How do therapists characterize personality types?

How do therapists classify the type of personality their clients have? What characteristics do they look at to decide what type of personality the client has? I've read about this online, but I'd like to understand this from a therapist's point of view.

Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

That's a great question. There is such a wide range of ways to define "personality" that it is difficult to identify specific characteristics that are used to identify personality types.

That being said, some clinicians will use standardized tests (or assessments) to assess a client's type of personality. While these tests can't tell us everything about a person, they can help us understand where we are within larger groups of different personality styles.

Some counselors will also use a diagnostic tool (like the DSM or ICD) to help a client understand a diagnosis that is related to a personality disorder.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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