By Courtney Shackelford
The campaigner. That is what the ENFP has been called. It is a personality that is driven by story, idealism, and emotional connection. It is my personality and perhaps one of those personality types best suited to therapy work. Extroversion doesn’t mean that you don’t have a capacity for deep listening, though it does seem that there are a lot of introverts in this field. Connecting with people keeps me energized and engaged with life.
I am someone who craves partnership and despises bureaucratic hierarchies. Repetitive tasks define the idea of purgatory for me. Social connection is the spark of life—I am constantly looking for deep meaning in my interactions and conversations. That space of connection that happens in a therapeutic setting feels like the breath of life and the heartbeat of why I am here.
A huge part of the ENFP personality is locating deeper truths, deeper meaning—often with the goal of societal change. As an ENFP, suffering enrages me—I want to fix it. I see myself as an activist and a therapist. I want to help the individual but heal the collective. What better personality to become a therapist?
As I delve deeper into my training, I realize that what I want to do is help others locate their resilience story, as well as my own. Therapy is about helping others find their inner strength to bring into their lives—and the lives of others—when they most need it. I believe that today the world is in desperate need of those resilience stories. By helping others, the ripple effect will cover the entire world.