Advanced Concepts

In addition to the basic concepts presented in introductory programs, Practice Groups and Special Programs provide more in-depth instruction and application of the concepts below.  Most deserve more than one session to cover adequately. 


Centers of Intelligence – The three centers of intelligence (body, heart, and mind).  Depending in which Center our Type resides, its intelligence (instinct, feelings, thinking) is not necessarily what we are best at.  It is actually the area of our greatest challenge!

Harmonic – How respond or defend against loss or disappointment (coping).  Three Types are in the Reactive Group, three Types are in the Positive Outlook Group and three Types are in the Competency Group.  This topic can be very helpful in relationships and team building.

Hornevian – Our strategy to get what we need or want.  Three Assertive types Demand.  Three Withdrawing types Withdraw.  Three Compliant types Earn.  This topic is extremely helpful in understanding and building relationships.

Object Relations (Dominant Affect Groups) – Our ego exists only in relation to something else!  It is how we affect or are affected by the other.  The three fundamental affects are attachment, frustration and rejection.  Although everyone experiences all three affects, each Enneagram Type derives its strongest, most familiar sense of identity from one of these affects.  Three Types are attachment-based, three Types are frustration-based and three Types are rejection-based.

LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT  – This theory of psychological measurement is the brilliant work of Don Richard Riso.  It shows how each type is structured into healthy, average and unhealthy areas of functioning.  A person’s level of development is one of the factors explaining why they can be so different from someone else of the same type.

ESSENTIAL QUALITIES of the Nine Types – Our essential nature is vast and subtle and arises when we are in contact with Presence.  Our ego compensates for the loss of contact with our essential qualities by imitating it in various ways.  Consistent practice is needed to recognize our identifications, fears and resistances.

INSTINCTUAL VARIANTS – As a human species we have three basic instinctual drives – Self-Preservation, Sexual and Social.  These drives profoundly influence our personalities.  We see what, how and why we are pre-occupied by certain things and why other things seem inconsequential or even burdensome.  Each person’s dominant Instinct is “the playground” for our personality issues.  You can take the Riso-Hudson IVQ (Instinctual Varant Questionnaire) on line to discover your “stack.”

PSYCHIC STRUCTURES (or INNER CRITIC) – The voice of our Inner Critic or Superego resides in the subconscious and unconscious mind.  It is the voice that keeps us in our place and limits our growth, confidence and freedom.  Check in at Special Programs for a future series on this topic.

TRITYPES – Developed by Katherine Chernick Fauvre and David Fauvre, this theory states that we each have a dominant personality type (residing in one of the Centers of Intelligence) and two other types as well.  Each of these two other types resides in each of the other two Centers.  We therefore, have a personality type activated in each of the three Centers of Intelligence and we use them in a predictable order based on their effectiveness in the situation.  You can take their Tritype Test here.

The above concepts are a sampling of topics that relate to facets of the Enneagram as a tool for understanding.  Because the Enneagram is so foundational in our human interactions, just about any imagined topic can be enhanced and used to create a depth of self-understanding with insights that lead to constant learning and growth.