Counseling for Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Reflections

The Enneagram: A Useful, Insightful Tool For Self Growth!

The Enneagram for Self-Growth

In my work as a therapist, I enjoy using various assessments and personality tests that can aid clients in their journey to self-awareness and personal growth.  The Enneagram is a personal favorite of mine, is growing in its popularity, and can be a great tool to help you delve into a deep understanding of yourself.  The enneagram helps us understand our compulsive, unconscious drives.  Anyone that wonders, “why do I keep doing the same thing over and over again,” and all of us wonder that time to time, could benefit from the wisdom of the enneagram.  

The Enneagram takes into account how various unconscious messages heard during childhood may affect your personality.  In our childhood, we begin to develop our way of relating to the world, based on what our experiences were as well as our own natural temperament.  Then patterns develop, and sometimes certain patterns don’t work for us. The Enneagram also helps us further understand our strengths and weaknesses.  

There are nine different personality types, and with each type, there is an explanation of how that type functions at a healthy level, and average level, and an unhealthy level.  The nine types are as follows

1- The Perfectionist (the rational, idealistic type)

2-The Helper (the caring, interpersonal type)

3-The Achiever (the success oriented, pragmatic type)

4- The Individualist (the sensitive, withdrawn type)

5-The Investigator (the intense, cerebral type)

6-The Loyalist (The committed, security oriented type)

7-The Enthusiast (The busy, fun-loving type)

8-The Challenger (The powerful, dominating type)

9-The Peacemaker (The easygoing, self-effacing type)

While a quick google search can lead you to some free online tests, the enneagram can best be explored through the help of an enneagram teacher, or a spiritual advisor or therapist with knowledge on the subject.  Sometimes it takes some time to discern your true type and it can be helpful to explore through conversation rather than a test.

If you explore more deeply, you will learn some concepts that further explain your enneagram type, such as wings, security points, stress points, and instincts.  There are many components to the enneagram. If you are interested, there are MANY helpful books or podcasts to further your understanding, including the following:

Books:

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron

The Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self Knowledge by Beatrice Chesnut

Podcasts:

Typology (Ian Cron)

The Enneagram Journey (Suzanne Stabile)

Keep in mind that no types are right or wrong, and no typing system can fully explain you.  However, this can be good a starting point in gaining clarity, further understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and understanding differences between people.  Plus, it can be fun and you may find yourself having some “a-ha!” moments when you read a description of your type.  

For any questions on how the enneagram can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out!


Laura NovakComment