The aims and objectives of this essay are to describe in detail the eight personality types as defined by Carl Jung and how they interact within our two main attitudes and to demonstrate how they may help a therapist when helping clients achieve their goals.
Carl Jung (1875-1961) was born in Switzerland, his father was a pastor and although he was the fourth child he was the only surviving one. His mother was frequently depressed and it is said spent much of her time in her bedroom where she claimed the spirits visited her at night. Jung said that at night his mother became strange and mysterious. Jung described himself as an introverted and solitary child and was most happy when he was on his own. He was a prolific writer, though many of his works were not published until after his death. He died at home in Zurich from a brief illness in 1961. (Wikipedia)
It is interesting reading and researching Jung experiences of his childhood and the behaviour of his parents which took him on a path to understand how different individuals can be and how they portray ideas, beliefs and opinions. According to Jung whilst we are conscious and awake we alternate our minds by taking information and making decisions within our internal and external world. He identified eight different patterns using opposites.
He believed our attitude to life can either be introvert and extrovert. Looking more closely at these two types the differences are as follows:
Introverts appear reserved, thoughtful and quiet. They need to have their own space, usually do not have many friends, interested in their own feeling and thoughts, they concentrate work well on their own and do not like unexpected visits. This type will avoid networking but love people watching, however they can become drained in social situations from other people’s energy and often retreat to recharge their own batteries.
Extroverts appear to be interested in everything surrounding them and what is happening around them. They are often talkative and open, they like to compare opinions, like action they often say what they think and adapt easily to new people. They are assertive, informative, enthusiastic and animated in the presence of others. They tend to be in groups rather than alone, if alone too long they fade and become bored.
Following on from this once determined whether a particular person is an introvert or extrovert type decisions will then be made following a direction of a particular activity using four different functions – sensation, thinking, intuition and feeling. Jung went further to pair these four functions into two categories:
Perceiving Types. These are motivated into activity by changes in a situation. They act on impulse. They can start many things at once without finishing anything properly. They prefer freedom to obligation they like to keep their options open. Their work productivity depends on their mood and they often act without any preparation. They can be flexible but disorganised, adaptable and relaxed.
Perceiving functions are sensation and intuition. Sensing is our ability to deal with information based on physical qualities. Intuition is our ability to deal with information within a hidden potential or possible existence. Some of the differences between these functions are:
Sensing types – see everything and everyone, they live in the here and now, quickly adapt to any situation, they are practical, realistic, self-confident and active. They seek pleasures based on physical sensation.
Intuition types – worry about the future more than the present, they do not like routine, they often have doubts, they are attractive to theory based situations rather than practical ones. They are interested in everything that is new and unusual.