Can MBTI Dimensions Predict Therapy Outcome: Differences in the Thinking-Feeling Function Pair in CBT

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Jeremy Jinkerson *
Audrey Masilla
Raymond C. Hawkins
(*) Corresponding Author:
Jeremy Jinkerson | jeremy.jinkerson@gmail.com

Abstract

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is often used in psychotherapy for multiple purposes, including outcome prediction. However, the empirical basis for the MBTI’s prediction of outcome is minimal. In the current study, psychological type (assessed via the MBTI), current Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and cognitive-behavioral therapy were used to predict psychotherapy outcome as measured by change in GAF within a sample of outpatient psychotherapy clients (N = 525). Linear regression analyses were used to identify whether the 16 MBTI psychological types and/or which dichotomous attitude and function pairs best predicted psychotherapy outcome. The Thinking-Feeling function was found to be a significant predictor of psychotherapy outcome, such that individuals who prefer Thinking demonstrated greater improvement in GAF than did individuals who preferred Feeling. However, four-letter personality type was not a significant predictor of psychotherapy outcome. Overall, the results indicated that individuals preferring the Thinking function showed greater benefit from cognitive-based CBT than individuals preferring Feeling.

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Author Biographies

Jeremy Jinkerson, Fielding Graduate University

Jeremy Jinkerson, M.S. is currently studying clinical psychology in the Ph.D. program at Fielding Graduate University. He is a practicing psychotherapist and provides assessment services to children and families. Jeremy’s research interests include psychotherapy outcome, worldview, and differential psychotherapy response. Jeremy holds a BS in psychology from Freed-Hardeman University and an MS in clinical psychology from Mississippi State University. 

Audrey Masilla, Fielding Graduate University

Audrey Masilla, M.S., is an Assistant Professor at Tidewater Community College and pursuing doctoral studies at Fielding Graduate University. She received her B.A. at Auburn University and M.S. in clinical psychology from Mississippi State University. She has over 40 presentations and publications specific to the field of violence, trauma, and the broader scope of forensic psychology. However, she is well-versed in psychotherapy outcome and years of experience evaluating multiple programs to meet "best practices" standards. 

Raymond C. Hawkins, Fielding Gradate University, The University of Texas at Austin

Ray Hawkins, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor at Fielding Graduate University and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a licensed clinical psychologist who has used the MBTI in his research and clinical practice for over thirty years.