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Counseling/Question Understanding People


"Good day
My fascination is understanding why people are the way they are. I would like to learn to see beyond the mere appearances to become better at assessing people from realistic perspectives.
As an individual when I meet people, it is as if different have their own perceptions of me, some I recognize as false and others as true.What i have learnt and realized is that some people categorize me accurately and others put me into boxes via their perceptions, that do not match my actual realistic situation.
My questions are:
1. What techniques, tools, questions do psychologist and psychiatrist use to get understand (get the gist) of another person. Can you refer me to any practical books that can teach me this skills (for purposes of understanding others better)
2. How does one do a behavioral analysis? Where an how can I learn to do a behavioral analysis - books etc..."


I respect the depth of your question. It is a very broad and far reaching topic, so I will not pretend to be able to give you a comprehensive answer. I will simply offer you some information and resources so that you can continue your quest to discover "why people are the way they are."

Philosophers, theologians, psychologists and pretty much everybody else has been trying to answer that question from the beginning of time. And we're not through, and never will be through answering that question.

There are many books and resources I could suggest to you, but since you asked me the question, I will refer you to my own perspective about us human beings and how to assess our behavior. I have authored three books on this subject, which I think will give you a good overview of the psychological and emotional makeup of human beings, and also offer you a foundation for doing a behavioral analysis.

These books will offer you something else as well. They will help you to understand yourself, which is absolutely essential to accurately perceiving and understanding others. In other words, these books will help you analyze yourself first, and then you will be more than equipped to analyze and understand others better.

Two of the books have a focus on anger, but I assure you that you will find they are about human nature, relationships and perception as well. The third, "Serai: Bringing The Children Home" is an allegory specifically designed to give a metaphorical view of human nature and how we become whole. I think you'll find all three helpful in your quest.

I also want to mention a very important distinction, which speaks to the heart of your question about how others see you. When someone meets you, their impression of who you are is a combination of their 1) projection of their own biases and past experiences, and 2) their accurate perception of who you really are. If this person does not know his own biases and personal history, they will not know the difference between what they project onto you vs. who you really are.

If a person's biases and unresolved personal issues are extreme, they may not perceive you accurately at all. I encourage you to spend little or no time with such people, focusing more on those who see your worth and value as a human being.

Always be aware of your own and others' perception vs. projection , and strive to know yourself well, so that your perception of others is as accurate and unbiased as possible.

I hope this helps. Again, your question is so broad and deep that I can't pretend to give a complete answer here. What I'm sharing and recommending is best seen as a beginning point for your journey.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore  


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William DeFoore, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about depression, anxiety, anger issues, marriage issues, parenting, addiction issues and general life coping problems. I will give a positive perspective, offering encouragement and an action plan about the next best steps for you to take.


I have been in practice as a counselor for over 38 years, working with individuals, couples and families with good results.

I am the author of: *Anger: Deal With It, Heal With It, Stop It From Killing You. Health Communications, Inc. 2004. *Anger Among Angels: Shedding Light On The Darkness Of The Human Soul. Health Communications, Inc. 2000. *Serai: Bringing The Children Home. Wingspan Press, 2007

B.A. in Sociology; M.A. in Clinical Psychology; Ph.D. in Counselor Education; Licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor

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