The Enneagram of Parsonality


The Enneagram of Personality


As an Integrative Therapist I have offered aspects of the Enneagram for many years to assist clients understand their core motivations and prominent defences as a model for discussing object relations. For many this has been a ‘light bulb moment’. At the very least, it helps to open doors of awareness, promoting personal development and self understanding.


The Enneagram is a personality ‘theory’ describing nine strategies by which the psyche develops a worldview as relates to self and others.  The Enneagram is one model for describing personality which has seen a surge in popularity where use has grown in recent years. The biggest difference between other well known personality Type Indicators and the Enneagram is their focus on nature, while the Enneagram is more focused on nurture.


The Enneagram reveals that all people belong to one of nine major personality types. The purpose of the Enneagram is ‘not’ to put you into a box quite the opposite, but to help you identify both the strengths and the limitations of a preferred or evolved strategy and to give you guidance on how you may develop more capacity and freedom to move beyond the limiting aspects of the ‘box you might find yourself in’?

The Enneagram believes that everyone emerges from childhood with one of the nine types dominating their personality, with inborn temperament along with other pre-natal factors being the main determinants of our type.


The theory proposes that by adulthood, individuals have developed a predominant personality strategy to cope with the external environment ‘life’. Each of the nine core "types" described by the Enneagram has an associated basic fear, basic desire, and predictable pattern of behaviour in times of ‘stress’ and ‘security’. The Enneagram uses these basic fears and desires to describe the essential motivations underlying much of the resulting behaviours. It thus captures a range of behaviour for each type and is capable of providing an individual with a great deal of insight and understanding into underlying  psychological wellness. Providing valuable, practical and compelling insights into our own strengths, weaknesses, tendencies and growth.


The Enneagram asserts that personality is by nature interconnected and multidimensional. Self-identification through personal experience and exploration is thought to be the best method for determining type.


The Enneagram also suggests that we as individuals tend toward ‘instincts’ of self-preservation, social interaction, or sexual (i.e., one-to-one) bonding. These instincts create nuance among each of the nine types by giving direction to the motivation of each type. Understanding how instinctual variants subtly affect the primary nine types provides additional compelling insights into our own strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, core beliefs, interpersonal dynamics, and raising self-awareness and growth are all evidence of the practical value.


In conclusions the Enneagram is a robust system that integrates all the concepts generally accepted to be necessary for a theory of personality helping to explore change. 


If you have questions or would like to explore this personal journey of exploration in more depth please feel free to contact me.