“Blue Velvet,” Copyright Fortune McLemore, 2000
Welcome to Personality Place!
What’s Personality Place all about?
Well…the fact that we all have personalities, really. But, sometimes, we don’t understand “personalities”…someone else’s, or even our own. I’m fascinated with personalities – personality types, how personalities are formed, how they change, personality disorders, and basically, anything to do with them.
My interest in them started early. As the youngest in a family of six, I sort of stood back and went, “Okay…who are these five other people, and how do I get along with them?” Your family is your first exposure to these things called “people,” and “personalities.”
I was also extremely shy growing up. But after I graduated from high school, I said, “The hell with being a wallflower.” So I set out to change my personality. And apparently, I succeeded. Nobody now believes I could ever be shy. I’m intrigued with how personalities change.
I’ve also known several people with personality disorders. Coping with one takes effort and patience, both for the person with it, and people around them. I’d like to offer resources for this.
I want to give a shoutout to my Personality Theory instructor at Upper Iowa University, Lisa Nason. She chose a terrific textbook that I still use in my own personality research, and she was was wonderful in guiding me in my “quest” to discover more about personality. Thanks!
I love everything to do with psychology and mental health, but personality research really “rocks my box.” I have an extensive library of over 250 books, which includes books on other topics, too, like eating disorders, mood disorders, social anxiety, shyness, schizophrenia, substance abuse, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, psychoanalysis, romantic relationships, self-improvement, family relationships…the list goes on. Among the titles in my collection are the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM, 5th edition, written by the American Psychiatric Association – the “bible” of the field” – the Harvard Guide to Psychiatry, 50 Signs of Mental Illness, Your Mental Health (co-authored by an editor of the DSM-IV), A Beautiful Mind, On Becoming A Person, by Carl Rogers, The Art of Counseling by Rollo May, The Road Less Traveled, How The Mind Works, Emotional Intelligence, The Gift of Therapy and Love’s Executioner by Dr. Irving Yalom, and Positive Illusions. And that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. I’m always looking for more books.
I’ve worked at American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, the International Association of Counseling Services, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and a psychiatric clinic in Bethesda, MD, all in an administrative capacity. I soaked up everything I could about psychology and mental health in those jobs, which only added to the lifelong reading I’d already done.
I’ve been a Mental Health Examiner for the Washington, D.C. edition of Examiner.com, where I wrote on things like social anxiety disorder, introversion and extroversion, military mental health issues, the differences between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder, and suicide related to the recession. I also wrote columns for publicity firms like Lipmann Hearne, who asked me to write about Traumatic Brain Injury. Porter Novelli asked me to write about Tweet to ReMIND, a project associated with reporter Bob Woodward. Carrie Fox, in the DC Metro area, asked me to write about ADHD, for which I interviewed both Blake E.S. Taylor, the youngest person then to have written a book about it, called “ADHD And Me: What I Learned From Lighting Fires At the Dinner Table” (which, yes, he actually did), and Courtney Gifford, Miss Wyoming in the Miss America pageant in 2009. Miss Gifford made ADHD her platform during her time as Miss Wyoming.
I have taken the Family-2-Family class with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and conducted a survey of crisis centers for CrisisLink, a crisis center in Northern VA. I’m currently finishing my BS in psychology at Upper Iowa Iowa University, in the Self-Paced Program. I want to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), so I plan to get my Master’s in counseling at Johns Hopkins University, then pursue a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology. I want to specialize in personality issues in my future practice. I’m a Student Affiliate Member of both the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association.
Join me on this journey to learn more about personalities. You’re welcome to write me, comment on things, offer topic suggestions, you name it!