Episode 16: Leaving Religion – An Enneagram Perspective

We’re going to introduce another tool or map called the Enneagram that is a beautiful complement to The Spiral Dynamics model. The reason we are layering the Enneagram into the conversation is, while we may be experiencing life from the same collective world-view, such as a Traditional or Post-Modern, our own unique motivations and reactions will come into play especially when we encounter change.

What is the Enneagram? It is a Map of our own unique personalities to help us see our particular traits, actions and reactions, coping methods and our style of speaking. It’s also a map for what is going on inside our internal landscape or terrain. But what makes The Enneagram different from other Personality Typing Maps is that it helps us understand WHY we do the things we do and what is driving us. It shows us the lens through which we see the world and gives us a look through others’ lenses. It is a powerful tool that shows us what it feels like to be in our own skin and it offers a way to understand others in theirs.

As mother and daughter, Earlene Fowler and Denée King share a lifetime of being told ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ or ‘they’re two peas in a pod’! But the Enneagram brought to light why their reactions to being told by those in authority that they could no longer be a part of the only church community they had ever been a part of, were so very different.

In Part 1 of this two-part series we share what it’s like to experience life from our own unique ‘typologies’ or Enneagram numbers. We will set the groundwork for why our reactions to one of the most emotionally traumatic events in our lives — leaving the traditional religious community of our family —were so very different.


Overview of the 9 Types:

Type 1 – The Reformer: The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

Type 2 – The Helper: The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

Type 3 – The Achiever: The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

Type 4 – The Individualist: The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

Type 5 – The Investigator: The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

Type 6 – The Loyalist: The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

Type 7 – The Enthusiast: The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

Type 8 – The Challenger: The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

Type 9 – The Peacemaker: The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

Ian Cron, – ‘The Road Back to You’

Free Introductory Enneagram Assessment

Beatrice Chestnut, PhD – ‘The Complete Enneagram, 27 Paths to Greater Self Knowledge’

Wikipedia Definition of Enneagram