May 30, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 1: Exploring Myers-Briggs

I've long been fascinated by the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, and I often start off having new clients take this test (a free online version can be found here) to get a general sense of how they tick.

This questionnaire, originally developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, was designed to measure the psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions as informed by the theories proposed by Carl Jung in his book, Psychological Types.

The four dichotomies that make up the personalities types are:

Extraversion (E) - Introversion (I) 
Sensing (S) - Intuition (N) 
Thinking (T) - Feeling (F) 
Judging (J) - Perceiving (P)

These can then be combined to result in a four letter personality type (e.g INFJ, ESTP).

While this particular personality test doesn't cover all of the bases, it certainly highlights key characteristics and tendencies of behavior and perception that are commonly shared among those with a particular personality type. Understanding how some of our behavior, attitudes, and perspectives are driven by personality can be very useful and liberating. 

So, for the next eight weeks, I'll be breaking down each type to explore the way a person of that personality type might perceive the world and make decisions.

I encourage you to take the online version of the test, so you can know which posts to pay particular attention to, but I encourage you to read all of the posts in the upcoming series. Knowing how the other half sees the world can also be very useful!

TIP: When taking the test - don't over-think your answers - just go with your first, gut response!


P.S. Registration is now open for the Beyond Surviving Workshop: Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse, 7/21, 9a-5p, $35, San Francisco. If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse and are no longer satisfied with simply understanding the impact of the abuse or the connections between your past experience and your present day life but are instead asking, “What do I do about it?” then this workshop is for you. Hope to see you there!

May 16, 2012

Finding Your Purpose as an Adult Survivor



I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Rémy Chaussé, bestselling author of Living Life as an Exclamation Point! We had a great time together, and, to quote Rémy:


"Exclamation points are those incredible, amazing, unforgettable moments that make you feel lucky to be alive. They flood your world when you fall in love! When you get that amazing new job! When things are just absolutely perfect!"


Another exclamation point in life is discovering our purpose(s) and going after it. Yet, we often feel blocked, unclear of how to discover our purpose, or are just outright scared! In this interview, I share 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose as an Adult Survivor of Child Abuse, but these steps can be used by anyone.


I think the best discovery I have made along the way is that I don't have "a" purpose. I have many purposes! And furthermore my purpose can evolve and change. I discovered that making this shift created room and possibility and playfulness rather than finding purpose remaining a task or chore that I had to complete. 


Click to watch the interview!




Remember, your purpose isn't just about what job you have or what you are out in the world doing - it is also directly tied to who you are being! For example, one of my purposes is working with adult survivors to overcome the effects of abuse. However, one of my other purposes is to be encouraging and an inspiration. In fact, one of the main mistakes I find we make when exploring this topic is to focus too much on trying to figure out what it is we want to do and too little time on who it is we want to be.


If you would like explore this idea further, click here for an exercise I use with my clients who are seeking to get a clearer picture of who they want to be.


P.S. Join me for Real Talk with Rachel - Online Chat, 5/30, 7p PT

May 9, 2012

One Man's Story of Healing from Sexual Abuse

I would like to share with you today the story of Marko Hamlin, a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse. 

I make the point here of highlighting Marko's gender because so often the stories of men who have been abused go untold or are ignored or discounted.

We live in a time when emotional [I would add sexual abuse as well] abuse is not something that men are able to identify with because they are often ridiculed for acknowledging that they have emotions. When men are emotional, women and men often call them soft, weak, gay or homosexual and feminine. These references to the association of weakness and emotional needs of men are often just as abusive and traumatizing as when the man was first violated.

While I am beginning to see more and more male survivors coming forward, seeking support, and telling their stories, there is still work to be done. 1 in 6 men have experienced abuse - they deserve our attention and support!


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