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Do You Have “The Healer” Personality Type?

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I’ve been talking with several practitioners about a common personality trait among healers (and massage therapists). I went to a student herb clinic last night for an assessment, and it seemed that three of the four people in the room had the trait. Basically, it’s what you’d call sensitivity. There’s even a book called The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron that goes into detail about it.

Past experience has shown me that when people are sensitive like this, they:

  • Don’t have a mean bone in their body. Hurting someone would almost be like hurting themselves.
  • Are almost always “givers”.
  • Because of the above two things, they are very trustworthy.
  • Tend to be more artistic and aware than most people.

I’ve found sensitivity is often misunderstood – even by people who have the traits themselves. One practitioner I talked to is going to change the way she runs her office based on what we figured out. She thinks she’ll be happier AND save money. Understanding it can make a big difference.

What I’ve never really noticed before is that there’s an actual personality assessment that seems to reveal this trait. The Meyers-Briggs or Keirsey Type Indicator indicates 16 different personality “types”. One of them is actually called “The Healer.” Healers are almost always very sensitive.

You can try the assessment yourself – it’s free.  There’s also a more official Keirsey Type indicator, but it’s less helpful and more black/white.

I’m curious to see just how prevalent this is. See what you come up with, and if you don’t mind, please post your personality type as a comment.  Thanks!

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa // Mar 4, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I am a “seller”, which I feel is fairly accurate (ESFJ)

  • 2 Burton Kent // Mar 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Personally, I’m ENTJ. I like making things happen. (Jason Stein at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine is also ENTJ, and was born about 12 hours after me. Uncanny coincidence. )

  • 3 Anne de Courtenay // Mar 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Yep, INFP! But I only just made it to F and P by 3 and 5%, respectively.

  • 4 Andrea B eth Damsky, L.Ac. // Mar 5, 2008 at 6:50 am

    These are my results, and I am amused at the ability for the program to sort out my equal responses to being both, organized and disorganized! I think the assessment is pretty accurate – I have been drawn to healing, ministry, and inspirational singing as careers. My greatest contradiction in doing any of these things well, is being prone to burnout from attending to others’ needs more than my own.

    Introverted (I) 65% Extroverted (E) 35%
    Sensing (S) 60.61% Intuitive (N) 39.39%
    Feeling (F) 66.67% Thinking (T) 33.33%
    Judging (J) 56.41% Perceiving (P) 43.59%

    Your type is: ISFJ

    ISFJ – “Conservator”. Desires to be of service and to minister to individual needs – very loyal. 13.8% of total population.

  • 5 Lisa Marie // Mar 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Well, this was an interesting result–Mastermind! I think in my life I’m moving from being more intellectual to more sensing and perhaps that’s reflected in the 50/50 score there.

    Introverted (I) 71.43% Extroverted (E) 28.57%
    Intuitive (N) 53.13% Sensing (S) 46.88%
    Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
    Judging (J) 70.37% Perceiving (P) 29.63%

    Your type is: INTJ
    Accuracy: – 5 high 4 3 2 1 low

    INTJ – “Mastermind”. Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.

  • 6 Bonnie // Mar 5, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Hmm… on this one my perceiving/judging came out 50/50 but they still said INFP.

    Oh look–there are all my former careers too! :) .

  • 7 sarah // Mar 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    1st results:

    Extroverted (E) 54.84% Introverted (I) 45.16%
    Sensing (S) 53.33% Intuitive (N) 46.67%
    Thinking (T) 56.25% Feeling (F) 43.75%
    Perceiving (P) 50% Judging (J) 50%

    Your type is: ESTP

    ESTP – “Promotor”. Action! When present, things begin to happen. Fiercely competitive. Entrepreneur. Often uses shock effect to get attention. Negotiator par excellence. 4.3% of total population.

    *If you tied on any of the scales, the current algorithm just breaks the tie randomly so refresh the page to see alternate results

    It said if it was even, to hit refresh. Last category was even, so I hit refresh. 2nd round results:

    Extroverted (E) 54.84% Introverted (I) 45.16%
    Sensing (S) 53.33% Intuitive (N) 46.67%
    Thinking (T) 56.25% Feeling (F) 43.75%
    Perceiving (P) 50% Judging (J) 50%

    Your type is: ESTJ

    ESTJ – “Administrator”. Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.

    *If you tied on any of the scales, the current algorithm just breaks the tie randomly so refresh the page to see alternate results

    Last category was even again, so I hit refresh again and got the results I got the first time. Seems to make sense.

  • 8 Eric Hollander // Mar 11, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Introverted (I) 70.59% Extroverted (E) 29.41%
    Sensing (S) 51.22% Intuitive (N) 48.78%
    Feeling (F) 56.76% Thinking (T) 43.24%
    Perceiving (P) 74.29% Judging (J) 25.71%

    Your type is: ISFP

  • 9 Jeremy Rothenberg // Mar 13, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I think this test depends on the mood you’re in when you take it … or I think it does for me.

    I’m in my final year of acupuncture school.

    Introverted (I) 56.1% Extroverted (E) 43.9%
    Intuitive (N) 71.43% Sensing (S) 28.57%
    Feeling (F) 61.76% Thinking (T) 38.24%
    Perceiving (P) 64.71% Judging (J) 35.29%

    Your type is: INFP
    Accuracy:

    INFP – “Questor”. High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.
    Accuracy:

  • 10 Allison // Mar 18, 2008 at 6:50 am

    INFP; previously tested as INTP.

    Which Myers-Briggs type is the Healer?

  • 11 Burton Kent // Mar 18, 2008 at 7:15 am

    There are different names given by different testing organizations. In the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, INFP is the healer. See: http://www.keirsey.com/handler.aspx?s=keirsey&f=fourtemps&tab=3&c=healer

  • 12 Robyn Green // May 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Introverted (I) 63.16% Extroverted (E) 36.84%
    Intuitive (N) 68.57% Sensing (S) 31.43%
    Feeling (F) 80% Thinking (T) 20%
    Perceiving (P) 70.27% Judging (J) 29.73%

    Your type is: INFP
    Accuracy:

    INFP – “Questor”. High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.
    Reading the Keirsey description felt very familar! Thanks

  • 13 Alex // Mar 3, 2010 at 12:44 am

    I actually took the test before I read this article and i’m a healer, it describes me perfectly but why are there so few of us, somebody tell me please??

  • 14 Heather // Nov 12, 2010 at 11:40 am

    INFP- “Healer”

    introverted 22
    intuitive 50
    Feeling 75
    Perceiving 22

    Description was spot on. Sucks not there are not that many of us.

  • 15 Amy Lee // Mar 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

    INFP. I took this test 10 yrs ago when I was in school for Horticulture. I had the same results. It shows me that I was attracted to this profession due to my personality.

  • 16 Dizzy // Mar 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I am just applying for acupuncture/TCM schools and for some crazy reason I decided to search for this and my personality type. I’m an INFP, maybe this will (I hope!) be a good field for me! I previously have been a pro musician and teacher. I also studied environmental geology in school but as a career it wasn’t the best fit. I’m an introvert but I still like being involved with/helping people.

  • 17 Richard // Apr 10, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Yah well I’m an ENTP~ I used to be an INTP, and my Extrovert/Introvert ratio was really close like 52%-42%.

    Unfortunately, this test says that I’m very unsuitable to be an “occupational therapist”…

    Uh oh… I’m just in the middle of opening a new acupuncture clinic, and I intend to specialise in sports and work related stress and injuries…

    Apparently I’m wasting my time though because I’m totally more suited to being a “Dictator” or an “International Spy”….

    Whooops!

  • 18 Alfonso // Apr 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Mmm,

    INFJ – “Author”. Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population

    Introverted (I) 57.14% Extroverted (E) 42.86%
    Intuitive (N) 63.16% Sensing (S) 36.84%
    Feeling (F) 57.14% Thinking (T) 42.86%
    Judging (J) 55% Perceiving (P) 45%

    Wow ! Those favored careers are pretty much what I always dream of.