Posts Tagged ‘Temperament Analysis’


When it comes to social interactions, I have what is known as a Melancholy temperament.  This means that interacting socially for me with people outside of my closest friends and family is somewhat stressful.  I did not know this about myself until recently.  However, one thing I have always known is that I have always felt awkward talking with people I don’t know very well.  I have on too many occasions walked away from social conversations saying to myself, “That was a stupid thing to say.” 

It would be very selfish of me to just not speak to people or to stay home all the time and never venture out to parties or situations where casual conversation is expected.  Beyond that, part of the mission of a Christian is to share the good news of Christ with the world.  You just can’t do that without stepping out and speaking up. 

Two thoughts have helped me with this:

  1. As a Christian, I have the Spirit of God living in me and He is wisdom. Did you catch that?  He is wisdom.  Not, He has wisdom… He is wisdom!  I have wisdom in perfect form living within me.  If I am tuned in to the Spirit living in me, I never have to worry about what to say.  I never need to be intimidated by the person I am talking to because if he or she is wise, their wisdom came from the same Spirit living in me.
  2. Being a good conversationalist is not primarily about saying the right thing but responding the right way to what the other person is saying.  I think Mr. Carnegie has is right in his HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE.  He says that if you want people to walk away from a conversation with you thinking, “Wow, he’s a good conversationalist,” you need to learn the art of listening.  I once read that God has given us a picture of how this is suppose to work by giving us two ears and only one mouth.  I hope to explore the fine art of listening in the days ahead. 

Let me know what you think about this or any of my other posts.  I’m listening!

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Christian Temperament Counseling utilizes Temperament Analysis (also known as Creation Therapy), which is based on the belief that each person is endowed by God with a unique temperament while still in their mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”

Temperament is not the same thing as character or personality. Character results from learned behavior, and personality is the “mask” we choose to wear before the world. Temperament underlies all that we are, in a spiritual sense. It is a sort of “spiritual DNA.” Our inborn temperament directs the way we perceive ourselves, people, and situations. It is who we are in our innermost created being. When the needs of our temperament are not met, we experience emotional stress and pain–within ourselves or between us and other people.

Why Explore Temperament?

Temperament Counseling is for the good times as well as the tough times of life. Exploring temperament increases your awareness of your basic and unique needs while helping you understand how to meet those needs in godly ways. It can bring insight and healing into relationships.

As you recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and passions you can see the possibilities for how God can use you to bless others.

 How Do You Get Started?

The process begins when you fill out an A.P.S. profile form. This time-tested assessment tool, for adults, teens and children, takes only a short time to complete. Your responses create a unique personal profile that helps you learn about your temperament in three foundational areas:

INCLUSION

Social orientation and thinking processes

INCLUSION answers questions like:

Who gets included in my life? To what extent? Does being with others rejuvenate or deplete me? How comfortable am I socializing? Do I belong? How much energy do I put into thinking things through? Am I creative? Impulsive? Do I analyze every detail? Am I more relationship, task, or goal oriented?

The need that a person is attempting to meet in the area of INCLUSION is the perception of feeling significant or worthwhile.

CONTROL

Capacity to make decisions and accept responsibility

CONTROL answers questions like:

Who establishes and holds the power in my relationships? How much do I naturally want to influence others? How much do I want (or will I allow) others to control me? How willing am I to make decisions and accept responsibility for myself and/or others? Am I a leader, follower, influencer, rebel, servant?

The need that a person is attempting to meet in the area of CONTROL is the perception of feeling competent and capable.

AFFECTION

Emotional interaction in relationships

AFFECTION answers questions like:

How many people do I want to feel very close to? How willing am I to be unguarded in my emotions with another person? To become close to someone, am I able to confide my innermost desires, anxieties and feelings? How easily am I able to give and receive physical expressions of love, warmth, and approval in my deep relationships?

The need that a person is attempting to meet in the area of AFFECTION is the perception of feeling that one’s self is lovable.

For instructions on ordering a personalized A.P.S. analysis for yourself, a family member, staff members, or employees click here A.P.S. and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.

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As most of you know, I have begun a new chapter in my life.  After close to 40 years of being a vocation church based minister, I have moved to the Hattiesburg, MS area to establish a full-time counseling service.  I had a friend tell me that people who do this always make it about 90% of the time. I’m not real sure what he meant by “make it,” but my hope is to at least keep the people I owe happy and help a few people out in the process.

For the next few posts, I want to explain a little bit more about the counseling I offer and how it can benefit you or someone you care about.

While I offer a wide range of counseling approaches, Temperament Therapy is my basic foundational approach.  Temperament, in simple terms, is the genetic in-born part of a person that determines how we react to people, places and things. In short, it influences how we interact with our environment. Temperament counseling pinpoints our perception of ourselves and the people around us. It is the determining factor in how well we cope with everyday stress and pressure.

Temperament Therapy is a positive and affirming method based on the belief that everyone is created with a unique temperament and purpose for life.

By way of personal testimony, I believe that understanding my temperament has help me approach life in a way that will mean a few more years of healthy living.  I discovered that my temperament in the area of social interaction (which is one of three areas classified by Christian Temperament Counseling) is Melancholy compulsive.  This means that when I am with crowds of people, I am naturally experiencing stress.  As a pastor, as much as I love the church family I was still out of my temperament comfort zone.  When I came to understand this I decided to go home after church services each week and recharge by hitting Big Blue (the name I gave my blue Lazy Boy) pretty hard for forty-five minutes to an hour.  I believe this simple course correction lowered my blood pressure significantly.

Ask Yourself…

  • Why do I do the things that I do?
  • Why do I act this way?
  • Why do I stay home when others go out?
  • Why do I not share my feelings with others?
  • Why do I help people who don’t appreciate it?
  • Why do I ignore the people I love?
  • Why do I tend to take control?
  • Why do I allow people to hurt me?
  • Why do I move from one job to another?
  • Why do I get so tired during the day?
  • Why do I lose close friendships?
  • Why do I hold on to hurt feelings?
  • Why do I end up doing all the work?
  • Why do I tend to embarrass others?
  • Why do I get so angry?
  • Why do I keep dating the same type of people?
  • Why do I have trouble going to sleep at night?
  • Why do I crack jokes when I am nervous?
  • Why do I never slow down?
  • Why do I keep people at a distance?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in your personal Temperament Analysis Profile (APS).

The assessment of temperament is made using a simple, 54-question psychometric instrument known as the Arno Profile System (APS). This questionnaire is completed in less than 10 minutes and is processed to generate a personal temperament profile. This profile serves as one of the diagnostic foundations upon which counseling is based. Understanding your in-born, God-given temperament is the first step in resolving emotional stress.

In my next couple of post I want to give you more information about Temperament Counseling including how you might obtain a personalized profile for you, your spouse, your children, church staff, or employees.

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I want to end my week-long expose’ of Temperament Therapy by listing and giving a short description of each of the five temperament areas.  I will then wrap this up with a short personal testimony of how understanding and meeting my temperament in a godly way has impacted my physical health.

 

 

THE FIVE TEMPERAMENTS

The Sanguine
The Sanguine temperament type is characterized by the individual’s need to be around people. They are extroverted by nature. They tend to be bright, cheerful people who are like sunshine. Sanguine will get depressed NOT being with people. Sanguine Compulsive children are often misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD because of their compulsions to BE with people and their compulsions to crave and receive attention, and their lack of concentrations when they are not socializing. They also are known for telling whoppers in order to be socially accepted. At all costs, they must be the center of attention, whether that is with positive or negative behaviors. They have mood swings like a pendulum. When you see an evangelist on television, they most likely are Sanguine.

Sanguine also have explosive tempers. They must be taught how to allow God to meet their needs through positive behaviors, and taught that this is how God made them, but they need to be taught to ask God to enable them to deal with their anxieties when doing tasks not socializing with others.

The Choleric
The Choleric temperament type is characterized by a need to dominate/control situations, self and others. Not all dominating or controlling individuals are Choleric however; this depends greatly on learned behaviors and birth order as well. Choleric have the capacity to undertake far more stressful situations which would make most temperaments cringe. Choleric are very selective individuals. They will rebel when they feel they are being controlled whether it is through positive or negative behaviors. They will take on these behaviors to regain control of a situation. They have the capability to be charming, and can seem like “people” people. They are capable of keeping business, business. They are usually social when they have an agenda, or need to accomplish a goal. This temperament type has leadership capabilities. They can handle large amounts of stress, and they are usually on point when it comes to making quick decisions. However, they are susceptible to burn out which can immensely affect them for days, months, and even years. Choleric also may have cruel abusive tempers. They need to learn how to rely on God with their control and needs for acceptance.

 The Melancholy
The Melancholy individual is characterized by a need to be alone, independent, realistic, artistic and creative. The Melancholy individual also tends to be analytical. They receive their social pleasures by being with family. They are not comfortable in highly social situations such as clubs and gatherings where they are not with family members or close relationships. It is stressful for them to be around large amounts of people, and or strangers, and may result in unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol abuse to cope with their social anxieties. They will also rebel if they feel controlled, yet they do not want to control others. They require honesty, and loyalty, and are often revengeful. This temperament must be taught how to ask God to help them in their weaknesses, and enable them to forgive others for not meeting their high standards of perfection.

The Phlegmatic
The Phlegmatic individual is characterized by their slow pace, lack of energy, and non-commitment to life. It is difficult to make this temperament angry. They are seen often as lazy and un-driven individuals, however they are slow to anger, and it is difficult to ruffle their feathers. They are not motivated by reward or punishment. They are laid back. This temperament also curbs other temperaments, and can be an added blend for other temperaments in calming some of the obsessive controlling behaviors and needs for gratification through others. These individuals see much injustice in life, yet do not possess the desire to push forth their use of energy to participate in overcoming the injustices they witness. This temperament must be taught how to allow God to enter their lives, and enable them to bear fruit rather than waiting for life to bring it to them.

The Supine
The Supine temperament type is characterized by a tendency toward indirect behaviors and inability to initiate. They are the bowing temperament. They are of a gentle in nature, and of a loving spirit. These individuals characteristically are also people pleasers. They may outwardly express no need for affection however masks their genuine intensities of needing immense amounts of affection and attention. This desire for non-communicated affection for others leads to immense internal stress for the individual. They want someone else to read their mind, and to push forth energy in meeting their needs for affection, love, and approval, but they do not share their needs. They instead express the opposite of their needs for affection and relationships.

This temperament will often be mentally abused by stronger dominating temperaments, until one day they explode into a fit of rage over harbored resentment, and lack of approval and recognition for their accomplishments, and actions they accomplished for other people.

Kids with this temperament are also seen by many parents and therapists to “not want” a relationship with their absent parent, because they will refuse to share their innermost desires, they will express the opposite of their inner temperament needs, and will attempt to hide their stress over a lost relationship in which they very MUCH need love and affection for. This elevates their low self-esteem and creates communication problems for them, and allows them to harbor their feelings and withdraw their affections until they are approached. These individuals must be given a lot of love, approval, and taught HOW to say no, and HOW to communicate their needs to others who they have deep relationships with.

MY TESTIMONY:  In the area of Inclusion, I am Melancholy.  Not just Melancholy but I am what is called Melancholy COMPULSIVE.  When you add the word compulsive to one of these temperament what you come up with is every trait used to describe the temperament but you use the added modifying phrase, “…on Redbull.”  It ramps up the temperament a good bit.  So when you read above under Melancholy traits, “It is stressful for them to be around large amounts of people, and or strangers, and may result in unhealthy behaviors…” Multiply that word stressful by the power of 10!  “Well Billy, you are a pastor, you have to be around crowds of people,” you might ask.  Exactly!  

One of the suggestions given in my report was to take time after having been in a crowd to be alone for a while to allow yourself to regenerate.  I do this just about every Sunday now.  I come home and take about 20 minutes (maybe longer depending on if a nap happens or not) to relax in an isolated place.  My family understands my need for this and so they encourage me to do it.  Not to belabor the point, I have noticed a drop in my blood pressure as a result of just this small life alteration. I have a temperament report for my wife (who has her own testimony) and each of my children and their spouses. 

I know I sound like a paid sales person but in reality I am a satisfied customer.  I cannot tell you how many couple who have told me that it was helpful to know that God had created their spouse with these needs.  They thought the spouse was just being a jerk!  In reality it was just a need that was not being met or being met in an ungodly way. 

Once again, if you are interested in having this valuable information for yourself, your family, your workplace or church committee (I have this information on most of our deacons), please contact me by phone or email.  I will walk you through the process.  Click here for contact information.


Why do you need to know your Temperament?

The understanding of temperament gives us “special insight” into the inner workings of each individual. It helps to identify the pressures or feelings you are dealing with and where they are coming from:

  1. Internally.
  2. Externally in the world in which you live.
  3. Your weaknesses or desires.

Temperament is a determining factor in:

  1. Finding a career that is most comfortable for us.
  2. Finding hobbies that will bring us the most satisfaction and enjoyment.
  3. How we make decisions and take on responsibilities.
  4. How dependent or independent we are.
  5. Our spiritual development.

(Happiness in marriage is greatly dependent on how well each spouse understands their partner’s temperament and how willing they are to meet their partner’s temperament needs.)

The way a we view ourselves, our world and God will determine how we behave. These perceptions are founded in the temperament. Therefore, on the basis of these premises, the temperament is the determining factor of what we are, but our environment and our relationship with God determine what we will become.

There is no right or wrong Temperament.

All temperaments come from God but each has strengths and weaknesses. The key is to find out what temperament you were born with, and keep it in balance by meeting your temperament needs in a godly way. When you do this, many conflicts that you may be having with your spouse, your children, or others can be resolved.

It is also important that you find out the temperament of those that you interact with. When you do, you can begin to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice in Ephesians 5:21 (NLT) “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  We can begin to seek ways to serve as opposed to being served.

Many of your problems or the problems of others that you are interacting with or know are probably being caused by trying to meet a temperament need in an ungodly way. Unmet needs become weaknesses.

When you find out what your temperament is and you understand your temperament, you will have the correct knowledge to find balance in your life and in the lives of your significant others. You are given the ability to find balance between body, soul and spirit, which allows you to live out the purposes of God for your life, and thereby find peace in your circumstances.

An oak is an oak tree, and an apple is an apple tree. We do not criticize the oak because it is not an apple or the apple because it is not an oak. We only see the beauty of the two different creations of God and accept their individual places in the scheme of creation. So it should be with people.

We must not criticize them for what they are and try to make them into something different. We must love them the way that they are, and lead them, through the Gospel (Jesus), to find the unique place God has created for them. We must know our strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of those we love, and only then can we find balance in our relationships.

If you would be interested in receiving a Temperament Analysis Profile for yourself individually, as a couple, for your workplace, or your children, click here.

The photo is used courtesy of  www.flickr.com/photos/mr_clambake/


Many times there is confusion over the difference between personality and temperament.  One of my favorite descriptions of personality is that it is a mask we wear.  It is the “me” I have learned to project based on how my environment has shaped my mind, will, and emotions.   Personality is expressed in the way we perceive how we must behave to survive in the world in which we live.  Temperament on the other hand is who I am as designed by God in the womb (Psalm 139:13).  You can view differing temperaments in the new baby nursery at the hospital.  Some babies are sleeping quietly while others are trying to take control of the whole hospital! 

The Arno Profile System report is an updated, Christian oriented version of the Firo-B test developed by Dr. Will Schutz. Presently, over 4,000 pastoral and professional counselors rely on the Arno Profile System to aid them in their counseling efforts. These counselors report an accuracy rate of over ninety percent (90%) in identifying an individual’s correct (in-born, God-given) temperament.

After completing the 54 multiple choice questionnaire a person will receive a report, based on his or her responses that identifies temperament in three areas:

 

1. Temperament Inclusion (Mind)

Social orientation and thinking processes – INCLUSION answers questions like:

  •  Who gets included in my life? To what extent?
  •  Does being with others rejuvenate or deplete me?
  • How comfortable am I socializing? Do I belong? 
  • How much energy do I put into thinking things through?
  • Am I creative? Impulsive? Do I analyze every detail?
  • Am I more relationship, task, or goal oriented?

 The need that a person is attempting to meet in the area of INCLUSION is the perception of feeling significant or worthwhile.

 

2. Temperament Control (Will)

Capacity to make decisions and accept responsibility – CONTROL answers questions like:

  •  Who establishes and holds the power in my relationships?
  • How much do I naturally want to influence others?
  • How much do I want (or will I allow) others to control me?
  • How willing am I to make decisions and accept responsibility for myself and/or others?
  • Am I a leader, follower, influencer, rebel, servant?

 The need that a person is attempting to meet in the area of CONTROL is the perception of feeling competent and capable.

 

3. Temperament Affection (Emotions)

Emotional interaction in relationships – AFFECTION answers questions like:

  •  How many people do I want to feel very close to?
  • How willing am I to be unguarded in my emotions with another person?
  • To become close to someone, am I able to confide my innermost desires, anxieties and feelings?
  • How easily am I able to give and receive physical expressions of love, warmth, and approval in my deep relationships?

The need that a person is attempting to meet in the area of AFFECTION is the perception of feeling that one’s self is lovable.

If you would be interested in receiving a Temperament Analysis Profile for yourself individually, as a couple, for your workplace, or your children, click here.


I must confess that when I first started studying Temperament Therapy in 2006, I was not convinced of its validity.  The leadership, though very loving and caring, did not seem to be “mainstream” in their approach to counseling or within the church at large.  One can get on the internet and find all manner of criticism for this model of therapy, and that caused some apprehension on my part. 

However, after four and a half years of using this method and seeing time after time how effective it is in the actual counseling process, I am convinced of its validity and would place it beside any other counseling model in its effectiveness.  For my dissertation I had to document its effectiveness in counseling situations across the board including everything from marriage, pre-marriage, depression, PTSD, teen, and children problems.  My success rate was 94% which is about average based on the overall usage of Temperament Therapy.

I am so convinced of the need for this type of information in the life of individuals, marriage partners, parents, and people who direct and lead staff – that I want to spend a few days explaining the nuts and bolts of the system.  I will do my best to make it reader friendly but if you have questions please send them to me below.

Today I want to start this journey by simply defining temperament.  In simple terms, temperament is the inborn (not genetic, i.e., brown hair, blue eyes, etc.) part of man that determines how he reacts to people, places, and things.  In short it is how people interact with their environment and the world around them.  Temperament pinpoints our perception of ourselves and the people who love us.  It is also a determining factor in how well we handle the stresses and pressures of life. 

If you would be interested in receiving a Temperament Analysis Profile for yourself individually, as a couple, for your workplace, or your children, click here.