What is The Enneagram?

What is The Enneagram?

The Enneagram of Personality is a model for understanding the human psyche, primarily through a series of nine personality types. Everyone exhibits characteristics of one primary type which can be discovered through a short questionnaire. Unlike Myers-Briggs or other “personality tests” the Enneagram is not measuring a person’s personality, as that changes over time, but instead reveals key motivations behind a person’s actions that lead them to live their life in a certain way. The test is primarily proctored by The Enneagram Institute located in Stoneridge New York. They also host workshops and teaching events. The Enneagram has been used in American psychotherapy since the 1970’s but was developed earlier. At Star Meadow Counseling, we’ve found the test incredibly helpful, both for clients and our own staff of therapists.

The Nine Enneagram Types:

  1. Reformer/Perfectionist
  2. Helper/Giver
  3. Achiever/Performer
  4. Individualist/Romantic
  5. Investigator/Observer
  6. Loyalist/Loyal Skeptic
  7. Enthusiast/Epicure
  8. Challenger/Protector
  9. Peacemaker/Mediator

After taking a short questionnaire, like the one offered at The Enneagram Institute’s Website which costs $10, you will find out your primary type. Most people who take the test find this to be less revealing and more confirming what they already thought about their underlying motivations. The power of the Enneagram is not in what it reveals, but how we can better work with the core motivations we already have. If your family is a strong motivator in your life, finding out you are mostly a Helper/Giver type won’t come as a surprise, but armed with this new vocabulary, you and a therapist can better understand your core motivations and improve your overall mental health. 

Our resident expert on the Enneagram Heather Mitchell wrote a blog post introducing the Enneagram in October: An Introduction to the Enneagram. As well as a breakdown of Enneagram subtypes: All About Enneagram Subtypes. Heather is a licensed mental health counselor in both Oregon and Washington. She has an Enneagram certification through Enneagram Portland.

Heather was introduced to the Enneagram program over a decade ago by one of her mentors. She initially took the test to better understand her own motivations. She found it to be so helpful that she felt the need to show her clients and bring it into her practice. She has led a number of workshops explaining the test and its benefits and has helped her clients understand their test results in one-on-one sessions. She wouldn’t be so invested in the Enneagram if she hadn’t seen the positive results it’s had in her own life.

Heather will be teaching Enneagram Workshops to groups, teams, and organizations. Virtual trainings are available!

We have hosted a number of these events at our Vancouver office and have been extremely pleased with the feedback from past students. Through understanding your primary Enneagram type, and understanding the nuances of subtypes taught in the class, you can better understand yourself and your loved ones. We can’t wait to share this valuable resource with you!