19 Best Books About Enneagram Update 05/2022

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As someone who likes to think about how people think, you’ve probably heard of something called the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a way to think about your personality that has nine main types. If you’ve seen its visual representation, which is sometimes mistaken for a pentacle, then you know what it looks like

The Enneagram has a long history. Some think it came from the Sufi tradition and the tradition of the Desert Fathers, but no one knows for sure where it came from It wasn’t until the 20th century that Bolivian spiritual seeker Oscar Ichazo and Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo used the early, more universal Enneagram theory to look at how people act.

The Enneagram is often compared to the Zodiac or other superstitious nonsense by people who aren’t very knowledgeable about the subject. Enneagrams have been used by the CIA, the U.S. Postal Service, and Stanford Medical School’s department of psychiatry to help people solve problems. So even though the Enneagram might be hard to measure in a lab, it has a lot of intellectual weight behind it. Video: For more on how science and the Enneagram work together, check out this video.

The Enneagram isn’t just a personality test like Myers-Briggs or the Big Five. It’s also a way to figure out how you think and how you feel about things. It’s a powerful tool for personal and spiritual growth that has a lot of different ways to look at it. Many people say that the Enneagram will not put you in a box. It will help you figure out which box you’re already in and show you how to get out of it. I know this is true in my own life.

This is a list of some books that will help you learn more about the Enneagram. You can read them even if you already know a lot about it.

Quick & Easy Introductory Books

Absolute beginners should start here. I’m not going to lie; the Enneagram can be hard to understand when you get into it. Books like this one make it easy to understand by simplifying it down to the most important parts.

The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels, M.D. & Virginia Price, Ph.D.

The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels, M.D. & Virginia Price, Ph.D.

If you’re completely new to the Enneagram, this is the book I think you should start with the first time. Instead of giving a lot of long, complicated type descriptions, it sums up the most important things about each type, which will make it easier for you to tell if you’re not sure which one you are. It also has a good self-typing guide. In the end, you are the only one who can figure out your true type. The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator is one that I like a lot.

The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

You can learn more about each type and how to get along better with people from different types in this book. It’s full of little cartoons that show how each type of person is different. It’s a good idea not to rely on the personality inventories at the start of each chapter. They’re not likely to give you a clear and accurate answer, so don’t do that. You can type yourself by taking the RHETI and reading The Essential Enneagram, which are both good ways to do that (above).

In-Depth Introductory Books

As soon as you have a handle on the basics and want to learn about the many nuances and layers of the Enneagram, pick up one of the following books.

Personality Types by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

In the beginning, I didn’t know much about the Enneagram. This was the first book I read that made me fully understand how accurate the theory is. In my mind, I felt like I was reading the operator’s manual. The whole chapter on my type was highlighted, and I did that for almost all of it. Personality Types talks about each type in great detail, with a lot of attention paid to the nine levels of health. In this way, the levels of health show what each type looks like when they’re both healthy and not healthy in their emotions.

The Enneagram by Helen Palmer

She is one of the people who made the Enneagram available to people in the narrative tradition, which is a way of teaching about each personality type that lets people “listen to representatives of each Enneagram type share their personal stories and reveal their unique inner worlds.” In this book, you’ll learn more about the Enneagram theory, as well as the results of some early research.

The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, Ph.D.

The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, Ph.D.

When you look at an Enneagram, there are many layers. One of them is called the instinctual subtypes, and it is one of them. Subtypes like social, sexual (one-to-one), and self-preservation show how a person sees the world. Twenty-seven types are made when you multiply the nine core types by the three subtypes. This book talks about each of them in great detail.

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

My favorite book about the Enneagram is this one, but I like many of them. It gives a good overview of the many layers and subtypes of the Enneagram, but it’s a lot less dense than Personality Types or The Complete Enneagram. It also emphasizes how the Enneagram can help you grow as a person, with exercises and journal prompts for each type.

Ennea-type Structures by Claudio Naranjo, M.D.

As I said in the beginning, Claudio Naranjo was one of the first teachers to teach the Enneagram in its modern form. So, if you want to learn more about how the Enneagram came to be, this is a good book. Naranjo talks about each of the nine types and gives advice on how to improve yourself in the book.

Applying the Enneagram to Work & Relationships

People who use the Enneagram can learn more about other people and work out problems that are based on their personalities, too. Here are some books that will teach you how to use the power of the Enneagram to improve your relationships and be a better worker.

The Enneagram of Parenting by Elizabeth Wagele

Easy-to-read illustrations show how the Enneagram can be used to help parents understand their children’s personality traits and behavior patterns in a way that makes them feel cared for and excited.

Are You My Type, Am I Yours? by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

Are You My Type, Am I Yours by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram can be very helpful when you’re in a long-term relationship and you’re having problems with each other. This short illustrated book tells you what each type wants from a partner and how they usually act in relationships. It’s easy to read and understand. It also shows where some types might fight and what each type likes and doesn’t like about the other types.

Sex, Love, and Your Personality by Mona Coates, Ph.D. & Judith Searle

Mona Coates is a sex and psychotherapist who has worked with couples for years. She used the Enneagram to describe how each type and instinctual subtype thinks about love and sex. In this book, there are a lot of case studies and stories that make it feel more personal than other Enneagram books do.

The Enneagram in Love & Work by Helen Palmer

This book gives a quick overview of each type and talks a lot about the dynamics of every possible combination in both romantic and working relationships. There are nine types of relationships, and this book explains what could go wrong with them. It can be a good source of information when things go wrong in your romantic or work relationships.

The 9 Types of Leadership by Beatrice Chestnut, Ph.D.

People who want to be better at solving people problems at work should read this book. It will help them “understand why people do what they do, why we have conflicts with some people but not others, and how we can become aware of our blind spots.” It also helps leaders find their own unique style of leadership and strengths.

The Enneagram & Christian Spirituality

Some people think the Enneagram is a good tool for spiritual growth because it has a connection to the Desert Fathers or because a Jesuit priest was one of its first well-known teachers in the US. They look at the spiritual side of the Enneagram through the lens of the Christian faith in these books.

The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

It’s the book you need if you want an introduction with a Christian tone. Among other things, it talks about how healthy they are; how they act in relationships, at school and as parents; where they feel most stressed or most secure; and where they have wings. There’s also a separate Road Back to You study guide that lists things you can do to improve yourself.

The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert

This book talks about the symbolic representations of the nine types and gives examples of each in the Bible. Religious language is used to talk about the Enneagram. It talks about temptation, root sin, and fruit of the spirit for each type. There is also a chapter about Jesus and the Enneagram, which says that Jesus is the best of all the types on the Enneagram.

The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz

This is the most recent study of the Christian Enneagram. A lot of attention is paid to the role of contemplative prayer in spiritual growth and how the Enneagram can be used as a “sacred map” to the soul, which shows our strengths and blind spots. It says that different types of people get more out of contemplative prayer if they approach it in different ways. Some focus on stillness, others on silence, and still others on solitude. It gives practical advice for each.

The Enneagram & Other Spiritual Traditions

As I said in the introduction, the Enneagram has Christian and Sufi roots, and it has also been used in other spiritual traditions. They look at the Enneagram in terms of Sufism and other mystical traditions in the books below.

The Sufi Enneagram by Laleh Bakhtiar

It’s a book by an Islamic scholar and certified counselor, Laleh Bakhtiar. She talks about the Enneagram’s Sufi roots. This is what she does: She looks at the work of Rumi, which has clues about the nine points on the Enneagram.

Facets of Unity by A. H. Almaas

Mysterious spiritual traditions from different religions aren’t important to Almaas when it comes to studying the Enneagram. Almaas focuses on “Holy Ideas” for each type, which are important to each person (a concept which is also found in Christian interpretations of the Enneagram). People who study each type want to understand the “psychological core” of each one so that they can “bring each Holy Idea within reach, so its spiritual point of view can be used as a key for unlocking the fixation and freeing us from its limitations.”

The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram by Sandra Maitri

Sandra Maitri, one of Claudio Naranjo’s first students, talks about the spiritual side of the Enneagram in this book without adhering to any religion. She shows how the Enneagram not only reveals our personalities, but also reveals a basic essence in each of us that we all share.

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