The Enneagram Basics with James P. Owens – Part 1 of 4 | FP 54

The Enneagram Basics with James P. Owens - Part 1 of 4 | FP 54

Have you heard of the enneagram? What can it teach you about yourself? How can it help you better understand the world around you?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with James P. Owens about the Enneagram basics.

Meet James P. Owens

James P Owens is a pastor, podcaster, and self-described Bible geek. He is a graduate of Denver Seminary and Duke Divinity School and the host of Hermeneutic of Resistance, a podcast about interpreting the Bible in ways that resist oppression and open doors for human liberation.

Visit his website.

Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to his podcast.

In This Podcast

  • What is the enneagram?
  • Overview of the enneagram numbers
  • James’ advice to Christian counselors

What is the enneagram?

The enneagram is a personality assessment tool that identifies 9 basic personalities. Each of these personalities is given a number, 1 through 9 and it’s not a ranking …. no one type is better than another.

It does not just tell you what kind of personality you are, it is also an invitation to personal growth. It shows you places where you can grow, things that you do that are healthy or may not be healthy, and what your unique path to growth is.

It is like a map, helping us understand ourselves. The basic theory behind the enneagram is that each person will identify with one dominant type, one of the nine numbers, and it is based on your internal motivation instead of outward behavior.

It may take you some time to fully know what your dominant number is. Take some time to reach into what each number represents to better understand what you sincerely feel applies best to you.

Overview of the enneagram numbers

1 – The Perfectionist/ Performer:

The inner critic.

Strength = they are principled, ethical, and hardworking.

Weakness = they place unrealistic expectations on themselves and others and can be resentful of others who don’t work as hard as they do.

2 – The Helper:

A need to be needed, looking for love.

Strength = kind, compassion, empathy.

Weakness = spending so much giving to others, they do not attend to their own needs and therefore they have a pride of helping everyone else and wish that people would help them.

3 – The Achiever/ Performer:

Success-oriented, looking for love but they associate receiving love with being successful.

Strength = self-confident, optimistic.

Weakness = exaggerate their achievements.

4 – Romantic/ Individualist:

Highly-sensitive, emotional, melancholy.

Strength = artistic, understanding emotions of themselves and others.

Weakness = over-sensitive of criticism, snobby, elitist. They can be envious and jealous of others.

5 – The Investigator/ Observer:

Thinks before acting, to be capable and competent by acquiring knowledge.

Strength = open to new ideas, paying close attention, and original thinkers.

Weakness = withdraw from others too readily to conserve their energy, and can be greedy with their time, energy or affection and may not help others.

6 – The Loyalist/ Skeptic:

Loyalty, reliability, they tend to be self-sacrificing. They tend to be both very committed to authority yet can be skeptical to it as well.

Strength = team players, they can troubleshoot very well.

Weakness = self-doubt, they struggle to trust themselves.

7 – The Enthusiast:

They try to avoid pain. Generalists, they are afraid of being stuck, they want freedom.

Strength = they are fun to be around and are full of joy.

Weakness = avoid negativity when it could be healthy to lean into those things.

8 – The Challenger/Commander:

Confident and in charge and take-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of people. They got the message that the world is a scary place and they have to be strong. They protect others and themselves.

Strength = they protect others, are attuned to fairness and justice.

Weakness = can make demands on others, they struggle to apologize and be sensitive to the feelings of others.

9 – The Peacemaker/ Mediator:

Natural mediators.

Strengths = they accept others without prejudice, attuned to fairness.

Weakness = procrastination, they will do many things before doing what they need to do. They can be passive-aggressive because they struggle to make their needs known to curb any aggression or conflict.

James’ advice to Christian counselors

To be aware of mental health within the church. There are many people throughout the church struggling with mental health issues. You are very much needed, connect with pastors and churches to see how you could assist them and the community.

Take the free Enneagram Test here.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[WHITNEY]:
If you haven’t already, I would love for you to join my email list. You can head over to practiceofthepractice.com/faithinpracticeresources. There you’ll find a free PDF on the five common pitfalls between counselors and churches. Then you can sign up for my email list and get tons of information about how you can start, grow and scale a private practice.

Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner, and private practice consultant. Each week, through personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow, and scale your private practice from a faith-based perspective. I’m going to show you how to have an awesome, faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake. You too can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself.

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[WHITNEY]:
So I am really happy about the next few episodes that I’m going to be recording and sharing with you because it’s special and dear to my heart for lots of reasons. You probably already saw the title, it’s on the enneagram. And if you’ve known me for very long at all, you know that I’m kind of crazy about the enneagram in a good kind of way. This all started… Honestly, it started years ago. I heard people using this term, the enneagram, what’s your enneagram number, and I thought, oh, there’s so many personality tests over there. You know, I learned all about personality tests in grad school, I don’t need another personality test to think about. I got the Myers Briggs down and that’s the best one out there; that was kind of my thought pattern with that. And then one night, my husband decides that he wants to talk to me about the enneagram. And he’s encouraging me to take this test and I was finally like, okay, okay, I’ll take the test. And I took the test. And to tell you the honest truth, I thought it was okay but I don’t think I really gave it the credit that it was due. And then after that, he started sharing with me more and more about my number. And we’ll go into that in the episode. But I can tell you that it hit me in my gut – gut is one of the triads we’ll talk about – but it hit me in my gut and I thought, wow, I have a lot to learn from this, and I understood a lot more about myself. And so that is where my journey of the enneagram started. And that is why I have brought it into my private practice, not only into the work I do with my clients, and with my employees, but also in the work I do with consultees. And so we’re going to talk all about that over the next four weeks, and you’re going to learn all about the enneagram.

So I want to go ahead and introduce you to our guest today. This is James P. Owens. He is a pastor, podcaster and self described Bible geek. He is a graduate of Denver Seminary and Duke Divinity School and the host of the Hermeneutic of Resistance, a podcast about interpreting the Bible in ways that resist oppression and open doors for human liberation. Welcome to the show, James.

[JAMES]:
Well, thanks for having me, Whitney. And as you mentioned, I am also your husband, who introduced you to the enneagram. So I’m excited to be able to talk to you and your listeners about the enneagram today.

[WHITNEY]:
That’s right. That’s right. So that’s another reason why this series is really special, because I finally get to interview you on my own podcast. So that’s exciting for me.

[JAMES]:
Yeah, you mentioned how we discovered the enneagram. I went to a school called Denver Seminary, as you heard a minute ago, and it was just sort of in the air when I was at Denver Seminary. But it wasn’t until just kind of at the end of my time there that I began to work with it. And it really, just like with you, also nailed me really well and has changed my life for the better since I’ve been working with it.

[WHITNEY]:
Oh, that’s awesome. Well, James, why don’t you first kind of start in sharing with the audience – those that have not met you yet or heard me talk about you – tell them a little bit about yourself, about your background and kind of where you’re at today.

[JAMES]:
Yes, so I’m James P. Owens, originally from the Atlanta area in Georgia. I have, ever since I was a teenager, been very involved with the church, have felt a call to ministry at a relatively early age. I went through kind of a journey, some ups and downs on that. But now I’m working in a United Methodist Church and pursuing United Methodist ordination. I’ve always had a deep and abiding love for the Scriptures, for studying the Bible, interpreting them for the church in ways that have to do with what’s going on in our world today. And I also am very passionate about the enneagram as well. A few years ago, I decided to do sort of a deep dive on the enneagram, learn as much about it as I could and apply it to my own life as well as to those people around me.

[WHITNEY]:
That’s awesome. Yeah. So, you know, obviously we’re here in Savannah, Georgia and James is the youth pastor at the church here and working his way through ordination and we have our two little girls so they keep us super busy. But knowing our enneagram numbers has not only helped us personally, but our marriage as well, and understanding the ways that we both relate to things and understand things so that we can better relate to one another. So I’m excited to kind of share it with you, because I think you can grow in lots of different ways. So I want to go ahead and give a disclaimer here before we kind of get going. If you do not know the enneagram, you’ve never taken the test before, I did put the link in the show notes but you can really just google ‘free enneagram’ and you can take the test. It’s… I don’t know, I think it’s fourteen pages of yes or no question, so give yourself about twenty minutes. So, if you’re sitting at your computer right now listening to this podcast, I want to encourage you to just stop for a second and take the test if you want to, or maybe take it at the end. And that way you’ll kind of know where we’re coming from, and understanding your results and understanding yourself a little more.

But in this series, we’re going to do an intro here. And so I’m going to start asking James some questions on the enneagram, and understanding it, and its history and origin. And then the next three episodes, we’re gonna go into each of the triads. And I think he’s gonna explain that to you a little bit further. But know that there is a free test there. If you want to go in and take it, make sure you read about it and understand your results. But anyway, most of my listeners, I think, probably already know the enneagram. And you’ve probably already taken it. And so you’re probably sitting there listening, thinking about where you’re coming from and understanding it. So anyway, all that to say, James, why don’t you go ahead and share with us, for anyone who doesn’t know, what is the enneagram? And like, what’s the origin of it?

[JAMES]:
Sure. So the enneagram is a personality assessment tool that identifies nine basic ways of being in the world, nine basic personalities. Each of these personalities is given a number, one through nine. And it’s not a ranking; one is not better than nine, nine is not better than one, no one type is better than another. They’re simply identified with a number one through nine, and there are also names for each one that we’ll go through as well when we go through the descriptions of them. One of the things I love the most about the enneagram is it’s not just a personality assessment tool that tells you what you are; it’s an invitation to personal growth. The enneagram can help us identify ways that we can grow, can help us see the ways that we act when we’re less healthy or more healthy, can help us to see some of the things that we might be good at, might be not so good at, and what our unique path to growth is. Each number has a different sort of path, sort of journey towards more spiritual growth. So I see it as an invitation to spiritual formation and relational wholeness. It’s a map, it helps us understand ourselves, it helps us get where we want to go.

The basic theory on the enneagram is that each person will identify with one dominant type. One of the nine numbers is your type that you are dominant, not based primarily on your external behavior, but rather on your internal motivation. What your basic desires, basic fears are, things like that. This is one of the other reasons that enneagram is a little bit better than some of the other personality assessment tools out there, which are more based on outward behavior. Enneagram is a little more based on what motivates you internally.

Now, you also asked about the origins of the enneagram and that’s a very interesting question. The origins of the enneagram are, let’s say murky, at best, a little bit shadowy. Certainly some of the ideas that go into it, stretch way back through the history of something like the Christian mystical tradition. Your listeners who may be a little bit familiar with Christian theology, or the history of the church might be aware of the Christian mystical tradition, which began with the Desert Fathers and Mothers, continued through the early church in Middle Ages, much of the wisdom that you see in the Christian mystical tradition has found its way into teaching about the enneagram. But the enneagram that we know it today, came from a fella named Oscar Ichazo in Chile and it was brought to the United States by some Jesuits, Roman Catholic religious men of the Jesuit order. They brought it to the United States, where they taught it to many in their group and other Roman Catholics. And eventually, in the 80s and 90s, people started writing books about it and it became very popular. Folks like Don Richard Rizzo, Richard Rohr, Helen Palmer really popularized the enneagram as we know it today in the US. And since it’s really taken off recently, some of your listeners might be familiar with Ian Cron, who has a very popular book about it. Since the publication of that book, the enneagram has really exploded amongst a lot of different Christian circles as well as folks outside the church too.

[WHITNEY]:
That’s great. I can’t remember where I heard this, but it could have been from you actually, that the enneagram is not to put us in a box, but it’s to show us the box that we already live in.

[JAMES]:
Yeah, that came from Ian Cron, actually.

[WHITNEY]:
Okay. Yeah, I think that’s so helpful and people sometimes come into it not liking the enneagram, they think it puts, like, restrictions on them. And I’m like, no, no, this helps you live more fully because you understand what you’re already kind of up against or who you already are in a greater way. So I really love that idea. And I think I had heard, probably on Ian Cron’s podcast or maybe Richard Rohr, about some of the enneagram’s origins within the Catholic Church and within the mentorship of priests, with the people they were mentoring, and being able to understand their personalities in that mentor process. Am I saying that correct?

[JAMES]:
Yes, absolutely. The enneagram was used in the spiritual direction prediction, which is big in the Roman Catholic Church, but also in other Christian traditions. The idea of having a spiritual director, someone who guides you, sort of like a mentor in your spiritual life. And so, yeah, that’s actually where Father Richard Rohr – who’s one of the most well known enneagram writers today, and in the last twenty or so years – that’s where he first encountered it, was in spiritual direction. And he was amazed that his spiritual director seemed to know so much about him, when he had only known him for a short time. And he asked him and the spiritual director said, well, it’s because I know this tool called the enneagram, and I have been able to tell what your type is, and have been able to help you based on that.

I’ll say a quick word about something else there real quick, because you did mention taking a test. And everyone absolutely should go take a test if you never have before. It’s a great place to start investigating what your enneagram type might be. But the best person to determine what your dominant type is, is you; not necessarily a test. A test may get you right, a test may get you wrong. So do take the test, but also do read up on each type. See what stirs within you as you read about them and where you might be led to think what your dominant type is. Ask people that are in your life, that know you and love you. You may find your dominant side right away, like you did, Whitney. It may be super obvious. But for other folks, it may not be super obvious, it may take you some soul searching, some time and kind of working through it. But I promise it will be worth it.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, well, thank you for that advice, James. So why don’t we just do like a quick overview of the numbers? Like I said, in the next few episodes, we’re going to go into a lot more detail about what these numbers… Not only kind of what they look like, but we’re going to talk a lot about what it looks like within your practice and how you can kind of use the tool within your practice. But why don’t you kind of go through each of the numbers and give a little snippet, maybe explain what the number is and give a strength and a weakness to each one? I think that would be helpful.

[JAMES]:
Sure, absolutely. I’ll start with type one. Type one is called The Perfectionist, or The Reformer. And as you might guess, from the name, type ones do tend to be a little bit perfectionistic. Not necessarily about everything, but type ones are characterized by the presence of something called the Inner Critic. This is like a voice in your head that tells you everything you’re doing wrong or could be better. Ones have a basic desire to be morally good, and a basic fear of being wrong, or bad, or corrupt. A strength of type ones is that they are principled, ethical and hardworking, you know, making the world a better place. But a weakness would be they tend to place unrealistic demands on themselves or others. They might be resentful of others who don’t work as hard as they do.

[WHITNEY]:
Perfect. Yeah, just keep going through each of them; you’re doing great.

[JAMES]:
Yeah. And so type two is called The Helper. Type two is characterized by a need to be needed. Type twos are looking for love. And somewhere along the way, in their childhood, they learned that the way to get love is to help others and be needed by others. They’re kind, compassionate, servant-hearted, we might say in the church. The basic desire for twos, as I said, is to feel love. And their basic fear is that they might be unlovable, or lonely in some way. A gift of type twos is empathy, building community, making others feel welcome. But the main weakness of type twos is that while they spend so much time giving to the needs of others, they might not be able to attend to their own emotional, spiritual, mental needs as well. And thus, they kind of have this pride of, well, I help everybody else, but I wish somebody would actually just help me. That’s type two, The Helper.

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[WHITNEY]:
The Faith in Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network. A network of podcasts seeking to help you start, grow, and scale your practice. To hear other episodes like the Imperfect Thriving podcast, Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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[JAMES]:
Then type three is called The Achiever, or The Performer. This is the type that is success oriented, wants to be their best, avoids failure, just wants to do everything right. Type threes are also looking for love, like type twos, but along the way they learned that the way to get love is to be successful, is to win. You know, it’s kind of stereotypical, but you might think of a little boy growing up whose father only praises him when he wins at sports. A gift of the type threes is that they are generally self confident, optimistic, they’re charming, and can win others over. They really do have great ability to do incredible things. Unfortunately, the shadow side is that they tend to exaggerate their achievements. Because type threes have an ability to adapt to any situation, they often are kind of like chameleons and they lose their true sense of self in just trying to be whatever they need to be to succeed. Their deadly sin is deceit. And it manifests itself often in self deceit, in thinking they are better or more successful than they are. So that’s type three.

Moving on to type four. Type four is called The Romantic, or The Individualist. This is a type that is seen as the most emotional often. Type fours are highly sensitive, very emotional, they’re often artistically gifted and kind of prone to being a little bit melancholy sometimes. Type fours, like type two and three, are also looking for love. But somewhere along the way, they got the message that the way to be loved is to be unique, to be yourself, to be different. They’re searching for a unique identity, and they’re afraid of having no significance or identity. So a strength for fours is, as I said, often artistic, they understand emotions, they’re quite comfortable with their own emotions and, when healthy, can be with the emotions of others. Fours can be wonderful counselors and advisors, and really able to sit with people in emotions that other types might find too difficult or too negative to handle. A weakness of type fours is they may be over sensitive to criticism, might play the victim a little bit, might be elitist or sort of snobby in appearance; fours tend to have very refined tastes and so they might come across as snobs. Their deadly sin is envy and that kind of manifests itself in this jealousy towards other people, like, thinking, oh, everyone else has it so much better than me and there’s something wrong with me. Fours often sort of wallow in that kind of thinking and get stuck in that.

[WHITNEY]:
Great. Move on to the next is five.

[JAMES]:
Yes, type fives. I guess I haven’t [unclear] yet but this is what I am, type five, The Investigator or The Observer, is the type that loves to collect knowledge. Also a type that tends to conserve their energy, thinks before acting, things like that. The basic desire for type fives is to be capable and competent, and the way we do this is often by acquiring knowledge, acquiring as much knowledge as possible, conserving our energy, retreating to our inner world of thought, and kind of being a little bit cool and aloof towards the outside world. One of the strengths of fives is that we are often open to new ideas, we pay very close attention – like I said, called The Observer sometimes. Fives can be very original thinkers, not ruled by convention or the way things have always been done. Of course, you know, fives can be very good at academic pursuits, at things like engineering or science, literature, theology, psychology. The weaknesses of fives are that we might tend to withdraw from others too readily to conserve our energy because we feel like the world is kind of overwhelming. The deadly sin of five, as enneagram teachers point out, is called avarice, which if you know that word, it means greed. And fives aren’t usually greedy in a material way, but we are greedy with our time, or energy, or affection sometimes. So we tend to think that oh, I don’t have enough energy to give this person, so I need to hold on to it for myself. That’s type five.

Type six…

[WHITNEY]:
James, now everybody understands why it’s good in your marriage to know somebody’s enneagram. I have to learn not to take all your energy away.

[JAMES]:
Yeah, absolutely. Right. Yeah, to give space. If you’re married to a five, you can’t be offended if they need a little bit of space and need to withdraw and read a book or take a nap sometimes. That’s been one of the things that we do, or have done in the past, is take two cars to events, you know, so that… Or leave events at different times so that you can continue to socialize, even after my socializing energy might be totally spent for the evening.

[WHITNEY]:
That’s right. That’s right. And for those of you that haven’t already figured it out or heard me on the podcast say, I’m a one. So, we already went through that one, but we will go into a lot more detail on that in the next episode, but go ahead. So, go ahead with six.

[JAMES]:
Absolutely. Yeah, type six. So, some say type six is the most common type. And that may be true, especially in the United States. Type six is called The Loyalist. Sometimes it’s called The Skeptic, or The Loyal Skeptic. Sixes are characterized by a loyalty, reliability, and they tend to be self-sacrificing. And the reason you hear the name The Loyalist and The Skeptic is that sixes tend to be both very committed to authority, but also at the same time can be very skeptical of it as well. So it’s an interesting sort of push pull – they’re looking for authority, they’re looking for some kind of… something to give them security – a person, a system, an institution – but they’re also at the same time very skeptical of those things as well. Sixes also tend to be worriers. The strengths of sixes are they are great team players, they are faithful in all types of relationships. Though they expect the worst to happen, if the worst actually does happen, they’re often very good in this kind of situation. For that reason, they’re able to foresee potential problems and troubleshoot really well.The weaknesses of sixes are, all of that leads to self doubt. Sixes struggle to trust themselves. I mentioned that ones have an inner critic, sixes have an inner committee, this kind of plethora of inner voices going back and forth, well, maybe this, maybe that. And this can lead to kind of self sabotaging or analysis paralysis on the part of sixes.

Type seven is called The Enthusiast or The Epicure. Type sevens are characterized by a need to avoid pain. Generally, somewhere in childhood type sevens dealt with a situation that could have been very painful or they were left without someone to care for them, and so they decided they had to do it for themselves. And the way they did it was by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. And this is what sevens continue to do throughout their adulthood. They’re adventurous, pleasure-seeking, energetic, they tend to be generalists, and have many irons in the fire, lots of different things going on. Their basic desire is to be satisfied and they are very afraid of being stuck, or trapped. They want to have freedom, right? Some of the gifts of sevens are that they’re fun to be around. They’re enjoyable people, they make us happy, they radiate joy, they have the gift of not taking themselves too seriously, which can be really great. But at the same time, they tend to suppress negative thoughts or emotions, they tend to avoid negativity or grief or sadness when it could be healthier to lean into those things. They also tend to avoid commitment.

Type eight, moving on, is called The Challenger or The Commander. Type eights are fearless leader types, you know, they come across as being confident and in charge. They’re take the bull by the horns sort of people. Somewhere along the way, type eights got this message that the world is a scary place, and you have to be strong; that’s what type eights seek to do. But they often do this in service of protecting others, but they also protect themselves with it as well. Some of the gifts of eights are that they are effective leaders, they often work for justice, type eights are often very keenly attuned to fairness and justice and sticking up for people that need help. They have high capacity for action. I know some type eights that I work with here and they do so many things. They can do more in a day than I can do in, you know, weeks. I just hear all the things they do and feel like I need to go take a nap because it’s overwhelming to me. But on the converse side, eights can often find themselves making demands on others that they themselves don’t meet. They struggle to apologize, they struggle to be sensitive to the feelings of others, they tend to steamroll or have to control others.

And finally, type nine is called The Peacemaker, or The Mediator. Ian Cron, who’s one of the enneagram authors that we’ve mentioned before, he likes to say that nines are the sweethearts of the enneagram. And this can be true; everybody kind of likes type nines, they’re nice people to be around. They’re natural mediators, they avoid conflict, and so they want to make peace between everybody. Some of the gifts of nines are that they accept others without prejudice, they make others feel understood, they’re keenly attuned to fairness, they want to make others’ voices heard. But on the weakness side, nines are prone to procrastination, and they’re prone to avoiding the things that need to be done especially if those things might cause or involve conflict. Nines will do a million other things before doing the one thing they know they need to do, even if that’s [unclear]. For that same reason they can also be a little bit passive aggressive. They don’t make their own needs known very well. Often with nines, you kind of have this everything’s fine till it isn’t sort of mentality. Sometimes nines ignore their anger and sometimes that anger just kind of bubbles up over the surface, eventually.

[WHITNEY]:
Well, thank you, James. That was great. So let’s talk for a second about some resources. I think someone might be listening to this, and maybe they went and took the test and they’re like, okay, I want to learn more about the enneagram. Well, first of all, listen to the next three episodes because we’re going to talk about it. But if they’re also looking for more information, what kind of books or resources would you recommend that they spend time on?

[JAMES]:
Yeah, if you’re looking for a book, a great place to start is The Road Back to You by Ian Cron. It’s a very good overview of the basic enneagram information. It goes through all the types, and he’s got really good descriptions of each one. It’s written in such a way that is very much geared towards Christians. So if you’re a Christian – even if you’re a kind of more conservative, evangelical, and you’re thinking I’m not so sure about all this stuff, it sounds kind of hokey – Ian Cron’s book, I think, will really speak to you. And if you’re looking for a little bit more of a deeper dive, something a little more geared towards the spiritual mystical tradition, I would also recommend Richard Rohr’s book, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. If you’re looking for something you can just kind of check out online and read real easily, The Enneagram Institute’s website has some great information online as well. And they also have a test that you… you’d have to pay for their test, but they also have a test you can look into as well.

[WHITNEY]:
Awesome. And we’ve mentioned this before, but I love the Typology podcast. And Ian Cron [unclear] that and he interviews people with different enneagram numbers. And it’s super helpful when you can listen to someone that’s your number. And I love it because when I’m listening to it, I’m like, gosh, that’s exactly how I think, or that’s exactly how I feel. And so it’s really nice to kind of like, I guess, commiserate in this way as I listen to podcasts by people that have my personality number. So anyway, I also recommend the Typology podcast.

Alright, James. So I’m going to go ahead and end this episode before we record some more, but I want to ask you what I ask everyone that comes on this podcast. What do you believe that every Christian counselor needs to know?

[JAMES]:
I think that every Christian counselor should be aware of the mental health issues that are going on in the church. And that often in churches and amongst people that you would never realize are struggling, the people that are sitting in our pews in churches are struggling with all kinds of mental health issues – anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, other things like that. I know that when I arrived to the church that I’m currently serving, I was amazed to see all the mental health and mental health related issues that were going on in the church. And so all that to say, Christian counselors, you are doing an amazing work, you are very much needed, connect with pastors, connect with churches, even if it’s difficult to do so at first, we absolutely need your help.

[WHITNEY]:
That’s so true. Yeah. You just brought me back to the memories of when we first got to Savannah. I think we had three mental health crises within the group that we were serving, in like a one month period.

[JAMES]:
Yep. Absolutely.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, it was truly amazing, so I appreciate your insights on that. Well, we will be doing, like I said, a three part series so please check it out each week. And we’ll talk more about the different triads and a little bit more about what each of these numbers kind of looks like within the practice or maybe what it looks like with your clients that you can use the enneagram to further the work you’re doing. And thank you, James, for taking the time to be on the show today.

[JAMES]:
Thanks for having me.

________________________________________

[WHITNEY]:
So if you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast. We want other people to be able to hear about how to grow and scale their faith-based practice. So whatever podcast player you’re listening to, go and rate and review. And let me know. I would love to hear an email from you about your experience as well. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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