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Enhancing self-discovery and relationship work through use of nine basic personality types.

The Enneagram is the richest and most powerful method of personality analysis and self-growth that I've ever come across. It is a system of nine personality types, based on the ways we cope with the world and find our place in it. Growing out of the work of George Gurdjieff, a self-taught mystic and seeker, and the application to psychology by Oscar Ichazo, Claudio Naranjo, and others, the Enneagram system is rooted in a spiritual philosophy that seeks the return to the essential self. In childhood, we develop habitual reactions to perceived threats. These reactions become irrational thought patterns that drive our behavior even when no threat is present. The Enneagram groups these patterns into nine recognizable roles we unconsciously create for ourselves. By identifying our type, we can recognize the patterns that are keeping us stuck, and work to free ourselves of their destructive impact.

The Enneagram is a complex system with a scope both broad and deep. The nine types are intricately linked in the Enneagram symbol, and within each type are innumerable variations depending on the influence of nearby and related types. When you identify your type, you will recognize your own basic fears and desires, your false beliefs and expectations, your strengths and challenges, your ways of relating to other people, and so much more. Being aware of how your needs manifest themselves in learned behaviors and noticing when you fall into dysfunctional behavioral patterns will allow you to enhance the positive and minimize the negative attributes of your personality.

Beyond working through your current problems, the Enneagram can guide you to higher spiritual and emotional growth. Within each type, the Enneagram system recognizes levels of development -- a measure of our ability to stay in the moment, conscious and present. The ideal goal is to move up the levels of development within our type, move through the Enneagram on the path to integration, and eventually transcend our type, so that we have access to all nine divine attributes.

The lessons of the Enneagram are applicable in any situation -- personal, social, work-related, or educational. If you decide not to follow through with therapy at this time, I urge you to look into the Enneagram as a means of change. There are many excellent books and websites on the subject.


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From the first time I met Kathie, I knew that she was special. Through the work I did with her, I found answers within myself to questions I never dreamt of asking. Today, I know that I can handle my life's challenges. Kathie played a crucial role in my healing and for this I will be forever grateful.

--Graduate Student
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