The Temperament Approach
The Temperament Profile is used to identify a person’s inborn, innate temperament. It identifies our spiritual genetics – God’s imprint upon each of us.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS
A unique way to break down the complex subject of the “inner man” is illustrated in “The Building Blocks” diagram below.
- God-Created “Temperament” (Inborn) – The first building block of understanding human behavior is God-created. This is called our temperament. When we are conceived, our unique temperament is placed within us by the order of God.
- Man/ Environment-Affected “Character” (Learned Behavior) – The second building block of understanding human behavior is that we are man/environment- affected. This is called our character. At birth, we begin to interact with our environment and our environment interacts with us. The environment is everything we see, hear, smell, feel and learn. These perceptions are forever locked into our brain and they mold and alter our temperament, forming character, (i.e. temperament x environment = character).
- Self- Selected “Personality” (Mask) – The third building block of understanding human behavior is that we are self- selected. This is called our personality. This may or may not be part of our temperament or character. This is the way we perceive how we must behave to survive in the world in which we live. There is one major problem with personality. It is a mask we wear for the world and, as with any mask it, cannot be worn for very long. Eventually, the person must revert back to temperament and character. This explains why a person may act differently at home than they do in public.
This is what sets the study and theory of temperament apart from all other counseling modalities.
Because it starts from the inside and works outward, not the other way around. Simply put, and generally speaking, traditional psychology often starts with the presenting problem, or symptom, and then attempts to work it’s way in to find the solutions. (In later years, particularly since the later 1960’s, the search for underlying issues came more to the forefront.)
Temperament starts at the core. While presenting problems certainly need to be dealt with, you cannot treat the presenting issue as the problem at the core, or the root issue. The underlying issues of temperament makeup and propensities, combined with the upbringing and history of the particular person, have everything to do with why the person is experiencing the presenting issues.
Psychology has been in transformation, in particular since the 60’s when we moved away from lobotomy as a solution, ( yes, until the 60’s), into more psychotropic medications as the “solution”. While there is certainly a place for medications, for years doctors, many unqualified, like family physicians, prescribe random medications that they have as samples, while not paying attention to the contributing underlying issues of the individual at all.
So, while psychology has certainly improved it’s practice and premise, the element of Temperament is largely disregarded. The reality is, starting from the inside out approach not only saves time in discovery in treating peoples struggles, it delivers a more thorough and lasting result, along with other disciplines, than psychotherapy alone. Many temperament counselors integrate psychological disciplines such as cognitive therapy, but not as the foundational centerpiece of treatment.