ANGELINA BENNET (INTJ), Past President, British Association for Psychological Type (BAPT)
This article first appeared in TYPEFACE, the journal of the British Association of Psychological Type, Vol 31, no 1, Winter 2020, 22-24 and is reproduced here with kind permission of BAPT and the author.
The AusAPT Conferences have been going from strength to strength over the last few years. I attended my first official AusAPT Conference in 2017, having co-presented the Best of British mini conference the previous year with Susan Nash. Since then there has been a noticeable increase in the number of international experts from all over the world in attendance to add to the astounding amount of home grown Type experts in Australia. This year our very own Catherine Stothart made her debut in Australia and made a fantastic impression on everyone – they all loved her accent too.
The Conference program was organised into three streams – Knowledge, Experience and Practice, and the sessions were extremely varied in content all sounded fantastic; it was very difficult to choose. So I set my criteria for session choice to: 1) Australian presenters, 2) Had not seen present before, and 3) Not necessarily closely linked to Type. Most of my sessions took place in the Experience room, and I did indeed have some great experiences in the sessions that I chose.
My day started off with the session on 16 Style Types presented by Imogen Lamport, a renowned image consultant from Melbourne, and Jill Chivers, one of Australia’s experts in Type. They have been working with Jane Kise on looking at the connections between Type and personal style (some of you may have been at Jane’s presentation at BAPT on this last year). They explored the ‘Yin and Yang’ of clothing styles and how these relate to Type and at the end of this insightful and informative session I came out with the urge to lose weight and buy a new wardrobe. This is still a work in progress for me…..
Next I attended Daniel Blashki’s session on the The Monomyth in Media: How Type Influences our Hero’s Journey. This entertaining session concluded with Daniel getting us into Type similar groups to write the next part of a story he had outlined. All I can say is “don’t give this task to IN-J Types” – too many parameters, too much need for context, generally, too many questions. In a very different session to the previous one, Evelynne Joffe also took us through the hero’s journey but this time through the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Both Terri Connellan (presenter at BAPT last year) and I were very excited about this as we are both keen users of the Tarot – as was Jung himself.
I very much enjoyed the session presented by Meredith Fuller and Brian Walsh – Love: Family of Origin and Partner Attraction. This was a more Type related session, in which we plotted our family trees, the Types of our family members, and the nature of the relationships we had with them. The aim was to see if there were any patterns that we have brought from childhood into our adult relationships. Sadly there was not enough time to go as far as we would all have liked, but the initial insights were very interesting.
So, that evening we had the Conference dinner followed by a talent show (I would guess that this was inspired by BAPT Conferences). Dario Nardi managed to make an ordinary guitar sound like a sitar, Phil Kerr – noted Beatles fanatic – surprised everyone by performing a non-Beatles song, there was a recital of some traditional Australian poetry that was very emotive, and also a demonstration of ‘mind reading’. Mary McGuiness – noted Elvis fanatic – had her son and daughter at the Conference. Her son made his mother very proud by playing and singing Wooden Heart, and her daughter, Catherine, wowed everyone with her amazing art work, selling greeting cards of her own design on the book table.
The grand finale of the talent show was a performance by ex- AusAPT President, Andrew Mountford, who, unexpectedly and surprisingly, had re-written Ruby Tuesday and Space Oddity as songs about me and my connections with AusAPT. Very flattering and very amusing – thanks Andrew.
The following morning we went high-tech and had Roger Pearman beamed in from his home in the US. He enthused everyone with an update on his latest research on Type and Type Development. If you want to take part in his study contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Later that day I attended excellent sessions by Sue Daniels and by Peter Geyer. Sue presented on Type and Career Success, incorporating various models for finding purpose (IKIGAI– a Japanese model for finding career purpose), and Tom Peter’s Personal Branding approach; so a well-rounded exploration of the subject, centred around Type. Peter presented a ‘very INTP titled’ Dispassionate Look at Type and Emotion, in which he considered different emotions and what they mean to different people.
One of the most memorable sessions of the Conference for me was Julie Andrews’ Alone Together: Artist in Transit. The session was not Type related and although Julie is a Type practitioner, she spends most of her time as an artist. In the session she described an amazing project she had carried out where she invited train passengers to spontaneously draw a picture about what they could see on their journey – or whatever else came to mind. The resulting pictures were lovely to see, but what was more striking was the effect on the passengers of engaging with the task. Julie reported that people who had travelled on the same trains every day but never spoken began to connect with each other by sharing their drawings, and people who believed that they could not draw were surprised by what they had produced. In short, there were many additional unforeseen effects on the passengers and the local community arising from the project. To finish the session we all went outside armed with paper and pencil to sit by the Yarra River which runs alongside the hotel, and to create our own drawing. It was a really enjoyable and inspiring session.
Of course there were many more presentations at the Conference that I didn’t attend, but I did not see a disappointed face coming out of any of the other rooms.
The Conference was concluded in the hotel bar for a late afternoon drink followed by a very cosy meal in a local restaurant. More of us decided to go to than there were spaces at the table; hence the cosiness.
Once again, AusAPT put on a fantastic and unusual event that was enjoyed by everybody. So a big thanks to the Conference committee, and a huge thanks to Sue White for hosting me for the week. Next year’s Conference is being held in New Zealand, so get collecting those air miles!
About the author, Angelina Bennet
Angelina is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and specializes in developing individuals through personality work. She has an occupational psychology business in Buckinghamshire focussing on coaching, development and assessment. Prior to this, she spent several years working as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist with the NHS before studying for her MSc in Applied Psychology. She then worked for OPP for several years, and continues to work with them as an Associate qualifying people to become MBTI® practitioners. Her other areas of interest centre around people development include psychosynthesis and the Enneagram. She was awarded a Professional Doctorate in 2011 and her thesis focused on the further development of type theory. She is the author of ‘The Shadows of Type-Psychological Type through Seven Levels of Development.’