Temperament Corner


Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Temperament Corner by Phyllis Arno

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

 God has given us a unique tool to help His hurting people.  It is the Arno Profile System (APS).

As a trained temperament counselor you are not only counseling the people that come to you with their problems; you are teaching them about their God-given temperament.

When counseling, you generate a Clinical Report.  This report will give you a clear understanding of this person’s temperament strengths and weaknesses. However, this Clinical Report is not to be given to the counselee as this information is designed for clinical interpretation.

If at all possible it would be best if you had a session with this person before you explained their APS profile.  In so doing, you will have a clearer picture of what is going on in this person’s life.

Once you have this clear picture, you will then be able to not only teach them about temperament, but also share with them who God created them to be by revealing their strengths and weaknesses.

When explaining your counselee’s temperament to them and revealing their strengths and weaknesses, you need to remember that all this information is new to them. You need to give this information to them in a gentle way, approaching them as a teacher. Give them a strength and then a weakness; please do not reveal all their weaknesses at once as it may overwhelm them and they may feel defeated or discouraged.  Approaching them in this manner will give the person you are counseling the opportunity to “digest” the information that you have just given them.

Remember, they do not have the temperament training that you have and, they are not there to be taught how to counsel, they are there to be counseled as well as to learn about their unique temperament.

In order to be an effective temperament counselor, it is important that you set aside your own temperament and put yourself in the shoes of the person you are counseling.

You may never totally understand your counselee’s temperament needs, strengths and weaknesses; but with temperament training, you can help your counselees to understand who God created them to be.


  1. Ascertain the reason for counseling.
  2. Administer the APS—tell them they are responding to statements (you can reassure them this is not a test); they should take no longer than 10 minutes; and there are no right or wrong answers.
  3. Greet your counselee in an encouraging manner. Make sure your initial encounter is professional, friendly, genuine and Christ-like. Remember, you never get a second chance at a first impression.  Please dress professionally.
  4. Briefly discuss your credentials.
  5. Explain to your counselee what they can expect from you during their session.
  6. Obtain Medical History.
  7. Obtain Spiritual History.
  8. Obtain Social History.
  9. Have counselee complete an Intake questionnaire.
  10. Have counselee complete a stress assessment.
  11. Review the APS with your counselee and briefly explain:

      * The purpose of temperament: God has uniquely created them!

Psalm 139:14-18

      * There is no right or wrong (good or bad) temperaments

      * There are three areas of temperament:

INCLUSION—social orientation and intellectual energies

CONTROL—willingness to make decisions and to accept responsibility

for self and/or others

AFFECTION—need to express and receive love and approval, a need for

deep, personal relationships

      * That within our temperament we all have STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES

      * We ALL HAVE NEEDS and that:

  • When attempting to meet your needs, you sometimes do things that are not godly.
  • Knowing your temperament can help you to better understand yourself.
  • It will also help you to learn how to meet your needs in a godly way, and that,
  • It will also enlighten you as to why you do the things you do.

You must never give a counselee a copy of the APS Clinical report.  It is clinical and for your eyes only!

You can purchase the Special SPP reports to provide a personal report that you may hand out to your counselee.  It is a one-time purchase and you cannot generate an SPP report for your counselee until you have first purchased the Clinical report.

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