Personality Adaptations Order On-Line or by Mail
Return Home
Why Psychsongs
The Personality Adaptations
Dorney Thompson
EdxTM Training
Contact Us
Order Psychsongs

The Six Personality Adaptations

"This theory describes how and why each of us develops strategies to take care of ourselves through the 'stressful times' in our lives … it also offers solutions for how to avoid getting stuck and symptomatic and then offers new insights into how we can avoid getting trapped in the negative aspects of those strategies. "

Dorney Thompson

Read about PsychSongs in the Louisville Courier-Journal!

Learn About The Adaptations

Most individuals actually have a combination of these six adaptations, sometimes aspects of all of them! There's nothing particularly pathological about any of these styles. Each, as their names suggests, has both positive and negative attributes. Take, for instance, the ENTHUSIASTIC (positive) / OVER-REACTOR (negative) or the CHARMING (positive) /MANIPULATOR (negative). These names simply designate each of our particular styles of problem-solving.


The Survival Adaptations

According to theory, we each have at least one 'survival adaptation,' that we decide on before the age of two. If we experience what feels like a crucial breakdown in basic trust (if our parents are overwhelmed or blind-siding or inconsistent in their care-giving) we predictably determine how we’ll have to We decide to either:

  • Withdraw, take care of our selves and not be a problem! (click on the Creative/Daydreamer)

  • Criticize or attack to get rid of any threat as we skeptically observe and arrive at harsh conclusions about others! (click on the Brilliant/Skeptic)

  • Maneuver with quick thinking, as we work to maintain or gain an upper hand. (click on the Charming/Manipulator)


The Performing Adaptations

Under the less stressful circumstances of normal, everyday life, we tend to operate primarily out of our performing adaptations decisions we made between the ages of two and six. These decisions originate in our responses to our parents' preferences and styles of parenting (over-controlling, praising achievement and delighting in/ reacting to expressions of our emotion). According to theory, when under pressure, problems arise when we decide to either:

  • Struggle, resist, “pressure-up” and flounder without a clear life plan or purpose (click on the Playful/Resister)

  • Work, produce, achieve, construct, organize and exhaust ourselves (click on the Responsible/Workaholic)

  • Attempt to please and delight others, operating out of emotion rather than clear-headed thinking (click on the Enthusiastic/Over-Reactor)

LEARNING THE DIFFERENT PERSONALITY ADAPTATIONS can give you insight and help you understand into how to deal with someone who is operating out of the negative aspects of their adaptation. This theory can provide us with an emotional intelligence and awareness that serves as a great alternative to arguing with, chastising, straightening out or condemning others (or maybe even ourselves)!

THERAPISTS - Learn about avoiding resistance as you understand and track clinical activity using Joines’ 'three doors' theory (if you haven’t read “Personality Adaptations” the book, you’ll want to!). Learn to recognize the patterned unproductive sequences or “trap doors” (detailing thought, feelings or behavior) that can trap anyone! Then learn what you can do to redirect individuals and couples to solution. Assist your clients to better understand themselves and others ~ tell them about this website and invite them to use this disc to enhance their work with you!