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What Is The Enneagram?

When someone asks me, “What is the Enneagram?”, I think the most complete answer is to say that it is a body of knowledge that is:

Enneagram Symbol in colourEnneagram Symbol
  • a guide to who you are
  • an invitation to who you could become (and are becoming)

For this reason, it forms the foundation of the DiamondFire Approach.

Put simply, the Enneagram is a key to accepting ourselves, and to understanding others.

It will help to improve not only your relationship with yourself, but all of the relationships in your life.

Think of the Enneagram initially as an encyclopaedia of human motivation. 

It helps us to see our unhelpful behavioural patterns and the reasons behind them. 

The DiamondFire Approach shows us how to break free of these patterns (our false self), and how to accept and love ourselves as we truly are.

If you've ever felt that you needed to take stock of your situation and find a different approach to life, the Enneagram provides directions to reorient you towards your original soul purpose.

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I thought the Enneagram was a personality test.......

It's true that, if you do an Internet search or buy a book, the majority of information about the Enneagram relates to the Enneagram personality test.

The test helps you to determine which one of nine personality styles best describes your dominant Enneagram type.

Answer grid for multiple choice questions

The personality Enneagram is often used as a psychometric profiling tool, similar to the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator).

There is no doubt that personality testing has been very useful in bringing the Enneagram into popular awareness.

Unfortunately, it is this very same popularity that has led to a huge misunderstanding of both the power and the purpose of the Enneagram.

Taking a personality test is often a lot of fun, but discovering your dominant  Enneagram type is only a small part of an exciting journey of self-discovery!

Riso & Hudson1 describe the Enneagram as “a development of modern psychology that has roots in spiritual wisdom from many different ancient traditions”.

Enneagram knowledge has been around for a very long time, and the symbol associated with it has been used to map, and describe, numerous ideas and functions.

(What is the Enneagram symbol?  Read more here.)

And yet, despite its many potential applications, this vast body of ancient knowledge is frequently oversimplified, and presented merely as a model of nine different personality types.

At first glance, the Enneagram might seem like just another tool for categorising you and 'putting you in a box'.

I want to show you that it is SO much more.

What is the Enneagram able to help me with?

The Enneagram deepens our awareness and understanding of ourselves. 

It helps us to pay more attention to our behaviours and to be more conscious of our patterns.

For example, have you ever found yourself in any of the following circumstances?

  • You continually have to deal with life situations that drain your energy

  • You lack motivation, or keep procrastinating

  • You have someone important or constant in your life whose attitudes or behaviours drive you crazy

  • You question everything about your life so far, and wonder what your true purpose might actually be

These are just some of the topics that are illuminated in depth when you learn about the Enneagram.

What is the Enneagram going to teach me?

When you use the Enneagram to get to know yourself in a new way, you have the opportunity to bring about powerful transformation!

The Enneagram will show you what is possible in your life.

Two head profiles facing one another - each head is full of words describing personality traits, one set positive, one set negative

It is a journey into learning to like yourself, but it is also an exciting glimpse into who you have the potential to become.

At the same time, it will teach you to recognise your self-defeating behaviours and how to move beyond them.

Life is a series of experiences.

The Enneagram teaches you how human beings use a variety of templates to interpret what those experiences mean.

It also reveals your primary template, the core pattern that you use to navigate through life.

There are often aspects of our core pattern that are unhelpful and keep us stuck.

The DiamondFire Approach will show you how to turn those aspects around so that you can fulfil your potential.

So, what is the Enneagram?

Ultimately, the Enneagram is like a dynamic map of the human psyche.

It is an active framework that allows us to understand ourselves, and our relationship to others, at any given point in time.

Learning about the Enneagram is an invitation to personal transformation.

DiamondFire can make the transformation real.

Isn’t it time you decided to do life differently?


1 Riso, Don Richard with Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram, New York: Bantam, 1999

"Helen is a great teacher.

The mix of Helen, EFT and the Enneagram is a winning combination!"

Libby McArthur

Actress, Celebrant - libbymcarthur.com

Quick List
Enneagram Types

Type 1 - Perfectionist, Reformer

Type 2 - Helper, Advisor

Type 3 - Performer, Achiever

Type 4 - Individualist, Romantic

Type 5 - Investigator, Observer

Type 6 - Guardian, Loyalist

Type 7 - Optimist, Enthusiast

Type 8 - Challenger, Protector

Type 9 - Peacemaker, Mediator

"Helen was an awesome trainer - a great sense of humour, and very sharp!"

Kevin S.

Psychotherapist - Washington, D.C.