An Archetype can be thought of as a model after which other things can be patterned, a prototype or a permanent underlying structure. We can discover archetypes by analyzing and understanding what Dr. G. C. Rapaille, Chairman of Archetype Discoveries Worldwideâ„¢, has identified as the "collective cultural unconscious". This collective cultural unconscious can be further defined as a pool of shared imprinting experiences that unconsciously pre-organize and influence the behavior of a culture.

To further understand the imprinting concept, we look at the human brain, which has billions of potential connections, similar to that of a worldwide telephone communications network. Put very simply by Dr. Rapaille, "You have all the potential connections of the network, but you don't have the telephone number. The first imprint is pre-organized by the culture. Emotion is the energy that is necessary to create the imprint and produce the neurotransmitters in the brain."

Once the first experience creates an imprint, it must be repeated and reinforced. Because language is the first level of crystallization of the imprint, we can see that these first imprints, which are inherited, are essentially pre-organized by the culture. Of course, there is a window in time for the first imprint to occur. This occasionally varies from one culture to another just as the emotion (energy) varies from one culture to another.

The primary objective of the Archetype Discovery process is to go back to the first imprint and decode the "logic of emotion" which created the imprint. The analysis process then looks for the patterns and commonalities of the culture being studied. Once the pattern is found, we have discovered the archetype.