IR Spotlight



Dr. Donald J. Ibbitson

How Temperament Analysis Helps Us Equip Clients for Spiritual Warfare


Paul tells us in Ephesians that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil. He is talking about demons in our earthly realm as well as those in the second heaven.

Can the Arno Profile System, which pinpoints a person’s inborn temperament with associated strengths and weaknesses, help a Christian counselor equip clients more fully for personal spiritual warfare?

The answer is “Yes!” and I want to share how we do this.

Above & Beyond Christian Counseling engages in traditional individual, couples and family counseling and we employ conventional counseling tools and approaches.

However, over half of our clients find us because of our focus on deliverance ministry, setting the captives free from demonic strongholds that most standard counseling techniques do not address. This service is hard to find in the Body of Christ; more than half of those we help are located in other states and countries around the world.

Praise the Lord for excellent web conferencing technology!

For those clients who complete the five-step process, we strongly encourage them to continue and learn about their unique, God-given temperament. We explain how it helps prepare them for the unclean spirits return to the house (Matt 12:43-45).

The battlefield is the mind, and our counselors adapt the findings in each profile to equip them to discern and resist the devils.

We begin by emphasizing that when the spirits return they will:• Put thoughts in their mind• Stir up past memories in their soul memory• Work through others (actions and words) to initiate thoughts and memories• Instigate life situations to get us to revert to the old stinking thinking.

The battlefield is the mind, as we are well aware. Taking thoughts captive quickly and discerning the (likely) spirit behind it is crucial to successful warfare.

There are not demons behind every problem, and we are careful to clarify that with our clients. Each person has a free will and must take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. While we see deliverance ministry as a powerful tool in our arsenal, we are adamant that it is not a quick fix nor “magic bullet.”

Each person has a responsibility to walk deliverance out and act upon biblical counsel as they move forward in their walk with the Lord.

We emphasize the importance of gaining control of one’s thought life and how thoughts can originate from a variety of sources, including demon spirits. Paul urges us to remember that our struggle is against powers of darkness so we must know their tactics. They are fine-tuned depending upon their target’s temperament.

When we understand a client’s background and presenting issues, we can coach them to prepare for a specific scenario they are likely to encounter when the spirits return. The process (not the recipe) generally goes as follows. They are to:

• Capture the thought/memory
• Identify the emotion that the thought generates
• Discern the likely spirit that is tormenting
• Command it to leave, and
• Speak the Rhema word over the situation to build up their faith

Sample Warfare Tactics by Temperament Type

Here are some examples for each temperament:

They have active minds that do not shut off, and there is a tendency to relive the past. If the memory of an abusive parent’s actions keeps coming back, we encourage the Melancholy to analyze the thought, discern the emotion it is stirring (say, rejection) and respond out loud in a manner as follows:

“I have forgiven and released judgments against my father/mother. You spirit of rejection you get out of here and leave me alone, in Jesus’ name. I am a daughter/son of the King, and You will never leave me nor forsake me”.

Guilt over past failures and sins is often an issue for Supines. Demons are masters at stirring up past memories so the client must be ready to deal with this everyday tactic. We encourage the supine to declare something like this:

“Yes, I did that, but my Father has forgiven me, cleansed me of my sins and remembers them no more. You spirit of guilt and shame, you get out of here and leave me alone in Jesus name. There is no condemnation for those found in Christ, and I am found in Him.”

If a lover has rejected them and they have sought comfort in the wrong places, they will be tempted to seek out that love again. We encourage the Sanguine to adopt this type of approach:

“Yes, Joe did abandon and reject me, but I have forgiven him and released all judgments. I am a daughter of the King, and He has a godly husband for me. You spirit of self-pity (or whatever else they discern), you get out of here and leave me alone in Jesus name. Thank you, Father, that you will meet all of my needs out of your glorious riches. You will be my husband, Jesus until the chosen one comes into my life.”

Cholerics have little grace for dealing with the emotions or weaknesses of others. They can learn how to move in that area (“fake it until you make it”) but it begins with consciously discerning the tendency to dismiss or move on when the situation arises.  We encourage the Choleric to declare:

“Lord help me to see Hank as you do. Thank you that I have your heart for him Lord and I will respond to Him as you would. You spirit of impatience, you get out of here and leave me alone. Thank you, Lord, that you have taken out my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh.”

Stubbornness and passiveness associated with Phlegmatics make them ideal targets if a spirit of stubbornness seeks to return to the house. They are actively motivated to cope and do as little as possible. When they discern that, we suggest the Phlegmatic to counter as follows:

“Thank you, Lord, for setting me free. I am yielded to the Lordship of Jesus in my life, and I recognize that I am under the authority in this office. Mary is my supervisor, and I purpose to clean up my office (or whatever) as she has asked me to do. You spirit of stubbornness, you get out of here and leave me alone in Jesus name. Lord, I obey this directive as unto You.”

Once again, these represent small samples of the process we employ. They are not formulas to follow blindly. We can tailor specific counsel to the client because we know their life history and the demonic strongholds that have been tormenting them.

I hope you have found this article helpful. I will be blessed if you are motivated to learn more about how to include spiritual warfare in your therapy. Deliverance can help set the captives free, but they need help in this area in addition to counseling. We have seen that the saints heal and mature more quickly when they are equipped to discern and resist the demonic realm.



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