The Myers-Briggs Test—more formally the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)—was first published in the year 1962. Since then, the said test has been useful and popular among ordinary citizens and mental health professionals.
The test was based on Carl Jung’s personality type theory, which posits that there are four ways the human mind perceives reality:
Jung believed that in every individual, two of these faculties will be dominant while two will be repressed or unconscious.
Armed with a deep interest in the theories and philosophies of Carl Jung, mother and daughter Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers drafted a written survey—differing slightly from Jung—aimed at helping users and test takers to identify their respective personality types.
Aside from identifying their respective personalities, the MBIT test also aims to help adults, ages 18 years and older, to be more accepting of themselves, to maximize their potentials, and to also meaningfully relate to others in a positive, constructive, and empathetic manner.
By giving an individual the psychological test, the psychologist or the therapist can identify the personality type of the test takers, creating a profile on how they perceive and interact with the world. With this profile created, the psychologist or the therapist can determine the needs, strengths, and weaknesses of the individuals. This is necessary for maximizing the effectiveness of his treatment methods.
These are the four major personality preferences identified by MBIT through dichotomy, faculties, and opposite traits:
Introversion (I) versus Extraversion (E)
Sensing (S) versus Intuition (N)
Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F)
Perceiving (P) versus Judging (J)
From these four preferences, there are 16 basic personality types, identified by one element of each preference: ISTP, ENFJ, etc.
The MBIT test usually requires 15 to 30 minutes and, once completed, the test takers will be assigned a 4-letter profile type which will show their dominant elements of your personality in each category. For example, if you have an INFJ personality, this means that your dominant elements are Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging. These are the main ways you perceive and interact with your external environment.
Is the MBTI test accurate and trustworthy?
Though there has been a long-standing battle on the validity and trustworthiness of the MBTI test, there are still a large number of psychologists and mental health professionals who believe in the validity of the MBIT as an instrument to help individuals better understand their attitudes, temperament, and motivations for their behaviors.
One of the major critics of the validity of MBTI as a tool to distinguish different personality types was published in an issue of the Journal of Personality. According to the author of the published study, the MBIT is not a valid and accurate indicator of various types of personalities even if it can be used to identify various unique individual traits.
The validity of the test was defended by a study conducted by various medical residents in Annals of Family Medicine. According to them, MBTI is a valid and legitimate tool to interpret various types of personalities.
How MBTI is Used in Rehab
Despite the criticism on the validity and accuracy of the tool in determining various personality types, the MBTI is actively used in various applications like academic advising, vocational counseling, marriage counseling, and—most importantly—in individual psychotherapy.
The MBTI can be applied to addiction treatment by administering it along with other tests like the DISC Assessment, the Rorschach inkblot test, the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R), or the Holland Codes (RIASEC). All these can help both the therapist and the addicted individual to set treatment goals.
The MBTI provides insights and understandings that can be used to provide recovery support in a variety of ways, such as:
Helping the patient comprehend and admit his addictive manners and behaviors
Guiding the patient to start better and stronger relations with his family, friends, and other people
By guiding the patient on how to avoid relapse after rehab and treatment
Assisting the patient in forming and committing to short-term and long-term goals
Drug addictions by personality types
According to Heidi Priebe, author of several books on personality type theory, some personality types are more likely to become addicted to certain drugs, including:
Amphetamines (Speed): ENFP and ENTP. People with these types of personality are known to be always seeking excitement and thrills, both of which are provided by amphetamine, along with high energy and improved concentration.
Psilocybin Mushrooms: INFJ and INTJ. According to Priebe, these two personality types often look at the bigger picture and they believe that everything in the universe is interconnected. With such outlooks and perceptions, they are more likely to get addicted to magic mushrooms because such drug gives an introspective kind of high, which gives these personality types the innate truths they’re craving for. The drug works by allowing the user to escape and disconnect from their cognitive biases, then perceive and analyze the world with this new lens.
DMT (Dimethyltryptamine): ISFP and INFP. A powerful and potent hallucinogen, DMT can give an ethereal and life-altering experience to the user. Since these two personality types are always on the search for the deeper meaning of their individual life experiences, which DMT seems to promise, they have a greater tendency to get hooked on and addicted to it.
Other drug-personality type pairings include alcohol (ISFJ and ISTJ), Cocaine (ESTJ and ENTJ), LSD (ISTP and INTP), MDMA or Ecstasy (ESFJ and ENFJ), and marijuana (ESFP and ESTP).
These pairings of personality types and addictive substances do not mean that if you have such a personality type, you will automatically get addicted to this particular drug. These only suggest the likelihood of being attracted to these drug types because of the kind of high they give.
For rehab centers, an understanding and knowledge of these tendencies can greatly help the staff understand the reasons behind an individual’s addiction, which in turn could lead to finding the right addiction treatment option.
If you are struggling with addiction, get help today.