Donna S. Bender describes how growing up somewhat different in a culture where differences were frowned upon, and needing to develop the ability to read others’ perspectives and expectations from very early in life, served as the foundation for the author’s interest in understanding the impacts of how people see themselves-in-relation-to-others. Research and clinical training and experience strengthened the author’s conviction that personality is centered on how we construct and use mental representations of self and others and should be at the heart of assessment. This perspective informed the development of the DSM-5 Level of Personality Functioning Scale (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), which is defined by the basic human capacities of identity, self-direction, empathy, and intimacy and crafted to elicit meaningful elements of personal stories to inform alliance-building and effective treatment.