Introductory Concepts

Our Unique Approach

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. - Carl Jung

How understanding personality can help you

Discovering your personality type and learning about how the brain works can help you:

  • Understand who you are.
  • Build better relationships with others.
  • Stop wasting time with unproductive interactions.
  • Transform conflicts into synergies.
  • Depersonalize interpersonal difficulties.
  • Create greater understanding & appreciation of the different ways people make sense of their surroundings and make decisions.
  • Relieve negative judgments toward yourself and others.
  • Do your best work and bring out the best in others.
  • Make sense of personal strengths & areas of challenge.

What's unique about our approach?

  1. People tend to stay true to their preferred cognitive abilities (like Thinking, Feeling, Intuition, and Sensing) but we need all of them to survive. Classically, when people discuss personality type, they only discuss a portion of one's actual capacities. Our model extends beyond that to a more holistic view. See Integrating the Four Sides of the Mind for more details on this.
  2. The ways we process information and make decisions tend to work in tandem with each other. Cognitive functions seldom work alone. Depending on the situation, a different pair may emerge to handle the unique demands of the moment. See The Personalities Within and Functional Relationships articles for more details.
  3. There is a dance of consciousness within us that also happens between us. When we identify our own inner dynamics, we can then resolve interpersonal issues. See the Personality, Ego, and Self article for more details.
  4. Each of us have all 16 personalities within us. Our most preferred personality is like a home base that we can return to for sustenance and support. However, we must venture out and experience our other personalities, or personas, if we wish to keep growing and developing. Integrating the Four Sides of the Mind describes how this happens.

Our approach, therefore, tends to have a less boxy and more fluid quality than other approaches to personality type.

A Very Brief History of Our Foundations

  1. Carl Jung first wrote about the 8 cognitive functions in a book called Psychological Types back in 1921.
  2. Isabelle Briggs-Myers (with her mother Katherine Cook-Briggs) built on Jung’s writings to establish the 16 personality types from Jung’s 8 eight functions and created the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory which was first given in 1945.
  3. David Keirsey organized the 16 types into 4 basic temperaments that reflect back to ancient Greek ideas on personality.
  4. John Beebe added considerable depth to personality type theory by establishing the different roles each of the 8 cognitive functions play within a person depending on their personality type. We are also indebted to Mark Hunziker's work here and are grateful for his help in our project.
  5. Dario Nardi, a professor at UCLA, is currently doing amazing work analyzing the brains of people with different personality types using an EEG monitor. He has made significant findings related to how our preferred mental functions actually play out in our neurology.