Taught DISC Personality Styles in Counseling

Counseling internship week #10 with a total of 126 hours! Broken down this is: 23.25 face to face, 4.25 individual supervision, 4 group supervision, 94.5 related activities.

The other week my former supervisor was asked to share about DISC personality styles during group supervision/staff meeting. The office manager passed the printed handouts to me to give to her. I glanced down at the sheets to see the very familiar material that our former organization used to teach the teenagers about teamwork to reduce the drama on our short term mission trips. I heard this lesson at least 8 times a year during my 4 years with Xtreme Impact.

However, when she shared this, it opened my eyes to how I could use this material within the counseling session. She recommended that she taught this personality style method a lot with adolescents struggling with personalities, for clients involved in relationship struggles (to understand themselves and others better), as well as during career counseling.

I never considered teaching about personality styles in session because I thought it seemed more like “pop” psychology. However, I realized how simple yet beneficial it could be with clients.

If you’re unfamiliar with DISC personality styles they are very similar to the animals (D-Lion, I-otter, S- golden retriever, and C-beaver) as well as Sanguine etc developed by Robert Rohm, PhD. What makes this personality style distinctive is that in understanding how each person is usually a combination of 2 of these types, they can understand the characteristics in these types. For example, someone who is a “D” is dominant, likes to be in charge, is task oriented and less relational, as well as  they can tend to be very bossy. Meanwhile someone who is an “S” is sensitive, sentimental, shy, they may not be as task oriented, and they can be naive and taken advantage of. When everyone understands this about themselves it can be very helpful, especially during short term trips focusing on teamwork, but with less time to get to know each other. Then, someone who is a “C” can say, “You know my ‘C’ may be coming out here, but I think it might be better if we do it this way…” instead of them just saying whatever they are thinking that may be construed as complaining.

I was excited about the possibility to actually “teach” something in counseling! Instead of simply teaching through talk therapy I could use the white board. I can’t wait to be able to share this in the future with clients.

2 thoughts on “Taught DISC Personality Styles in Counseling

  1. I’d love to hear an update on how it’s going. I’ve suggested that people use Everything DiSC with couples because it offers the very helpful Comparison Reports.

    • My internship ended in December, so I haven’t been working with anyone for awhile. Will hoping find a place to begin my residency soon. Thanks for sharing that resource, I’ll have to check it out!

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