Temperament therapy is a powerful form of counseling, developed to provide more effective and immediate results within a Christian framework. It is based on the insight that each person is born with an innate temperament that cannot be removed, but can be obscured or distorted by living in a way that is incompatible with your deepest needs. Many common mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, are often the result of trying to live in a way that is ill-suited to your true nature. The gap between your inner temperament and outward personality produces tensions that manifest themselves in unhealthy or destructive behaviors.
Whatever your temperament, you can lead a meaningful life filled with the light of Jesus Christ. Temperament therapy can help you identify what your true temperament is and give you targeted help to lead a better, happier, truly fulfilling life.
The five temperaments
Which of the five temperament classifications you fall into is defined by your basic instincts with regard to three key areas: inclusion (your level of need to be around others), control (how dependent you are on others in your relationships) and affection (the level of love you require from others). The five temperaments are:
The melancholic person is defined by their positive desire for loneliness and the need for control over their lives. Melancholy people are prone to experience depression and the term ‘melancholic’ in ordinary speech is used to describe someone who experiences ‘dark’ or ‘black’ moods. However, if your temperament is melancholic that does not mean you are doomed to a life of unhappiness. Rather, you need to structure your life in such a way that it meets your basic needs.
Melancholic people require a strong family unit and often need to learn skills to help them communicate their emotions They are task-oriented rather than relationship-oriented, and approach their duties with seriousness and honesty. When given the chance to use their skills, they can be invaluable to their friends and family. If not, their perfectionism and difficulty relating to others can trap them in a cycle of low self-esteem and misery.
The sanguine person is optimistic and positive, looking to form relationships with others and finding it easy to do so. Sanguine people are usually popular and many people wish to emulate them. However, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as a ‘better’ temperament. All of them were created by God for a particular purpose and all of them can be perverted into dangerous channels. In the case of sanguine people, they are prone to ignore the risks involved in doing things that seem enticing and often form multiple, shallow relationships, rather than meaningful, lasting ones. Their impulsivity makes them liable to fall into addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or sex. Sanguine people need to learn the skill of self-control in order to have productive lives and experience lasting happiness.
Choleric people are characterized by their strong will and their ability to take on responsibility. This is perhaps the most powerful, but also the most dangerous temperament. Choleric people are passionate about achieving what they believe to be right, and are unwilling to be deterred by obstacles. If not properly directed the choleric temperament will manifest itself in anger, discord, and even cruelty. The great tyrants of history, such as Stalin or Mao, were propelled forward by their choleric temperament. By the same token, however, so were the greatest leaders and martyrs of the Church. The choleric temperament must be channeled by the right moral guide and the authority of Jesus Christ so it can express itself for good.
The phlegmatic person is essentially passive and responds to life’s trials and joys with a stubborn consistency. Phlegmatic people have the advantage that they are rarely roused to do wrong, but they are equally slow to do right. Their consistency often manifests to others as a lack of motivation, and they can find it hard to reach out and form relationships with others, since this requires proactively offering love. The phlegmatic person can achieve happiness and fulfillment in an ordinary life, performing tasks that others will find boring, with the right framework and guidance.
The supine person is essentially submissive to others. Like the phlegmatic person, they are slow to initiate action, but their passivity comes not from their own constancy, but a reliance on others. Through their loyalty, dedication to others, and urge to please, they can be great contributors to society and all around them. However, in the wrong relationships, their essential inclination to submission can lead to disaster.
How temperament therapy can change your life
In reading about the five temperaments, you may have recognized things about yourself and those around you. However, for many people, their innate temperament is obscured and only expresses itself fitfully and unhealthily. Temperament therapy works by uncovering what has been concealed by socialization and your outward personality, so that you can express your God-given temperament in a healthy way. For temperament therapy in Pineville, LA, call J.D. Murphy or fill out the contact form and click Send.