Hello! I am Shelby, a licensed professional counselor who loves all things enneagram, and works with clients at The Works Counseling Center located in Nashville, TN.
How has your summer been? When I think of this season, I find that my mind goes to all things I find fun: roller coasters, beach vacations, time outside with loved ones, etc. And what a great time to be thinking of fun as we pick up on part seven of our nine-part series on the enneagram and how it can be used in therapy. Today, we will be exploring our most fun-loving archetype of the enneagram: the enthusiast. If you are interested in reading previous blog posts on this subject or want to explore earlier numbers, please click here.
Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to be all-inclusive about this enneagram number, nor is it intended to replace or provide professional counseling services; this blog’s intended purpose is to provide an informal discussion on the enneagram as it relates to professional counseling and mental health.*
Let’s here it for our enthusiasts. Someone who identifies with this archetype may be one of the most fun-loving, exploring, and spontaneous people that you know. Often up for an adventure, enthusiasts thrive in flexible, optimistic settings. This person is often the friend you have that doesn’t seem to get down by much, if at all. They are a joy to be around as they often enjoy being in company with others while in pursuit of endless opportunity. Some famous examples of this enneagram type include: Britney Spears and Robin Williams.
So, why would this fun-loving enneagram type ever find themselves seeking counseling if they are so optimistic and joyous? At this point in the series, you may already know what I will write here: our enneagram number reflects our learned coping skills. Someone who identifies with this archetype likely learned somewhere in childhood that uncomfortable feelings and experiences were not just uncomfortable, but that they were also unsafe. An enthusiast may have coped with these experiences as a child by consistently seeking out opportunities that were fun, creative, and distracting to reduce feelings like: anxiety, insecurity, loneliness or feeling “empty.”
When consistently exposed to stress, enthusiasts may find that they cope not by seeking out fun, but trying to escape pain. They may find it difficult to commit to long term plans, or trust that their needs will truly be taken care of or met if they depend on someone else to help; and this is what they can explore in counseling. Part of the work for our enneagram seven is to explore where they learned the coping skill of escape, and to sift through the beliefs that they carry that may no longer serve them.
A message of affirmation and healing for our enthusiasts: “Your needs will be taken care of.”
A challenge: To develop trust in themself and others when in stress.
Thank you, enthusiasts, for your endless energy, optimism, and contagious joy. Your adventurous spirit reminds those around you that fun is necessary for a meaningful life.
Let’s check in again soon.
Enjoying learning about the enneagram and want to know more? Please find book suggestions and references below.
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery By Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships By Suzanne Stabile
If you are interested in exploring the enneagram with professional therapy services or would like to work with a mental health professional, please contact The Works Counseling Center for more information.