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.
Today, we are moving forward with part six of our nine-part series focusing on the enneagram and how it may be used in therapy. 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. *
The enneagram six – also known as “The Loyalist” of the enneagram types – is the archetype that is most commonly associated with intention. Loyalists are known for their attentiveness and observation skills, as well as their ability to plan and be prepared for any possible scenario. Celebrities who have been identified as this type include artist Eminem and Prince Harry.
As we have previously discussed throughout this series, our enneagram numbers are not something that we are born with; rather, experiences in childhood taught us to cope with stress in ways that resonate with our number. So, if our enneagram number is something that we develop through meaning-making, what does that mean for a type six?
If a person identifies with this number, it is likely that they had multiple, meaningful experiences in childhood that led them to believe that they may not always have access to support or guidance that is necessary to feel secure and safe. An enneagram six can cope with this uncertainty in one of two ways: they can be phobic or counter-phobic. Someone who identifies as a “phobic six” may cope with uncertainty by trying to create distance between themself and whatever is perceived as a threat. They can fly under the radar well, and value authority and leadership. While a “counter-phobic six” is more known to actively rebel against authority and seek out their own path.
At their healthiest, loyalists can be great leaders who value communication, and seek to build relationships founded on trust and security. As friends, they are often the planners, the ones who make sure everyone knows where to meet, and who may carry an extra snack on them. They are called “loyalists” because they can be fiercely loyal to those they care for, always wanting to ensure that those care for feel secure and seen.
At less healthy levels, a loyalist may focus on worst-case-scenario thinking, become stuck in anxious thought patterns, and feel threatened and untrusting when experiencing perceived threat(s).
In therapy, the enneagram can be used for loyalists to help them identify what is keeping them stuck in unhelpful patterns. It is often that the work of a six to build inner-security and trust within themselves, learning that they are capable of cultivating the safety and security they desire.
A message of affirmation and healing for our loyalists: You are allowed to trust yourself. A challenge: To challenge the belief that danger lurks around each corner
Thank you, loyalists, for being so intentional with your actions, for being leaders that listen, and the friends we can trust.
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.