Unfortunately, some people use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to stereotype. Why? Because they can then make funny graphics about which Harry Potter character you are most like. Stuff like that is entertaining, and holds an element of accuracy, so it’s not going away. I only use MBTI as a means of getting at the Cognitive Function order, which works well for the majority of people. (Incidentally, the 16 MBTI types are not the only types possible, just the most common.) From there out, I focus on the Functions and use them as intended by Jung, as “delimiting of psychic processes that can be shown to be typical,” rather than “to stick labels on people.” Obviously there are certain typical patterns in human mental processes or we wouldn’t be able to relate to comedians. If you know and understand your own patterns, you can work on changing them where they are negative and using them more actively where beneficial.
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The Language of Functions is a bit difficult to get a handle on at first. This is precisely the reason Briggs and Myers developed their more accessible version. I think the MBTI in its typical use misses a lot of the depth of understanding and utility of Jung’s Functions. Many people find it much easier to learn the original system with my help, and our first session focuses on teaching the Language of Functions. Also, the MBTI, and especially the free online spin offs, are not always accurate in determining your Type. In the first session, we work hard to make sure we’ve pinpointed your type correctly. Sometimes it takes more than one session to accurately find your type, but if you don’t focus on that first, the whole system falls flat for you – the reason a lot of people walk away and think there’s nothing in it for them. This whole process takes time, and three hours just gets us started. However, if you would like to only do a Type Analysis, you can buy a 1 hour session for that purpose.
Why should I develop my Inferior or Shadow Functions? Some people think that’s dangerous, not possible, or detrimental.
I call the lower functions (third and fourth) “inferior” as opposed to the higher functions (dominant and auxiliary) which are typically more developed. I think it is possible and desirable to develop and use all 8 functions in an increasingly conscious and fluid manner. Some people think it’s not possible to develop the Inferior function, however I work with clients in my practice to do just that. The official MBTI line indicates that it’s detrimental to try to develop the opposite of one of your preferences. Their favorite example is that each person has a preferred hand to write with and trying to write with both at the same time makes a mess of things. I say, each person has a preferred hand to write with, but typing with both hands is a lot faster. Some think it’s detrimental to develop lower functions because that will detract from focused use of your highest functions. This is true in the sense that a first born child will have to “share” their parents with a younger sibling, but hopefully the addition adds more to the whole family than any individual sacrifices. The goal of my practice is to teach you how to use all 8 functions harmoniously in a highly functional Function Family!