So, I think the relationship between between schema therapy and the Enneagram are interesting for a few reasons.
- Schema therapy comes from an entirely different lineage (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, psychoanalytic object relations, Attachment Theory, and Gestalt therapy) that has nothing to do with the enneagram.
- The maladaptive schemas are clearly trying to capture some of the same issues that enneagram types try to capture.
- The maladaptive schemas are somewhat finer grained than enneagram type (even if some have multiple manifestations)
- Kristin Neff combines schema therapy with meditation in her book Self Compassion, which gives her book a particularly enneagram-ish feel in some ways (meditation is an important part of enneagram teachings)
So, at first blush (I'm still coming up to speed on schema therapy), it seems like viewing the enneagram through the lens of schema therapy offers some interesting perspectives. It gives one a way to be a little more fine-grained about one's issues (and helps one see how one's type fits or doesn't fit the schema correlations).
It would also be interesting to look at correlations of the maladaptive schemas, and see if they naturally group into their enneagram correlations. That would, in some sense, provide a certain kind of weak validation that the groups of issues found in the enneagram (perhaps including wings or tri-types) actually cluster together in reality.
One of the frustrating things to me about the enneagram is that it lacks a sense of inevitability. Why these particular 9 types? Why these lines of connection? While there are lots of cool patterns among enneagram types (centers, against/away/towards, etc), there's a certain amount of "because that's the way it is" involved. And sometimes certain kinds of pattern-finding in the enneagram begins to feel like numerology. It would be nice if one could either theorize one's way to the enneagram layout from first principles, or empirically show that it reflects reality.
So, finding another take on some of the same stuff is both personally interesting (to see how I do/don't fit the enneagram type I identify with) and also provides a way to evaluate the enneagram. I'm don't know enough to claim one interpretation of the relationship between the two systems has a particular meaning... just that I'm finding it interesting.
That do you think?