Blog Posts

Enneagram User Guide

It seems a number of people new to the Enneagram personality types struggle with sorting through the many concepts associated with the system. Because I've been working with the system for over 20 years now and the concepts are so familiar to me, it's easy for me to forget how complicated the system can be for someone relatively new to it, especially once they go beyond the basic nine types.

Decoding the Enneagram Personality Types

It seems that far too few people are aware that the Enneagram symbol comes from the Gurdjieff tradition which has nothing to do with personality types. You can listen to Claudio Naranjo briefly describe this (Naranjo is the man from which most, if not all, Enneagram personality type teachers learned about the types - either directly or indirectly).

Enneagram Attention

I've been busy working on my eBook (Nine Types of Attention) and related websites so I haven't had any time for Dave's Enneagram as of late. The eBook introduces a new approach to understanding and using the Enneagram personality types that I call the Enneagram Attention approach. In a nutshell, it views the Enneagram types in terms of an underlying habit of attention that influences personality instead of trying to describe personality itself.

The Visual Aspects of Song Videos

I determine the Enneagram type or instinct of a song mainly through the lyrics. I don't generally find that the music by itself can be typed - there's just too much room for individual interpretation to narrow it down to one type or instinct (one exception to this is a theme song closely identified with a person or story). Up to this point the song videos I've posted are for the purpose of hearing and reading the lyrics (song audio with the lyrics on screen). However, the visual aspects of a song video can sometimes enhance the meaning of the lyrics or alter the meaning. I'm going through songs I've already posted to add a visual video underneath the lyrics video. Below are the types of videos I'm adding.

Best songs for each type and instinct (round 1)

I've looked at well over 1,000 songs so far in search of lyrics that best describe type and instinct (posting around 100 song videos with lyrics on this site). Since I've decided to take a little break from searching for songs, while I add videos and quotes for famous types to the site, I'm listing below what I've found to be the two best song fits so far for each type and instinct (based on a combination of visitor voting and my own interpretation).

To Type Or Not To Type?

Some authors and teachers of the Enneagram types frown upon typing other people, feeling it not only misses the point of using the Enneagram (i.e., to understand oneself better in order to grow psychologically or spiritually, both personally and in relation to others) but can also be misused by forcing unsolicited opinions and interpretations upon others (i.e., assuming you know others better than they know themselves by telling them what their type is instead of letting them come to their own determination). While there is reason to be concerned when typing others (e.g., beware of anyone who says they're absolutely sure of your type especially when it contradicts your own determination), typing other people and their work offers not only a way to gain some insight into them personally but also offers examples of type as it plays out in real life (which brings a much deeper and more nuanced understanding than can be found in books or reading alone).

Three Approaches to Psychotherapy

In the 1960's a film titled Three Approaches to Psychotherapy was made (it was also referred to as The Gloria Films). It demonstrated three therapy sessions by three different therapists using three different psychotherapy approaches with the same woman (Gloria). What's interesting about it is that each therapy exemplifies a particular Enneagram type, both the approach used and the therapist applying it.

Songs by Enneagram Type or Instinct

I've seen songs listed by Enneagram type or instinct in various places on the Internet (e.g., YouTube, discussion forums). Unfortunately, they don't often go beyond a caricature of a type (for example, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" doesn't really describe type 7).