Thinking and Feeling
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSM, LMHC, NCC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host, Counselor Toolbox
President, Recovery and Resilience International
Continuing Education (CE) credits can be earned for this presentation at https://allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/615/c/
~ Define temperament
~ Examine how knowing your temperament and the temperament of those around you can
~ Improve communication
~ Enhance relationships
~ Reduce stress
~ Explore in-depth the Thinking/Feeling dimension
~ Identify potential conflicts
~ Examine potential ways to help people on opposite ends of the spectrum collaborate.
~ A relatively stable set of traits referring to
~ Preferred environments
~ Learning and problem solving styles and methods
~ Ways of conceptualizing and approaching the world
~ Philosophical approach to the world
~ Time management
~ Temperament occurs along a complementary continuum
~ Neither end of the continuum is better or worse
~ Most people are somewhere in between each point
~ As stress increases, people gravitate toward their preferred temperament dimensions
~ Additional stress and vulnerabilities can be through
~ Awareness of personal preferences (Prevent your stress)
~ Awareness of the preferences of those around you
~ Knowledge of how to create an environment supportive of individual preferences
~ Like words such as principles, justice, standards or analysis
~ More dichotomous
~ Can be frustrated by Feeler’s lack of decisiveness or inattention to “the facts”
~ Can be swayed by arguments about how something is the right or logical thing to do given the evidence
~ Value objectivity above sentiment
~ Like words such as care, compassion, mercy, harmony
~ Middle of the road
~ Can be frustrated by the Thinker’s adherence to the rules
~ Can be swayed by arguments for why something is the most compassionate or merciful thing to do
~ Value sentiment above objectivity
~ Appeal to each other in their preferred language
~ Pro and con list
~ Involve all interested parties
~ Remember that not everyone is comfortable with feeling words
~ Want to apply objective principles to solve problems
~ Can assess logical consequences
~ Want to apply values and ethics from multiple perspectives
~ Good at assessing the human impact
~ The resolution of most problems requires a compromise between what is logically the most correct choice and which decision will have the best impact on the person, the couple and the larger system.
~ The values/epitaph activity can help clarify which way to tip the balance (What 3 values are most important to you)
~ Motivation–the “Feeler” can present logical arguments
~ Motivation–the “Thinker” can present from the perspective of how the less logical choice might impact the couple/family/system
~ Look for the logic in the “Feeler’s” resolution (Residential treatment)
Decision Making Guide
~ Stop and think
~ Clarify goals and values
~ Determine the facts
~ Develop options
~ Consider the consequences
~ Monitor and modify
~ Respond most easily to people’s thoughts and issues
~ Respond most easily to people’s values and emotions
~ Practice active listening
~ Understand the other person’s process
~ When I am dealing with a problem I need you to:
~ a) Validate my feelings
~ b) Help me solve the problem
~ c) Listen so I can clarify what I need to do to solve the problem
~ Engage with the person in terms of what they respond to (thoughts vs. feelings)
~ Be careful not to assume the Feeler is asking for something when all they want is acknowledgment
~ May think that those who are sentimental take things too personally
~ Think that those preferring objectivity are insensitive
~ Working with humans requires a balance of logic and compassion.
~ The Feeler needs to learn to see the thinker’s perspective as one of deep caring about what he or she perceives as right and wrong.
~ The Thinker needs to explore the feeler’s perspective in terms of the right thing being the most compassionate thing.
~ Neither logic or compassion always wins. It takes compromise
~ Feelers tend to be more physiologically reactive to emotions making them seem more sensitive
~ Thinkers are very sensitive, but they often jump past emotional expression into problem solving to try to make right what is most fair and compassionate
~ May argue both sides of an issue for mental stimulation
~ Prefer a to agree with those around them
~ Thinkers need to validate the Feeler’s perspective so he or she does not feel bullied
~ Thinkers can start by saying… “Let me play devil’s advocate…”
~ Thinkers can take the Feelers point and argue it, encouraging the Feeler to argue the other point.
~ Feelers need to be aware of how they feel and learn how to validate and accept without necessarily agreeing.
~ Thinkers need to be careful not to talk over the Feeler.
~ “I don’t know why you are asking me, you seem to have already made the decision.”
~ Thinkers and Feelers have many difficulties in relationships because of their differences in
~ Counseling can help both parties clarify their individual and shared values.
~ When faced with a conflict, both parties can try to brainstorm a solution that most clearly fits both values
~ Feelers tend to be more physiologically reactive to emotions which makes them seem more sensitive
~ Both Thinkers and Feelers are quite adept at handling their problems
~ Thinkers want the problem(s) acknowledged
~ Feelers want their feelings acknowledged
~ In recovery Feelers can fall victim to being too compassionate (or guilt ridden) with others and may need to make more logical decisions based on their recovery
~ Can you help anyone if you relapse?
~ In recovery Thinkers may have difficulty identifying other people’s feelings due to fear of getting unloaded upon.
~ Thinkers need to get in touch with their emotions/feelings/reactions so their problem solving efforts are focused on the end goal
~ Feelers often need to develop distress tolerance skills to prevent reactive relapse
~ Each person is often a combination of some introverted and some extroverted characteristics
~ Knowing your own preferences can help you reduce your own vulnerabilities and stress
~ Knowing the preferences of your friends, family, coworkers can help you understand more about how to interact in harmony with them
~ Just like two people with depression may have different “symptoms,” two extroverts may have different extrovert traits.
~ Quick Assessment
~ Do they/you talk it out or think then talk?
~ Are they/you “friends” with everyone or tend to stay with one or two people or alone?
~ Can they/you focus on one task for an extended period or do they need variety?
~ Do they/you prefer quiet or active environments?