Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Enneagram: Health and Stress

The Enneagram:  Health and Stress
from The Enneagram Blogspot online

"One of the wonderful things the Enneagram personality theory does is to analyze nine different levels of healthiness for each personality type. It is amazing how people of the same personality type can be so different when one is functioning on a healthy level and the other is functioning on an unhealthy level. That is why this personality study is just as applicable to, lets say, criminals, as it is to models of society.

The nature of healthiness levels is generally the same over time. A person may fluctuate during the day between healthy, average, and unhealthy levels, but generally they "live" in one state. This state can change only over long periods of time. For instance, a person who is depressed most of the time may have an hour's worth of reborn hope and excitement about the world, only to return after that brief moment to the state in which she normally operates. It is only over long periods of time that she can actually move from functioning at an unhealthy level to functioning at an average level."

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Direction of Integration (Growth)
Direction of Disintegration (Stress)

"An interesting way the Ennegram analyzes stages of health is in the Directions of Integration, when a personality type is experiencing growth to a healthier level, and the Direction of Disintegration, which is the opposite. These directions are the reason for the enneagram shape. A type 4, for instance, behaves like an healthy 1, objective and principled, when she is improving in her level of psychological health. But she becomes like an average 2, over-involved and clinging, when she is under stress, decreasing in her level of psychological health. These directions are indicated by the arrows.

Besides the Direction of Integration and Disintegration, there is an in-between level of movement known as a "Security" point. When a type 4, for instance, feels secure with her situation, but she is not actually undergoing a period of growth in her psychological health, she still becomes more like a type 1, but not on a healthy level; she instead becomes like an average type 1, critical and demanding. The descriptions on Udit Patel's page describe the process for each personality well."

Question: What is my Enneagram type and what point does it move to under stress and in health?

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