Over the past four decades, many people have asked Robert Sterling and I about our relationship and personal experiences with Isabel Myers, who created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator along with her mother Catherine Briggs. We have written in What's Behind Your Belly Button? quite a bit about our lengthy history with her as a colleague in the 70s. As we were creating a career storefront center for students and the general public alike affiliated with the local community college in Gainesville, Florida, we used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with hundreds of people. And we met regularly with Isabel Myers and Dr. Mary McCaulley to give them, for their on-going research on the MBTI, the data from the inventories we had administered and to discuss the meaning of the findings. The MBTI was quite important in our development of the Somatic Reflection Process and really, we are not sure that without the MBTI we would have ever seen the importance of past childhood experiences in understanding our human needs nor the need to recover the unconscious information stored in our feeling memories.
So we wanted to share with all of you a few pages from WHAT'S BEHIND YOUR BELLY BUTTON? that describes much about our first hand experiences with Isabel Myers and Dr. Mary McCaulley, director of the Typology Lab at the University of Florida, so you can get a true glimpse into the initial work of these amazing empowered women who struggled against lack of resources and how their work related to our work with gut feelings and the Somatic Reflection Process. If you enjoy this excerpt, then you will surely enjoy reading the book where it is all further discussed in depth and a complete protocol for the Somatic Reflection Process is given.
"My Mother, Catherine Briggs, was a woman that noticed even small things about people. She wasn’t a psychologist and I don’t think she had read a word of Carl Jung. She just noticed the different relatives acted the opposite from each other when they all got together for Thanksgiving dinner. She would say, Uncle [Hank] always talks about only facts and Aunt [Sarah] always talks about possibilities. Sometimes they had whole conversations, my mother would say, without really listening to each other. She wouldn’t judge any one for being so different. She was just interested that it seemed to be that way. So she sat down over a period of time and wrote all the characteristics of each relative and made up a questionnaire. It was very different from the one you take now, although it asked about the same basic kinds of preferences."