Hi, my name is Shelby, and I am one of the therapists at The Works Counseling Center. Sometimes, when clients are just getting started in counseling, it can feel difficult to know where to begin. If they are not in the practice of talking about themselves or knowing what their hang-ups are, they may be feeling overwhelmed about the thought of doing so for the first time in therapy.
The enneagram can be a helpful tool for clients to process and gain meaning from some of their challenging beliefs, unhelpful patterns, and difficult experiences. It can be used to provide individuals with helpful language to identify how they experience themselves in the world, and insight on ways to potentially move toward healthier living.
This is part one of a nine-part series on the enneagram, and how it can be used in therapy. Today, we are going to briefly talk about the enneagram one: The Reformer/ Idealist/ Moral Perfectionist.
The enneagram one gets their title because they often strongly value integrity, balance, and genuinely being “good.” Ones tend to have the gift of seeing all of the potential for making the world a better place, and truly want to make it so. They are the people at work that believe in the project, the partner that sees all that you are capable of, and the leader that moves with passion. Some famous examples of enneagram type ones include: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ghandi, Joan of Arc, and Michelle Obama.
A place where someone who identifies as an enneagram type one can get “hung-up” is on their own inner-critic. This is that voice plays in their head all day, pointing out to them all the things that could be better. Because ones have this gift of being able to see potential, that means that they can also be very attuned to the spaces in their lives that aren’t measuring up to their high expectations. Sometimes when stressed, this will include themselves.
In therapy, it can be helpful to use the enneagram as a tool to identify the messages that no longer serve our ones, and the messages needed for healing. Our ethical and dutiful ones are sometimes fighting against the belief that they themselves are not measuring up, and that the weight of bettering the world is wholly on their shoulders. Messages that can be helpful for ones include, “You are good,” “You are allowed to rest,” and “You are imperfect and worthy.”
Maybe you clicked on this post because you are a one in therapy. Maybe you clicked because you wanted to better understand an enneagram one in your life. This blog post is by no means an all-inclusive writing about the enneagram one. If you would like to learn more about this number or about the enneagram in general, I recommend these resources 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
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