The founder of personality understanding was Carl Jung who first wrote about his findings in 1921. However, his work had one serious limitation. As he was a trained psychologist he mainly had access to people that were perceived to have serious psychosis problems. His work was based on finding a new balance for these people rather than a balance for the everyday person who doesn’t find their way to a psychotherapist.
Isabel Myers took up the challenge in 1942 to help “ordinary, healthy, normal people understand that it is alright to be unique individuals.” She could see the implications in everyday life, careers and relationships with those around you. Her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, wrote in 1980 – “I hope parents, teachers, students, counsellors, clinicians, clergy – and all others who are concerned with the realization of human potential – may find a rationale for many of the personality differences they encounter in their work or must deal with in their private lives.”
Nowadays, the test is used by a vast array of big corporations to fit you into a box and try to predict how well you will do a particular job. This was not the purpose of the empowerment and awareness test. It was not to determine your path in life or what box you go into. In the same way Alfred Binet created the I.Q. Test to help see how to better accommodate students – not to determine their capabilities for life.
We have gone beyond the simple factors that people have obsessed over who you should be but rather than the factors that help people to be the most balanced form of themselves. Which, ironically, is what Jung was striving for when he first worked with his patients in the 1920‘s. This balanced form of yourself allows you to be successful at everything in record breaking times.
We firstly started off applying our new methods to students with learning difficulties – why are no two dyslexic children able to get the same results? Why does one find the whole school experience so difficult and not the other? Why are so many people of a particular personality type diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome? Why do some people with written expression issues bully others? Why do some students need all the steps explained while others find their own ways?
We now have a more extensive profiling method, Purple Profiling, that takes more factors into account including the ways in which we process information. Another area that Katherine Briggs was keen for people to have an understanding and realization of. We understand the developmental time scale and how generational factors affect long term patterns. We have ended up with a system that is like psychoanalysis and counselling on speed. The results are not only rapid, but more importantly, sustainable. They have been described as ‘flicking a switch.’ We are not changing people. I don’t need anyone to be less dyslexic or more sociable for success.
The methods have now been applied to all areas of life, business and sports as well as education. Across a span of ages, backgrounds, sports and industry sectors.
It has been so important to continue to build on the foundations of this work, especially as we have been continually written off by people in life. My own psychologist report at 16 told me that “it was beyond my status to go to college” because of my severe dyslexia. Interestingly, all of the people who have seriously added to this method, and not in a way to just be used by corporations to fit people into boxes, have themselves all been INFJ. The rarest MBTI personality type. It is as if in being so different from others that they have strove to add to the understanding of that difference in the world around them.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,
February 3rd 2015.