The following is adapted from Leona Haas and Mark Hunziker, Building Blocks of Personality Type: A Guide to Discovering the Hidden Secrets of the Personality Type Code *Used with permission.
Building Blocks of Personality Type belongs on the shelf of everyone interested in understanding and making use of Jungian psychological type and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment in their own lives and/or in helping others. It is to be read and used often as a valuable reference.
The authors have succeeded in conveying the full complexity of the eight-process model of type and its application in a manner that is clear and accessible to the professional and interested layperson alike. It is wonderfully user friendly. As I read it, I felt that the authors were sitting with me and I was the "you" they were addressing.
Leona's years of work with the government when she was working across the range of government hierarchy in terms of education, level of jobs, and experience, have served her well in presenting information in a manner that speaks across the spectrum. My first experience in observing her workshop was with a group of employees totally unsophisticated in anything psychological-they understood and responded with enthusiasm.
The collaboration between the two authors began at a workshop on the eight mental functions led by Leona Haas. Mark Hunziker was a participant. Mark wanted to learn more. Leona wanted to record a complete description of her model but her forte was live presentation, not writing. An hour's conversation later, the joint project was launched. Mark would provide his writing and structuring skills and gain the opportunity to study the eight-process model up close. Leona would be able to make her work available to a wider audience. "Two introverted intuiting types do not need much information or time to know when something ‘fits'!"
Building Blocks of Personality Type demonstrates the success of this "fit." The writing is clear and coherent. Complex ideas are explained with precision, simplicity, and accuracy. The organization of the book takes an overwhelming amount of knowledge and presents it in a logical structure that makes the content accessible to the reader.
The development of the eight-process model of type is a giant step in understanding and using Jungian psychological type and the MBTI® assessment.
Leona Haas has been instrumental in developing and instructing others in the eight-process model of type. This model enables in-depth understanding of the eight mental processes that form the core of Jungian type theory, and it also provides a new and enriched model of feedback.
Katharine C. Briggs's major contribution was her profound understanding of Jungian theory and her recognition of psychological type as an invaluable model of development in healthy personalities. Her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers's major contribution was her pioneering work in creating the sixteen type model with its four-letter code as a way of giving individuals access to their Jungian preference type. For many years, interpretation focused on the four dichotomies, E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P, although Myers had used her understanding of the eight processes in her naming of each type (for example, ESTJ as an extraverted thinking type with introverted sensing). The only description of these eight processes was a four-page summary compiled by Myers in Gifts Differing.
Most practitioners are introduced to Jungian ideas when they begin to use the MBTI®; however, over the years their understanding has gradually moved from basic type through type dynamics, type development, and on to Jung's model of the psyche and his life-long development model of Individuation. As practitioners gradually deepened their knowledge, attention was turned to the need for understanding more fully these four functions in both attitudes, that is, the eight mental processes.
Leona was among the leaders in recognizing this need. She has devoted herself with introverted intuitive intensity to learning more through constant questioning of individuals of different types, consultation with experts, and reading. Her treasury of knowledge, contained in this book, is the outcome.
Her seamless integration of the eight processes into the complex whole of the Jungian system of personality is a valuable bonus gift to the reader.
Historically, the knowledge of our "four letters" has given many individuals and groups important insights in self-understanding/self-acceptance and in the understanding and appreciation of others who are different from themselves. However, those of us who have journeyed further have found a richness of understanding and a perspective that enhances our lives immeasurably. This book provides the door to that richness. Welcome!
Katharine D. Myers
The Myers-Briggs® Trust