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.
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.
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:
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.
Books mentioned in this episode
- How to Build Relationships with Referral Sources that Actually Lead to Getting Clients | FP 53
- Faith in Practice Resources
- Typology Podcast
- The Enneagram Institute
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Meet Whitney Owens
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.
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