How can INFJs be psychologists? | INFJ Forum

How can INFJs be psychologists?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Altruistic Muse, Jul 17, 2009.

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  1. Altruistic Muse

    Altruistic Muse Community Member

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    I was just wondering how an INFJ can take up any profession like this. Be it psychologist, doctor, counsellor etc. Because I soak up the depression or insecurity of everyone I come into contact with. So if I was constantly talking to people who needed to spill all their problems and were depressed long term I think it would do my head in! Are other INFJs able to detach themselves enough to help? Obviously to help would be a great thing and is my main aim, but how to do it without this impact is another matter!
     
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  2. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    I want to become a psychologist because of the contribution I know I will make in the lives of people. I have in mind that some of their problems are going to become absorbed onto me but I also have hope that I can use all my skills to overcome that and help them get out of whichever problem they might have. So basically, my main motivation to become a psychologist is accomplishment of having made a difference in the lives of people. Having empathy is a great thing as long as you can use that to connect with your patients and be able to help them out.
     
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  3. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    You develop yourself so that you have a healthy detachment from the problems of others you are seeking to counsel.
     
  4. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I'm avoiding counseling for that reason. I couldn't stand watching others succumb to their problems, especially in the severe cases (such as having a patient who commits suicide).
     
  5. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    The kind of detachment needed for this would involve the Ni and Ti functions. There is also a desensitization that occurs when you are dealing with large numbers of people.

    I think INFJs would tend to be rather insightful in those professions, but also prone to experience burn-out. I started a master's in counseling once, but would have to say that a doctorate in psychology would probably be a better fit being more abstract and going into deeper focus into the actual workings of the mind. The counseling programs trains a person to work primarily with addicts and family issues. On one level the focus is rather external, but on another level internal. In a way it takes a rather gritty person who can form really strong boundaries with others and have a great deal of ego strength. This is especially true of dealing with addicts. The professor I had whose specialty was addiction was an E?T? and even she had dealt with burnout. Areas like working with children or the elderly, or doing creative arts therapy might be a better fit. I would say it would be for me anyway.

    I've always had a funny empathy/detachment dichotomy. There are certain kinds of interactions I can keep at arm's length, but others not so much. It is difficult to explain the difference. It has to do with maintaining an awareness of what I can or cannot do to help, as well as creating strong boundaries. I've always had people approach me with their problems, and I have enjoyed helping, but if the person doesn't seem to have the resources to be a support to me, then they don't end up in my inner circle, so I don't get that wrapped up in their problems. Maybe it has to do with having a clear sense of my own limitations and that there really isn't that much I can do to help in some situations. No one can fix someone else's problems, but only provide a little encouragement and hope they will have the motivation to move forward.
     
    #5 Julia, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
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  6. Hinsoog

    Hinsoog Community Member

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    Well, it seems like being aware of empathy in the way that many NFs are, actually puts us in a pretty good position to objectify everything that is going on, even with the vehicle of feeling. Once all of those reactions and feeligs are put into plain view and objectified(which I think is especially possible for many NFs in seeing so clearly those feelings and their source) I think it puts us into a perfect position to be detached enough to work with them regularly.
     
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    #6 Hinsoog, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  7. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    My mother had very weak boundaries, which was confusing and, I believe, unhealthy for my brothers and me growing up. As a result, I was determined to develop strong boundaries with my own children, though I loved/love them beyond telling, I was able to do so. It occurs to me I could use the same kind of process to develop boundaries with clients/patients as a psychologist--not that I'm going to become one. I just believe it's possible and I think at least a few of the many therapists I've had over the years have been INFJs, including my current one, who is the best I've ever had.
     
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  8. OP
    Altruistic Muse

    Altruistic Muse Community Member

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    These are all interesting comments. Maybe it's something you can build up over time. I know I can keep myself a lot calmer and more detached using meditation and self-hypnosis. But it just occurred to me that these are all stopping me from overanalysing, which is fine, but if I was in a position where I was getting paid to analyse and to try and help peopel through these problems which I would immediately take on as soon as I met them anyway, I wouldn find it very difficult to maintain that level of detachment. How can you learn not to take on these feelings, when it happens before you even realise?
     
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  9. Introspiritual

    Introspiritual Community Member

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    Being as I'm in a counseling program...

    Yes, you do learn to detach. But, as one of the numerous MBTI summaries of us once said, "INFJs are the most vulnerable to the spontaneous eruption of their own archetypal issues during the therapeutic process." We have to be comfortable with ourselves before we can hope to work with others, or else we just get lost and confused.

    How do you learn to not take on other people's stuff? For me, it took getting knocked down one too many times. After that, there's always this little bit of vigilance - which both keeps you alert and a bit cynical as well.
     
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  10. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Read about countertransference, it explains a lot.
     
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  11. Not2bforgot10

    Not2bforgot10 Community Member

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    Oh, God, I have counter transferred and transferred... you know, this is VERY good though in object-relationships therapy (analytical psychology) and other depth psychology. That's where the meat is at.
     
  12. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    Sitting and listening to people's problems all day seems like a nightmare.

    What can *you* do about it? It's not your problem.
     
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  13. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    Agreed, plus it would get very tiring also :m070:

    I wouldn't mind being a career counselor, though. You get to help people, give them advice for a career, and you can be happy :m159:

    What do guys think about this?
     
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  14. OP
    Altruistic Muse

    Altruistic Muse Community Member

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    Haha, I had someone tell me yesterday I should be a careers advisor. It's my mum's job actually, and it is fairly conflict/stress free. It's not doing quite the same as being a vent for peoples' problems though and really helping them out of black holes, which I guess would be the reason I would think counselling was worthwhile. But I think it'd be quite as satisfying job nonetheless :)
     
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  15. v.shadow

    v.shadow Community Member

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    I went to one last week. the results were ok, though I expected way more (I had to do a LOT of tests and stuff)
     
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