What is the Enneagram?

People often try to describe the Enneagram as a mere personality assessment, but it is much more than this. It is a powerful tool and system for self-discovery.

Enneagram comes from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview.

The Enneagram of personality describes nine distinct types. Each personality type is defined by a chief mental and emotional concern which underlies the development of the personality and highly influences the life experiences of the person who falls under that particular Enneagram type. The Enneagram reveals each types’ strategies of their “adaptive self” that veils their true way of being; the person they were created to be.

4: What's all this fuss about the Enneagram?

by Guest: Curt Micka | The not so Normal Therapist podcast

(1) click on the link below to take a test to determine YOUR (predominant) TYPE. (2) The results will come up with “your best match”. I suggest you write down your top three scores. (3) Return to this page & click on the name of each of your top three types. This will take you to another web site where you can read completely each detailed description. You will then be able to determine what your predominate type is. (4) Purchase a book below and/or join a Whole Life Group to start your journey of self-discovery.

Further Resources


Gut (body)

8 - Protector

Power & Protection*
Eights believe that the world can be a hard & unjust place where the powerful take advantage of others. Consequently, to gain respect & assure protection from injustices, eights assert their own truth & personal power fueled by a big, zestful energy. In the process, eights may override others, impose their truth, & hide their vulnerability & softer feelings.**

9 - Peacemaker

Peace & Oneness*
Nines believe that the world requires you to blend in & they learn to substitute comfort & belonging for a sense of personal importance & worth. Consequently, their attention goes to external claims & others’ agendas, resulting in  an ability to see all points of view, build consensus, create harmony & mediate differences. In the process, they may tend to lose sight of their own priorities & goals.**

1 - Reformer

Goodness & Righteousness*
Ones believe that the world judges & punishes you for “bad” behavior. Consequently, to gain self-worth & love, they must meet high internal standards of behavior, act responsibly & fairly, &  strive for continual improvement. In the process, they often lose their flexibility, suppress natural desires & resent others with differing standards.**

Feeling (heart)

2 - Helper

Love & Nurture*
Twos believe that they must give to & fulfill others in order to gain love & approval. Consequently, they become relationship-oriented, sensitive to the feelings of others & tend to focus attention on others’ needs & furthering their goals. In the process, they often repress their own needs in favor of maintaining an image of selflessness & indispensability.**

3 - Achiever

Hope & Radiance*
Threes believe that they are rewarded & loved for what they do & accomplish, not for who they are. Consequently, they are a “go-getter” who focuses attention on tasks, goals & achievements. In the process, they maintain a good image & tend to push feelings aside in favor of efficiency & success.**

4 - Individualist

Creativity & Depth*
Fours believe that something essential is lacking in their life. In addition, they believe that, to gain love & approval, they must become unique & deeply authentic. Consequently, they seek to fulfill ultimate ideals, feel deeply in relationships, & focus attention on what is missing that feels important. In the process, they sometimes find it difficult to remain steady & to carry out ordinary tasks.**

Thinking (mind)

5 - Investigator

Wisdom & Truth*
Fives believes that the world demands too much from people & gives too little. Consequently, you protect yourself from intrusive demands & emotional claims by becoming self-sufficient & private & by detaching from feelings & focusing attention on thoughtful analysis. In the process, you may retract into isolation & detach emotionally.**

6 - Loyal Skeptic

Faithfulness & Courage*
Sixes believe that the world contains many hazards & is inherently unreliable. Consequently, you become vigilant, develop an inquiring & questioning mind, & seek certainty in order to gain security. In the process, their attention goes to worst-case outcomes, causing them to anticipate hazards & either challenge or avoid them.**

7 - Enthusiast

Joy & Abundance*
Sevens believe that they can escape a world that limits them & causes them pain by focusing on the many options & opportunities that life presents. Consequently, their attention & energy go to inventive ideas & stimulating experiences. In the process, they may resist healthy limits & have difficulty making or sustaining commitments.**

* I want to give a special thanks to Marilyn Vancil for providing the 9 Attributes of the image of God from her book, Self to lose – Self to Find,  
** I also want to give a big thanks to David Daniels, M.D. for providing the descriptions of the 9 Eneatypes from his book The Essential Enneagram.