" The Enneagram is an extraordinary framework for understanding more about ourselves. No matter from which point of view we approach it, we discover fresh conjunctions of new and old ideas." So writes Don Riso in this expanded edition of his classic interpretation of the Enneagram, the ancient psychological system used to understand the human personality. In addition to updating the descriptions of the nine personality types, Personality Types, Revised greatly expands the accompanying guidelines and, for the first time, uncovers the Core Dynamics, or Levels of Development, within each type. This skeletal system provides far more information about the inner tension and movements of the nine personalities than has previously been published. This increased specificity will allow therapists, social workers, personnel managers, students of the Enneagram, and general readers alike to use it with much greater precision as they unlock the secrets of self-understanding, and thus self-transformation.
A geometric figure made of nine intersecting lines, the enneagram is thought by some to represent nine basic personality types. These types, as defined here, are the Reformer, Helper (Bill Cosby, Gandhi), Status Seeker (Gary Hart), Artist, Thinker, Loyalist (Joseph McCarthy, Johnny Carson), Generalist, Leader and Peacemaker. If you're a type seven with an eight wing (like Joan Collins), then you're very aggressive and have a strong ego to back your demands. The trouble with this system is that, unlike astrology or numerology, it is speculative which personality type best fits an individual. Once you've established that, you then have to decide if the person in question is Healthy, Average or Unhealthy. Oscar Ichazo, founder of the Arica Institute, reportedly learned about the enneagram from Sufis in Afghanistan. The investigation here broadens Ichazo's framework but still leaves plenty of room for guesswork. Riso is a New Yorkbased enneagram consultant. (September 14)