Understanding the Enneagram: a doorway into the psychology, emotions and behaviour of ourselves and others

Senior Hoffman Facilitator and Director of Hoffman Program Design, Jutka Freiman is a highly sought-after psychotherapist and group facilitator, based in Sydney, Australia. For over 30 years she has worked extensively both locally and internationally using an integrative, expansive approach including Inner Child work, Attachment Therapy, Enneagram, Gestalt, Somatic Experiencing, Bereavement Therapy and Psychodrama to guide her clients toward healing. She brings to her work a passion for the creative individual and collective experience, believing both to be an expression of the inner being and a magnificent tool for healing.

As an internationally accredited Enneagram therapist and trainer, here Jutka writes about the transformational potential of the Enneagram when used as a system of spiritual enquiry.

The Enneagram system has a broad range of applications being used as both a practical tool in any context and a tool of spiritual enquiry with the depth to offer transformational insight like no other.

What is an Enneagram Type?
We are all born with a unique temperament. Those of us who have had more than one child or have been close to different children from the same family will know that each child is born with their own unique gifts, sensitivities, needs and basic temperament.

This basic temperament is known as our essential nature. When attuned to under optimal circumstances, our essential nature will mature, flourish and reach its potential. However, most people did not experience optimal attunement and all of us were subject to challenges in our environment, some to a much greater extent than others. These challenges may have compromised our physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual development or they may be reflected in security, social or relationship challenges. What then occurs is that the aspect of the original essential nature goes into the background and our personality (our Duality – Intellect and Child) develops patterns as a coping strategy for survival and satisfaction. This compensated personality is called the Type Structure.

The Type Structure veils the potential of our essential nature by having us focus on certain aspects of life and not others, distorting our thinking, feeling and behaviour. It creates in us, often unconsciously, a state of mistaken identity in a biased world, corrupting our sense of self and the attitudes we hold towards others.
In the Hoffman Process we experience the impact of these structural patterns. We start to understand that we are more than our patterns. And we are. We learn to live from a more liberated authentic self and discover increasing freedom from the conditioned Duality.

There are nine primary styles of temperament within the Enneagram which correspond to nine primary defensive structures. These different temperaments and defences are often why children in the same family, report very different perspectives on their childhoods. These Type Structures, once identified, help us to see the patterns we are most likely to continue to be impacted by.
The Enneagram teaches us that awareness of our behaviour or the what we do, doesn’t necessarily facilitate long term change. It’s why we do what we do that is fundamental to transformational change. For example, the Type Two and the Type Nine will both want to be helpful and can tend to over-function in relationship. The Type Two is motivated by the need to be indispensable, whereas the Type Nine is motivated by creating peace. So, when we seek transformational change, we can go to the core of the issues that drive us (need for peace at all cost, or the need to be indispensable) and work from the inside out.

It is having an awareness of these finer distinctions that illuminates the particular issues we need to focus on for our transformational process and supports us in truly understanding not only ourselves but the others in our world.

Each Enneagram type also has unique gifts and talents. For example, the Type Nine, at their best has an extremely empathetic temperament. They move towards peace through consensus in relationships and are the least competitive and judgmental of all the types. But when the defensive patterns (the negative duality) or structures are strong, the Type Nine will become conflict avoidant, discount their own needs for the sake of peace with their compliance being be rooted in inauthenticity.

Using the Enneagram as a nuanced system of enquiry allows identification of these defensive structures, brings our awareness to very specific patterns and can begin to relax them so that we can move towards our highest potential. Growth is inspired by both knowing the best of who we are and by removing the veils to that.

For a deep dive into the Enneagram, The Hoffman Process offers The Retreat – a five-day journey enabling you to transform, transcend and develop your spiritual practice, deepen into ‘being’ and move toward even greater awareness of negative patterns and greater freedom from them. The Retreat is designed and facilitated by Jutka Freiman and Hoffman Australia Director, Volker Krohn.

Jutka also offers Enneagram sessions for individuals and couples from her private practice in Sydney. Contact Jutka via her website www.jutkafreiman.com.au

By | 2019-04-22T06:17:38+00:00 April 20th, 2019|Articles|0 Comments