Living life to its fullest, requires understanding of self and others. Yet, people see life differently. The theory of Psychological type offers a framework for systematically describing fundamental differences in perception and decision-making. This understanding can be used to help people find and improve alignment in their own lives (inside and out), as well as better understand where others are coming from and thus improving communication, expectations and relationships in general, becoming attuned to these differences can solve many misunderstandings and help us to become aware of personal limitations and find ways to overcome them.


Individuals are often in situations where some parts of their life’s are working out better than others. Where the competences in one part, doesn’t naturally transfer to other areas, and we are meeting them with different levels of attention and awareness.

To become aware, which role our nature and cognitive functioning plays to support these preferences, can help one to distinguish and better understand strengths and weaknesses, and develop personal strategies to better handle and develop these, as well as prevent pitfalls from natural limitations or deal with them more consciously.

Relationships are important to most of us, yet dealing with them naively, lacking awareness of personal differences, projecting expectations of similarity or complementary behavior, is what many of us naturally tend to do more or less, yet this can easily cause friction and misunderstanding. The theory of psychological type can help to systematically understand some of the differences in cognition and behavior.

However, one needs to be careful not to succumb to stereotyping, but always put the individual first, and see how type operates within as one of multiple factors, besides life experience, environment or personal choices. From personal experience I can say that type plays a significant role in most personal issues.



We usually start our work in a conversational manner, understanding a persons background and life situation, before we proceed to inquire about more specific aspects of what motivates them, how they go about doing things or interact with others, or talk about (current or recent) issues in their life. Once we see specific behavioral / description patterns, we start to verify and further explore until we have a rough sketch of their personal traits. Using different aspects helps us to cross check the validity of observations as well as offering the client descriptions of natural tendencies in context of their life.


After hundreds of hours working with clients, the results turned out more positive than expected, at times very positive. In many instances we reached a level of mutual understanding, being able to explicitly formulate and thus help the client to better understand aspects of their own nature, which they had been partially aware of or at odds with.

There have also been a few cases, in which psychological type wasn’t our first priority, as the issues a person was facing were better dealt with directly (eg. relationship or family issues) or by other means, for instance when a clinical condition or medication strongly impacts a persons basic functioning (eg. cannot understand or answer any question), there is only limited help we can offer.

We have had a few instances where we turned out to be only partially correct in some observations (we judge along a number of binary distinctions), but the initial outcome was incorrect. Fortunately, the individuals concerned, felt confused by the resulting diagnosis and its implications. It didn’t fit with their own perception and life experience, offered little explanatory value and they felt very limited resonance with type specific issues.

While it is positive that type specific information is specific enough to be falsifiable and not generally apply to other types (like horoscope descriptions that can be read by a random person to identify with), our primary purpose is to help a person to better understand him or herself and possibly explore ways for growth and development. In the past, when there was reasonable doubt, we responded by scheduling another interview and are usually glad to find out if we made a mistake, because it poses valuable feedback and can show us where our process needs improvement.

Type-based consultation

Once we accurately typed somebody, we can usually talk about type-specific issues and struggles and see how these have been or still are present in a persons life. When the typing is accurate, we usually see reactions from the client, as they feel that their perspective is being understood or it sparks their interest, because we hit upon a topic that has been or is still relevant to their life, and they are interested in any relevant information or steps towards a solution.

Typing is only the first step. Besides personal coaching, we have worked with couples and in the corporate environment.

Relationship consultation

In relationships, we want to increase mutual understanding and clarity about each partners basic tendencies and needs, of what they have to offer and also what they expect or seek from a nature point of view, once we have worked this out and supplied some contextual explanation, we can look at where this has led to natural (mis-)understandings and compatibilities or a (mis-)match between what both parties want to give and receive.

Understanding type in this context, can make it easier to see objective differences in gifts and needs and work with them constructively, rather than judging or suspecting oneself or the other person of some fundamental flaw.

Relationship consultation (B)

In relationships, each person has something they want to give and something they want to receive, if between the people involved, these mutual requirements don’t align in some important respect, this can easily lead to misunderstandings, dissatisfaction or -in worse cases- even blame of self or other, while in other respects, the relationship is working well to meet both parties needs. In such a situation, the theory of type can offer a systematic description of personal differences, in the context of the actual relationship. Once we understand each parties different perspective, point of view and the underlying motivation, not only can we affirm individual needs and requirements, but also look for ways to deal with them in a more conscious way. Of course, there are multiple aspects, where conflicts can arise, especially when communication is lacking or life expectations or values are vastly apart. However, with regards to basic natural compatibility, looking at things from the point of cognitive functions, temperament or interaction styles can often help to gain a deeper understanding for underlying differences.

Corporate consultation

Most people spend lots of time at work, people prefer different working styles and have different strengths as well as communication styles. We belief that in the 21st century a persons level of effectiveness can be strongly enhanced by self awareness, understanding one’s own preferences, clear communication and understanding of others.

In a general session, we start by typing each member of a team in individual short sessions (around 20-30 minutes per person for interview, validation and cross checks). Then we teach part of the basic concepts as interactive session, where people can see themselves and other members of their team, this by itself can be fun and engaging and help team building and future communication.

If the company or team has specific issues to work on (communication, conflict, etc) or is further interested in how to assign tasks and responsibilities to align with individual strengths and increase motivation, then we are willing to take a deeper look and work together with the people involved towards internal and external solutions.

Learning how to type

Many people are interested to learn more about the theory of type, to use it for personal development in their own lives and with others – something we encourage and support, as it aligns with our own goals, of improving human interaction. Furthermore, many of our own clients, working with people, apprehend the potential benefit for their own

work, be it in sales and marketing, customer service, HR or rendering psychological services, even in creative writing (compare movie industry’s use of tropes), psychological type can be relevant to systematically understanding different kinds of clients, their communication styles and information needs and modify one’s own communication on the fly.

We are currently designing courses to teach a solid understanding of fundamental aspects of the theory and demonstrate it’s applications.

Type research and development

The theory of type is about basic aspects of human nature, however, humans don’t live in a vacuum, they are embedded within a cultural context and different situations, local or global, have an influence on their direct living environment and daily interactions. Working with clients, we found repeating themes, that invite generalization to a certain degree. In this context, we are curious to identify specific issues for which the framework of type can offer new ways of understanding and point out type related implications.


In 1921 Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, published his work on Psychological types (original German title “Psychologische Typen”) in which more than a decade of discovering systematic differences between individuals has led him and his some of his collaborators from the basic distinction of introversion and extroverted orientation, through a finer distinction along different aspects of perception (sensation and intuition) and judgement (feeling and thinking), to what he called cognitive senses (commonly referred to as cognitive functions) and how a combination of these operate in the individuals psyche.

Jung’s work was taken up by the Katharine Cook Briggs (and later her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers), who had been interested into personality research and found Jung’s insights to be superior to her own attempts at classification. Over the next decades (starting in the 1920s) she and her daughter develop the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for assessing psychological types, extended Jung’s original 8 types to 16 (based on two different choices for the auxiliary function), established the 16 type naming schema and gathered statistical data on distribution in parts of the population (the MBTI manual has data on samples taken from schools), however.

Another intersection is between the temperaments and the 16 types, in his book <Please understand me II> David Keirsay, writes about the four temperaments Guardians, Artisans, Idealists and Rationalists, and how each of these corresponds to four of the types. One of his students, Dr. Linda Berens further extends these by renaming them and adding three dichotomies, in addition to that she introduces the interaction styles. All these can greatly improve typing accuracy and offer additional cross checks.

John Beebe, an American Jungian analyst, in his book <Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type> offers additional analytical insight by extending the cognitive model to include shadow functions and assigning archetypes to every function position.

More recent developments are happening during the recent years, including groups such as Personality hacker, an ENFP-ENTP couple focused on self growth. Another one is Dario Nardi, a researcher from the University of California, who tentatively looked at the neuroscience side of personality, has employed EEG brain scans on (40+) ENFPs. Another very interesting approach is the Objective Personality (OPS) system which employs a double blind test (scientific method), gathering massive data (more than 4000 samples), who use a more phenomenological approach (describe what they see, limit theoretical assumptions), and have developed further distinctions, so each of the 16 types has been split into 32 sub-types, totaling 512 types.

Basic concepts

{Cognitive functions}, with the {extroverted and introverted orientation} of the 4 senses are at the foundation of this theory. The way these are arranged is described in {structure of ego concsiousness}.

The {MBTI naming schema} is the most widely used representation and describes how the four letter labels correspond to the underlying cognitive functions, however, simply taking the MBTI test and taking the results as true poses serious problems described in {MBTI issues}.

The {16 types} table provides an overview and basic description. The types can also be arranged as the cross product of the {4 temperaments} and {interaction styles}.

Advanced concepts

Cognitive functions appear as pairs that show dynamic behavior and mutual influence described in the {cognitive axis}. Furthermore, most existential action can be seen as the combination of a perceiving and a judgement function, these are described in {co use of functions}.

So far we mostly talked about the individual, in {functional interaction} and {type compatibility} we talk about the basic functional needs and wants that largely impact interpersonal interactions.

While the 16 types, covering the top four functions, offer a basic description, extending to the unconscious / shadow side, and extending to the {8 function model} can describe additional aspects we have observed and used in our own work. This can be further specified in the cognitive transitions through gateways across the { different sates of the mind }.