Warriors, Settlers & Nomads

Warriors, Settlers & Nomads

Warriors, Settlers & Nomads (WSN) is a form of parts psychotherapy devised by UK therapist, Terence Watts. It is an astonishingly accurate look at the elements that create our personality traits and is based upon the concept of evolutionary psychology, and it is a method that many therapists and professionals use today. We all display attributes from each 'part', but are usually strongly inclined towards a single part, or sometimes a mix of two. The Warrior is forceful, resolute and organisational; the Settler is sociable, intuitive and adaptable; and the Nomad is restless, charismatic and innovative. There isn't a 'best' or a worst personality type and all have their positive and negative qualities.

Who we are and how we have been brought up is the key to the decisions we make in life. Let's simplify things for a moment and imagine three types of people - red, blue and yellow. For example, our parents might be red people and will have raised us based upon their views, beliefs and ideals - but if we are a yellow person, this might not be relevant to us. We could go through life trying to live as we thought right, as we felt we should be - but if this learning is incorrect, we may find ourselves having difficulty in certain situations, or just feeling a general sense that something is 'wrong'. And it is possible to be a totally different personality type to our parents - just as genetic information for red hair and other factors can skip generations - so much so that we may feel that we have little in common with our parents or siblings, and may even feel we have been born into the wrong family!

Most of us have an Inner and an Outer persona. The Outer persona is what we present to the world, whereas the Inner persona is our true self, and one which no one else might see. Our Outer persona often reflects the way we feel we should behave or act; the Inner persona will reflect what we truly feel or want to do, and this might be totally different. These differences can lead to internal conflict.

Who Are You - click here for our quick personality test! and to find out more about these types.

Authenticity vs. Affection

When we are born, we are fully authentic - we are totally in touch with our needs. A human child, at birth, is unable to look after itself. It needs the support of the parent. When a child cries, it is expressing a need and, hopefully, that need will be met. Over time though, as we grow, we are taught to 'adapt' our behaviour to fit in with other people, and at first those 'other people' are our parents. We need their affection and approval, as that gets our needs met, so we learn to adapt by suppressing our needs - the Settler is very good at doing this! We can learn things such as:

  • I want doesn't get
  • Children should be seen and not heard
  • Disagreeing with others is a bad thing
  • We are not good enough, in some way

Whilst a certain amount of adaptability is necessary to exist in a society, suppressing our needs causes stress and anxiety which needs to be resolved somehow. Quite often, this leads to coping behaviours such as drinking, emotional eating, gambling, etc. or can manifest in physical illness.

A Bit about the Subconscious

Whenever we experience something, we have to form a response to it and that response is stored in our brains as something called a 'neural pathway' - simply a link between nerve cells through which electricity can flow. Once we have learned to respond in a certain way to something, the likelihood is that we will respond in a similar way next time a similar situation occurs. This is almost automatic - in fact, the brain starts to respond before we are consciously aware we are doing so. The more this happens, the easier the response becomes - just like anything else you have ever learned, the first time you do anything is the hardest, and it becomes easier through repetition over time.

We all have thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and our abilities, what we can or cannot do, going on inside our head. It's like an inner voice. But consider this: what if what we have learned about ourselves and our capabilities is wrong?

Add to this the fact that we all develop in our early years an understanding of what 'normal' is and our subconscious tries to maintain normality as much as possible - this is known as homeostasis. Anything that causes change is a potential threat and the bigger the change, the more significant that threat appears. When this occurs, our natural fight or flight response can be triggered, leading to increased anxiety in an attempt to get us to avoid the situation.

Achieving a goal requires change to happen. It is no wonder, then, that faced with big changes we may tend towards procrastination, suffer from lack of motivation, or get anxious at the thought of the task ahead. If we are used to responding in a certain way, it can be difficult if we are required to act in a different manner. For example, a Settler is very good at adapting to fit in with others. This can sometimes lead to a lack of assertiveness. What would then happen if such an individual is required to assert themselves at work? Likewise, a Warrior manager may be very efficient at getting the job done, but may lack some of the natural compassion that a Settler might bring to a situation. A person who ignores their Nomad's requirements for fun in life may find themselves sneaking comfort food and putting on weight. Being comfortable with our Nomad self can make presentations and promotions easier.

WSN and coaching

The principles of Warriors, Settlers & Nomads forms a large part of our Transformational Coaching approach. As part of this, after answering a series of questions, you will receive a detailed assessment of your personality profile. Whilst no personality test can be 100% accurate, this does prove a very effective method of assessing Inner and Outer personas and any areas of conflict. It is this conflict that can be at the root of any difficulty in life. Your coach is experienced in helping people to overcome these difficulties as part of this process, allowing you to move towards your goal without that impeding your progress.