095 – Temperament: Thinking and Feeling
Counselor Toolbox

00:00 / 62:46

Thinking and Feeling
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSM, LMHC, NCC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host, Counselor Toolbox
President, Recovery and Resilience International

Continuing Education (CE) credits can be earned for this presentation at https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/615/c/

~    Define temperament
~    Examine how knowing your temperament and the temperament of those around you can
~    Improve communication
~    Enhance relationships
~    Reduce stress
~    Explore in-depth the Thinking/Feeling dimension
~    Identify potential conflicts
~    Examine potential ways to help people on opposite ends of the spectrum collaborate.
~    A relatively stable set of traits referring to
~    Preferred environments
~    Learning and problem solving styles and methods
~    Ways of conceptualizing and approaching the world
~    Philosophical approach to the world
~    Time management
~    Temperament occurs along a complementary continuum
~    Neither end of the continuum is better or worse
~    Most people are somewhere in between each point
~    As stress increases, people gravitate toward their preferred temperament dimensions
~    Additional stress and vulnerabilities can be through
~    Awareness of personal preferences (Prevent your stress)
~    Awareness of the preferences of those around you
~    Knowledge of how to create an environment supportive of individual preferences

~    Like words such as principles, justice, standards or analysis
~    Laws
~    More dichotomous
~    Can be frustrated by Feeler’s lack of decisiveness or inattention to “the facts”
~    Can be swayed by arguments about how something is the right or logical thing to do given the evidence
~    Value objectivity above sentiment
~    Like words such as care, compassion, mercy, harmony
~    Ethics
~    Middle of the road
~    Can be frustrated by the Thinker’s adherence to the rules
~    Can be swayed by arguments for why something is the most compassionate or merciful thing to do
~    Value sentiment above objectivity

~    Compromise
~    Appeal to each other in their preferred language
~    Pro and con list
~    Involve all interested parties
~    Remember that not everyone is comfortable with feeling words

~    Want to apply objective principles to solve problems
~    Can assess logical consequences

~    Want to apply values and ethics from multiple perspectives
~    Good at assessing the human impact

~    The resolution of most problems requires a compromise between what is logically the most correct choice and which decision will have the best impact on the person, the couple and the larger system.
~    The values/epitaph activity can help clarify which way to tip the balance (What 3 values are most important to you)
~    Motivation–the “Feeler” can present logical arguments
~    Motivation–the “Thinker” can present from the perspective of how the less logical choice might impact the couple/family/system
~    Look for the logic in the “Feeler’s” resolution (Residential treatment)

Decision Making Guide
~    Stop and think
~    Clarify goals and values
~    Determine the facts
~    Develop options
~    Consider the consequences
~    Choose
~    Monitor and modify
~    Respond most easily to people’s thoughts and issues

~    Respond most easily to people’s values and emotions

~    Practice active listening
~    Understand the other person’s process
~    When I am dealing with a problem I need you to:
~    a) Validate my feelings
~    b) Help me solve the problem
~    c) Listen so I can clarify what I need to do to solve the problem
~    Engage with the person in terms of what they respond to (thoughts vs. feelings)
~    Be careful not to assume the Feeler is asking for something when all they want is acknowledgment

~    May think that those who are sentimental take things too personally

~    Think that those preferring objectivity are insensitive

~    Working with humans requires a balance of logic and compassion.
~    The Feeler needs to learn to see the thinker’s perspective as one of deep caring about what he or she perceives as right and wrong.
~    The Thinker needs to explore the feeler’s perspective in terms of the right thing being the most compassionate thing.
~    Neither logic or compassion always wins.  It takes compromise
~    Feelers tend to be more physiologically reactive to emotions making them seem more sensitive
~    Thinkers are very sensitive, but they often jump past emotional expression into problem solving to try to make right what is most fair and compassionate

~    May argue both sides of an issue for mental stimulation

~    Prefer a to agree with those around them

~    Thinkers need to validate the Feeler’s perspective so he or she does not feel bullied
~    Thinkers can start by saying… “Let me play devil’s advocate…”
~    Thinkers can take the Feelers point and argue it, encouraging the Feeler to argue the other point.
~    Feelers need to be aware of how they feel and learn how to validate and accept without necessarily agreeing.
~    Thinkers need to be careful not to talk over the Feeler.
~    “I don’t know why you are asking me, you seem to have already made the decision.”

~    Thinkers and Feelers have many difficulties in relationships because of their differences in
~    Motivation
~    Communication
~    Counseling can help both parties clarify their individual and shared values.
~    When faced with a conflict, both parties can try to brainstorm a solution that most clearly fits both values
~    Feelers tend to be more physiologically reactive to emotions which makes them seem more sensitive
~    Both Thinkers and Feelers are quite adept at handling their problems
~    Thinkers want the problem(s) acknowledged
~    Feelers want their feelings acknowledged

~    In recovery Feelers can fall victim to being too compassionate (or guilt ridden) with others and may need to make more logical decisions based on their recovery
~    Can you help anyone if you relapse?
~    In recovery Thinkers may have difficulty identifying other people’s feelings due to fear of getting unloaded upon.
~    Thinkers need to get in touch with their emotions/feelings/reactions so their problem solving efforts are focused on the end goal
~    Feelers often need to develop distress tolerance skills to prevent reactive relapse

~    Each person is often a combination of some introverted and some extroverted characteristics
~    Knowing your own preferences can help you reduce your own vulnerabilities and stress
~    Knowing the preferences of your friends, family, coworkers can help you understand more about how to interact in harmony with them
~    Just like two people with depression may have different “symptoms,”  two extroverts may have different extrovert traits.
~    Quick Assessment
~    Do they/you talk it out or think then talk?
~    Are they/you “friends” with everyone or tend to stay with one or two people or alone?
~    Can they/you focus on one task for an extended period or do they need variety?
~    Do they/you prefer quiet or active environments?

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