Saturday, September 29, 2012

Assessing Personality

Assessing personality can be beneficial in counseling. The personality assessment may help a couple understand each other a little better. Personally, I think it would be an interesting self-discovery. As described by Whiston (2008), personality assessments can tell quite a bit about a person and can contribute to the way a person deals with stress as well as how they respond to others. However, as Whiston (2008) discussed, personality is complex and it would be foolish to base more on a personality test than was appropriate, especially in counseling.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) seems to be widely used (I see this type of Jungian-based personality test often online and in magazines). Unless there is a quick and easily implemented version, though, it may be no easier to utilize than the MMPI-2. From a personal standpoint, and for ease of use in counseling, I like the idea of tests that take 5 or 10 minutes, unless of course, a more reliable test would be warranted in a specific circumstance.

I agree with Hogan (2007) who suggested that prior to using any assessment, counselors should ask themselves if they will be better off using the assessment with the client or obtaining the information in a different way. Although an old study, Bjork and Druckman (1991) claimed the MBTI’s popularity is much greater than the scientific research supporting it.


Bjork, R. A., & Druckman, D. (1991). In the mind's eye: Enhancing human performance. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Hogan, T. P. (2007). Psychological testing: a practical introduction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Whiston, S. C. (2009). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning

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