The Enneagram Heart Triad with James P. Owens – Part 3 of 4 | FP 56

The Enneagram Heart Triad with James P. Owens - Part 3 of 4 | FP 56

Are you type 2, 3, or 4 enneagram personality types? How do you work with these types in your private practice as the owner? What can you do to encourage these types to work the best in your practice?

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

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

  • The heart triad
  • Type 2
  • Type 3
  • Type 4

The heart triad

Also colloquially known as the feeling triad, it contains the enneagram types 2, 3, and 4. Each type is characterized by the way they do, or do not, deal with their emotions and feelings. These types are characterized by the way they seek love from others.

Type 2

Enneagram type 2 is also characterized as the Helper. At some point in their childhood, type 2s learned that the way to be loved is to be indispensable or helpful to others.

  • They seek love in the world by helping, caring for, and being good friends to people. They are kind and compassionate and are good at putting the needs of others before their own.
  • However, this can create a shadow side. One of their struggles is creating boundaries and knowing when to say ‘no’ to other people because their basic fear is to be lonely or unloved.
  • They may struggle to express their own emotional needs and therefore they can grow resentment for other people who do not ‘automatically’ know how to help them.

Type 2 is compliant and seeks out the community and works well in a team. They are natural friend-makers.

If you are a group practice owner as a 2, some things to be aware of:

  • You may be overly focused on just making people happy, and so you may miss out on what they actually need that could be hard to give or say to them.
  • They can be excellent leaders by being self-aware enough to do the hard work when it needs to be done.
  • Type 2s respond well to positive feedback and receiving affirmation.

Type 3

Also known as the Achiever or the Performer, they are a success-oriented type. They want to succeed and win and avoid failure. At some point in their lives they received the message that in order to receive love, they had to be successful.

  • They ignore their feelings, they are characterized by ignoring their feelings. They are ‘too busy’ to feel their feelings.
  • Due to being success-oriented, they excel at many things and are charismatic leaders. They will always try their best to do the best job.
  • However, they may tend to exaggerate their achievements. They can adapt to any situation they find themselves in, but it can lead to an underdeveloped sense of who they are.
  • They may struggle to name and connect with their feelings. What can help this is to slow down, reflect, take a deep breath, and try to connect and identify what you are feeling.
  • Type 3 is the more assertive and aggressive stance.

If you have a type 3 in your practice, try to:

  • Tell them about their wins. When you give them some correction or feedback, start off with positive affirmation before giving criticism because they fear being a loser or not being good enough.
  • They appreciate typical kinds of awards in the workplace.

Type 4

Also known as the Romantic or the Individualist. Type 2 externalize their emotions, type 3s ignore their feelings and type 4 internalize their feelings. They tend to be sensitive, emotional, artistic, and melancholic.

  • Along the way, type 4s got the message that in order to be loved, they have to be unique. They are on this quest to be themselves. This is motivated by the fear of having no significance, of having no identity.
  • They have a withdrawn stance. They are more introverted and quieter.
  • They have a brilliant ability to understand the emotions of others as well as handle their own emotions. Type 4s can easily sit with you and provide you space where you can express your feelings without judgment because they can hold the emotional space well.

However, Type 4s also have pitfalls:

  • They can be overly sensitive to criticism and may play the victim sometimes.
  • In their desire to be unique, type 4s may force themselves into a role in the group that does not inherently suit them. They want to be unique, they make themselves so unique that they do not fit in at all – like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Type 4s may fall prey to feelings of envy and jealousy.

If you have type 4 employees in your group, be aware that:

  • They may come across as very emotional. They may need more emotional space to process things.
  • They can be sensitive to criticism and even though they may do things in their own way, they can do them well.

Books mentioned in this episode

Take the free Enneagram Test here.

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

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