Descended from Jung
Dr. Katherine Benziger dedicates one of her books, “Thriving in Mind” to her grandmother who worked with Carl Jung and Anna Freud, so it is no great leap of logic to discover her psychological influences (2000). And, one look at her work makes her claim as the next generation of Jungian researcher easy to justify. As neuropsychologist, she is focused on understanding the physiology of the brain as it applies to personality. Her ties to Carl Jung run deep, she has been gust faculty at the Jung Institute and both her mother and grandmother studied Jung.
Benziger “is an internationally recognized expert on the physiological foundations of Dr. Carl Jung’s type model. [She] is known as the foremost expert on Falsification of Type and its costs to the individual and society. ” (“Advantara” 2006). Benziger’s love of Jungian philosophy started early. Her maternal grandmother studied with Jung in Switzerland in 1933 and her mother studied with Murray Stein at Chicago’s C. G. Jung Institute. Benziger was born into a psychology-education household, with both of her parents teaching at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale during her formative years.
She returned to Carbondale in 2003 to care for her mother and now operates her practice and world-wide consulting business. Benziger has an MS in Strategic Planning from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD. in Psychology from La Salle University. She has had her own consulting practice, KBA, since 1978. Her focus has been to help her clients increase their effectiveness while increasing their physical and mental health (Benziger 2007). In essence, Benziger’s theory is the next step in Jungian psychology, so it is not at all surprising that she is recognized as an international expert on the physiological foundations of Dr.
Carl Jung’s type model. Most especially she is known as the foremost expert on Falsification of Type and its costs to the individual and society. (Benziger 2007). Benziger has worked in the USA, Canada, Latin America and Europe. She has been on the faculty of The American Academy of Medical Directors as well as been guest faculty at The Jung Institute in Switzerland and for http://www. cgjungpage. org (Benziger 2007). “She is an acknowledged expert on the physiological bases for: TYPE; and for what Dr.
Jung called Falsification of Type and its Costs – to individuals and teams. Dr. Benziger’s goal is to help individuals thrive alone and as an active part of a marriage or work team. Working to help individuals understand and overcome burnout and mid-life crisis is of primary importance to her. Consequently, Dr. Benziger developed a next step tool, the BTSA, 14 years ago, to assist individuals in sorting through the skills they have learned to do well and value to identify their true natural gifts. ” (PersonalityType 2007) What Dr.
Benziger has done is to take the Jungian model of four functions and add newer information regarding the function of the brain to develop a fur-tiered analysis of thinking types, the way the brain works. In her earlier works, including The Physiology of Jung’s Four Functions & Their Organization (1998), Benziger argued: Jung’s four Functions are rooted in four distinct areas of the cortex. Thinking is housed in the Left Frontal Lobe. Intuition is housed in the Right Frontal Lobe. Sensation is housed in the Left Posterior Convexity. Feeling is housed in the Right Posterior Convexity.
Jung’s assertion that each of us has one Natural Lead Function is the result of a neuro-chemical – physiological fact that each person has one area which is 100 times more efficient than their remaining three areas. Jung’s assertion that each person has two natural auxiliaries can be understood to be the natural result of the brain’s structure. Factually speaking, neuronal bridges hardwire a person’s Natural Lead to their auxiliaries, making communication between their lead and auxiliaries easy, even though each actual auxiliary is relatively speaking highly inefficient.
Jung’s assertion that once a person’s Natural Lead Function has been identified, one can confidently calculate the person’s greatest Natural Weakness, is the result of the simply fact that there are no diagonal bridges in the human brain. The difference between the Feeling Function and Emotions can be understood more clearly. The Feeling Function is a cortical capacity to recognize the presence or absence of harmony – between colors, tones, or human beings. By contrast, emotions are a limbic capacity to experience delight, anger, fear, grief. (Benziger 1998) This background has then been combined with the on-going research of Dr.
Arlene Taylor regarding PASS, Prolonged adaption Stress Syndrome, to apply Jung’s theories about fasifying type to her own reaserch about identifying type. Benziger has developed a personality assessment test which she uses to help people identify the type of work that they should be doing and the way that they should be doing it. The classification is a little left brained ad right brained combined with front and rear brained. She argues that people often have been taught by societal values to operate in a manner that does not correlate with their natural inclinations.
This causes stress and forces the person to work harder to do the same job that someone more inclined for that type of work can do easily. In essence, it is the explanation why some people can stare all day at columns of numbers at enjoy the minutia of trying to find one number out of place while others need to be behind the lens of a camera or writing creatively. (Benziger “Thriving in Mind” 2000). Perhaps Benziger’s biggest contributions to the field then are in her international work in human resources.
She believes that by teaching corporations to hire the right person for the right job, as evidenced by their “type” inclinations, corporations can increase productivity and reduce employee burnout. At the same time, by allowing employees to adapt to do the work in a manner that is best suited to their mind type, the company can reduce stress-related illness and employee dissatisfaction (Benziger, 2000). To this end, she has developed a world-wide consulting firm which specializes in teaching human resources professionals around the world how to motivate and train employees.
She conducts several international seminars annually designed to assist people with identifying type and identifying falsification of type. Falsification occurs when we have been trained by society that some skill is more valued than another and therefore suppress our natural instincts for self-gratification in order to please society—in the form of parents, spouses, employers or society as a whole. This is the primary cause of stress in most people’s lives, Benziger claims. (“Thriving in Mind”2007). Ultimately, Benziger takes the Jungian theories of personality and translates them into something more.
“Many people understand the Jungian functions as being qualities of people’s “personality”. Instead it should be pointed out that personality is only one physical manifestation of cognitive function. In other words the way your brain/mind works determines how you behave and appear to others. Your outward behavior or “personality” is a “product” of your cognitive functions (function follows form). You are your mind. “ (“Time for Love” 2007). Benziger’s impact has been to revolutionize human resources, for those who are listening. Her clients have included the Mayo Clinic and Proctor and Gamble-Latin America.
Her work with Dr. Taylor on PASS has included an 11-year study on the effects of falsification of type on stress levels and she has lectured international on women and leadership. Clearly, her work is impacting others as Dr. Tarylor is one of many psychologists who have adopted the Benziger personality assessment as a means of identifying type and helping people to find their appropriate cognitive function. Dr. Benziger has written half a dozen books describing her theories, created her own assessment tests and spent more than 25 years developing her personal practice and international consulting firm.
She offers an average of four international seminars a year and her classes are recognized as interntional personal coaching continuing education credits. Benziger’s philosophy was the subject of a year-long series of columns in “Heartland Women”, a bi-weekly news magazine in her hometown of Carbondale. Essentially, quoting deeply from her latest publication, “Thriving in Mind”, Benziger argues that we must take the time to identify how our mind prefers to work as opposed to what society tells us our preference should be.
For instance, society often tells young women that they are not equipped for math or science when it may be exactly what a particular girl needs to be studying. She has also expressed concerns in this impact cognitive patterns have on the way we teach and learn. Some people, depending on their cognitive function types, are very good at learning patterns and others are better at seeing the larger picture, instead of the details.
Neither is necessarily an inappropriate method of thinking, but right now, based on current standardize intelligence tests and other standardized testing, those who can innately recognize patterns are assumed to be more intelligent than those who view things spatially, for instance (Benzinger, “Thriving in Mind” 2000). Ultimately, the work of Dr. Benziger should prompt a great deal more study. Her insights are not necessarily clearly conveyed in her works, which is a distinct failing of her works, but the basic premeses are worthy of note.
She has built her work on a strong foundation of Jung’s theories of personality and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. She ties the classics of psychology into a modern explanation of why the body causes itself stress and how people can live happier. She understands the basic concepts of neurology and attempts to use them in conjunction with psychology to promote a better understanding of the functioning of the human mind. It is saddening, therefore, that this brilliant researcher has not found the creative mind that can work with her and best express her ideas to the world and promote them with the psychological community.
Her ideas are sound and should be the basis for additional research. ? Works Cited “Benziger Conference” <http://www. advantara. com/KBUK2006. html >, Accessed December 19, 2007 Benziger, Katherine. “The Physiology of Type: Jung’s Four Functions,: KAB Publishing, 1998. Benziger, Katherine. “Thrving in Mind” KAB Publishing, 2000. Katherine Benziger biography, Benziger. org, Accessed December 19, 2007. “Physiology of Type” <http://www. personalitytype. com/dwya/enfp. html> Accessed December 19, 2007. “Time Enough For Love” <http://www. timeenoughforlove. org/Evidence. htm>, Accessed December 19, 2007.