in feeling function usage. Built up feelings of resentment appeared to be a sure 'set-up' for the constellation of complexes. When there is incongruity between outer actions and inner feelings, a paucity of authenticity occurs that is likely agitatingly intolerable for NF types for whom a fundamental personal tenet is the need to be authentic and be seen by others as such (Delunas, 1992). Delunas adds, "When individuals of each type find themselves consistently unable to act in accordance with their own values, then they experience an erosion of their self-confidence as they begin to doubt their ability to meet their needs in the future" (p. 20). This corresponds to activation of the ego-involvement that Lazarus (1991) refers to as part of primary appraisal, as well as the "future expectancy" (p. 150) that is part of secondary appraisal. 211 Lazarus's (1991) explanation regarding shame is useful in understanding the interplay between social interactions, ego, and Self: Shame is generated by a failure to live up to an ego-ideal. We feel disgraced or humiliated, especially in the eyes of someone whose opinion is of great importance to us such as a parent or parent-substitute, who was the original source of the demanding ego-ideal In shame, another person whose approbation is important to us views and presumably is critical of our failure. We have, in effect, disappointed that person, typically a parent (of course), the internalized version of that person's ego-ideal, and therefore ourselves as well. As with guilt, if we merely believe we have failed to conform to our idealized identity, this is enough to generate the feeling of shame. A parent figure need not actually be physically present to see our 'shame' or even still be alive; it is only necessary that we imagine how that figure would react to what we have done or not done. (p. 241) Survival Games and Related Theories of Self-Protective Strategies Defenses often arise to protect feelings of positive self esteem (Delunas, 1992). As previously mentioned, for NF types, the highest core need is that of personal and interpersonal authenticity (Delunas, 1992). Delunas, in Survival Games Personalities Play, discusses "survival games" (somewhat like self-protective defense mechanisms) grouped by type-temperament [(SJ, SP, NT, NF) from Keirsey & Bates, 1978, cited in Delunas] that the various personalities are prone to "play" when fundamental temperament-related social and self-related needs are not being met. Delunas believes that people play survival games to mask feelings of inadequacy, mainly due to not living up to their own expectations and values. The survival games then provide an 'excuse' for times they do not behave as they think they 'should'. 212 Delunas (1992) explains that intuitive feeler (NF) "Idealists play the game of Masquerade when they feel they have not been or cannot continue to be authentic, benevolent, and empathic" (p. 38). She adds, Masquerade players alienate themselves from whatever parts of themselves that are a source of shame. Their dramatic performances are meant to lead the self and others away from discovering what the Idealist is ashamed of doing, or of having done. Hence, the purpose of the Masquerade game is deception-of keeping self and others unaware of the Idealist's unethical behavior by acting as if something else is wrong Paradoxically, the Idealist who most wants to avoid being phony becomes a complete phony when playing survival games, (p. 38) (Note that I was not aware of Delunas's book until some time after completing the results section and naming the behaviours of masking and self-masking.) Delunas cautions that survival games are not consciously and deliberately employed. She emphasizes, "Game tactics are always done spontaneously and inadvertently. And people are not aware of the reasons why they are playing games" (p. 23). Symptoms displayed in all of the variants range from mild to extreme. Delunas (1992) outlines six variants of the Masquerade game, of which I found four relevant to the interview data: Martyr variant, Forgetful variant, Twitch variant, and Statue variant. In the Martyr and Forgetful variants, identity repression takes place as a result of trying to live up to an interpersonal ideal. In Twitch variant, disassociated parts of self get "stored in the muscles" (p. 137) and sometimes, "Twitch players may demonstrate occasional verbal outbursts that are an outpouring of all the negative thoughts and feelings which have been repressed over a period of weeks or months" (p. 42) —somewhat like 213 Erica and Jessie's primal screaming. The fourth variant, Statue (loss of some degree of sensory or motor functioning, including extreme silence and withdrawal) is relevant to a degree, in terms of times that the women, when for some reason were unable to physically remove themselves to withdraw, would become quiet and withdraw into themselves to calm down. Jessie also exhibited a form of Statue variant in doing tai-chi to keep out her husband's derogatory comments. The two remaining variants, Mind Reader (involving projection), and Grasshopper (changing the subject in conversation to distract from self-perceived inadequacies), are likely too tacit-to-self defense mechanisms to become aware of in an interview context. I will further elaborate on Martyr and Forgetful variants, as these have far-reaching integrative implications to coping theory in my study. In the Martyr variant, Delunas (1992) notes that one's identity (needs and wants) may be sacrificed in order to maintain peaceful relationships and attend to the happiness of others. As mentioned in the results, as a description of masking, Margo related an example of Martyr Masquerade, along with a graphic indication of the consequences: Because my husband is stressed, I try-I hide it, because I don't want it to affect him, you know? So I'm, 'Oh, Honey, you know, don't worry, you know, things will work out.'And then-HPW: So where does it go? Margo: Um, it stays inside me for a while, and then, later on, sometimes I won't sleep as well at night, or stuff like that. But, if it gets to the point where it's really bothering me, then I'll start slamming cupboard doors and PMS-ing, and doing things like that. 214 Patricia also discussed often acting like "everything is fine" on the outside, but then having "'resentment build up" on the inside, especially when she does not immediately acknowledge the things that are bothering her. She noted that this would often lead to emotional outbursts. She also discussed that she thought her eating under stress was linked to feelings of unacknowledged resentment, being a self-pacifying behaviour. The difficulty in playing the Martyr game, is that there is a split between one really coming to like the part of self that is able to act, as Delunas (1992) says, "authentic, benevolent, and empathic" (p.40), and the part of self that sometimes feels resentment over having to sacrifice basic self-needs in order to do so. There then exists an uncomfortable lose/lose dilemma of either being found out by social others as being 'motivationally inauthentic', or having to admit to the self as being unable to live up to one's own vision of self-feelings, ideals, and behaviours. Baumeister (1991) notes that "some forms of suffering begin when events have meanings that the person cannot accept. One example is failure at some important task, which may imply that the person is incompetent or inadequate" (p. 266). In the case of intuitive thinking (NT) types whose primary need is to be perceived by self and others as competent (Delunas, 1992), situations that set up failure to do so would obviously result in internalized feelings of incompetence. However, for NF types who value authenticity of self, stripping away self-deception and admitting to one's self one's inauthentic moments results in, as Baumeister alluded to, feelings of terrible inadequacy. 215 Burke (1996) reports that there is evidence that "people feel some level of distress when they receive feedback that is incongruent with their identity, even if that feedback is more positive than their identity" (p. 145). He refers to this as support for congruence theory, as opposed to enhancement theory. Kaplan (1996), augmenting Burke's discussion, explains: Positive self-perceptions can cause distress because the positive self-perceptions have implications for the likelihood of future failure and rejection, as when success imposes more demanding expectations on an individual's future performance under conditions where the person does not perceive himself or herself as having the necessary resources to meet the more demanding expectations, (p. 140) This creates a "catch 22" situation: If one is thought of by others to be genuinely possessing of qualities in an over-positively inferred light, subsequently not living up to those projected expectations creates the impression that it was all 'an act' to begin with, or that character digression has taken place. This would seem to add a great deal of pressure to attend to changing one's self to incorporate the projected qualities in an authentic way. However, this may prove to be a burdensome responsibility that creates guilt for not being able to sustain the illusion of the enhanced self. Paradoxically then, being authentic isn't good enough, and feelings of inadequacy ensue, this time not for being inauthentic, but for 'inauthenticity-by-proxy,' —not self-actualizing fast enough in a self- and/or socially-determined way. This then recircles back into the playing of survival games to mask the inadequacy, as the game tactics provide "excuses for not behaving the ways they believe they 'should'" (Delunas, 1992, p. 20). 216 The complication of masking stress is problematic to the very notion of authenticity. When masking is practiced, a conflict arises between the need to please and appear unruffled to others, and the consequent self-betrayal that goes along with it. Delunas (1992) explains: Since Idealists tend to repress negative emotions-pushing them far out of consciousness-they really aren't aware of the anger, guilt, resentment, or sadness that is buried deep inside of them. Typically, all they notice is the absence of good feelings, (p. 135) (This is congruent with Jessie's discussion of'emptiness'.) Delunas maintains that after playing Martyr and consequently sacrificing their identities for a long time, "it is not unusual for Martyr players to discover that they have completely lost sight of themselves" (p. 40). Jessie discussed how she quit her "key position in a large firm"(as an accountant) with very demanding hours after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She also, though, alluded to finally taking cues from her body "triggers" that something was not right in her life-an indication of unconscious awareness of needing to attend to primary issues. By analyzing Jessie's experiences through the 'eyes' of the Martyr Masquerade, it is possible to observe a tacit conundrum of sorts between Jessie's needs to have positive relationships with her co-workers, the resulting game of Martyr, the inner conflict of having to redefine her identity, and the resulting eating disorder that may have arisen as a result of the "emptiness" occurring in process. To illustrate: When I asked Jessie what she really liked about how she tries to cope with stress, she answered, "I like the fact that I keep in that positive 217 attitude, and that most of all, I try and put the other person first as much as possible."She added: even at work, you know, I care about the people I work with, and I care about my boss and stuff, and I don't want to have conflicts with them. I seldom, if ever, do have conflicts with them as a result. However, when I asked Jessie what she disliked most about trying to cope with stress, she answered: Well, I have a temper. I must admit that, you know. And I am a bit of a perfectionist, so that, you know, if I want to get something done, I don't always let someone else do it for me. Because there's kind of— there's a way I want them to do it, and sometimes it's more stressful for me to get them to do it than for me to do it myself. And I need to let do more that way, and not be so picky about things. And I think the negative side of stress is-and also I just-because I'm hot-tempered by nature-trying to deal with my hot-temperedness. How difficult (and stressful) it must have been for Jessie to balance these two ways of being (her likes and dislikes) at the workplace. Even though she finally quit her job due to her then failing health, Jessie expressed how hard this was for her to do, even though she realized the job situation was not "right" for her. Jessie admitted: what scared me is that I thought my whole world would collapse if I wasn't working because I've put so much energy into working, and I thought, well, it was so much a part of my identity at that point. And yet, it really wasn't making me happy. Delunas (1992), from a practicing therapist's viewpoint, gives a description regarding NF types and the Martyr game extraordinarily accurate to the thematic orientation of the combined interviews, and especially to Jessie's story, regarding this kind of Masquerade: 218 Martyr players try to cover up deep-seated feelings of inadequacy by being as good as they can be. They will sacrifice their health, peace of mind, and well-being-suffering in silence-in an effort to earn the love and approval they so desperately seek. These clients live in constant fear that others will see through them and recognize them for the inadequate phonies they believe themselves to be. They hide behind their masks of perfection, hoping to avoid discovery and rejection Martyr players don't usually complain about their sacrifices. In fact, these clients usually don't even know they are forfeiting their identities until the loss is almost complete. Typically, the first thing they notice is that they aren't happy-although they can't understand why not. Sometimes they will shock both their partners and themselves by exhibiting mini-explosions, during which their repressed feelings begin to leak out. Eventually, Martyr players come to the frightening realization that they don't know who they are anymore, (pp. 145-146, italics added) (Notice the similarities with Jessie's narratives, particularly regarding health, perfectionism, absence of happiness, and occurrence of "mini-explosions.") There is a song lyric, "No one knows who I am," from the Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde that very poignantly describes this process of identity turmoil: Look at me and tell me who I am, Why I am, what I am. Call me a fool and it's true, I am; I don't know who I am. It's such a shame, I'm such a sham. No one knows who I am (lyric by Leslie Bricusse, 1997). Baumeister (1991) offers some helpful insight regarding Jessie's narrative and the overall theme of identity displacement. He purports: Transitions out of major involvements deprive the person of important sources of meaning. A meaning vacuum is created, and the person must take action to replace what has been lost. Typically, this replacement involves elaborating some of the remaining structures of meaning in the person's life, as well as adding some new sources that fit well with these remaining sources. Self-worth is often centrally involved in these transitions, for not only does the person lose a source of self-worth, but the departure itself may imply some unflattering view of the self. .... 219 Restoring self-worth is therefore a centrally important feature of many such life changes, (p. 326) Ego-strength (or building inner resources) is, therefore, of major importance in such trying times, to provide some sense of groundedness. Jessie displayed a remarkable intuitive understanding of this, as noted previously when she expressed the need to "keep on growing within myself, so that I get a stronger and stronger sense of who I am, so I'm not so intimidated or influenced by things around." Burke (1996) explains that unlike much of the stress literature that views resources as merely helpful assets in alleviating negative effects of stress, identity theory maintains that, "resources are themselves part of the identity maintenance process" (p. 167). Baumeister (1991) defines the "meaning vacuum" (p. 312) as "the breaking of associative links—that is, the removal of certain sources of meaning from one's life" (p. 312) that produces "at least a temporary feeling of emptiness, ambiguity, emotional confusion, and other signs of a lack of meaning" (p. 312). He purports that this is accompanied by "an inability to make sense of self and world in a satisfactory fashion" (p. 266). This is much akin to the notion of an existential identity crisis. Jessie in discussing her process of taking 'intrapsychic inventory,' expanded upon her experience of feeling "emptiness", which she defined as something "not being fulfilled" in herself. She descriptively elaborated: And sometimes it could be just a void that I've intentionally cleared, but the frustration of not knowing where to go next can be depressing. You know? Clear something off of the table that you know is not good for you, but then you don't know what's coming up, and you think, 'Oh my G-d,'you know? 'This is emptiness inside of me-I can't fill this thing. And when I first left work, the first year 220 was really hard that way. I had some tough days because I thought, you know, I felt good, because I'd gotten rid of something, but I hadn't filled it with anything else. And I was sort of at a loss about how to deal with the situation. Baumeister (1991) expresses the importance of filling the "meaning vacuum" (p. 266) by rebuilding or replacing the old challenged meanings, referring to this as "reintegration" (p. 268). He explains that events may be problematic when they contradict "the person's general beliefs and assumptions about the world" (p. 246). Baumeister adds, "sometimes the person may try to avoid meaningful thought as a way of escaping from unpleasant implications. But the result is the same: a temporary state in which things do not make sense in the usual way" (p. 246). The women were eventually able to 'transcend stress' by focusing on the positive aspects of having learned something valuable from their difficulties and mistakes (thus the attribution of meaning reappraisal), however, this was not able to occur until they were able to become more accepting of their flaws. The 'block' to this process is what Delunas (1992) refers to as the Forgetful variant of the Masquerade game. Where the Martyr variant of Masquerade has more to do with deferring emotions that are not congruent with current interpersonal relationship goals, Forgetful variant is more akin to real c-old storage issues. Delunas explains: In the game of Forgetful, the Masquerade player completely forget whatever is unpleasant. Forgetful players can forget specific events from the past or present, in part or in entirety. What's more, they are not aware that there is something they are not able to remember. In extreme cases, Forgetful players completely forget their identity and may even take on a new one (p. 41). 221 Baumeister et al. (1994) discuss a comparatively similar concept they refer to as "temporal bracketing: drawing a boundary in time and saying that what occurred prior to that boundary is irrelevant" (p. 97). They refer to this as a possible defense strategy and a form of self-deception. They explain: Many people find that they have done things they consider immoral, improper, or regrettable in other ways. To protect their current self-esteem, however, they prefer to insist that those events are so far in the past that they are irrelevant to their present selves.... (p.97) Baumeister et al. add however, that temporal bracketing can fail "if something manages to link the prior event with the present" (p. 98). If so, what then occurs is similar to the constellation of a complex. Shammi alluded to temporal bracketing when she told me of yelling and screaming (rather than withdrawing) at her intoxicated brother at a holiday family gathering, which shocked the rest of the family because it was so untypical of her usual behaviour. When she summarized the details of the argument, I asked her, "So what is it that kind of pushes you over the line?" She responded: You know, I was trying to figure that one out-when he pushed me over the line. And I don't know what it was that did it. He just said some really hurtful things about the past, and it made me cry is what it did. And then, because he made me cry, I just struck out.... In my results self memos, I commented that in this case, invoking emotional incidents from the past has likely triggered the inferior introverted sensing function, due to the strong emotional component. I also added that with the introverted sensing function in the ENFP type, there may sometimes be a 222 "don't cry out loud" mentality in terms of felt vulnerability of unchosen people seeing what is considered to be a private display of emotion. This is then likely to result in feelings of resentment and anger, as it did with Shammi (because the other person is 'given' displaced power). When another person brings up incidents from the past that have succumbed to temporal bracketing or the Forgetful variant of the Masquerade game, one is faced with a painful reminder of a part of oneself wished forgotten, and this may be, to an extent, identity threatening, or at the 'least,' shameful in retrospect. Because dominant intuitive types are so focused on the future and the possibilities of idealistic positive change, having one's past undesirable actions 'dug up' is a nasty reminder of issues thought to be dealt with, that have really only been disassociated from. Spinelli (1994) suggests: the remembered past reflects the current views we hold about ourselves. That is to say, our interpretations of the past serve to validate our current understanding of ourselves. We 'manipulate' the past, shape and reshape it, so that it 'fits' with who we believe ourselves to be (or who we believe we must/must not, can/cannot be). The past is so tied to the present that it is more accurate to speak of'the currently lived past' than of the past itself, (p. 173) It is possible that ordinarily, through temporal bracketing ENFPs are able to relegate some c-old storage to another temporal dimension, thereby rendering it, for the most part, irrelevant and innocuous. In this safe place, given enough time, it may be able to slowly fade away and loses the status of an independent identity threat. However, I am theorizing that if someone else brings up something relating to the c-old storage before sufficient time has passed for reinforcement of post-incident enhanced identity embellishment' (my own term), 223 the emotional reaction is likely to be strong, as one is caught quite off-guard. This also makes sense in regard to self-masking, and is when, as illustrated by the women, angry, impulsive releasing is likely to take place. Alternately, with attention to thoughtful cognitive-emotional processing, the women's narratives indicated a greater likelihood of evolutionary reappraisal beginning with an honest assessment of the occurrence, and an openness to allow an 'upgrading' of feeling function related values through accepted consideration of broadened thinking function-related input. In other words, cognitive-emotional processing appeared to prompt ownership, rather than disassociation. Once one is able to accept one's shortcomings, then there is the possibility of growth. As such, (to quote songwriters Malamet, Rich, & Gazeley, 1998), "There are no mistakes,—just lessons to be learned." The Path Towards Personal Growth I would speculate, from the interview data, that what is valued most in the ENFP women is to continue to strive for increased personal growth (individuation) and attend to the process of self-exploration and intrapsychic honesty while sustaining significant relationships (not an easy task!). As such, it is possible that the women's efforts to maintain an empathic perspective towards significant others as part of cognitive-emotional processing served a more immediate purpose; empathizing may be an unconscious attempt at self-compassion, as there may have been unconscious projection onto the person with whom the conflict took place. 224 As well, talking things over with a 'cope-partner' was an important link back to the extraverted world, and likely helpful in bringing in objectivity. The act alone of verbalizing out loud likely brought clarity and increased perspective. The moment personal flaws and doubts can be shared out loud, energy is released that has been used trying to maintain control/masking/repression. Therefore, I would purport that part of transcending stress for the women was giving up ego-control to gain personal authenticity. This, indeed, is evolutionary release-the truthful experiencing of emotions, not during the moment of affective impact, but rather, thoughtfully, honestly, and holistically. With the energy freed up, there was able to be a return to the extraverted energic source, and as Shammi put it, letting the universe "unfold as it should." The women seemed generally quite accepting of 'fate' that was not people imposed—it appears that universal destiny does not involve the ego! Interestingly, in true extraverted form, the women appeared to transcend stress by alligning with 'fate'. As such, it almost seems as if they 'externalized' their Self, and in doing so, became part of the greater universal picture. This corresponds with Stein's (1998) commentary on Jung's view of the transcendent self: For Jung the self is transcendent, which means that it is not defined by or contained within the psychic realm, but rather lies beyond it and, in an important sense, defines it For Jung, the self is paradoxically not oneself. It is more than one's subjectivity, and its essence lies beyond the subjective realm. The self forms the ground for the subject's commonality with the world, with the structures of Being. In the self, subject and object, ego and other are joined in a common field of structure and energy, (p. 152) 225 Stein adds: When the ego is well connected to the self, a person stands in relationship with a transcendent center and is precisely not narcissistically invested in nearsighted goals and short-term gains. In such persons there is an ego-free quality, as though they were consulting a deeper and wider reality than merely the practical, rational, and personal considerations typical of ego consciousness, (p. 152) This appeared to be the end result of cognitive-emotional processing when taken to full depth. Emotions, in their most evolutionary form, are personal expressions of the tacit nuances of our internalized perceptions, imbued with value and meaning. Whether this meaning is strictly cognitively-based or indeed, also more vaguely universally, spiritually connected is debatable, depending upon one's belief (or disbelief) of an external, universal intelligence that can be 'tapped into.' I believe that when feeling is linked to intuition, it 'absorbs' an undefinable esoteric essence. It appears that this is what Lazarus (1991) is alluding to in terms of "resonance"-"an amorphous or ineffable sense of connection between what is in us and something in the outer world" (p. 154). Shammi emphasized, "I'd like to think of the spirit world, and there's more to us than just reason, and that there's more of this kind of thing that binds all of us together than just nothingness." Pert (1997) similarly purports, "There's a higher intelligence, one that comes to us via our very molecules and results from our participation in a system far greater than the small, circumscribed one we call 'ego, 'the world we receive from our five senses alone" (p. 315). Reconnecting with this expanded universe (which includes the vast realm of future possibilities) was most important to the 226 women's transcendence of ego-related stress and connecting to a more holistic sense of self. Rather than as Lazarus (1991) proposes, there being two appraisals, one conscious and one unconscious, I suggest that the appraisal process is even more multi-faceted, occurring at various levels of consciousness/unconsciousness and multi-temporal frames. This involves use of all of the typological functions in various ways. Jung's (1921/1971) theory of Psychological Types is based upon the notion of preferential attitudes and functions of the ego (Stein, 1998). However, "the ego is only a small part of a much larger psychological world, like the earth is a small part of the solar system" (Stein, 1998, p. 33). Stein adds that a great deal of what we consider to be comprising our own personalities, such as personal vitality, "spontaneous reactions and emotional responses to others" (p. 32) are not merely ego-based, but rather, part of the greater psyche. Therefore, Shammi's comment about the universe "unfolding as it should" may actually be a metaphor for the "Emergence of the Self (Stein, p. 171) that Stein likens to Jung's process of individuation. Transcendence In doing a literature search on the term transcending/transcendence, I discovered a recent qualitative study that is particularly relevant to my discussion. Hanna, Giordano, Dupuy and Puhakka (1995) used a phenomenological research design to study the experience of psychotherapeutic change. Their results linked agency with transcendence. Their study and 227 discussion of transcendence and "second-order change" proves an interesting paral lel to my research results. Hanna et al . explained that i n reference to "change experiences," the term transcendence implied "moving beyond or stepping outside of a set of perceived restrictions, confines, or limitations—largely i n terms of systems of meaning" (p. 146, italics added). I repeat a segment of their description of some results of their study to compare wi th my own results: Pr ior to their changes the participants were i n each case entrenched wi th in a set of limitations which surrounded and enveloped them i n a wel l denned context. Such contextual limitations may have been imposed by mindset, thought patterns, affect, behavioral patterns, developmental stage and/or interpersonal or relational agreements. In each case, the perceived limitations were considered to be formidable by each person and were a source of confusion, stultification, apathy, an/or painful emotion. T h e t ranscend ing itself took place w h e n the person stepped outside of the context w i th in w h i c h they were prev ious ly entrenched. A s part of this, an entire matr ix of feel ing or emot ional states were transcended as well . Thus, subsequent coping actions were part of a new set of perceptions free of filtering or inhibitions of previous mindsets or feeling states. Interestingly, participants had to step outside of, or alter, or redefine what they considered to be their selves i n order to make the change. In other words, i n order to make the change, the person had to become, i n effect, a different person by 2Being andtranscending (sic) the contextual limits of self. This may have accounted for the reported personality changes that were so much a part of the experience, (p. 147, bold added) I would argue that rather than becoming 'a different person,' the women reinforced gaining a deeper knowing of self-one that was not as fragile to the negatively construed responses of others. Wi th every instance of intrapsychic growth, then, is the added bonus of cumulative strengthening of the inner core. This is an additive process that is developmentally helpful i n subsequent stressful episodes. This is interesting i n rethinking the whole notion of 228 therapeutic 'change'-while change oi perspective is always helpful in stressful times, as Stein (1998) earlier noted, "Probably the essential core of the ego does not change over a lifetime" (p. 21). Therefore, it is not change, per se, that is necessarily what the goal should be in therapy, but rather, a strengthening and 'regrouping' of the positive qualities and essential values that already exist, with an additive, broadened, subjective/objective, synergistic perspective. Vaillant (1997), at the end of her book Changing Character, gives a client account that backs this very sentiment. Vaillant, a practicing psychologist, recounts that after she had decided upon the title of her book, she wondered whether her "patients" (p. 449) would agree that there had, indeed, been a change in their character. She began by asking a woman she felt had made a great deal of progress, who had, over the years, been able to relax her prior "tight control over her emotions" (p. 449). Thinking that the answer to whether or not she had, in her view, experienced character change, would be quite affirmative, Vaillant received this response: No, I don't think I've changed my character. [Pausing to think further] I think I'm more myself than I ever have been. I feel like the core of me has been disinhibited Of course, I had to give up a certain defensiveness that felt safe and sustaining. I lost a certain amount of rigidity and [pausing and chuckling] learned the merits of risk-taking! [Laughing heartily] But from all that, a certain confidence had emerged. Now I'm less isolated, and I feel much more connected to people, (p. 449) Vaillant summarizes, "Her moral character-her basic values, or the core of her-felt the same" (p. 449), adding that many other patients have since responded similarly. Vaillant concludes, "...adaptive character change means freeing...from 229 the barriers to feeling. Adaptive character change means that our core...—the best within us-may be set free" (p. 449). Delunas (1992) confirms, "When [NF] Idealists stop playing Masquerade, they can become their most inspiring selves" (p. 154). Erica's comment, "More and more, all the time, I like who I'm becoming," is indicative of the never-ending, but continually additive, journey of individuation. There is forever the hope of new growth and integrative learning. The stress-coping process can sometimes shake one's foundation, but at the same time, prompts a depth of inner exploration that brings one closer to the enigmatic Self. And even so, for an ENFP, the elusive vision of subsequent evolution is always more appealing than what currently exists. No wonder the notion of identity is paradoxically, both stable and fleeting. 230 Return to the Research Questions The research questions formulated at the inception of the study appear to have all been answered. The main research question was: Do theoretical components of cognitive-transactional theory 'fit' with those of type theory? Indeed, the results and discussion have shown much potential for further theoretical integration between these two theoretical domains, as they appear to complement and augment each other in regard to clarifying the women's stress-coping processes. Sub-question (a): 'Given the knowledge of people's (MBTI) personality-type preferences, what is the nature of their stress-coping processes?' has been descriptively answered through examples in the results, the resulting model, and elaboration in the discussion, as specific to E N F P type women. As well, the women's personal examples answer sub-question (b): 'What situational/ environmental contexts are mentioned to illustrate these descriptions of process?' The women give many examples regarding work, family, and friends, and emphasize that stress involving people is more complex than task-related stress. Sub-question (c): 'What are the (extraverted) Myers-Briggs personality type-identified women's opinions/insights regarding their own stress-coping efforts?' is answered in the results section, emphasizing a valuing of the primacy of relationships, and the continuous process of learning and personal growth. Sub-question (d), Can categories of personal meaning regarding stress-coping processes be identified, specific to type preferences and type dynamics, also 231 incorporates the women's references to relationships with self and others, and the primacy of the introverted feeling function personal values to the definition of appraisal. The discussion also focuses on aspects of stress-coping specific to the ENFP type as well as the NF temperament (Keirsey & Bates, 1978), such as Delunas's (1992) comments regarding the importance of personal authenticity to identity maintenance. In summary, the main findings of this research are: There are theoretical components shared by cognitive-transactional theory and type theory. This mainly concerns appraisal being comprised of both conscious and unconscious processes. It is therefore important that counsellors be aware of'hidden agendas' and private logic and emotions (sometimes stored) occurring beneath the surface. Using type theory in a comprehensive way demands an awareness that a four letter type is indicative of one's conscious preferences. However, in truly understanding a client's world, one must take into account the dynamics of both conscious and unconscious processing. Lazarus's statement that "there is more than one way of knowing" (p. 152) parallels that of the significance of the typological tertiary and inferior functions; attending to only the dominant and auxiliary functions regarding stress appraisal and coping process leaves a very incomplete perspective. In addition, it is important to consider the interplay of personality and situational variables, and to attend to the phenomenological viewpoint from which people with different type preferences may categorize 232 these situational variables and attribute meaning to their stress-coping efforts and experiences. 233 Limitations of the Study Participants i n this study were volunteers who responded to a newspaper advertisement. Because they were not selected from the general population, they may have had a special interest i n the stress/coping field, and their narratives may have reflected this interest. Also, the women's age range was l imited to from 31 to 42. Therefore, although there is a great deal to be learned regarding this specific group, the same results cannot be applied to men i n general, or to women of different age categories. There was not a great deal of socio-cultural diversity, given that five of the women were Caucasian (one woman was Indo-Canadian) and of mid to high range socioeconomic status. The women's educational levels and occupations were fairly diverse. Regarding personality exploration, my results are also only specific to women wi th E N F P type preferences, so other types would need to be explored to truly mark type specific processes and behaviours. Sample size was also l imited although richness of data was wel l evident. Due to the addition of "orientational qualitative inquiry" (Patton, 1990) to the grounded theory method, and the specific focus on stress-coping theory and type theory integration, no use of theoretical sampling has been made to support or refute the findings. I also did not check back wi th the women interviewed regarding theoretical conceptualization. The compilation of the results then, are l imited to my interpretation of the data based on the women's transcribed narratives (as checked by my Supervisor and one committee member). 234 The grounded theory method used has certain inherent limitations. Because personal interviews are the source of the data, validity of the study depends to a large extent upon the honest disclosure and self-awareness of the research participants. (This also includes the written responses given on the MBTI and oral validation of their MBTI results.) Also, due to the relatively small number of selected research participants involved, generalizability of the grounded theory generated is often questionable (Rennie et al., 1988). Rennie et al. concur, however, that "the problem of limited generalizability of grounded findings is not resolved but is accepted by grounded researchers as a legitimate price to pay for research that is intimately tied to the phenomenon it addresses" (p. 147). As previously mentioned, the elaborate accounts given by the participants resulted in richness of data. As adequate documentation of the research process helps improve overall credibility of a grounded theory study, I have made a special effort to attend to this. Because the study is partially oriented from a Jungian/Myers-Briggs typological perspective, however, theoretical differences of opinion within the field may somewhat limit theoretical consistency. Also, given that my own type is ENFP, this orientational perspective adds 'participant/observer' insight, but may also limit distanced objectivity. 235 Future Implications Research Related Implications There are many possibilities for future research following completion of this study. It would be interesting to reproduce this study interviewing those other than ENFP type women between the ages of 30 and 45. For example, the same study could be done with men of the same type and age group. Keeping within the same age group and developmental frame, one could also conduct research with any of the other 15 Myers-Briggs types. One could also interview ENFP women of alternate age groups to compare their journey towards individuation. Also, having explored the general area of the experience of stress and coping processes, it may then be relevant to repeat the study with participants experiencing similar stressors, such as unemployment or bereavement. Other alternatives could involve those in specific vocations or cultural backgrounds. Due to Jessie's discussion of bulimia and the theoretical link with Baumeister's (1991) concept of the "meaning vacuum" (p.246), further research regarding stress-coping, Myers-Briggs typology, and eating disorders may be a helpful contribution to the field. The efforts employed by the women in regard to task-related stress, appear, on the surface, to make use of STJ type-related strategies. It would be interesting to interview teenage (female) ENFP types regarding dealing with task-related stress (as well as ESTJ teens and 30-45 year old women) to compare their responses, noting differences and possible developmental, learning-related 236 adaptations. It would also be valuable to interview other type temperaments [i.e., SJ, NT, SP (from Keirsey & Bates, 1978)] in regard to stress involving people. My personal (non-clinical) knowledge regarding STJ types is that interpersonal conflict is very upsetting for them, but the reasons for this may be quite different than from those of ENFPs. Counselling Related Implications Undertaking this research has made me, as a counsellor, much more aware of the importance of attending to bodymind dynamics. It is unfortunate that this is often ignored in the field. I recall a client during my practicum who, after many session, mentioned in passing that she suffered from almost daily tension headaches. When I expressed surprise that she had never mentioned this before, she said she did not feel it was relevant to counselling! This is a good motivator for counsellors to survey clients regarding medical history-related information (of course there are emotional safety issues to consider) to link with stress-related concerns. As well, the depth and breadth of stress-coping information gleaned from each individual interview in this study, indicates that spending one initial counselling session on such a generalized process may be invaluable in helping counsellors expand their awareness of the phenomenological meaning frame from which their clients operate. The concept of body consciousness, and a link of this awareness as being a signal of emotional conflict, appeared to be integral to initiating thoughtful cognitive-emotional processing for the women in this study. Analytical, 237 epistemologically-based insight continues to be dissociated from a fully, personal phenomenological stance (Spinelli, 1994), without attention to what Gendlin (1981) refers to as a "felt sense." Although space did not permit an integrative discussion within this thesis, attending a short workshop on Gendlin's "Focusing" (C. Costo & M . Mackinnon, personal communication, Dec. 4,, 1998) alerted me to similarities between the aspects of the technique and the women's noticed bodily awarenesses that were initially difficult to articulate. Focusing appears to advocate a narrative approach to begin verbalizing the "felt sense," thus gaining consciousness of tacit knowledge. Jessie's mention of listening more to 'her body' is indicative of unprompted externalizing compatible with focusing's intent to help develop an "observer self (C. Costo & M . Mackinnon, personal communication, Dec. 4, 1998). According to Jung's (1921/1971) theory of Psychological Types, this kind of objectification is common amongst extraverted types. I therefore propose a new technique, Type-o-drama© (Heather P. Wolfe, 1999), a psychodrama-related intervention to be carried out with the purpose of externalizing and bringing to life, type function dynamics related to the stress appraisal and coping process. This would also be helpful in the eventual reintegration of what Delunas (1992) refers to as dissociated, "fragmented parts of the self (p. 137) common to NF Masquerade players. Delunas advocates using the empty chair technique to do "parts work" (p. 139) as well as mentioning Stone and Winkelman's (cited in Delunas) "Voice Dialogue Method" (p. 139) in which the therapist carries on "conversations directly with 238 the client's various subpersonalities" (p. 139). I believe that Type-o-drama© can carry this even a step further, by creating an externalized, animated, interactive display of intrapsychic processes, and providing an experiential means of type-related psychoeducation. In discussing the therapeutic use of an empty chair technique, Delunas (1992) adds, "By holding dialogues with or between their various subselves, Idealists can become aware of their buried thoughts, feeling, and desires" (p. 137). The 'conventional' gestalt two chair technique aims to help clients 'choose' the more congruently felt alternative of two conflicting view. However, from the information in the discussion, it may be more valuable for the client to 'sit' with any discomfort experienced (both physical and emotional), not avoid it and move to the alternate chair too soon, as evolutionary release can only come from a thoughtful processing of gained awarenesses. As well, Lazarus's (1991) discussion of disconnection between "components of the mind and between the mind and the environment" (p. 337) points to the conclusion that it is not so much about 'choosing sides' as about integrative resolution of conflicting perspectives [and thus, increased communication between the T/N (epistemological), and F/S (phenomenological) spheres]. It might be helpful, then, to have the client create an integrative, third chair, both experientially and possibly also using art therapy-related techniques. Similarly, role play techniques could be used regarding 'masking,' to find a balance in incorporating inner feelings into social/situational adaptation so there 239 are not glaring differences between the persona and what is behind the 'mask.' As well, attention to initial separation of the two may prevent what Fineman (1995) describes as "when the mask and the inner feeling become fused" (p. 130) (somewhat similar to 'self masking'). Technique aside, it is important for the therapist to be aware that sometimes, as the women discussed, what is the most helpful is just 'being there' with the client, providing (as Jessie noted) "an open, listening ear," or, what I refer to as a 'cope-partner.' Patricia basically summarized the philosophy behind Rogerian, person-focused theory: / think sometimes you just need someone to listen to you-you don't really need someone to solve your problems. You really know what your problem is and you know what the answer is, but you really need to share it with someone. And I think that it just sort of, you know, sort of like taking a weight off your shoulders, sometimes when you share it with someone. And, just knowing that someone is there for you, it helps. The women's discussions regarding appreciation of supportive, non-solution-focused attention from others reinforces Quenk's (1996) input that in "returning to equilibrium" (p. 23) from an inferior function-related "grip experience" (p. 22), "Extraverted intuitive types need time to reflect, fully experience themselves, even 'wallow' in their inferior state" (p. 23). Also substantiated by the women's comments, Quenk emphasizes, "Attempts to assist by taking over and solving the problem for them...are not appreciated" (p. 23). Quenk adds that this includes trying to talk someone "out of their negative state" (p. 23). Toni's comment, I can usually process while I'm talking," reinforces the importance (for ENFPs) for both time alone (as indicated in the results 240 model) and time with a 'cope-partner,' allowing for outward expression conducive to complete, evolutionary releasing. If this processing time is cut short, there will be premature closure that prevents such evolutionary release. Solution-focused therapy is likely generally not useful for ENFPs, as their 'goal' in regard to people-related stress is not limited to that of solving a specific problem, but rather, in cumulative processing of relationship-based issues in the hope of getting better acquainted with their constantly-updated values systems. In conclusion, I recommend an integrated therapies perspective that allows the therapist to adapt to the client's often changing needs. This necessitates being respectful in allowing the client a strong voice in stating what these needs are. Broadened theoretical knowledge enables the therapist a greater awareness of available choices that are personality and situationally relevant. It is my hope that the information in this thesis has contributed to this theoretical knowledge base. 241 Unidentified Identity Pondering the concept of an ever-developing self, compelled me write the following poem (see next page) regarding (ENFP) striving for identity consolidation, as an ending to this thesis. Synchronistically, the form appearing is that of a candle, similar to Pert's (in Goldman, 1998) mention of us all having multiple components to our personalities, symbolically, "like a flickering candle" (p.50). (Notice that in extraverted form, the dialogue is socially conversational rather than contemplatively meditational): Excuse me, but could it be that you've seen my Identity? It seems to be a bit displaced, with little parts somewhat erased. New perspectives taking place. I thought perhaps that you might see it hiding deep inside ol me. I've tried to use my x-ray vision to view the parts under revision. And every time I go through stress, there seems to be a little mess. Things get shuffled up anew, while I explore what's really "true." The inner sensitivity, compassionate reflectivity, elusive possibility... Alas, the not yet perfect me. But, if you knew the "real" me-Not just me here now, but the "me to be," You'd marvel at the complexity of seeing my self becoming "more of me." I wish it made more sense, you see, the total ambiguity and unconventionality of an abstract, subjective, "real" me. The one that I was meant to be-if not now, then eventually. My vision, idealistically, so filled with authenticity... My Unidentified Identity By Heather (ENF) P. Wolfe © 1998 243 References Aldwin, C. M . (1994). Stress, coping, and development: An integrative perspective. New York: Guilford Press. Avison, W. R., & Gotlib, I. H. (1994). Future prospects for stress research. In W. R. Avison, & I. H. Gotlib (Eds.), Stress and mental health (PP. 317-332). New York: Plenum Press. Baumeister, R. 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American Psychologist. 35. 151-175 Zajonc, R.B. (1984). On the primacy of affect. American Psychologist. 39, 117-123. 251 Appendixes Appendix A: Demographic Information Sheet The information below is used for research purposes only, and will be kept anonymous and confidential. If any of the questions are objectionable to you, they may be omitted. Identifier number: Single Married Live with partner, opposite sex Live with partner, same sex I am a parent I am not a parent Step/blended family Other (please describe) Highest formal education: (If you are currently a student, please identify program of study) Job Status: Full time paid Part time paid Unemployed Student Full time volunteer Part time volunteer Full time Mom Other (please specify) Occupation: (if applicable) Approximate household income (yearly): Under 30,000 30,000-50,000 51,000-75,000 76,000-100,000 Over 100,000 Ethnic origin: Religion 2 5 2 Appendix B: Newpaper Advertisements 9 Hi Are you the type to help KATHY TAIT RETURNS JAN. 21 'ere's some research that might be fun to volunteer for. Heather Wolfe is a masters student .in counselling psychology at UBC. She is working on a thesis on personality types, stress and coping. She's looking for women 30 to 45, who speak and read English, are extroverted and have never written the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This is a chance to explore your personality type. Call her at 327-7722. UBC Reports • January 11.1996 5 Personality Type, Stress and Coping Study Would you like to learn about your personality type? I am a UBC Counselling Psychology Masters student looking for vol-unteers for my thesis study. If you are female, age 30-45. extro-verted, have never written the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, speak/read English fluently and would agree to be interviewed call Heather Wolfe 327-7722. (No current or former counselling students, please!) 253 Appendix C: Informed Consent T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Department of Counselling Psychology Faculty of Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5259 Fax:(604) INFORMED CONSENT Myers-Briggs personality type, stress appraisal, and coping process This research is being completed by Heather Wolfe in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of faculty advisor Dr. Bonita Long. The purpose of this study is to explore women's stress appraisal and coping processes, taking into consideration knowledge of their personality types as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The first part of this study requests completion, in writing, of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This will take approximately thirty minutes. By writing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, you are indicating willingness to participate, in the second part of this study, which involves a personal interview, at a later date. This interview may occur in either an individual or group setting, and will take approximately ninety minutes time. Signjture of this form indicates agreement to maintain strict confidentiality of anything discussed during a group interview. The researcher cannot be held reponsible for other group participants' future actions, however, the importance of maintaining confidentiality will be verbally noted by the researcher before the group interview begins. Not everyone will be asked to participate in an interview. Regardless of whether or not you are interviewed, you will have an opportunity to receive the results of your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at a later date, when all interviewing is complete. This will take approximately one hour, and will occur in a group setting. Your Myers-Briggs results will remain confidential. All interviews will be audio-taped and these tapes will be erased at the end of the project. Interview material will be transcribed and all identifying information will be deleted or changed to insure confidentiality and safeguard the privacy of all participants. As a participant, you are free to ask any questions regarding this study. You may also refuse to participate, or withdraw from the study at any time without any negative consequences. I. (print name) . acknowledge receiving a copy of this consent form, which I have read and understood, and I hereby agree to participate in this study. All identifying information will be deleted and place names changed to insure confidentiality and protect the participant's privacy. Participants are free to ask any questions regarding this study, and may withdraw at any time without any negative consequences. Signature Date Heather Wolfe Dr. Bonita Long (Research Supervisor) Date 254 Appendix D: Semi-structured Interview Guide What is it like for you when you experience stress? Can you tell me about (give me examples of) what you consider to be stressful? What are feelings or thoughts you might have in such a circumstance? What are some things you might do to try and cope with stress? What else might you do? Would you always do this? Do you think that this is effective for you? Why? Why not? Why do you think these examples stand out for you? What did (the example offered) mean to you? Do you think others know when you are upset? Why? Why not? When you are experiencing stress, do you ever act differently than you normally would? If so, how? How do you make sense of this behaviour? What is it that you wished people understood (knew) the most about you when you are experiencing stress? What do you particularly like about how you try to cope with stress? What do you most dislike? What might you want to change about how you try to cope with stress? How do you usually get yourself out of a "rut"? Do you recall an event that could have potentially caused you stress but didn't? What happened? Do you have any other information to share about stress and coping that you think I'd find useful? 


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