Describe and Evaluate Carl Jung’s Theory Concerning Personality Types and Show How It Might Usefully Help a Therapist to Determine the Clients Therapeutic Goals?

Topics: Personality psychology, Carl Jung, Extraversion and introversion Pages: 6 (2258 words) Published: August 19, 2012
Describe and evaluate Carl Jung’s theory concerning personality types and show how it might usefully help a therapist to determine the clients therapeutic goals? ~

Word count 2247
Personality can be described as the individual’s characteristic patterns of thought emotion and behaviour together with psychological mechanisms-hidden or not behind those patterns. The influence of both genetics and heredity factors alongside upbringing, culture and experience are recognised as influencing an individual’s personality. Within the counselling arena the client’s unique personality will influence their movement and path to finding solutions to issues and problems they bring. This essay will be evaluating Carl Jung’s type theory of personality which suggested that there were distinct personality types into which each individual could be placed. This essay will also discuss how useful the application of his personality type theory is within the counselling setting when determining the client’s goals. Behind Carl Jung’s personality types theory are his concepts of the structure and dynamics of the human psyche. He proposed in a similar vein to his contemporary Sigmund Freud, that the human psyche comprised of different interrelating systems. The first system is that of the ‘ego’ which principally the conscious mind is. Close by to the ego is the ‘personal unconscious’, which includes anything which is not presently conscious, but can be. The personal unconscious holds all the individuals unique experiences and memories which can be brought into the conscious when needed. Lying behind the ‘personal unconscious’ is the ‘collective unconcious’ which contains ‘archetypes’ which are forms or symbols that are manifested by everyone across all sociieties and cultures. The collective unconcious according to Jung is something that all humans were born with and yet are never conscious of. Jung was not the first theorists to propose that individuals personality can be categorised by their ‘type’. Indeed he was inspired somewhat by the ancient Greek physician Galen. Galen developed the first type theory of temperament which was linked to earlier concepts and it proposed that balance of bodily fluids in the individual influenced their different behaviours and made an individual into either a phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine or melancholic ‘type’. The first categorisation Jung made of the personality type was that of the persons ‘attitude’. An attitude, according to Jung is an individual’s predisposition as to how the psychic energy was directed by the person in response to their world. He proposed that there were two opposing attitudes, extroversion and introversion. These two attitudes worked both as opposing and yet complimentary forces. The introverted person is more aware of their inner world and their psychic energy is more focused in that direction. The introverted attitude is more drawn towards internal rather than external appraisal.. In contrast an extrovert person has a more outward moving psychic energy and they are drawn more to an objective approach which lies in their surrounding environment. Jung felt that a person was born with either predominance towards extroversion or introversion and that their type was not changeable over the course of their life. However, he argued that both attitudes of extraversion and introversion are present in every person and therefore when labelling someone as an extrovert he was referring to the more dominant developed attitude. Jung suggested that whilst the persons attitude type determined the direction of their psychic energy, there were also four further fundamental ways for the person to perceive and interpret reality which he termed ‘functions’. Jung divided people into either functioning as ‘Thinking’, ‘Feeling’, Sensation, and ‘Intuitive’ types. These four types were divided into two diametrically opposite pair, therefore thinking is the opposite of feeling and sensation is...


References: Radford J, Govier E.( 1987) A Textbook of Psychology. Sheldon Press
Engler B, ( 1985). Personality Theories, An introduction. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Frankland A, Sanders P. (2009) Next Steps in Counselling. PCCS Book
Sharp D. (1987 ) Personality Types: Jung’s Model of Typology. Routledge
Jung CG. (1976 ) Psychological Types. Routledge.
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