As we look at the Enneagram and find the ways out of our limiting habits, as Helen Palmer would put it “the best self — the one that we all too often miss – will ultimately be realised!”
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a powerful and dynamic personality system that describes nine distinct and fundamentally different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. The nine different worldviews or types are represented on the Enneagram diagram. The word Enneagram is from the Greek, meaning 9 pointed diagram. The symbol has been known since ancient times and the Enneagram of personality was developed in the mid-20th Century. Each type is identified by what we believe that we need in life to survive and be satisfied.
“…the ability to explore at one’s own speed and the lack of compulsion to reach a conclusion”
What is the Enneagram used for?
It has been used worldwide for
- personal and spiritual growth
- successful relationships and home and work
- leadership development, team building skills and communication skills in business
The goals of studying the Enneagram begin with discovering your type. As you do so, you recognise your personal patterns and motivations, aspirations and fears. The Enneagram explains why we all look at the world differently from each other, what can get in the way of relationships and why we deal with difficult situations in the way we do. The Enneagram suggests ways in which we can grow and change. Studying the Enneagram types helps expand acceptance of yourself so that you can see the world from many points of view with compassion and empathy.
The Enneagram is not about putting you in a box but allowing you to move from where you feel stuck, out of the box!
The Nine Types – a brief summary
|Type One||The Perfectionist believes you must be good and right to be worthy. Consequently, Perfectionists are conscientious, responsible, improvement-oriented and self-controlled, but also can be critical, resentful and self-judging.|
|Type Two||The Giver believes you must give fully to others to be loved. Consequently, Givers are caring, helpful, supportive and relationship-oriented, but also can be prideful, overly intrusive and demanding.|
|Type Three||The Performer believes you must accomplish and succeed to be loved. Consequently, Performers are industrious, fast-paced, goal-focused and efficiency-oriented, but also can be inattentive to feelings, impatient and image-driven.|
|Type Four||The Romantic believes you must obtain the longed for ideal relationship or situation to be loved. Consequently, Romantics are idealistic, deeply feeling, empathetic and authentic to self, but also dramatic, moody and sometimes self-absorbed.|
|Type Five||The Observer believes you must protect yourself from a world that demands too much and gives too little to assure life. Consequently, Observers seek self-sufficiency and are non-demanding, analytic/thoughtful and unobtrusive, but also can be withholding, detached and overly private.|
|Type Six||The Questioner/Loyal Sceptic believes you must gain protection and security in a hazardous world you just can’t trust. Consequently, Loyal Sceptics are themselves trustworthy, inquisitive, good friends and questioning, but also can be overly doubtful, accusatory and fearful.|
|Type Seven||The Epicure/Adventurer believes you must keep life up and open to assure a good life. Consequently, Epicures seek pleasure and possibilities, and are optimistic, upbeat and adventurous, but also can avoid pain and be uncommitted and self-serving.|
|Type Eight||The Protector believes you must be strong and powerful to assure protection and regard in a tough world. Consequently, Protectors seek justice and are direct, strong and action-oriented, but also overly impactful, excessive and sometimes impulsive.|
|Type Nine||The Mediator believes that to be loved and valued you must blend in and go along to get along. Consequently, Mediators seek harmony and are self-forgetting, comfortable and steady, but also avoid conflicts and can be stubborn.|
“Thank you for…leading the courses so well and sensitively. You created a very inclusive, non-judgmental atmosphere” — Participant.
Typing interviews to identify your type
The Enneagram comes alive through personal conversation with an experienced teacher. While books, websites and typing tests are helpful, an individual typing interview can explore and help you determine your type. The Enneagram provides a natural framework from which to begin a coaching relationship and support you with your personal growth and study. For Enneagram resources and on-line tests see www.enneagramworldwide.com
Using the Enneagram approach in counselling
For those that specifically require it we can use the Enneagram to help you understand yourself better. This approach can be valuable in working together on almost any difficulty, helping you to look at your own personality type and understand why you tend to react the way you do and perhaps follow certain lines of action. Having this information will give you more choices about what you actually think and do in the future. I offer a flexible approach that allows me to combine counselling and Enneagram skills for those who would like to explore the ideas in a counselling relationship.
“I actually understand myself after all these years and can be free to be me”