Katherine Benziger

on Saturday, 02 June 2012. Posted in Leadership Interviews

Katherine Benziger

Dr Katherine Benziger is known as the leading expert on the neuro-scientific bases for Dr Carl Jung's model of psychological type as well as the scientific foundations for PASS (Prolonged Adaption Stress Syndrome), the natural result of Falsifying Type. Dr. Benziger has developed state-of-the art tools for identifying an individual's natural Type (i.e. their giftedness).

Dr. Benziger's work is used globally by companies seeking to evaluate their intellectual capital and maximize their employees effectiveness. Deloitte-Touche of Costa Rica has identified Benziger's assessment and model as an HR / human capital management best practices. Licensees in Central America are working with Dr. Benziger and Lominger licensees to build a model to assist companies focusing on competencies to link 80-90 percent of the competencies identified in business by Lominger to brain preference patterns identified by the Benziger Model and BTSA. This collaborative effort should help those already working with competencies understand who on their teams can easily and dependably develop and use which competencies.

Dr Katherine Benziger has spent 29 years helping individuals, teams and organizations to be more effective and more creative by identifying and using their natural Preference. She teaches her clients powerful creative techniques on the one hand and strategies for managing the culture within which they are working so that their efforts to grow their creativity and innovative skills are supported and successful. Dr. Benziger has authored more than a dozen books related to creativity, innovation, effectiveness and wellness including Rethinking Stress, Depression and Mid-Life Crisis, published on C.G. Jung Web-site, www.cgjungpage.com 1996. Dr Benziger is listed in the 1997 edition of National Directory of Who's Who in Executive and Professionals for 20 years of contributing to public mental health on both a theoretical and practical level.

Articles By Katherine Benziger, Ph.D.

Leveraging Your Brain's Natural Lead to Achieve and Sustain Inner Balance at

Living an Energy Efficient Life Promotes Success and Health at http://www.benziger.org/content/view/35/27/

Balancing Work and Home Life - How Our Natural Lead and Inner Wakefulness Relate to Our Ability and Need as Women to Balance Work at http://www.benziger.org/content/view/95/27/

Interview with Dr Katharine Benziger

What is your model of personality assessing and how does it differ from the Myers Briggs system?

The Benziger Breakthrough differs from Myers Briggs system because my model and assessment were designed to track and identify patterns of falsifying type which Dr. Carl Jung had written about and which I found to be prevalent in society today. Myers Briggs measures how a person is using their brain - the developed patterns of competencies more than their natural gifts. As my own research and that of Gall-up shows that 80% of population around the world are Falsifying Type. The bottom line is that most of the time Myers Briggs gets it wrong because they identify a set of developed competencies and tell the person these are their natural gifts. For more about the difference see http://www.benziger.org/content/view/18/ 

Using your model, how do you measure brain function and energy consumption in the brain?

I measure brain function and energy consumption using a questionnaire the BTSA which I created almost 20 years ago now. At the time I was collaborating with Dr. Karl Pribram who was himself very familiar with Dr. Jung's work. We were exploring the human brain to determine where Jung's four functions were managed. Dr. Pribram was and is a one of the world's top neuroscientists. At the time we used unpublished information he had observed in his own laboratory along with some of his published research on the functional specialization in the human cortex. In the years since this original development the model has been substantiated repeatedly with PET scan results when people are falsifying type.

How does one 'falsify type'?

Falsify type is a term invented by Dr. Carl Jung in 1926. You will find it mentioned in his book Psychological Types. According to Dr. Jung, one falsifies type when one develops and uses more competencies that are managed by one's non-preferred functions and fewer managed by one's natural lead function.

Is one aware that they are falsifying type and if one is not, then how can one recognize that they are doing so?

People who have been falsifying type for years may have lost touch with their own body's bio-feedback. So it is possible that they are "no longer in touch with the fact that they are falsifying type". However, when people are falsifying type they may not be aware of it in the sense that they have been doing it for years and living with the costs - assuming this was life. But they can become aware of it very easily. If you ask them to think about their day, they are aware that they are feeling tired or bored. They are aware that over time they are exhausted and ill. Dr. Jung referred to our natural preference as our body's internal compass and it is just that. The only problem is that for 400 years the industrial revolution has been shaping school systems which educate everyone who attends them to perform routine procedures. So everyone in our public schools is learning to use the Sensation Function (Basal Left in the Benziger Model). The public schools teach reading, writing and arithmetic because this is what you need to be able to do to follow a procedure accurately and dependably hour after hour and day after day. To read the instructions that were left for you. To pick up and manipulate the object accurately so that the procedure is completed. So, the result is that those who attend the public schools, about 80 to 90% of the population, are using the Sensation Function (Basal Left) and for some of these people it is their natural lead function and for the others developing it and using the Sensation Function this much requires that they falsify type day after day. As soon as you explain this they can begin to become aware of what is true for them by observing themselves in action.

What are the personal costs to the individual, family, community and to the organization of falsifying their type?

The personal costs of falsifying type are fatigue, illness, depression. The community high levels of depression, anxiety, illness and stress which are not necessarily caused by specific life events. The organizational costs are lowered productions, lower productivity, lower morale, higher turnover, higher use of sick time and sick days.

How do you make the application of personality assessing ethical in a global business environment that is capitalistic in its framework?

Simply put the brain was designed to do 4 very different jobs. These are: Starting or Restarting; Structuring; Maintaining; and Building Good Will and Harmonizing. All four are necessary for successful business over time. The current "capitalistic framework" values first and foremost two of the four jobs: Structuring (Logical Decisions about the best use of resources in the present) and Maintaining (procedural production). In years past Jack Welch tried to teach businesses that they needed to create and innovate. That is still true. It is also true that business needs to harmonize the relationships between the workers (between those who are Maintaining and those who are Creating and those who are Structuring) and as well between the company and its customers. My own work in Latin America and Africais to help people in these cultures learn that they can use and leverage their natural preference. These cultures have a full distribution of the four functions / specialized types of thinking, but they also have cultures which in many cases are more supportive and valuing of the Feeling Function / Basal Right's values and gifts in building good will and community / harmonizing. I encourage these people to hold to their values and develop strong Feeling Function / Basal Right skills so they can then model / show / teach the rest of the world how contribute Feeling Function / Basal Right gifts effectively. There are places where people like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their friend Warren Buffet who gave them another 80 billion in 2006 for their foundation – these people are using frontal skills to solve real world problems and as they do they are creating places where Feeling / Basal Rights excel at providing nurturing. They are helping heal the wounds, solver the problems and create nurturing caretaking jobs for the poor around the world. This is a step in the right direction.

How is your theory and work regarded by other psychologists and practitioners?

Over the years many people have collaborated with me and used my work. Generally speaking those who work with me see me as the person in the field who is setting the direction and providing the ideas for best practices.

    • Don Williams who is a Jungian Analyst in Boulder , Colorado who set up the jungpage.org web site for Dr. Carl Jung's work invited me to submit articles to his site and as well to teach global workshops which he held on the site on the physiological foundations of Jung's model and the physiological foundations of Falsifying Type. Don told me repeatedly that I was one of the best teachers he had ever had on the site – with an openness and grace welcoming and encouraging others. Don refers to my work as "an extending Dr. Carl Jung's work."
    • In the past few years, I have also taught as a guest faculty at The Jung Institute outside of Zurich Switzerland on the same topic. The course was very well received.
    • Dr. Arlene Taylor, a nurse-psychologist in California , who has been using my work in her private practice and public workshops around the world, has been collaborating with me for more than 15 years. Initially she was going to develop her own model because other assessment tools and models were generally inaccurate. After about 3 years she decided to just use my model and my assessment as it was doing everything she wanted and was accurate.
    • Also in the past few years, in Latin American, the HR professionals in Proctor and Gamble have been working with me for 6 years. They now have a 14 person team of HR professionals trained to use my work in all of P&G Latin America. Their interest in linking my work to two of their corporate missions: effectiveness and wellness. To link it to effectiveness, they use my tools including the BTSA to give the people who attend the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Workshops the BTSA first to provide them with excellent self-knowledge. The Wellness focus is being headed by an HR coach who is herself a physician in Colombia .
    • In Deloitte and Touche in 2001 in Latin America , their consultants found that my work set the benchmark for best practices in HR.
    • About 10 years ago Barbara Barron-Tieger, author of Do What You Are and Nurture by Nature, contacted me and interviewed me on my model and on my research. She concluded that my work was excellent and strongly recommended it to people she spoke to and at the time included her recommendations to use my work and the BTSA in resources section at the back of her books and on her web site.
    • As well for several years in the 1990s I was on the Faculty of the American Academy of Medical Directors, teaching about typology and its relationship to management.
    • As well IHRDC, a global HR company based in Boston has used me off and on to teach the Thinking Styles / Typology part of their week long seminar for global petroleum managers who attend their week long annual course.
    • The two Ph.D. psychologists, Larry Palk and Wim Myburgh, in their 60's each with decades of experience in South Africa who are introducing my work to South Africa see my work as truly benchmarking for practical therapy and counseling as well as career planning.
    • A physician in Los Angeles who heads a clinic in LA, California , USA for patients with Frontal Lobe dementia. He was working with hundreds of Frontal Lobe dementia patients and had contacted me to tell me he thinks that my work about Falsifying Type and the costs of falsifying type to the person explains a great deal of dementia that has not been understood.

What have been some of the major influences in your life that inspired you to work in this field?

· My maternal grandmother, Bel Rey, an extraverted intuitive (extraverted Frontal Right in Benziger Model), who traveled from the USA to Switzerland in 1932-1933 to work with and study with Dr. Carl Gustav Jung for a year. She did not have a college education, but was a bright, literate and determined woman who wanted to learn more about Dr. Jung's work. A close woman friend of hers was a Jungian analyst and had introduced her to his work in symbolism, typology and dream analysis. Bel, for whom I was named, brought the work of Jung into our family and raised me with a deep awareness of type – both the 4 functions and the critical features of introversion extraversion.

· My father, James Benziger, an introverted intuitive (introverted Frontal Right in Benziger Model), who loved me and taught me how to be in the world as in introverted intuitive. Dad introduced me to Nature and its uplifting and healing effects. He also brought me to a small town in 1950 in which Buckminster Fuller was also living and working as the head of the university's Design Department. Through Dad and several of Bucky's other faculty in the Design Department I was able to watch over more than two decades as these introverted intuitives Falsified Type in order to do their jobs at the university. I watched as they were diagnosed as manic depressives and as well watched as they tried to survive the effects of lithium on their minds. In the end I also watch what happened for some of them who retired early and got off lithium and just lived lives which were free and filled with living true to type for each of them – watching them regain their wellness without medication – or not be able to regain their wellness because their brain was already too damaged. These men were role models for me in how to think and work as an introverted intuitive and as well real people who got my heart and attention and caused me to pick up Jung's book again to find how what he thought happened when one falsified type. Indeed when I looked I found that all the damage – mental and physical I was observing in them was observed by Dr. Jung. So by the age of 21 I was well informed and directed to try to help people who were suffering the same profound mental and physical damage from falsifying type. I was ready to understand type deeply at a neuro-physiological level so that I could understand its costs. 

· My paternal grandmother Margaret Brown, another extraverted Intuitive (extraverted Frontal Right in the Benziger model). Margaret, known to others in the world as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" of the Titanic – was a woman who modeled the adage: being a change maker. She was raised in a poor Irish family of recent immigrants to the USA . She was taught by her father who had volunteered before the Civil War on the Underground railroad to help escaped slaves, to help others. She did just that. As a young woman she worked hard and knew how to work. But when her husband became rich as an engineer in Colorado in Silver mine, she moved to Denverwhere she began to organize for workers. She introduced change into her own life and that of her family by traveling around the world, including to India, Egypt, living in Paris and studying at the Sorbonne for a few years with her college age daughter, working in the United States for women's suffrage for more than two decades, and at the same time to improve the quality of the lives of women and children and the workers in the mines. When in the middle of this period of time she happened to be on the Titanic when it sank, she not only helped rescue others, she also helped organize those who had been saved so that those who were strong and healthy (generally the rich women who had been clothed) to use the table linen to make clothing for the poor women who had survived but had no clothing.

· Bucky Fuller and Leo Jakobsen both architects Introverted Intuitives (again introverted Frontal Rights) both taught me as a adolescent and college student to think very very big picture and to know that I had the power to look at things, see the big picture of what was happening and change what was happening. Change lives for others. So when I found myself turning back to Dr. Jung's work, having a sense of confidence that I could do this. I could help the world "see and get" that the 400 year cycle of industrial development had pushed to communities and nations to develop and educate most people in the Basal Left (sensation function). I saw it was needed and did it. Bucky had been a mentor as a child and told me that anytime anyone told me things could not be fixed I should know with confidence that they could be fixed. That as Bucky said "it is just a matter of distribution". And that is really all it is. And people of Good Will.

Based on your research and clinical results, how do you evaluate the theory and work of Carl Jung?

Again, my own work is based on Dr. Jung's. My grandmother studied with Dr. Carl Jung for a year and I was raised in a family of Jungians. I noticed when I was very young that my father was falsifying type from Intuition to Thinking and was becoming a manic depressive. I found that other design faculty who worked with Buckminster Fuller were also suffering from the same manic depression. All seemed to be natural Intuitives who were falsifying type. When reading Jung's original work, Psychological Types I discovered that he himself had discovered that people became ill and neurotic when they falsified type. So "how to I evaluate the work of Carl Jung? I would say he identified and pointed out to all of us 80 years ago the problem we are facing that is adding so much unexplained "stress" and "depression" and "anxiety" to people's lives – destroying their peace of mind. This is the time when we no longer all need to do the BL work so now in the 21st Century, we can really do what Carl Jung taught us to do – embrace and leverage our natural preference. It allows us all to find and experience dependably that optimal, peak human experience, flow.

How can we improve our physical and mental health and discover our area of the brain that is superior in its efficiency?

The best way to do this is to read Thriving in Mind, take the eBTSA and then have 1-2 hour coaching session with the KBA Licensee who does your eBTSA. This will be made much easier very soon as we will be inaugurating an online version of the eBTSA in about 2 months when we make the changes to the site I have told you about. That will allow everyone (including Mac users who have not been able to take it as it was on PC based software) with internet access to take it in English or Spanish. Helping people improve their own physical and mental health is what the BTSA was designed to do – help people discover and manage their habits of falsifying type so they can embrace their true natural preference and enjoy the experience of flow which comes when we use it every day. The BTSA Feedback (generally 22-26 pages in length) will help you do this. Reading and internalizing Thriving in Mind (the book that was written at the request of one of my CEO clients so that I could give his employees what he called "a leave behind" they could use when they had time and or were ready to learn) will help you further learn how to specifically leverage your natural preference (natural lead function) and manage your natural weaknesses (the other three functions). Giving yourself the support of a coach who is an expert in the eBTSA will help even more. This is the package we recommend for everyone. And, if you are a person who really likes to do "workbooks" and "application exercises" you can benefit even more by buying and working through "Thriving in Mind: The Workbook" which has lots of application exercises for each of the 11 chapters in the book.

What are your thoughts on leadership and women's aspirations of leadership amidst the societal and organizational barriers that prevail?

I believe strongly that women and minorities of all kinds (black, Hispanic, native peoples) will have more power, more impact. Many nations already have or have had a woman at the top. This will happen more. In the USA we are very fortunate to have Barack O'bama as a talented and gifted US citizen and conscious, committed global citizen who is running for US President. Our most recent election in the USA , Nancy Pelosi won the position of Speaker of the House which makes her the 3rd most powerful woman in the USA . Also working with my clients and licensees in Latin America and Africa I have been working to help these cultures feel they can be themselves and bring their gifts to the table. The world is run by extraverted Thinkers (Frontal Lefts) supported by with armies of workers trained in the Sensation Function (Basal Lefts). These cultures value the Feeling Function much more than the "global" business culture they want to join. My message to them is that they can come to the table and bring with them the gifts offered by the Feeling Function (Basal Right). Other signals are also stronger that the problems generated by global climate change have forced the world to honor and incorporate the contributions of the Intuitives (Frontal Rights – who saw and described the big picture and patterns. With the success and recognition of Al Gore's move Inconvenient Truth" and of Prince Charles for this contributions to "green sustainable developments" the door is open and being held open. When the Titanic sank people stopped building ships that big. It was the end of an era. It was the end of a time in the world when traveling by ship was the best, more efficient way to travel. Travel shifted and people began to fly more rather than take ships. This is what is happening now today. We are at the end of an era when the traditional patriarchal corporation driven and fueled by a focus on inefficient development and use of fossil fuels is no longer the best way to do things. These ways of organizing are sinking and breaking down. They will be replaced by new sustainable ways of living and organizing. And in the mix, there will be quite naturally women who are gifted at working and talking together as a woman's hormones (mostly estrogen driven) regardless of her natural lead function drive her to talk it through and collaborate – while the a man's hormones (mostly testosterone driven) regardless of his natural lead function drive him to compete. So, there will be more doors open for women and more women rising to help and lead others as my great grandmother Margaret Brown did.