The Pattern System: A Periodic Table for Psychology

| April 1, 2014

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The Pattern System: A Periodic Table for Psychology

Do you wonder…
* Why do my partner and I get into so many fights?
* Why is my partner acting that way?
* What is going on to keep me stuck in life?
* What am I doing to turn people off?
* Why am I attracted to the wrong people?
* How can I understand my personality?
The Pattern System is a breakthrough in understanding your personality that is oriented toward psychological healing and personal growth. It also helps you to understand other people–why they respond as they do, what makes them tick.
Once your have understood the Pattern System and explored yourself according to its model, you will come away with a comprehensive map of your psyche. You will be able to see your strengths and your defenses, your places of pain and how you compensate for them. You will understand the structure of your inner conflicts and see the leading edge of your growth.
If you are a therapist, coach, or other professional, do you ask yourself…
* How can I understand my clients’ personalities in a fuller way?
* Why is that client’s therapy not moving?
* What is going on in my relationship with that client?
* What is the primary issue for that client?
* What are the psychodynamics underlying that behavior?
The Pattern System: A Periodic Table for Psychology can help you answer these questions. You can fully understand your clients’ personality patterns–not just their “type” but the detailed structure of their psychology.
The Pattern System doesn’t just focus narrowly on psychopathology. It doesn’t even just focus on dysfunctional patterns. It also helps you to understand functional behavior and healthy capacities. This means that you can see your strengths and those capacities you need to develop to reach your personal goals.
The Pattern System is different from the usual systems of character types, such as the Enneagram or the DISC, because these systems attempt to capture a person’s entire character in one type, even though they do allow for somewhat more complexity. The Pattern System recognizes and reflects the complexity of the human psyche. In the Pattern System, each dysfunctional pattern and healthy capacity describes just one aspect of a client’s personality, and each person will have many of them. In fact, the richness of the Pattern System fosters an attitude of looking deeply in order to understand the uniqueness and multifaceted features of each individual’s personality.
One of the important aspects of the Pattern System is that a person’s profile can change over time. In fact, the distinction between problematic patterns and healthy capacities gives you explicit information about those aspects of the psyche that can change through therapy, coaching, or other personal growth work–specifically how patterns can be transformed into capacities.
The Pattern System is potent for psychological healing and personal growth when integrated with Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS). IFS is a highly effective form of individual psychotherapy that I use in my practice as a psychotherapist and have written extensively about. Self-Therapy Journey is an online tool that integrates the Pattern System with IFS; you can use it for both deep psychological healing and behavior change.
However, the Pattern System is not limited to being used with IFS. It is compatible with a wide range of other therapeutic, coaching, and personal growth approaches. This is especially true because the Pattern System makes very few assumptions about the underlying nature of human psychology, so it meshes well with many different psychological theories.
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