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What is the Enneagram?

By Armgard Detemmerman on 24 November 2019

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a personality model that combines traditional wisdom with modern psychology. It is a very powerful tool to understand ourselves and the people in our lives.

The origins of the Enneagram?

The origins of the Enneagram are lost in the darkness of history. What is certain is that George Gurdjieff brought it to Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century. The philosopher Oscar Ichazo and the psychotherapist Claudio Naranjo further developed the enneagram to its present form.

What can you do with the Enneagram?

The Enneagram mainly looks at the motivations from which people act or think. As humans, we like to think that all our actions are the result of a conscious choice. However, we have to conclude that we are all guided by a subconscious programming that influences our thoughts and choices for the most part. This programming is formed in our earliest childhood. It contains a set of beliefs that we developed as a young child, with an immature brain, in response to certain experiences. The Enneagram helps us to become aware of our own individual programming.

With the Enneagram you will discover

  • the motivation behind the things you do or want and – even more interesting: why you don’t do or don’t want certain things
  • your greatest fear that is deeply hidden within you
  • and what defense mechanism you use to avoid feeling that fear

More peace of mind and an easier life

Insight into the Enneagram and your Enneagram type ensures that you recognise the things that cause you stress and where you draw your energy from. This will make you more relaxed and less stressed. Knowledge of the Enneagram also ensures that you can deal with other people much better because you are able to understand where their behaviour comes from and where they want to go.

The enneagram as a tool for personal growth

The characteristic enneagram symbol consists of nine points arranged on a circle and connected in a special way. The dots represent the nine ‘basic types’ and their different motivations, personality styles and survival strategies. There is no good or bad personality type. They are just different strategies for dealing with life. In addition, each type has properties that are effective. Our challenge is to grow within our own type and embrace other successful strategies.

The enneagram shines a light on the edge of our consciousness, thus creating self-insight. However, the enneagram is not the answer, but a signpost. Signposts show the way, but we have to go the way ourselves. I would like to help you with that.

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