Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery

by: Don Richard Riso (0)

The definitive guide to using this ancient psychological system to gain self-knowledge and achieve personal growth—now expanded and revised.
  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.
  “No Enneagram teachers I’ve come across offer such a rich and dynamic picture of how each personality type expresses itself in the world, and the process by which we can move through progressive stages of psychological and spiritual growth.”—Tony Schwartz, author of
What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America

The Reviews

This book has changed my life. I've read tons about being a Gemini, infp, hsp but nothing has ever made as much sense to me in describing why I do certain things. I'm new to understanding the ennegram but I'm so glad I stumbled on this. I'm an individualist type four and the description of my personality is so accurate it's scary. My whole life I thought I was just crazy. I have always retreated into my imaginary life which only leads to my depression and I've spent my whole life making decisions based off my fleeting emotions only to regret them later. I feel like now that I understand why I do this I can become a healthy four. If you're a four I would def suggest reading this.

I discovered this method of personality diagnosis from a co-worker. He left the first edition of this book on my desk at work. He told me I was a certain personality type, which I did not believe since I felt that all people are a mix of all kinds of personal history, religious beliefs, etc. When I read about the type he had described as me, I was astounded. It was as if someone had written down my thoughts. Till that time I had been a fairly depressed person with no reason to believe my life would improve. I focused on the positive attributes of my personality type to realize a new awareness about myself. This book truly helped me evolve.

It's all covered here. When you read the long, comprehensive description of your personality type, you will surely know it, for better or worse. The entire spectrum of (mental) health is covered, from top-form (which is very rare) to rock bottom (which hopefully is rare, too). The journey of all 12 Enneagram personality types as they descend in a downward spiral to become the person they fear the most is riveting reading. You would never believe it, but all laid out like this, it makes perfect sense. The book doesn't leave it there; it reveals the way one must go in order to come full circle & achieve an inner-peace & happiness. It explains why you must do what is not instinctive in order to be whole. There is even an explanation of how we become the personality types we become, through parental identification. I've found this book to be so helpful in understanding others and, most importantly in understanding myself (a work in progress).

This is probably TMI, but my husband & I have been married for 21 years and we were struggling (not unlike most long-term marriages or relationships at some point or another). We mutually decided he needed to embark on a modern-day Aboriginal Walk-About for 30 days. I helped him pack up our travel trailer and off he went to a local RV park to live on his own...time needed to figure himself out (and time for me to re-center my soul & enjoy some alone time). He embarked on journaling and meditation (neither of which he'd ever done before) and spent time "being" with himself....a journey of self-discovery & self-reliance. I purchased two books for him to take on his journey and this book was one of them. I stumbled on this book entirely by accident through a review of another book I was considering getting for him. After reading countless reviews for this book it seemed like it might be a good read. I knew nothing about Enneagrams so the profound change that came from his reading this book was a complete fluke. My husband dove into this book his first week away. He was completely obsessed with it. He would call me in the evenings crying (he NEVER cries). It was like an awakening for him and suddenly all of his struggles and personal bewilderment became crystal clear and he understood himself for the first time in his entire life (his words). He would read to me from the book every night. It piqued my curiosity (I hadn't even opened the cover when I bought it, I just packed it into the trailer for him to read while he was away) so I decided to buy myself my own copy since he wasn't home for us to share the book. I wanted to figure out my personality, then our adult children and so on. I even bought the book for my sister. The Enneagram concept is somewhat complex, but truly mind-blowing once you get things dialed in and understand how it works. Learning how each personality type functions within the healthy to unhealthy levels and how this impacts your life and all of your personal relationships. It's frighteningly accurate (as long as you are being honest about yourself) and nothing short of fascinating. I would recommend this book to anyone. Frankly, I'm shocked that therapists (both marriage and personal) don't have their clients take the Enneagram test online before embarking on any type of therapy, understanding yourself is key to facilitating change. This book is a must read for anyone on a journey of self-enlightenment.

I purchased this book to learn more about the enneagram. I wish I had read the reviews prior to purchasing this book. I was excited to read it, but I was so disappointed. I read and comprehend at a very level, but I could barely understand much of what the author has to stay. This book is obvious geared towards someone with a Ph.D. It is definitely NOT written in layman's terms. It is extremely wordy and uses a lot of big, impressive sounding words. I am a 5, so that is the section I focused on. For example when talking about healthy 5's, it says "At their healthiest, Fives have the paradoxical ability to penetrate reality while comprehending it broadly." A little further down the page it says "Instead, they encompass reality so profoundly that they are able to discover unanticipated truths they could not have arrived by mere theorizing." Just reading that is enough to give me a headache. I don't have the time or energy to try to figure out what that means. If you are able to understand that, you will probably love this book. But if you are looking for a book that explains the Enneagram in simple, clear terms, this isn't the book for you. The Road Back to You would be a great place to start.

When I heard about the any a gram, I got the book “the road back to you.“ I think this book was much better. And I like how it talks about the “levels of hell.“ Your personality cannot be pinpointed without considering that. I also like that he devotes more time to talking about the wings than most books. He considers it a separate personality type, and I agree.

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery
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paperback: $1.49
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