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Connecting Experience in a Residential Eating Disorder Center to the School Psychology Field

I recently wrote an article for the Florida Association of School Psychologist’s Winter Newsletter. I have reprinted it below so that my readers can see it. You can also check out the actual newsletter here.

Eating disorders are not just about food— they are related to many other factors such as ADHD, allergies, trauma, substance abuse and/or a myriad of mental illnesses. Walking into the residential center as a counselor, I did not expect to also gain experience working with women with substance abuse and serious mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia. These women have taught me more about life in six months than anything I have learned in school. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from working here is how to keep my sense of self as a human rather than trying to be the completely together and collected therapist that I thought I had to be. While in this center, these women have experienced sickness, death, and as many ups and downs as life has to offer. It is impossible not to become affected emotionally. During this time, I met some of the kindest humans I have ever met in my life. Most of them would care about others so much more than they would themselves that it led to neglecting their own needs. This became more than a job for me. Instead, it also became a lesson to improve my own self-care and most importantly, how to be human while still being supportive and professional. Going into the field of psychology, I had this false idea that I needed to be somewhat emotionless in order to be a good professional. I heard horror stories of friends who visited professionals who then went on to speak about their own problems and completely overshadow the patient and the issue at hand. I was always careful not to self-disclose, until I realized how beneficial a little self-disclosure could be for a patient. It is important to validate the patient’s feelings and let them know that they are experiencing them in a way that is different from others, but it is also good to let them know that they are not alone. Since perfectionism and eating disorders usually go hand-in-hand, I make it known to my girls that I am not perfect. I acknowledge my mistakes when I make them and I use these opportunities to let them help me become a better professional. This becomes a great way of modeling because many girls who have eating disorders are overcritical and have a tough time handling feedback. Instead of continuing a group therapy session that I know the patients aren’t getting anything out of, I make sure to ask them what they need at that time or what they would specifically like to get out of a group. This allows the patients to feel like they are being heard. Since each group of women is different, this discussion allows me to understand the needs of this specific group so that I can cater my groups to them specifically. It is also a great way to turn around a group that is not participating. Sometimes asking the patient what they need or what they would like to get out of a therapy session can not only ensure that both the patient and professional are on the same page, but it lets the patient know that you care. This is especially beneficial for the adolescents, who may not think that they have any say in their treatment or their lives in general. It is so important to allow the adolescent to know that they can have control by choosing to improve their life. Their parents and school faculty members are just tools that they can use in order to guide them toward the right path, but ultimately, they need to be the ones who make the decision that they want to recover. One of the most beneficial things for my own research was asking the adolescents about their experience at school. I realized that many of them had so many different options when it came to where they could stay for lunch. Many of the girls expressed that they would stay in the library, where food was prohibited, in order to work on homework or avoid eating lunch. I would ask them what they thought would help girls who are struggling with an eating disorder be noticed by someone who could help. They said that they would be more likely to confide in a peer than an adult because they were so used to telling the adults they were okay when they really weren’t. They also expressed that it could be very uncomfortable for them to talk to an adult that they haven’t built a relationship with, but a peer with a specific position such as a peer counselor would make the experience much more comfortable. We also discussed how in order to speak to a peer counselor, they would have to fill out a form or go through an adult to start the process. Other girls expressed that they did not have any friends to eat with, which made it easier for them to hide and just not eat their lunch. We discussed the possibility of there being designated leaders in the library or the lunch room who would eat with students who didn’t have anyone to eat with or who were struggling with something in their life. Since adolescence can be extremely difficult and many people may not know what someone else is dealing with, these peer leaders can help inspire hope in students who need it. These peer leaders can be trained to recognize signs of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicidality among students. They could also be there for students to come up to or would approach students who look like they need someone to talk to. During this discussion, when we were sharing ideas and thinking of new ways to help others, I saw the eyes light up in my adolescents for the first time. Their eyes were full of this new hope for the future and pride in the new program they have created with each other. It also helped fuel my inspiration because I was stuck in trying to figure out a way to target students who are struggling with an eating disorder when it was so easy for it to go unnoticed. I’ve had to sacrifice some of my holidays and free time in order to work with these women. Although some days can be draining or difficult, it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I’ve taken the time to get to know the women who are in the center, beyond their eating disorder, and I have learned just how kind, caring, and loving they are. If I had a magic wand that allowed my patients to love themselves and took away all of the obstacles in their life, I would surely use it. Unfortunately, this is not the case, so I must be patient and help them get through it, one day at a time. I have found the importance in saying what you mean inside of waiting until it’s too late. These girls can come and go so quickly, some complete the program ready to tackle ED and take on the world, but others leave without feeling confident that they can recover. Sometimes just letting them know that you believe in them can make a huge difference in their world. All of these are lessons I will surely take into my future experience as a school psychologist because having one positive adult in a child’s life can change their perspective and allow them the confidence to succeed in their academic and personal lives.

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What a Trump presidency means for sexual assault victims

Congratulations to those of you who decided that this man who has been notorious for bullying those with disabilities, trash-talking people of other races and religions, and disrespecting women would be a better president than a woman. Now, anyone with a heart would recognize that he is wrong for our country but let’s take a look at something deeper. What does it say if our president already has many sexual assault charges against him before he enters office? During the infamous “bus” conversation with Billy Bush scandal, it was clear that he does not respect women or their right to have a say in what happens to their bodies. This is clearly evidenced by his pro-life views and comment stating that “you can do anything” to a woman and get away with it if you have some sort of high status.

I remember that week being a huge trigger for every single woman who has had an experience with sexual assault. I spoke to my adolescents at work and they were all terrified of the idea of Trump as president. How are they supposed to feel safe when their own President is not punished for sexual assault? How are they supposed to flourish in a world that is constantly shutting them up and telling them to “get over it”? We already have a system that favors the rapist over the victim. Cases like Brock Turner, Anita Hill, Jameis Winston, and those in the documentary Audrie and Daisy have exposed the horror that life becomes once the victim speaks out.

I urge you to take a second and try to imagine what life must be like for anyone, man or woman, who has been sexually assaulted must be like. Having to carry on with work or school because you don’t want to let them ruin your life but at the same time feeling broken, used, and worthless. Being told to “move on” when you are constantly bombarded with flashbacks of the incident and terrified that it might happen again. Not being able to sleep because of the nightmares and not being able to trust anyone. Try to imagine what that can do to a person. They literally become a shell with nothing left inside because society has told them it is not acceptable to talk about it so they have to become numb just to walk around without breaking down.

Make no mistake, the women I work with are strong. It was never their fault. The assault led them to turn to alternative methods to numb or forget the pain. They suffer from eating disorders as well as PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. It’s heartbreaking that they would have to turn to these methods because being open about it just isn’t acceptable in our society.

You can see the pain in their eyes, the way they carry themselves, and the fear they describe when they talk about men and the possibly of dating in the future. You can feel their despair when you sit down with them when they are breaking down and have no idea how to get the horrible experience out of their minds. Needless to say, their lives can never be the same again.

Many people still defend this man stating that they are “just words” or seem to not classify this as sexual assault. I assume the ones defending him would be other white men who have never been victims of sexual assault or women who clearly cannot empathize with a woman who has been assaulted. These are the same individuals who hold the belief that women are objects instead of people and do not deserve the same amount of respect or rights because of their gender.

But I urge you to read stories of sexual assault victims. Try to see it from their point of view. Be grateful that you were lucky enough to never have to go through anything they do. Be kind to people who feel hurt and scared after this election because you never know what they have been through or are going through.

Yes, we do have to move on eventually but give people time to grieve and make sense of things. This is a decision that affects so many different people and although it may not affect you, it may affect someone you know. And if you care about that person, please let them voice their opinion just like our 1st amendment freely allows us to do. Recognize that there are going to be populations of people who are hurting from this and allow them to feel it.

In order to move on, we need to protect our rights as people. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Even if something may not make you happy or fit your culture, religion, or personal views, you do not have the right to control others. Just let that person be who they are. Is it really affecting you? Do you really need to fixate on what someone else is doing with their life? Stop the hate. Hate will just break you down and hurt others. Focus on making yourself happy and making yourself a better person because that is how we will actually make this nation great.

The Power of Your Story

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Throughout centuries, stories have been passed down from generations in order to teach a lesson or to show others what life was like during that time. We’ve had exceptional writers such as Dickens and Hemingway whose ideas transformed the way people thought about society in their day. Authors such as J.K. Rowling have given us hope for success if we only keep trying. They have also opened the doors to our imagination so that we can experience magical worlds and hear stories of people who may or may not have existed.

Now that we have the Internet and the world of social media, everyone has the power to write their own story. It is not just an option for the educated, wealthy, or those with popularity. Although this can be a dangerous thing, it is also a beautiful one. We can learn lessons from ordinary people and get a glimpse of what life is like from their point of view. We can learn about what life is like for someone in a war-torn state like Syria or someone who is struggling with the loss of a loved one or a physical or mental illness.

Whether we choose to write it, tell it, publish it, or keep it to ourselves, each and everyone of us has a unique story that only we can tell. We can choose the words we put into it and whether it’s going to be a comedy or tragedy. This may seem odd because we cannot actually control what happens in our story or who is in it, but we can control the way the main character reacts and behaves throughout the story.

Our main character can be a protagonist or antagonist. They could also be the narrator explaining how others live their lives and placing judgement on how they do so. They could be observers or doers and can choose to let certain people into their lives or push them out.

It is up to you. Do you want to be the hero, the victim, or the villain? Sometimes we can play more than one role or all three if we are having an internal crisis with who we are. What truly makes the difference is not only which one you decide to be but how you write the story as well. Do you write it as if you had no control over your own life and blame others for your unhappiness? Do you write it with definitive labels that will never change and negative feelings that will never get better? Do you complain and whine or do you belittle others to make you feel better or more accomplished? You may even be your own worst enemy fighting yourself and stopping yourself from completing the task or making the journey that you’ve always dreamed of.

Or do you take a different approach? Do you accept that you have flaws but that you ultimately are the one who is going to be in charge of your fate and your happiness? Do you write with positive words and give yourself credit when it is due? Do you express gratitude to those in your life that may not be here forever?

The point is that you have the power to create the person who you want to be around every moment of every day. If there are things you want to make better, you have the power to do that. You can transform yourself from a victim or villain into a hero. There is no point within your story where you cannot make it better unless you give up. Sometimes it takes choosing to be the hero everyday of your life and writing thousands of positive words to combat the millions of negative ones. But it can be done. You just have to realize that the power is always within you and no one else.

National Suicide Prevention Week

You may or may not already know but Sept 5th-11th is National Suicide Prevention Week.

Sept. 10th is Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day

Why does this matter?

The national suicide rate is rising (it has increased from 10.5 in 1999 to 13.0 in 2016).

It’s the 2nd leading cause of death for college students and those from ages 15-34.

It’s the 3rd cause of death for ages 10-14 (the suicide rate has been rising for middle schoolers, especially females. Bullying is associated with suicide.)

Every 13 minutes, someone dies by suicide

There are about 117 suicides per day

Over 40,000 Americans die by suicide each year

Native Americans are almost twice as likely to die by suicide

17.7% of high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide within the past year.

8% of high school students have made a suicide attempt within the past year.

It is an issue that affects people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, and other demographic factors.

(CDC, 2016)

How do I know if someone needs help?

If you see someone that seems upset or is just not acting like themselves lately, don’t be afraid to ask them how they are feeling. If you are still concerned, ask if they are thinking about suicide, if they have a plan, and if they have intent or the means to do it (such as pills or a gun).

Use the mnemonic “IS PATH WARM”:

I S

I Ideation

SSubstance Abuse

P A T H

P Purposelessness

A Anxiety

T Trapped

H Hopelessness

W A R M

W Withdrawal

A Anger

RRecklessness

MMood Changes

What do I do if someone needs help?

  • DO NOT leave them alone
  • If you really need to leave, call someone and wait until they can come help
  • Listen to what they have to say
  • Ask if they have intent to harm themselves
  • Ask if they have a plan
  • Ask if they have access to dangerous objects or lethal means
  • Use your judgment—just because they say no or “I’m fine”, doesn’t mean it’s true
  • Contact a mental health professional (preferably their own)
  • Help them call the Prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Call the mobile crisis unit in your area
  • Physically bring them to the hospital or a crisis center
  • Call 911

Why doesn’t anyone want to talk about suicide?

There are many reasons for this and the main one is that there is a stigma around mental illness and suicide that makes people feel like it’s not appropriate to talk about it because it will show weakness or make people uncomfortable.

Many schools, parents, or administrators have the belief that talking about suicide will cause more people to attempt suicide; however, research overwhelmingly shows that the opposite is true (Gould et al., 2005; Robinson et al., 2013).

Not talking about suicide will lead to more suicide attempts and completed suicides. 

Suicide isn’t an idea that comes out of thin air. It comes from an overwhelming amount of stress, helplessness, burdensomeness, and many other factors.

Some suicide threats are not taken seriously because people say they just “want attention”. If they are seeking attention by threatening suicide, there is clearly something wrong and they need to get help. There is still a possibility that they could attempt.

People who battle suicidal thoughts have most likely battled mental illness like depression, or even significant trauma and PTSD.

People who have been struggling with suicidal thoughts can look happy, have jobs, and blend in with society. There isn’t a way to “look” for someone who may be suicidal.

People with suicidal thoughts have had to be strong and hold in their feelings for years. They may have the idea that keeping those feelings in means they are strong, but in reality, it takes much more strength to get help.

What can I do to raise awareness?

It starts at the core of being kind to everyone. You never know what silent battle someone may be struggling with, so always keep that in mind. Think of ways throughout the day that you can make life just a little bit better for someone else.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell people how you feel about them. There are too many times when people end up saying nice things at someone’s funeral or on their Facebook page when they are gone. What if they were able to see those things while they were still alive? What kind of impact could that have made on their life?

Let people know you appreciate them and tell them what you specifically like about them.

Remember, suicide is preventable. We just need to work together in order to help them get help.

Share the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, facts, videos and change your profile picture banner to support suicide prevention this week.

Participate in an Out of the Darkness walk to support the cause

Resources

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

National Suicide Prevention Week 2016

http://www.sprc.org/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

http://www.itgetsbetter.org/pages/about-it-gets-better-project/?gclid=CKuwoNDM_s4CFcQehgodGg0FnQ

http://www.samhsa.gov/tribal-ttac/resources/suicide-prevention

http://www.nova.edu/suicideprevention/resources.html

http://www.suicidology.org/

References

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db241.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.PDF

Suicide Statistics

http://dmh.mo.gov/docs/mentalillness/joinerpresentation.pdf

Gould, M.S., Marrocco, F.A., & Kleinman, M. (2005). Evaluating iatrogenic risk of youth suicide screening programs: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of American Medical Association, 293(13), 1635-43.

Muehlenkamp, J.J., Marrone, S., Gray, J.S., Brown, D. L. (2009) A college suicide prevention model for American Indian students. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(2),  134-140. doi: 10.1037/a0013253

Robinson, J., Cox, G., Malone, A., Williamson, M., Baldwin, G., Fletcher, K., O’Brien, M. (2013). A systematic review of school-based interventions aimed at preventing, treating, and responding to suicide-related behavior in young people. Crisis, 34(3), 164–182.

What is a School Psychologist?

This week is School Psychology Awareness Week, so I wanted to devote a post to explaining what a school psychologist is and what they do. It seems that many people think a school psychologist is the same thing as a guidance counselor or are not really familiar with the term.

School Psychologists can work in many different settings such as schools (obviously), universities, hospitals, clinics, private practice, juvenile justice programs.

School Psychologists know more about psychology than any educator and more about education than any psychologist. They help bridge the gap between education and mental health in order to figure out how to help the child as best as possible.

School Psychologists perform many different assessments such as for classroom placement, special education or for specific mental health issues. They participate in meetings with other professionals and use their knowledge to come up with the best way to help each specific child. They may work with parents, social workers, special education staff, teachers, principals and many other types of professionals.

School Psychologists may also provide counseling in order to improve behavior, promote social support, and provide emotional support to individuals or groups. They are usually the front runners during a crisis and may provide training, counseling and other methods of support to teachers, students, parents and staff.

To put it simply, School Psychologists work to improve academic achievement, mental health, behavior and student quality of life overall. They can help prevent suicide, support students in stressful times, provide a better plan for a student struggling with school, and make many other positive changes in the lives of students.

Eating Disorders: What you should know

Eating Disorders come in all different shapes, colors, forms and sizes. They affect people across all cultures, ages, genders, and backgrounds. Here are some of the most common (but not all) eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa

Restricting food, excessive dieting, self-starvation to the point where one is losing a lot of weight in a short period of time. Also related to perfectionist tendencies, lack of control, trauma or difficulty adjusting to a situation, low self-esteem and poor body image.

Common signs

  • Skipping meals
  • Saying negative things about their appearance or themselves
  • Making excuses for eating small amounts or not eating
  • Cutting food into small pieces
  • Mixing around food on plate
  • Talking excessively during meals
  • Loss of energy
  • Unable to enjoy activities they once enjoyed
  • Idolizing “skinny”
  • Disgust or uninterested in food

Bulimia Nervosa

Intake of an excessive amount of food in one sitting (binging) and then making oneself throw up (purging). Related to control, attempting to find balance or control, low self-esteem, poor body image and extreme feelings of guilt after eating. Most have a normal body weight. Could also be paired with anorexia.

Common signs

  • Using the bathroom after meals (frequently)
  • Turning on the shower/faucet when in the bathroom
  • Excessive and frequent coughing in the bathroom
  • Yellowed teeth and/or fingernails
  • Extreme guilt after eating
  • Idolizing a certain body image

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Most common eating disorder. Intake of an excessive amount of food in one sitting, without purging. Immense weight gain and associated health issues.

Common signs

  • Hiding food (in drawers, bags, etc.)
  • Hiding while eating (in the car, in their room, the bathroom, etc.)
  • Feelings of extreme guilt after eating
  • Eating past their point of being full
  • Eating excessively without being hungry
  • Intense preoccupation with food
  • Seem to derive happiness from food
  • Less than active lifestyle

Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness. This is why knowing the signs and getting them help right away is extremely important.

The most important thing to know about eating disorders is that they are not a choice. More likely than not, the fear of gaining weight or the tendency to eat too much, will derive from some underlying cause.

What not to say/do to someone with an eating disorder

Do not force them to eat

Everyone knows that nutrition is important, but force does not work. Threatening the person or making ultimatums will only cause more distress to the person struggling and could lead them to other destructive behaviors in order to gain control (purging, use of laxatives, drug/alcohol abuse, self-harm, running away, or even suicide attempts).

Do not tell them they are not fat

Do you really think that you saying that will solve all their problems? It just makes them feel weird and as if they are crazy. You don’t have to agree with their belief, but at least acknowledge that they feel as if they are fat and get them help.

Do not idolize their disorder

There are some people that will say “I wish I was anorexic”, “you look so skinny” or “you look great”. This only idolizes their disorder and furthers their commitment to it. They will want to receive even more compliments! An eating disorder isn’t something anyone should really want to have, as there are devastating consequences.

Do not tell them they don’t really have an eating disorder

This can happen frequently if the person is a male or a member of a minority group. Eating disorders are often improperly labeled as “a young, white girl’s problem”. This is certainly not the case and you are making the person feel uncomfortable while delaying their recovery. Do not treat them differently from anyone else who has an eating disorder. This could also happen when someone is diagnosed with “Atypical Anorexia” which is self-starvation without being underweight. It could make them feel as if they are not “good enough at being anorexic” and lead to harsher methods of weight loss.

Do not tell them to “get over it”

You don’t tell a person with cancer or HIV to “get over it”, so don’t do it with an eating disorder. It takes a lot of treatment and therapy to recover. You are better off learning more about eating disorders and directing them to an appropriate source of help.

Do not give up on them

Chances are, they really need a friend or support system right now. They may be unpleasant or difficult to be around, but it is not their fault. Show them that you care and reach out to a professional who can help them. Let them know that they are capable of recovering.

Important things to know

Most people who are struggling with an eating disorder have a serious underlying issue that needs to be resolved. This could be trauma, sexual/physical/emotional abuse, bullying, extremely low self-worth, low self-esteem, little/no support system, trouble adjusting (to a move, divorce, etc.), depression, anxiety, self-harm, and/or suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it is important that the person struggling seek treatment in order to resolve the eating disorder and the underlying issue. Failure to seek treatment can lead to other issues and even a relapse after recovery.

People who have struggled or are currently struggling from an eating disorder have triggers that may cause disordered eating. For example, a buffet can be scary for someone with a history (past or present) of anorexia because there are so many food choices (healthy and unhealthy) and they feel overwhelmed. They may also feel anxiety eating around other people and worry that they will think they are eating too little or too much. Someone with binge eating disorder or bulimia may feel the need to eat a lot more than they should and feel guilty afterwards. Another person may have disordered eating during high times of stress. Be mindful of certain triggers and help the person know that they are not strange for feeling this way. Direct the person to a professional if the triggers become very frequent or too overwhelming for them.

If someone is recovered, it is important to look out for what they need. They may have a few slip-ups and that is okay. In this case, it would be inappropriate to recommend treatment. Let them know that you are there for them and remind them the importance of seeking help if it becomes more frequent. Accusing someone of relapsing could make them believe that they are and lead to more frequent behaviors, so it is essential to look for the signs and be sensitive toward them.

If you’re not sure, ASK!

If you see signs of an eating disorder but are not sure, ask them! It is better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you approach them privately, gently and respectfully. Do not accuse them or make them feel ashamed: I.e. “You’re not anorexic, are you?!” Say something like, “I’ve noticed some things that caught my attention and I could be totally wrong but I care about you and want to let you know that if you are struggling, you can talk to me and we can get help together”. You are not expected to be the sole source of support or therapist to them, so it is very important to direct them to a professional. It may even help to go to the therapist’s office or treatment center with them to ensure that they go and feel supported.

Helpful Resources

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

http://www.anad.org/eating-disorders-get-help/eating-disorders-helpline-email/

http://www.anad.org/

http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/get-help-now

*Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I call myself, an expert on Eating Disorders. This is an area of interest I have done extensive research on, but the previous statements may not apply to everyone. Each individual experiences things differently and in their own way because everyone has different situations in their life. This needs to be taken into account. The above information speaks about the “general” ideas of Eating Disorders, but I cannot speak for everyone who struggles.

What type of personality are you?

The beauty of the world is that everyone is different. Everyone has a different personality and it is not good or bad, but rather unique in their own special way. It is important to learn about one’s own personality to figure out how you work best and what you do or do not like. When you learn about the personalities of others, it helps you figure out how they work and how you can work together.

This is one of the reasons why groups will sometimes provide these tests for their members. It allows people to understand how other members can work together best. If you have not taken the test, then take it here and come back.

Personally, I find that I am a hard person to categorize. It’s hard for me to fit myself into one category when I have many different interests. Also, when I take the test, I sometimes come out with different results because of how borderline I am on some of the categories. The questions can also vary, which can change the results as well.

I come out as an:

INFJ (most of the time), ENFJ, INFP, ENFP

I am right in the middle when it comes to extrovert vs. introvert. This is called an ambivert. I value introspection and time to myself with my thoughts just as much as I value interacting and maintaining relationships with others. I can have just as much fun reading a book at home on Friday as I do going out to a party on Saturday.

I can see a direct influence of these two important values in my top two future professions: a writer and a psychologist. The writer in me wants to watch what is going on around me and describe it, while being immersed in my own thoughts. The psychologist in me wants to be actively involved in people’s stories and help them come to a point where they can figure their emotions out.

I am intuitive and feeling. This never changes when I take this test. I think imaginatively and allow myself to use feelings to learn about myself and others. These two things are more important to me than logic or reason.

I usually come out more as Judging than Perceiving, but not by much. I display a great propensity for planning and scheduling. I like to know what I am doing in advanced, what I need to bring and what to expect. There are certain things that I have to keep organized, but others that I do not (like my room or my bag). However, when things are not organized, it stresses me out, which aligns with judging. I do like to be spontaneous at times, but I have to say that I usually prefer knowing what is going to happen.

MY POSSIBLE PERSONALITY TYPES:

ENFJ, the Teacher

ENFJ: The Teacher

ENFJ IN A NUTSHELL

ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. They are focused on values and vision, and are passionate about the possibilities for people.

ENFJs are typically energetic and driven, and often have a lot on their plates. They are tuned into the needs of others and acutely aware of human suffering; however, they also tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking, intuitively seeing opportunity for improvement. The ENFJ is ambitious, but their ambition is not self-serving: rather, they feel personally responsible for making the world a better place.

ENFP, the Champion

ENFP: The Champion

ENFP IN A NUTSHELL

ENFPs are people-centered creators with a focus on possibilities and a contagious enthusiasm for new ideas, people and activities. Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their creative potential.

ENFPs are typically agile and expressive communicators, using their wit, humor, and mastery of language to create engaging stories. Imaginative and original, ENFPs often have a strong artistic side. They are drawn to art because of its ability to express inventive ideas and create a deeper understanding of human experience.

INFJ, the Counselor

INFJ: The Counselor

INFJ IN A NUTSHELL

INFJs are creative nurturers with a strong sense of personal integrity and a drive to help others realize their potential. Creative and dedicated, they have a talent for helping others with original solutions to their personal challenges.

The Counselor has a unique ability to intuit others’ emotions and motivations, and will often know how someone else is feeling before that person knows it himself. They trust their insights about others and have strong faith in their ability to read people. Although they are sensitive, they are also reserved; the INFJ is a private sort, and is selective about sharing intimate thoughts and feelings.

INFP, the Healer

INFP: The Healer

INFP IN A NUTSHELL

INFPs are imaginative idealists, guided by their own core values and beliefs. To a Healer, possibilities are paramount; the realism of the moment is only of passing concern. They see potential for a better future, and pursue truth and meaning with their own individual flair.

INFPs are sensitive, caring, and compassionate, and are deeply concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. Individualistic and nonjudgmental, INFPs believe that each person must find their own path. They enjoy spending time exploring their own ideas and values, and are gently encouraging to others to do the same. INFPs are creative and often artistic; they enjoy finding new outlets for self-expression.

I like getting to see the different facets my personality has because it makes me more unique than just having one personality type. 
Whether you identify with all 16 types or just one, it’s nice to learn more about your own personality.
So, what type are you? What qualities do you agree with and which ones do you not agree with? Do you agree with your profession?

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