Healing Counsellors (INFJ)
M. Scott Peck, Wayne Dyer, Thomas Moore
Each soul comes to
the Earth with gifts.
Before it incarnates,
each soul agrees to perform
certain tasks upon Earth.
It enters into a sacred agreement
with the Universe to
accomplish specific goals. . . .
Whatever the task your soul has agreed to,
whatever its contract with the Universe,
all of the experiences
of your life serve to
awaken within you
the memory of that contract,
and to prepare you to fulfill it.
The Seat of the Soul
The Healing Counsellors are the one Pathfinders whose genetic code naturally leads them to counsel, mentor, guide, and advise people in one-to-one relationships and small groups. Healing Counsellors are the introverted siblings of Inspiring Teachers (ENFJ), who enjoy working in the limelight and are energized by groups.
Both types have a strong desire to teach and inspire people. The difference is that Counsellors prefer teaching people in a more intimate and private setting. For one thing, they’re more likely to be found working in a therapy office with individual clients and families than onstage as motivational speakers. They also wear many other name tags.
You see them working as guidance counsellors, advising kids on career plans. Or as tutors, maths coaches, or school nurses. Or as ministers consoling grieving families, as one-on-one fitness trainers, or as human resources consultants for businesses. Perhaps as hairstylists whose advice and words of encouragement are the main reason customers keep coming back.
Yet in each instance these Counsellors are teachers in a special sense—inspiring individuals to change, challenging them to go after new opportunities, to reach beyond their current limitations, bringing out the best in themselves, and encouraging them to do whatever it takes to grow personally in their own unique ways.
Yes, they are Teachers, but Introverted ones, working on a one-to-one basis—tutors of sorts. Like Zen masters, one of their major goals is to teach students to trust themselves so much that they become free and independent of the master.
Making a Difference—One Person at a Time
Unlike the more extraverted Teacher who is drawn to groups of people, Counsellors tend to measure their successes in career and in life one person at a time, much as Ralph Waldo Emerson so eloquently put it in On Success:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
This shows Counsellors at their best—helping one person at a time, often working tirelessly, meeting one person after another, all day long in a clinic, office, church, or other private setting, allowing others to reveal intimate secrets, to safely expose their dark side, express their pains and joys, tears and laughter, anger and love, and bring the real you into the light.
Counsellors Emerging in Times of Crisis and Soul-Searching
Counsellors help others, they advise, they teach, and their sense of accomplishment is validated one person at a time. But remember, Counsellors are also Pathfinders—underneath all their tireless counselling, they are on a path, searching for the meaning of life, their own life, not merely performing some technical specialty. Because if what they are doing becomes hollow and mechanical, they are not healing the soul.
Helping people is their mission in life, true. However, Counsellors also have a personal need to be validated from within—from themselves, from the inner voice that tells them they are on track, from their spiritual core. They need to know that they are in harmony with their own life, in alignment with their mission. Yet so many do not because of society’s increasing cultural angst.
Why Is Everyone So Cranky? is a great summary of the key cultural trends making us angry: compressed time demands . . . communication overload . . . electronic linkages versus personal disconnectedness . . . increasing consumerism and competition . . . depersonalized consumer contacts . . . cultural changes accelerating in pace and increasing in complexity. Witness the escalating use of antidepressants and tranquilizers to handle pressures, tensions, stress, and anxiety. The media adds to the tension all day long.
Today, Counsellors are in the middle—caught between a troubled soul and a troubled world—experiencing a widening gap between the traditional practices of their professions and the increasing needs of the people and society they serve. Something is missing—a deep inner spiritual connection that people everywhere hunger for and are not getting through conventional sources that may have worked in earlier cultures and simpler times. To fill the gap, Counsellors are searching for new ways to help people, and perhaps more significantly, the role of Counsellor is taking on new forms and being performed by many who are not officially Counsellors.
The Emerging New Spiritual Psychology for Soul-Searchers
In 1933, Carl Jung first addressed the issue in Modern Man in Search of a Soul: “Spiritually the Western world is in a precarious situation—the danger is greater the more we blind ourselves to the merciless truth with illusions about the beauty of our soul.” Technology, war, prosperity, and the shortcomings of our health care system have actually increased the illusions, further undermining the traditional role of the Counsellor.
Sixty years after Jung’s warning, psychologists James Hillman and Michael Ventura punctuated Jung’s message in a follow-up critique: We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse. Similar challenges have been voiced by other critics in recent years who, while recognizing different counselling specialties, share one common voice in identifying the missing element for effective counselling.
- Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul: “In the modern world we separate
religion and psychology, spiritual practice and therapy. There is considerable interest in healing this split, but if it is going to be bridged, our very idea of what we are doing in our psychology has to be radically re-imagined. Psychology and spirituality need to be seen as one. In my view, this new paradigm suggests the end of psychology
as we know it altogether because it is essentially modern, secular, and ego-centered. A new idea, a new language, and new traditions must be developed on which to base our theory and practice”
- Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul: “Psychology means soul knowledge. It means the study of the spirit, but it has never been that. Psychology is the study of cognitions, perceptions and affects . . . psychology seeks to heal the personality without recognizing the force of the soul that is behind the configuration and experiences of the personality, and, therefore, cannot heal at the level of the soul.”
- James Hillman, The Soul’s Code: “The concept of this individualized soul-image has a long, complicated history; its appearance in cultures is diverse and widespread and the names for it are legion. Only our contemporary psychology and psychiatry omit it from their textbooks.”
- Joan Borysenko, Fire in the Soul: “When our souls are on fire, old beliefs and opinions can be consumed, bringing us closer to our essential nature and to the heart of healing. . . . This book is about the newness that can emerge in our souls when that shell is broken; the freedom to be ourselves and the awakening to a whole new dimension of life—the spiritual. . . . Although psychology technically means the study of the soul, most psychological systems abandoned any interest in soul in their bid to be scientific.”
- Wayne Dyer, Real Magic: “There is a new collective consciousness in the minds of people, and a new spiritual awareness is spreading throughout humanity. Nothing can stop it, for nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. An idea is a thought— individual or collective—that, once spread to enough souls, manifests in physical changes. . . . Now we see a new reality, a reality that comes from a new way of thinking, and this is the context of our spiritual
All this is a very healthy sign. Although contemporary counselling is limited by theories that ignore the soul and practices controlled by a failing health care system, our best Counsellors are working to get us back on track—in contact with our soul. And this really isn’t as metaphysical as it seems, it’s just another way of being a teacher and coach, inspiring people.
This trend is expanding rapidly. Many traditional counsellors, professionals in social work and psychotherapy, are adapting alternative approaches. More important, many others, professionals and non-professionals in other fields, are stepping in to fill the gap, speaking from deep in their soul, deep in the spiritual center that connects everyone, the collective unconscious, as Jung calls it.
Careers: A Noble Calling to Save a World on Fire
Counsellors are rare in our culture, and could easily become even rarer—they have many good reasons to avoid the call, knowing it will mean sacrifice and pain if they take on the challenges ahead in today’s troubled world.
“We are living in an unprecedented time. The world soul is truly on fire with hunger, pollution and hatred. Many of us are wounded,” says Borysenko. Yet the world soul needs help, people who can “use the fire of their wounds consciously—to heal, to work for peace, to transform the world.” And that puts Counsellors in a metaphysical dilemma:
Counselling in a world on fire. On one hand, if they answer the calling and work as Counsellors, they will have a sense of satisfaction from helping people. However, that means that they’ll be living in the pain of a world on fire, every day sharing and healing the wounds of so many suffering individuals going through hardships, tragedies, grieving, divorces, sickness, and death, as well as the joys. It takes a very unique and dedicated personality to take on this kind of work willingly.
Fire fighting and burning out. On the other hand, if individuals with this genetic code sense the work ahead as too heavy for them and they walk away, they will experience a sense of loss from being out of sync with who they really are. Fortunately, experience shows that most individuals with this genetic code do actually embrace the call to serve people in need.
Either way, counsellors will be exposed to a world filled with suffering and pain—from people around them and from within themselves. They need to find ways to avoid becoming wounded healers, otherwise their effectiveness as a healer will be limited. Where are Counsellors likely to find career opportunities? Some will be wearing traditional name tags; many others will be wearing rather unconventional ones, disguised as something else:
- Marriage and family therapists
- Psychologists and psychiatrists
- Ministers, priests, monks, nuns
- Social service workers
- Doctors and nurses
- Alternative health care practitioners
- Personal services providers
- Consultants in many fields
- Personal fitness trainers
- Twelve-Step sponsor
- Charity workers, Salvation Army
- Hospice counsellors and volunteers
- Mediators and negotiators
- Career and guidance counsellors
- Mentors and Big Brothers
- Private tutors and coaches
- Camp counsellors and guides
With the levels of crankiness, suffering, and pain increasing in the world, and with the growing need for counselling services everywhere, two things are obvious. First, traditional providers of counselling services will be modifying their methods and practices, adopting unconventional ones.
Second, in the future, most Counsellors probably won’t be wearing “official name tags.” They will simply be people helping people one-on-one, inspiring them to overcome setbacks, achieve their dreams, and do the right thing. More and more Counsellors will have no official status, but will serve.
Millionaire’s Code for Healing Counsellors Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judger (INFJ)
Counsellors are Introverts laboring in relative anonymity and obscurity, working on a relatively small scale, focused on the people they feel committed to help. They usually don’t get (or want) a lot of public attention:
- Much of their work must be done discreetly, to protect the confidentiality of their clients, patients, and parishioners.
- People typically find them by word-of-mouth and personal referrals.
- In a successful business or practice, working on a one-to-one basis, there are only so many people Counsellors can help without themselves burning out.
Every now and then, however, the American media will draw Introverts out of their isolated niche in the world and into media celebrity status, putting them to work “counselling” 10 or more people every hour on a talk show.
Suddenly, everybody in America knows the latest Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura, with their shows and books. Talk-show formats are typically a series of brief one-to-one sessions, with audiences acting as voyeurs, surreptitiously tuned in to an assembly line of troubled call-ins or guests, hopefully picking up a few tips.
No Quick Fixes on The Road Less Travelled
Extraverts are energized by people in the outer world. They feed on these interactions. In a paradoxical way, Introverted Counsellors are much like their Extraverted cousins, the Champions (ENTP). Introverted Counsellors are also energized by working with people, but not with just anybody, anywhere, and not with large audiences. They are more likely to be energized by close, intimate, spiritual relationships nurtured over time, where their clients, patients, or parishioners relate to
them on a soul level.
Talk-show counsellors are creations of the American media, “reality” shows responding to a culture in search of quick fixes. They are more Teachers (ENFJ) than Counsellors. They are rare and also present a rather misleading image of the counselling process. Dr. M. Scott Peck touched on this in his classic, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth:
As a psychiatrist, I feel it is important to mention at the outset two assumptions that underlie this book. One is that I make no distinction between mind and spirit, and therefore no distinction between the process of achieving spiritual growth and achieving mental growth. They are one and the same.
The other assumption is that this process is a complex, arduous and lifelong task. Psychotherapy, if it is to provide substantial assistance to the process of mental and spiritual growth, is not a quick or simple procedure. . . . I believe that brief forms of psychotherapy may be helpful and are not to be decried, but the help they provide is inevitably superficial.
Of course, psychotherapists and psychiatrists aren’t the only Counsellors. Yet Peck’s two key assumptions are important in order to understand the Introverted nature of the Counsellor—whether a therapist, minister, nurse, mentor, doctor, nutritionist, fitness trainer, tutor, or other.
The fact is, Counsellors are Introverts, and they are participating in intimate one-to-one and small-group experiences that touch the souls of the people they are helping. As a result, the most effective counselling experiences will be spiritual in nature—as well as psychological, or mental, behavioural, medical, physical, nutritional, business, or whatever primary service is provided by the counsellor. There are no quick fixes.
Intuitives: Visionaries Unlocking the Secrets of the Soul
All Pathfinders are Intuitives or visionaries, and Counsellors are visionaries of a special kind. They have a unique gift, the ability to see deep into the mind, into the psyche, deep into very soul of people—uncovering their secrets and, in the process, freeing them from being held captive by their own secrets.
The visionary powers of Counsellors come naturally. They seem to have a psychic sixth sense, an extrasensory perception that penetrates beneath the surface, often uncovering hidden secrets in those they serve, secrets about their past—and secrets of their future, at least the future their secrets are blocking. In his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung tells us why unlocking “the secret” is so critical to mental and spiritual health:
In many cases in psychiatry, the patient who comes to us has a story that is not told, and which as a rule no one knows of. To my mind, therapy only really begins after the investigation of that wholly personal story. It is the patient’s secret, the rock against which he is shattered. If I knew his secret story I have a key to the treatment.
Counsellors have the power to uncover and unlock this secret in people they’re helping, whether it be physical or metaphysical, secular or spiritual. The key to recovery, wholeness, and growth is unlocking the secret.
The Secret You Keep by Giving it Away
Why Counsellors? Because Counsellors have unlocked the secret to their own destiny. They know the meaning of their life, or at least they’re on a path, searching. They are explorers of the inner universe, searching for the secrets of life—most especially, the secret to their own life.
They instinctively know the secret of their destiny. They know that as Pathfinders, they must make a difference—they must make a difference in the lives of the people who come to them for help, who are themselves searching for meaning in their lives.
That’s the destiny of Counsellors—making a difference, one person at a time, being catalysts for change in the lives of their clients. You cannot help people find their way unless you have discovered your way. Moreover, Counsellors are compelled to share what they have discovered, for they have discovered a secret they can keep only by giving away.
Conversely, Counsellors become magnets, drawing people to them, because people sense that they can trust Counsellors. They feel safe enough to reveal the secret “story that is not told, and which as a rule no one knows of,” not even the teller.
The magnetism of Counsellors is no secret. People are drawn to them because they sense their passion for life, their love, their desire to help, and their values. They see in the Counsellor a person of character, a living example of a life based on values, integrity, and ethics. This draws people to the Counsellor—whether the Counsellor is a family therapist, career counsellor, acupuncturist, mentor, nurse, monk, nun, tutor, Big Brother, AA sponsor, unusually spiritual hairstylist, or your favorite aunt or uncle who always seems to have the right take on life.
A Vision of the Future from Some Mysterious Source
Counsellors are born with this unique visionary power. From an early age, they somehow sense that they can see and hear and know things that other people are thinking, about distant events, about the past, and about the future. If you ask them, they’ll probably tell you they can’t really explain how they know, they just know.
Perhaps they are psychic, perhaps naturally telepathic, or perhaps just good at reading body language—after all, as much as 80 percent of all communication is nonverbal. More often than not, Counsellors really can’t explain how, they just know—and they’re usually right.
Remember, the Intuitive function is the second of the four elements; it tells us how people gather information about the world around them, information ultimately used in making decisions. Unlike their opposite types, Sensors, they don’t need a lot of hard data; they’re guided by an inner voice. If there’s any disagreement between that voice and the facts, they will trust their inner voice.
Regardless of how they get their information—through body language, mind reading, telepathy, psychic radar, reading textbooks, or their genetic structure—Counsellors do have the information, and it is the basis of their vision of the future, the one they are destined to create.
Feelings: Living by the Rules, Yours and God’s
Counsellors are Feeling personalities, the third element of the genetic code. The rules they play by are their own rules—what feels right for the people and the situation at hand. When they make decisions, they are guided by personal, subjective criteria. They are, however, clearly guided by a set of values and principles encoded in the genes and felt deeply in their heart and soul.
Subjective, but not arbitrary. They have a strong sense of right and wrong based on an internalized moral code. However, if there is a conflict between their code and an external authority—whether it’s a cultural custom, the law of the land, or the Commandments—Counsellors will trust their own inner voice in making their decision and choosing the right course of action.
Yet Counsellors do not like conflicts, confrontations, and competitions.
In fact, they prefer avoiding them at all costs, except when they are
asked to compromise their values to a higher authority.
Natural-Born Peacemakers, Negotiators, and Mediators
The plus side of all this is that harmony and peace have a high priority in the lives of Counsellors, in their own personal lives with family and friends and in their work lives.
From a career standpoint, Counsellors are natural-born peacemakers, mediators, and negotiators who can be very effective in resolving conflicts, improving relationships, and creating harmony among people—because that’s exactly what Counsellors want in their own lives.
Remember, however, feelings can backfire. Counsellors are passionate about their values, and they love doing what they do. Yet the sheer magnitude and intensity of their work—caring for so many troubled people in troubling situations, coupled with their low tolerance for conflict—can leave Counsellors feeling drained of energy and spirit.
This makes it critical for Counsellors to work hard at keeping balance in their own lives, with well-rounded family, social, fitness, and spiritual lives, plus a backup support system when things get out of whack. Otherwise, it’s too easy for them to fall into a messiah complex, overdo things, overload their schedules, and overwhelm themselves to the point of burnout. If you are a Counsellor, keep that in mind.
Judging: Super-disciplined, Super-organized, Super-efficient
Counsellor personalities need to live a well-ordered and structured life in order to handle the demands of their daily lives. They easily soak up the feelings of everyone around them. They feel a sense of pressure to do something to make things better, to save, to cure, to help, to relieve the sufferings of humankind—and there’s never enough time to do everything
that needs to be done.
The feelings are so intense and the pressure is so strong that a normal person might buckle under. Not Counsellors. They are blessed with a Judging personality trait and the strength of character and can make every minute count in their daily schedule. They become super-efficient at home and at work.
Counsellors are masters at organizing their day, their year, people, and projects. They probably have a written statement of their life’s mission (written as a kid), project completion deadlines, progress schedules, to-do lists prepared the night before—whatever it takes to gain control of their lives so they can help a few more people each day in a world on fire.
They absolutely love the work they are doing. To get everything done,
they know they need to be well organized. They have a job to do, a calling
from a higher source, and, by God, they will get the job done.
In short, Counsellors are highly disciplined individuals with strong
principles and an enormous capacity to perform on a daily basis and to
achieve greatly in their lifetime—and to do it without becoming overwhelmed,
as they go forth each day onto the battlefield to ease the suffering
of the souls they touch.
Making Money: A Calling to Fulfill a Sacred Agreement
All Pathfinders have an overwhelming sense that they are here on earth to fulfill some special mission. Physicist Gary Zukav captured this sense of mission in The Seat of the Soul when he wrote: “Each soul comes to the Earth with gifts. Before it incarnates, each soul agrees to perform certain tasks upon Earth. It enters into a sacred agreement with the Universe to accomplish specific goals,” although the gifts and tasks differ for each of us.
Counsellors come with a strong sense of their mission, and also the sacredness of their mission. Deep in their soul they feel the pain and suffering of a world on fire, and they have a compelling need to do what they can to help people—a calling that is spiritual and cannot be denied. They are Pathfinders who truly understand that they have a sacred agreement with the universe to serve as soul-searchers, making a difference one soul at a time.
Making money? That’s not why Counsellors are here in this lifetime. Besides, they believe they are called, that they will be provided for, that their reward will be in heaven, so to speak.
In earlier cultures, Counsellors (shamans, oracles, and high priests) were cared for by the community. Today, Counsellors in many charities and religious communities are provided for, although in a modest way, when serving and later in retirement. Many other Counsellors are part-time volunteers through churches and charities and have other sources of income.
Many Counsellors, including social workers, marriage and family therapists, alternative health care practitioners, mediators, and others, operate as independent entrepreneurs, lacking organizational support such as ongoing financial services, retirement plans, and insurances.
Render unto Caesar What is Caesar’s, and to God . . .
Fortunately, Counsellors are organizational experts in their work lives, so they have the right skills to manage their money. However, they may need more than an occasional nudge telling them that it’s okay to be a bit more selfish and also take care of the needs of themselves and their own families. However, the reality is, while they know something must be done and have the right attitude, their minds are more focused on alleviating the world’s suffering, one person at a time.
Their need to help others and their selfless attitude must be recognized, accepted—and compensated for. When push comes to shove, Counsellors will usually put the interests of a client, patient, or other suffering soul ahead of their own. That’s the nature of their priorities—they are Pathfinders.
As a result, it is imperative that they lean heavily on the assistance of a spouse, friend, or professional adviser to handle money matters, budgeting, savings plans, insurance, investing for retirement—so they can focus their efforts on healing a world on fire.
* * * * * * * *
What constitutes wealth?
In worldly terms, it is the possession
of money and valuable things.
But if we were to measure wealth
in other ways, besides mere dollars,
many who are poor in possessions
are spiritually rich,
and many who own much
are spiritually impoverished.
M. Scott Peck,
The Road Less Traveled