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—View from the far side of the recliner


The Enneagram is a system in which everyone is considered to primarily be in one of nine different personality types. Typically there will be influences from other types. A couple of weeks ago I went to a weekend seminar on the enneagram. I had strong reservations about the concept but went anyway. I took the free online enneagram tests before going (links below) and discovered what my type was. It was a bit of a surprise because just going off the name of one of the other categories I was sure I would be that type.

The weekend focused on the enneagram types and relationships. People exhibited patterns of behavior and interacted in ways that were consistent with their enneagram type. It was interesting to meet people who identified as certain types and actually seeing and hearing the similarities.

The enneagram personality types are not meant to be limitations as in you are this type therefore you will act like this and have this set of strengths, weaknesses and problems. It is more a way to recognize what might be driving your beliefs and behaviors and using that knowledge to grow beyond your limitations. Knowledge is power.

I found some real insight into how I react and manage things by learning about my personality type. A light went off as I reflected on the way that I have worked with different people in the physical therapy practice, the roles I typically took and felt comfortable with in organizations and the settings in which I most enjoy working.

The enneagram idea seems like it could have value for people understanding themselves and I am beginning to use it at the most basic level as a starting point with some of my hypnotherapy clients.

If you are interested the link below has information about the enneagram system and two free tests take can help you determine your type. From there you can go to information about each type. Things get a bit complicated once you get past the initial personality type, but there are explanations and you may find the information about the basic type is enough to start with.


In addition to the internet there are a number of books available. The briefest is the easy to read The Essential Enneagram by Daniels and Price.


More on the Senses

Last time I wrote about how information from the sense organs pretty much goes into the sensory parts of the brain unaltered if both the sense organs and the nervous system is intact. What happens after that depends on what we are paying attention to, what we expect and our past experiences. If we are totally focused watching a sporting event we may miss really strange and obvious things right behind the players or in with the spectators even though all of the visual data got to the subconscious level of the brain. An average person walking in the woods hears bird sounds and recognizes it as bird sounds. The trained bird watcher/listener hears bird sounds and hears the lesser prairie chicken.

A couple of interesting, to me anyway, sensory gender differences; females are better at discriminating odors (is that why Old Spice is still around?) and hues, while males are better at noticing things in the distance and that move fast.

Feel free to contact me with any comments, requests and of course if you know someone who might be interested in these posts please send them on.
Don Berlyn