A Conversation with Katharine Myers
on Type and Temperament

Jeanne Marlowe, M.A. INFP


The following is an excerpt from a series of e-mail conversations with Katharine Myers. Katharine's history with psychological type and with her mother-in-law, Isabel Myers, is rich in depth and breadth. She has made notable contributions to the type community, including "An Introduction to Type" and "An Introduction to Type Dynamics and Development." This particular contribution was from an e-mail correspondence on November 25, 2002.

I think Type and Temperament are two different but complementary theories which can be used effectively in conjunction with each other. This enriches both, especially as temperament has been developed by Linda Berens.

My introduction to Temperament Theory came when I moved to Torrance, CA in 1973. While waiting for the California Board to decide that Pennsylvania had showed sound judgment in certifying me as a school counselor and counselor K-12, I volunteered in the Torrance High School Career Center.

At that time, the Indicator was not widely known, but was developing pockets of use around the country. (Japan was the major user.) I was astonished and delighted to find stacks of copies of Isabel's type descriptions on the shelves of the center - and puzzled. On inquiry, I learned that someone called David Keirsey had introduced type and temperament theory to the students and teachers at Torrance High School.

Later (1975), I learned that Alan Brownsword, a Director with me on the first CAPT board, was a good friend of David's and thought highly of his work. At that time, David was in the process of finishing "Please Understand Me" and had shared some of the chapters and his 16 descriptions with Alan who shared them with me. In 1979, when Alan and I were both on the Planning Committee of the 1979 conference, we recommended to the Committee that David be invited to be the plenary speaker and they agreed.

When Margaret Hartzler and I developed the Institute for Type Development (now Type Resources) Qualifying Program in 1983, we incorporated a segment on Temperament Theory. It certainly was introductory, but we thought it important for practitioners to know of it, what it was about as well as how it could be used in conjunction with type. Throughout my active career I used temperament as well as type exercises.

I was always distressed at the split that developed among some of the type community and remember speaking on the complementarity of the two theories at an APT Chapter speech in the Bay area as a small gesture towards healing.

Page 2, A Conversation with Katharine Myers >>>



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