Developing Authentic Integration through the Enneagram with Helen Palmer

I like Helen Palmer, but parts of this talk were a little new-age-y/paranormal for my taste. At one point, she talks about how at one point early in her career as a therapist, she would give a second opinion by meditating on a stranger's name (someone who was the client of another therapist) and then writing down her impressions. If such knowing at a distance were empirically provable, it would be a huge story. The truth is that despite people's efforts, no one has been able to show any kind of clairvoyance or telepathy exists.

She talks about how she ended up working with the enneagram, gives an overview of basic enneagram theory and types.

Overall, I enjoyed this talk. I find Palmer's non-nonsense calm approach to be effective. I was amused as she would kind of bulldoze over the interviewer, so that one question would trigger a 10 minute mini-lecture. That's typical of her. She's kind of a juggernaut when she gets rolling on a topic.

Exploring the Enneagram's 27 Instinct-Based Subtype Personalities with Beatrice Chestnut

Chestnut turns out to be a clear lecturer, and covers some of the material from her book. A solid presentation, but nothing particularly surprising. Does give a lot of credit for the basic subtype descriptions to Naranjo. This session would be good for those who aren't big readers, but who are interested in descriptions of the subtypes. There's more detail in her book than can be fit into a one hour session.

Prisons of Our Own Making with Susan Olesek (& Victor Soto)

This is the most moving presentation so far. Susuan Olesek teaches classes in prisons on the Enneagram. These turns out to be popular and, in some cases, transformative. This session includes audio excerpts of Olesek working with Victor Soto, an inmate who's been in and out of prison for most of his adult life. Soto talks about some of his early trauma, and how the enneagram has helped him get a handle on the patterns that kept landing him on prison.

It's a moving session, and one that reminds me a bit of a type panel. Good stuff.

Walking Our Talk: The Path of Integration with Marion Gilbert & Terry Saracino

I like both Gilbert and Saracino, but I found this presentation to be a little rambling and not as clear as it might be. They talk about how the enneagram tends to make it hard to ignore one's blind spots and helps to keep on honest as one works toward integration.

Helping Children Flourish: How The Enneagram Can Unlock Parenting Potential and Enhance Education with André Barreto Prudente & Tracy Tresidder

Tresidder gave a run-through of parenting strengths and weaknesses for each type. Nothing terrifically surprising, but seems like useful information for a parent. I think focusing on the enneagram type of the parent is a useful approach, since the consequences of unhealthy defense mechanisms often fall heavily on children.

Prudente talks about his work with children, and the importance of not labeling a child with a type. Unfortunately, this part of the session is hard to focus on because translation delays, long pauses, etc (granted, real time translation is an incredibly difficult and stressful task). Still, it made it hard to focus on the topic, and made Prudente's part of talk somewhat stressful to listen to and somewhat difficult to stay focused on.

Enneagram Tritype: Did You Know You Have 3 Enneagram Types? with David W. Fauvre & Katherine Chernick Fauvre

A basic introduction to the tri-types. The Fauvre's mostly resist making everything sound like a commercial/infomercial (which seems to be a weakness of theirs). Not a bad introduction to the idea of tri-types.

They put a lot of emphasis on the research and analysis they've done and that their research is empirical. They are a little vague about the statistical techniques they used for analysis. To me it sounds like they most likely trained bayesian filters with the writings of typed enneagram people, and then ran them to look for those type patterns, and found secondary and tertiary patterns in each of the non-dominate centers (body, heart, mind).

Still, it's not clear that the Fauvres themselves have a strong statistical background... they talk about working with MIT Ph.D.'s on the analysis software. Part way through the session, they get online questions from statisticians who would like access to their analysis. Maybe something more solid will come out of it.

Another interesting tidbit is that David Fauvre mentions they they didn't find empirical backing for the lines of connection (which matches my own biases).

The State of the Union of the Enneagram: Present Accomplishments, Future Visions with Jessica Dibb & Deborah Ooten

A bit heavy on the enneagram as a world transforming/messianic force to my task. Has a brief summary of each session, and a closing guided meditation that wraps things up.


For me, I think Olesek's prison session was the most moving and unexpected. I was delighted to hear Dan Siegel, whom I already liked, speak, and especially that he is working on empirical research on the enneagram. Getting his impressions about they've discovered so far was a big bonus. Olesek and Siegel would probably be my top two sessions, over all.

Someone who is newer to the enneagram or wants a refresher would not doubt find other sessions more useful.

Hearing from Chestnut and the Fauvres was nice, but didn't add a lot beyond what I'd read on them already. Tresidder's application of the enneagram to parenting seemed practical and useful.

Otherwise, I didn't find a whole lot of new information. It was interesting to listen to some of the big name enneagram folks, and get impressions of their styles. Gibb, as general MC/interviewer, made me roll me eyes at points, but she definitely did a good job of keeping things moving and staying time conscious.