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Member Spotlight : Dr. Kristi Hughes

Updated: Jul 29, 2021


An NCCA Certified Academic Institution

Refocus Counseling Ministry, Inc. is located in Wasilla, Alaska. Dr. Kristi Hughes is the Founder and Director.

Refocus Counseling Ministry, Inc. is a Certified Academic Institution established in 2003 with the National Christian Counseling Association (NCCA) Sarasota, Florida.

In 1989 when I was introduced to Dr. Richard Arno and the temperament analysis was explained to me in my Dad’s counseling office in Kremmling, Colorado, I had no idea the impact this easy questionnaire would have not only on me, but my whole family. Seven children, twenty-one grandchildren, and forty-two years later, taking the APS has become a tradition (or almost a rite of passage) in our family.

Kristi and Family

Adult children can’t wait to find out “what their kids are” as soon as they turn 9 years old. It is time to take “the test!” “What am I?” Nannie, “What am I?” “Am I like you or am I like Papa?” “Well let’s see! You are just like me in Social, and you are like your Auntie Rebecca in Control and you are like Papa in Affection,””

I respond with delight!” “What’s that mean? What’s it say, they exclaim?” “Well come here and let me tell you all about your strengths and how God made you! You just love people like I do, you are such a butterfly, as we hug each other and my Sanguine heart fills with joy and my love bank is overflowing! Oh yes, I love hugs!” “What else, what else? How am I like Papa!” “Well, you have a sense of humor. You are very dry and tell funny jokes just like Papa and sometimes you like details. You know, like how you love to put your Legos together.” “Yes, that’s right, I do love my Legos! Who else am I like Nannie? Who else?” “Well, let’s see… you are like your Mama. She is the same as you in affection and so is your Auntie Randi! You are like Papa because you are like the energizer bunny and you just keep plodding along! You don’t give up very easily, and sometimes you can even be called a rebel!” “What’s a rebel, Gramma what’s

A rebel?” “Oh, that is like when you don’t want to follow the rules just because someone told you to follow the rules.” “Oh, not like Kris. He like the rules, doesn’t he Nan?” “Yes, Kristian likes to follow the rules and he likes to know what everyone thinks before he decides what to do.” “Is that why when his friend told him to ride his bike off the cliff, he did?” “Yes, that is why he did that! He couldn’t come up with a rule on why not to and his friend kept telling him to jump off the cliff with his bike, so he did! But you won’t do that because you are Melancholy in Control and you know it would not be the right thing to do and you like to do the right thing.”

As I sit with my 9-year-old granddaughter and explain temperament to her I am satisfied. I thank God for the connection I have with her and how she thinks I am so wise in my “old, old age!”

I remember the time my 9-year-old son who was a very serious and methodical young man was so thankful that I found out “what he was.” The M-M-M little child born to a G-G-G Mama was thrilled to be allowed to leave a party to read his book quietly in his bedroom.

I remember when my 9-year-old youngest daughter asked me where we were going after driving for over an hour to get to a friend’s house. I told her we were going to visit one of my friends. She reported loudly, “Why mama? Why do we have to go to a lady’s house?” I said, “because she is my friend.” My daughter retorted, “but Mama, you know I hate people! Why do you make me go? I want to go home!” I laughed and told her that she loved her close friends. She then promptly told me she had enough of those! “Can we please go home?”

Of course, Sanguine that I am, I dive into telling you all about my family and how the APS has impacted our discussions and our time! The NCCA, however, coupled with the great foundational temperament work done by the Arnos and others, has provided a wonderful ministry opportunity and way for my family to make a difference in the lives of others.

I graduated from Evangelical Theological Seminary through the NCCA program in 1991 and began ministering in the field of Pastoral Counseling for Refocus Counseling Ministry, Inc. I genuinely love people and love the insights and depth of understanding that the APS affords me in the first 2 sessions of counseling. I get excited when I explain the APS to a rebellious teenage girl who does not want to talk with me and is forced to sit there in my office by her missionary parents whose chief complaint is that she is “head strong and very much so at church.” When she looks up at me with those eyes that say, “I am not telling you anything” but I begin to explain her M-C-M temperament back to her, she stops me in the middle and says, “ARE YOU PSYCHIC? I have never told anyone any of this!” We then go on to a great conversation for the next 2 hours! I reassure her parents she will be the President someday! Not to worry, she loved Jesus since she was 3, and God has a hold of her heart. However, their parenting skills could probably use a little more fine-tuning with lots of choices being offered, because they are not going to be controlling her ☺ (by the way Love and Logic Parenting works great for strong willed children and teens, )!

The more I incorporated Temperament into my life, both personally and professionally the more I loved using it! You can’t be one of my friends in life and not know about temperament. In fact, I can remember people by their temperament better than I can remember their name.

So, when the NCCA offered the opportunity to become a Certified Academic Institute and a Clinical Supervisor, I jumped at the opportunity! Over time, many of my adult children have joined my husband and me in ministry. Dr. Krystal Banks works with many of the families, beginning with understanding temperament as the foundation. Rebecca Sparkman does experiential sand play therapy with kids. Understanding the parents’ temperaments is so important as you work with children who are not quite old enough to take the APS. Rebecca is finishing up her Doctorate this month. Joshua, my oldest, just came on with us at Refocus and has been commissioned by their church to minister to couples through marriage counseling. Once again, the NCCA programs have made it possible for him to jump right into ministry in his MA program and begin working with couples right away utilizing the APS. We had the privilege of working with 6 couples up at Victory Bible Camp in Alaska this winter staying in cabins at 20 below outside! It was both beautiful outdoors and what was taking place in our warm lodge was even more beautiful as couples learned about their temperaments, their emotional needs and how to deliberately deposit into each other’s “love banks” by understanding and meeting each other’s needs, being intimately the “source of each other’s happiness, not being the source of each other’s sadness, and creating a lifestyle they both love (see ,Willard Harley; his material compliments the APS theory so wonderfully) in the Wilderness of Alaska.

These are just a few of the family interactions centered around the NCCA Arno Profile System. However, the NCCA continues to run deeper yet in our veins. I remember the day I was visiting with Dr. Phyllis on the phone, and she was writing one of her articles on the Sanguine temperament. She asked me what kind of temperament could handle being married to a pure Sanguine? I laughed out loud and exclaimed, “Well Phyllis, my husband of course!” She laughed light heartedly, “Oh Kristi, I forget you are pure Sanguine. You are just so disciplined for a Sanguine!” Now it was my turn to laugh, and I decided that she was right. The discipline however, I assured her was a learned skill, due to being raised by a Melancholy father and a Supine mother. It took me back to looking at the temperaments of our family members. My grandfather, was born in 1904, and at 75 years old he took the Temperament Analysis Profile as it was called in the “good ole” days, and he scored P-M-SP.

Summarized in one statement, “I can tell you all of my grandkids’ APS scores but don’t ask me to remember thier birthdays!”

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