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The MBTI Step III: Illuminating the Path to Healthy Type Development

The MBTI Step III is a tool that describes an individual’s progress toward healthy type development.  Psychological  type is not a static label but a dynamic path leading toward maturity of the personality.  At the Association for Psychological Type International meeting in 2011, Dr. Allen Hammer, one of the co-authors of the Step III instrument, listed these possible manifestations of inadequate type development:

  • One being a caricature of one’s type
  • Lack of awareness of one’s type blind spots
  • The tendency to blame others for shortcomings
  • Life stress and dissatisfaction
  • Reduced competency and performance

He also listed possible factors that can detour type development including:

  • Lack of faith in one’s type ( not seeing one’s type as being as valuable as another
  • Lack of acceptance by others of one’s type
  • Lack of opportunity to develop one’s type gifts
  • Lack of challenge to develop one’s type especially the 3rd and 4th functions

The MBTI Step III overview was a 3-hour presentation that covered the essence of the MBTI Step III instrument.  Allen Hammer and Sondra Von Sant, who teach the certification course, presided.  A panel of Step III practitioners including Charles Martin, Laurie Hillis, Sydney Courtice, and me added to the discussion by sharing case stories about how the this tool led to personal examination  of type development for various clients.  Through the discussion of the assessment findings, a release of psychic energy (similar to an “aha moment”) to address life’s challenges and goals is made possible.   Sometimes even one statement on the report can trigger a flood of insight! The panelists shared cases from both counseling and coaching perspective as the MBTI Step III is meant to address both scenarios.

According to Dr. Hammer, healthy type development has these 3 characteristics:

  • The dominant function is developed and used effectively.
  • A developed auxiliary functioning leading to a balance of perception and judgment
  • Awareness and comfort with the tertiary and inferior functions (Knowing when to non-preferred functions best suit a situation)

The MBTI Step III does provide the awareness piece that is so critical to making changes in one’s life.  After all, if you are blind to what may be holding you back from a greater and more satisfying life, it is difficult to decide what to change or how to do it!

For those who did not attend the APTI 2011 conference but would like to experience the Step III, there are several ways to get more information.

  1. Contact the Center of  Application of Psychological Type capt.org
  2. Join the LinkedIn Step III Group to join in a discussion, ask a question, or start a new discussion.
  3. Contact an MBTI Step III practitioner to learn more about it or even experience it yourself.

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