More about the Enneagram

The personal and professional aspect...

The Enneagram is the most powerful system of transformational psychology available today. This practical yet elegant view of humanity describes nine basic personality types and their relationships to one another. It goes beyond mere descriptions of personality to provide a dynamic, compassionate, and comprehensive guide for living your life and interacting with others.

One strength of the Enneagram is its uncanny wisdom, which helps us navigate different emotional styles and understand our feelings and conduct toward others. This counters a significant weakness in our relationships today: the inability to address emotions effectively with others. Not understanding why others communicate the way they do leads to "personalizing behavior," creating hard feelings and misunderstanding. Emotional frustrations are at the heart of many complications, including: negative attitude, poor communication & lack of understanding, unresolved conflict, and unsatisfying or failed relationships.

Ignoring these issues doesn't make them go away; the Enneagram can address them directly. The Enneagram doesn't attempt to solve problems, but rather provides knowledge and tools for people to resolve their own conflicts. It also helps us to explore our habitual mental patterns and the defensive motivations that underlie our behavior. It highlights the natural strengths of each personality type and describes a path of growth promoting understanding, self-acceptance, and confidence. Intimate relationships, work, and personal lives can then become more effective and satisfying.

The spiritual aspect...

Psychology says you are the sum of your thoughts, feelings, sensations and behaviors. Spirituality says you are more... A being of transpersonal essence.

The Enneagram has roots attributed to ancient Sufism and was first introduced to the Western world by Gurdjieff (1887-1949), a self-realization teacher who translated a variety of Eastern esoteric sources of knowledge. It has evolved through many modern teachers and is unparalleled as a tool of self-discovery and self-transformation. The grace and depth of this knowledge springs from enlightened self-observation and the meeting of the best of psychology and spirituality. The Enneagram helps us first identify our personality and, using that information, assists us in the personal process of transcending ego and reaching essence. As with any spiritual discipline, the ultimate goal is not just to "feel better" (although this may happen), but to become truly conscious, to find and express our inner truth, and thus to develop our maximum human potential.

- Lori Ohlson, MA, LPC