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Personality Types - are there really just four?

You may have seen news stories about recent research on personality types (e.g. BBC News, 18th September, 2018) which has looked at results for more than 1.5 million people on 'the Big 5' personality test scoring 5 criteria, Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. The researchers found that there were 4 typical patterns of results and named them "average", "reserved", "role-model" and "self-centred". It all sounds terribly scientific, but it is not the full story.

Other researchers have argued that there are 16, 4 or 2 personality traits, whilst businesses spend a fortune on psychometric testing to choose the 'right' kind of applicant. Yet, largely forgotten in our enjoyment of personality tests, there has also been research suggesting that there is no fixed personality at all. Think about it, do you have a single way of functioning? Are you the same at home as you are at work, when you need to go into a shop and return an item, when you are with a lover or with family? Or do you have a multitude of personalities which you can select from to suit the situation you find yourself in?

When we think about the things which make us unhappy it is easy to slip into unhelpful thinking, telling ourselves that unhappy is who we are and that we cannot change. This is where counselling can help and there is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that talking therapies are of benefit in the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

If you would like to know how we can help you to make a change, use our contact form or give us a call. Get unstuck.

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