The Enneagram is a personality model that can help us better understand ourselves and the relationships we have with others. The model has 9 personality types that are identified by a corresponding number for each one. As a resource, the Enneagram can be used to help us feel understood, as we discover our number, and bring lightbulb moments of understanding to relationships in our lives.
In our practice, we are Enneagram-Informed, and as a staff, we have studied the book The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.
1. In our view, our personalities are molded through both nature and nurture, by God who created us and by our earliest experiences and relationships in life with our caregivers. The Enneagram is unique because it considers experiences from childhood and the wounding messages or beliefs we internalized in childhood. We believe caregiver attachment relationships from early life continue to have an impact on us as adults. Therefore, all of the types of counseling services we offer address attachment, including counseling with children, teens, adults, and couples.
2. The Enneagram is also unique because it describes a key motivation for each personality type. Rather than our personality types being based on our actions, they are based on “the why” behind our actions. The motivations describe how we find purpose and meaning and how we view the world and relationships. Our motivations impact how we interact with others, how we interpret others’ actions, and how we view ourselves.
3. Stressful phases of life and growth phases of our lives are also addressed. The Enneagram raises awareness about how our personalities naturally adapt and react to stress in negative ways and react to relief from stress in positive ways, as well as empowering us to be self-aware and to proactively choose how to respond in any situation. The Enneagram is a spectrum, with the personality types sharing some characteristics and actions, depending on if we are reacting to stress, feeling relief, or intentionally responding. However, the unique, key motivation for each personality type always remains the same.
4. In addition to self-examination and opportunities for improving relationships in our lives, the Enneagram also shows us characteristics of God that are exhibited in each personality type. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, and based on our type, we each have a spiritual message to consider and steps to take for spiritual growth.