History

The Enneagram is a map of the ego, our strategies, our personalities, as well as a teaching for psychological and spiritual transformation. The symbol is said to appear in many ancient spiritual traditions, and the system to go back to traditional sources.

It is also the product of the creative work of the Bolivian Oscar Ichazo and the Chilean Psychiatrist and Gestalt Therapist, Claudio Naranjo, who studied with him. Naranjo has been somewhat secretive about the issue of who did what, but it seems he is actually the one who gave shape and content to the types of the Enneagram. He also states that originally the Enneagram had many more applications than the one we are concerned with here.

Naranjo’s work with groups and his books combine a psychological view of human personality and a spiritual view of enlightenment, and in his SAT-program there is a complementary use of meditation and therapies that engage the emotional level and the body. Since Naranjo first writings, books and teachings on the Enneagram in the seventies, a quite rich and varied litterature and several teaching traditions of varying quality and depth have developed.

Nine views of the world

The Enneagram presents us with nine different ways of looking at the world, nine perspectives. It helps you see and understand the gifts, the blind spots and motivations of your own personality and that of others.

This is why it is useful on at least two different levels. It has great value when you want to understand others, work together and communicate efficiently from a position of empathy and respect. And it is a vehicle to facilitate change, helping people become conscious of their mechanisms and question their limiting beliefs and move in the direction of integration and balance. When you see your ego, your mechanisms, you have choice and you can choose to integrate that which will make you free and complete.

An excellent map
As therapists (Psychosyntesis and Gestalt respectively) we have found the Enneagram to be a very useful tool. After a time in therapy client and therapist inevitably run into that which is the personality, or ego, or character, of the client, those ideas that need to be questioned and those blind spots that need to be rediscovered and integrated for true transformation to take place.
The Enneagram basically provides and excellent map, and not only a map, not only a help to self discovery. It also gives you precise directions for each type, that really supports transformation.

With time we did, however, run into some trouble. In our work and in life, we discovered what seemed to be limitations to the usefulness of the Enneagram. Some clients did not respond so well. Some seemed not to find their type at all. Something did not click. We figured the system might not be so complete after all, and we tried and discarded several ideas about how the types might be mixed up. It took us quite some time and much analysis, drawing on all of our experience, to find the missing pieces and put them back into their right places. But when we eventually did, the Enneagram proved to be that great tool, elegant and complete, it promised to be.

What we found was that in the descriptions of many of the types there are incorrect observations. And that those observations really belong to other types. There are indeed nine types of personalities, but those confusions caused the system to be less appealing and useful. Some sorting out needed to be done.

With our new findings all therapy became much more efficient. Types one, six and seven, finding their real type, felt the mirroring useful and we could help them in their process of transformation in a more efficient manner. Other types, freed of the spillover from other types, also got clearer about their main issues and, again, the map seemed to really match the territory.

What we want to do is to give you access to the Enneagram in this updated version, so that all can benefit from it. Its descriptions are deep and now correct in its details and useful both for lighter coaching work and deep transformation of the character.

Our experience is that it is great in all work where people are to colaborate and grow; Supervision, family therapy, development of organizations, leadership training, counseling and coaching, therapy, spiritual development and, not least, education.

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