In our counseling sessions, we use the Arno Profile System, a clinical diagnostic tool, to help assess a person’s God-given temperament. It is a useful tool because it allows us to more accurately tailor counseling to an individual’s specific needs.
From our experience, there are at least six specific advantages of this tool as it allows us to understand each client better and propose solutions in different areas. We tell each client, “You will..”:
- Gain a clearer understanding of your socialization needs
- Learn what level of control do they want to have (or have exercised over you) as it relates to interpersonal relationships
- Know your need for affection from your deep personal relationships
- Better understand relationship “issues” and stress points. They are more easily identified when individual temperaments are understood.
- Be able to appreciate your temperament strengths and help give you direction on how to benefit yourself, loved ones and others in your sphere of influence.
- Be aware of temperament weaknesses. This awareness will help highlights areas for growth and maturity by the power of the Holy Spirit as well as giving understanding where you are most susceptible to demonic attack.
Temperament Analysis Is Helpful For Relationships
For example, someone who is primarily “melancholy” in temperament has a relatively low need for socialization and needs alone time each day to regenerate. They typically express love to their loved ones by doing tasks and tend to recoil from overt expressions of affection. They are also prone to perceiving rejection (real or imagined) and are very good at seeing injustices. They tend to be deep, critical thinkers and this can be a helpful characteristic when exploring options. This small sampling gives tremendous insights to the counselor on how best to help that person.
This model was very useful for Christian counselors in New York City in September 2001 who ministered to rescue workers in the aftermath of the carnage there. It helped them identify who might do well in a support group (the talkers and extroverts (Cholerics, Sanguines)) and those introverts who needed the safety of one-on-one ministry to secure the help they needed.
This type of analysis is invaluable in marriage counseling; someone who has a spouse of this temperament type might wisely choose to allow that person to come home, get rested and decompressed from the days struggles before pressing major issues or conversation on them.
Temperament analysis is a useful tool to quantify the God-given differences we know exist in us because of our unique make-up. It is not an excuse for bad behavior but rather offers helpful insight into our uniqueness that can be beneficial in every area of life, including family, work, church and friendships.