Understand Your Personality (Free Test)

You may have taken a Keirsey/Jung or Myers-Briggs Personality
test as part of a career guidance exercise in school, or as a component of a job application or training. Have you taken the time recently to take a personal inventory
of the strengths and challenges common to your specific personality

Consider the reason why employers use these tools and the
implications such information may have on your marriage/relationships, sex life, job, friendships, social life or your efforts to stop a dysfunctional cycle or behavior.

Recently, I re-took the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS)*, and I
was surprised by the things I learned about myself—and the areas of my
personality for which I was able to have grace after taking the short exam. I must say that I found the results to be very accurate.

The Jung Typology Test is another measurement tool that is similar and can be used
to help couples determine their areas of compatibility, problem
areas, and ways to work with each other.

Both of the below tests are equal in length, free, and should theoretically
give you the same results. (I took them both and scored as an INFP on both).
I found the JTT to be a bit less complicated in the wording.

The first site is for the Jung Typology Test (JTT) FREE.  Note that the compatibility function between personality types is not free, and is offered for a small fee.

The second Site is for the Keirsey Temperament Sorter(KTS) FREE: Make sure at the end you click (No Thanks, Just The Results)

So, what were your results?  Click here to find out what they mean. Did you agree or disagree with your personality assessment?  How did the results change the way you view your personal strengths and / or challenges?

*The KTS is an assessment shown to have validity with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI)—a more extensive exam that was developed in 1962 by Katharine Briggs
and her daughter, Isabel Myers, based upon Carl Jung’s book PsychologicalTypes (published 1923).


John Gottman Part 3

Three months ago my peers at the Christian Counselors Collaborative asked me to lecture on John Gottman’s research in Marriage therapy. Three months later I am honored to be coming back to present part 3, having been asked to continue the lecture as a three part series.

This final lecture will conclude with solving the solvable problems in a marriage, individual conflict styles, assessment tools to use in therapy, individual therapy sessions, and Gottman’s assumptions about marriage therapy.

We will then go into a time of discussion, during which I intend to ask some questions that may provoke some fairly heated debate. So, if you are coming-know where you stand on an issue and have ways to back up your position. Here are the questions that will be asked during the discussion section of the lecture.

1.What is the difference between individual counseling and couples counseling?
2.What is your take on the professional use of self in couples counseling? i.e. disclosure?
3.Matt 5:31-32 When does God bless Divorce.
4.What is Infidelity in marriage?
5.When should we recommend separation?
6.Matt 5:39 What does it mean to “turn the other cheek” in marriage? How has this been misinterpreted?
7.Mark 12 30-31 What is the application of the golden rule in marriage?

We will conclude with open forum case presentations, where any helping professional, having worked with a couple is able to bring their case foreword for the rest of the group to hear and give their professional feedback for the education of both the individual presenting the case, as well as the rest of the group.

I am excited, as always to discuss or teach anything Gottman OR marriage, both together, well, lets just say I am very much looking foreword to tomorrow.

Where: ACAC The red Brick Building next to the Church Propper (park in either lot beside that building) 250 East Ohio Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

When: Friday, April 20th 12:30pm-2:30pm

Who: Anyone who is interested in coming

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free

Stagnation is death, at least of the human spirit. Education is an investment in your self-confidence, your perspective and your ability to navigate the world you live in.

Often I run into people–including myself–who do not know where to look for resources that will challenge them in their specific area of interest. This link has free resources for just about every niche. Enjoy.

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free

Thank you to Marc and Angel Hack Life
Image credited to Flickriver: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3070/2968868322_89504703d4.jpg

The Stress of Ambivalence

Have you ever felt ambivalent?  Most of us know what it is like to both love and hate something at the same time.  This can be on a small scale, like when a dieter both loves and hates the taste of ice cream.  On a larger scale, the experience of ambivalence does much of the damage in sexual abuse, as one tries to reconcile the combination of relational pleasure and intimacy during a choice-less, life shattering betrayal.

The truth is that we all experience stress-causing ambivalence from time to time. If we were to allow ourselves to be honest about the conflicting feelings we experience, we could alleviate some of the inner turmoil that we often explain away as ambiguous distress, sadness, or anxiety.

Take, for instance, a time when the God you put your faith in has seemingly let you or a loved one down…big time.  You are flooded with questions and emotions that seem to threaten your understanding about who God is and what you can expect from life.

But “the Lord works all things together for the good”, right? While this may be true, it is not likely to be the way you actually feel.  Dismissing our actual feelings with truisms or glib sayings is not easy, but it is significantly easier than admitting that this death/job loss/abuse, etc, causes you to doubt His sovereignty, His goodness, or even His existence, or that it causes you anger, even rage toward His willingness to allow the events to unfold as they have.

Your mind and body will process these emotions with or without your permission; however, without allowing yourself to admit the existence of these conflicting emotions, they will manifest themselves in covert ways that are out of your control (i.e. nonspecific depression, anxiety, sometimes even physical illness).

This ambivalence occurs in response to myriad situations. Your anger towards a child you love, your distrust of yourself, your realization of your parents’ flaws.

The honesty involved is not effortless, but with a little help, it can be learned. If you have a good friend, a pastor, or a therapist to help you sit down and begin to practice the process of self-honesty, the experience is rewarding, even exciting at times.

If you need help finding a therapist, we can help you to get connected. Or you can ask your pastor, PCP, or friend for a trusted referral.

Finding yourself in a place where you can be honest about the way you feel, even when it does not make sense or jive with your better judgment, can save you from the stress that is caused by ambivalence.

Photo Credits:
Picture 1: http://dirty-knickers.blogspot.com/

How Well-Adjusted Is Your Marriage? Short Test

How Well-Adjusted Is Your Marriage? Short Test

The following quiz is based on the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test. A measurement that has been extensively tested for accuracy and validity.

This quiz is accredited to John Gottman in “The Marriage Clinic”

Disclaimer: taking this quiz and/or sharing the results with your partner may result in conflict with your partner. In the case of marital conflict please find a well-trained marriage therapist.

On the following continuum, how do you feel about your marriage: (circle a number)

0               2               7               15               20               25               35

Very Unhappy                          Happy                                 Perfectly Happy

_____________ place # here

How often do you and your partner disagree on the following issues.

Mark 0 if you always disagree

Mark 1 if you almost always disagree

Mark 2 if you frequently disagree

Mark 3 if you occasionally disagree

Mark 4 if you almost always agree

Mark 5 if you always agree


A)   Money                                                            _____________ place # here

B)   Play/How to spend Free Time                _____________ place # here

C)   Friends                                                          _____________ place # here

D)   Proper public behavior                             _____________ place # here

E)   Beliefs about life                                         _____________ place # here

F)    In-Laws                                                       _____________ place # here


G)   How you show affection                          _____________ place # here

  1. 8 Always Agree
  2. 6 Almost Always Agree
  3. 4 Occasionally Disagree
  4. 2 Frequently Disagree
  5. 1 Almost Always Disagree
  6. 0 Always Disagree

H)   Sex (Circle One)                                        _____________ place # here

  1. 15 Always Agree
  2. 12 Almost Always Agree
  3. 9 Occasionally Disagree
  4. 4 Frequently Disagree
  5. 1 Almost Always Disagree
  6. 0 Always Disagree

I)     Disagreements usually end with          _____________ place # here

  1. 0 Husband giving in
  2. 2 Wife giving in
  3. 10 Agreement through compromise

J)     Do you and your partner spend your free       _____________ place # here

time together?

  1. 10 All of it
  2. 8 some of it
  3. 3 very few of it
  4. 0 none of it

K)   During free time you generally prefer

  1. To be on the go
  2. To stay at home

L)    During free time your partner generally prefers       _____________ place # here

  1. To be on the go
  2. To stay at home

(for K & L award : 10 for both stay at home / 3 for both on the go / 2 for a disagreement)

M)  Do you ever wish you did not marry                      _____________ place # here

  1. 0 frequently
  2. 3 occasionally
  3. 8 rarely
  4. 15 never

N)   If you could do it over again; you would              _____________ place # here

  1. 15 marry the same person
  2. 0 marry a different person
  3. 1 not marry at all

O)   Do you ever confide in your partner?                   _____________ place # here

  1. 0 almost never
  2. 2 rarely
  3. 10 in most things
  4. 10 in everything


This quiz, similar to an IQ test, has a mean of 100, and a standard deviation of 15.

85  indicates a marriage that is considered to be in trouble

100 Indicates a marriage that is at the average level of satisfaction

115 indicates a very healthy marriage.

130 and higher indicates an exceptionally happy marriage.

Note: Couples within the first 5 years of marriage usually score 15-20 points higher than couples married longer than 5 years.

If you wish your marriage was more satisfying to you, be encouraged that there is a substantial amount of research that has taught us what makes a marriage fail or succeed. Find a therapist who specializes, or has experience in treating couples.

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Do I Need Therapy? Quiz

Connected to the link below is an online 12-question assessment that claims to be helpful in letting you know if therapy is recommended for you at this time. The hosting website says that most of their measurment tools have been tested for validity. I would be interested to see if you have any feedback.


What A Camera Can Tell Us About Life

We’ve all had the experience of pointing a camera at a beautiful scene, only to be disappointed later that the image we’re left with looks nothing like the vista we hoped to capture.  What makes the difference between a stunning, captivating photograph and a poor image?  I would argue that the lens used to take the picture makes a big difference.  We know, for example, that a basic lens without a zoom will capture a very different image than a fancy telephoto lens with lots of bells and whistles. A fish-eye lens will distort the image in a different way than a wide-angle lens.  The lens can make or break a picture.

Much the same as using a camera lens to take a photograph, we all look at the world through our own unique frame of reference, capturing the surrounding world in snapshots which we use to interpret and remember the moments we experience. However, sometimes we forget that we are subjective and not objective observers of our world.  We can easily change a camera lens to capture an image differently, but changing or even identifying the mental lens we use to view the world is much more difficult.

Your lens is specific and unique to you. You and a sibling may have grown up in the same house, with the same parents, and have similar ages and physical features.  All of these things have helped to shape the lenses you look through. But even with all this in common, the way in which you view the world could be very different.

Everything we experience is interpreted through the lens we use.  In this way, two people living through an identical situation can have completely different experiences. The same stimulus can be interpreted in very different ways by different people using different lenses. Therefore, I can never truly claim to understand how someone else feels.  For example, applause will be interpreted differently by a person who is accustomed to success than it will be by someone who is accustomed to failure. An embrace is experienced very differently by a person whose dad hugged her as an attempt to make amends for the abuse he inflicted than it will be by the person whose father delivered a hug to express his unwavering love and affection. The same statement made by a politician will be interpreted differently by a politically conservative person than it will be by one who is politically liberal.

Awareness of the lens you use to experience life can offer profound freedom and insight into why you experience life the way that you do.  Even better news: like camera lenses, our mental lens can be switched out for a better version, allowing us to capture better images of the one precious life we’ve been given to live.

What lenses are you using to experience your world? How could your life and relationships be made richer and more beautiful by gaining this awareness of perspective?  How would your life change if you were able to see things differently?

Images Credited to:




Should we medicate depression or anxiety? In working with clients who struggle with these and other disorders I have run across those who stand on both sides of the line. Some people are adamantly opposed to medicating these conditions, others are enthusiastically in support of it, while still others are ambivalent.

What do you think?  Weigh in on this issue with your vote and/or comments explaining your stance.

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