Building Blocks of Personality Type
(foreword by John Beebe)


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.



The word mental, meaning "of or pertaining to the mind," has too often been used to suggest abnormality. Robert Graves and Joseph Campbell have warned us that myth is a word we use to refer to "other people's religion." Likewise, mental is the word we use to refer to other people's ways of using their minds. Leona Haas and Mark Hunziker have dignified these sidelong looks we give one another by identifying what we are observing as "mental processes" found in everybody, the only differences being which processes we each give emphasis to and in which order.

In this endeavor, they follow the work of the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung, who, in the first part of the twentieth century, influenced by psychologists in French-speaking Switzerland and France, began to engage himself with the typical differences in human consciousness. One of these mentors was Alfred Binet, for whom consciousness was "intelligence." Binet sought to measure intelligence, and our most commonly used "intelligence test" is still called the "Stanford-Binet." By 1902, when Jung was studying in Paris, Binet had noticed, even in his own daughters, dramatic differences in learning styles, to which he gave the names "externospection" and "introspection." Within a decade, Jung had introduced his own notion of a "turn" of mind into the terms for the basic mental attitudes by calling them "Extraversion" (outward turning) and "Introversion" (inward turning). A further decade enabled Jung to differentiate various functions of consciousness, four in all, through which these basic attitudes of mind could be expressed in dramatically different ways. His descriptions of thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition as expressed in both the extraverted and introverted attitudes form the heart of his book Psychological Types (1921). This classic became an inspiration to Isabel Briggs Myers in the 1940s, as it had been a generation earlier to her mother, Katharine Briggs. It led them to develop together a practical instrument for capturing the differences in the ways individuals use their minds in all the settings of their lives-the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, which has become the most widely used instrument for identifying normal personality differences in America today.

Psychological Types was the basic inspiration for the eight-function model that, as a Jungian analyst inspired by such clinical teachers as Marie-Louise von Franz, Jo Wheelwright, and Wayne Detloff, I brought to practitioners of type assessment in the 1980s. Leona Haas was among the very first type consultants (alongside Kathy Myers and Margaret and Gary Hartzler) to grasp what I was getting at: that the normal mind cannot be adequately described with a four-function model of its processes, even if the two attitudes of Extraversion and Introversion are somehow included to explain some of the differences between the ways different functions are expressed by different people. Subsequently, thanks as much to Haas's teaching as my own, a number of others have come aboard. She has recognized that we cannot be literate in the ways of the mind without a clear, individualized sense of what all eight mental processes look like and of how they are experienced by the actual persons using them.

It is a pleasure to have her book to recommend to those who have come to my own lectures and asked me to give more extended and systematic descriptions of the eight function-attitudes (to use the helpful term that Dick Thompson introduced a few years ago). She has made the most practical use possible of my analytic interpretation of Jung's visionary theory. Haas has succeeded in taking the eight function-attitude model, in all its complexity, into workaday corporate settings, where it has instantly proved its power to unlock the understanding of serious impasses and to significantly improve the integrity of a business's team building.

That is not the extent of this model's potential application, however. In this book, elegantly realized with the patient assistance of Mark Hunziker, himself a formidable student of the mind, Leona Haas has managed to produce the most practically detailed and psychologically accurate orientation to the eight processes that I have seen. I heartily recommend it to the beginner as well as to anyone who imagines he or she is already adept in this field. The truth is, we all have a great deal to learn about the building blocks out of which our "minds" are made. In my own efforts to master the architecture of such a wondrous structure, I expect to be reading this book for many years to come.

John Beebe

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