“Why does he see things so differently than I do? Even when I explain where I’m coming from, I can’t seem to help him understand!”
“My 15-year-old daughter is so very different from us—she thinks differently, argues loudly, has a deep sense of urgency to achieve. We don’t remind her to do homework, but she gets top grades and stands out among her peers. I just don’t seem to understand her at all.”
“Sometimes it feels like we just can’t seem to see things from similar perspectives. Why is that still true, this far into our marriage? What are we doing wrong?”
What if you’re not doing anything ‘wrong’ at all? What if instead you are simply responding from the way God has wired you, and your personality is so uniquely different from how He has created others that sometimes it feels like we’re speaking different languages?
For centuries, many have found answers to these questions through understanding a tool called the Enneagram, a model of understanding ourselves and managing our emotions through nine distinctly different personality types. With extraordinary precision, the Enneagram allows us to look deeply within our own personality traits and character, while also more clearly understanding and clarifying our relationships with our family members, friends, co-workers and clients simply by understanding how their Enneagram profiles are different than our own.
Thanks to today’s resources, the Enneagram is easy to learn about, understand, and enjoyable to put to use in practical ways–even for those with no prior experience. But the Enneagram can only be helpful to us if we are honest with ourselves.
“For many years of our marriage, I wondered why it was so difficult to engage my wife Polly in a spirited discussion when we disagreed on something. Why didn’t she want to “argue it out” with me? When we began to learn about our “Enneagram numbers” a few years ago, finally I understood: my wife is a “9” on the Enneagram; she is a peacemaker! She is profoundly patient with the shortcomings of others (for which I am very thankful!) and would almost always prefer to “let it be” rather than to argue a point to its conclusion.” – Doyle Lott
“My husband Doyle is a “4” on the Enneagram: expressive, temperamental, and carrying a lifelong desire to make a contribution to his world that has unique value and significance. Learning these traits about “4’s” helped me to understand his widely varying emotions and deeply owned desire to help others. Little did we know that we would have a grandson, now a teenager, who is also a 4—and we understand him and the choices he makes so much better than we ever would have without a knowledge of his Enneagram traits.” – Polly Lott
God has created us with unique personalities and approaches to life—not to divide us but to help us work together toward fulfilling the plans He has for us. Through simple tools, our therapists can help you identify your Enneagram number and learn not only about your own wiring and relational approach, but that of your spouse, family members and co-workers. Knowing this information about ourselves helps us to create paths of effective communication and relationships, rather than battling to get others to see life as you do.
“The Enneagram identifies the gifts we have been given. When we are freely and lovingly expressing these gifts, we are not held back by self-serving, compulsive motivations. But on the journey of life, even when we want to live out of a truly loving place, we hit daily roadblocks. …Our blind spots are powerful deterrents to our spiritual growth. To the extent that we remain unaware of what is motivating us, we are not free. Learning about the Enneagram has helped me embrace the truth that God gave me gifts because God loves me and has equipped me to love others, not because my gifts are so impressive. God does not love me more because of my gifts. This truth has been immensely freeing for me.” – Alice Fryling, Mirror for the Soul: A Christian Guide to the Enneagram. Intervarsity Press, 2017.
Growing and maintaining healthy relationships can be hard work—but good work. A working knowledge of the Enneagram is one of several effective ways to do the hard work with very positive outcomes.
Sometimes Envision therapists utilize the Enneagram to help their clients identify their natural strengths and personality traits. Clients can use an Enneagram type to develop strategies for their life stage, vocation, and in relationships with others. We can provide tools to help you easily learn more about yourself by learning about your Enneagram type, as well as learning about how you relate to others and how they relate to you, all based on how our personalities were designed by God.