books



Are You My Type, Am I Yours? by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.
I'm not sure that relationship compatibilities by type really work. I've seen a few different attempts at this, and it never quite seems to fit. The problem is, there's more to a relationship than one's dominant type. For example, a 1w2 and 2w1 may have more in common than a 1w9 and 2w3, which makes determining how 1s and 2s will get along a difficult venture. Instincts and trifix will no doubt play a role as well. At any rate, I wasn't crazy about this book. Whereas the cartoons in some of her previous cartoons were funny, the ones in this book seemed a bit more stereotyped and dumbed down. Her descriptions of the type were equally stereotyped, focusing on the "corporate executive" stereotype of three and the "nervous nelly" stereotype of six. There is a little bit of information on wings and subtypes, so it may be useful on that front.



Character and Neurosis by Claudio Naranjo.
This is by far the best enneagram book ever written. It's out of print, but you can still find it used. Naranjo does a great job of giving a very detailed, comprehensive of the types, analyzing both the deeper psychological processes at work, and the traits the type typically exhibits. He connects these in detail with the personality disorders he associates with the types. He also gives a compelling account of the typical childhood background of each enneatype. He's influenced a lot of the better known enneagram authors publishing today, and is therefore a must-read.



Discovering Your Personality Type by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson.
This is a good introduction to the enneagram. There's a short overview of all of the types. Most of the information in there can probably be found in some of their longer books. The big advantage of it is that it contains the paper version of the paid test on their website, for the same price as the online test. So, if you're looking both to take the test and get an introduction to the types, it may be useful.



Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes by Katherine Chernick Fauvre.
I really like the Fauvres work. This booklet is about 100 or so pages of information on the subtypes, compiled from just about every enneagram source out there, as well as Katherine Chernick Fauvre's own data collection. She includes quotes from participants in how they experience the subtypes. I found it to be extremely helpful.



Enneagram Movie and Video Guide by Thomas Condon.
This book gives examples from various movies about the types. While it's good in theory, Thomas Condon is truly, truly awful at typing people. He seems to do some really obvious mistypes, and only really seems to nail it on the most clear-cut cases. That said, if you're familiar with the enneagram, and have someone to watch the movies with who also is an ennea-phile, it can be fun to read his typings, watch the movies, and decide whether he nailed it or missed it, speculating on what types the people in question really are. Also, he does give additional information on the wings, which can be helpful.



Enneatypes in Psychotherapy by Claudio Naranjo.

The former psych-geek in me really enjoyed this book. It's the proceedings from a meeting of therapists trained in the enneagram, their discussions of how each type presents in therapy, and the therapists own feelings about which types/subtypes they find pleasant or unpleasant to work with. In most cases, it sounds like the client base is more severely disordered, so if you're looking to identify yourself and you don't have a personality disorder, it might be hard to relate to. However, if you're planning on using the enneagram as a psychotherapist yourself, or if you simply want to see how people of each type may interact during times of distress and unhealth, it could make for an interesting read.



Ennea-type Structures by Claudio Naranjo.
This book is also currently out of print but is available used. It's a somewhat shorter version of Character and Neurosis. It gives an overview of each of the types, focusing on the traits, and talking briefly about the existenial psychodynamics. It's useful in that one can quickly get a sense of how Naranjo understands the type, and tends to be oriented more towards the lay person without a background in psychology. I think Character and Neurosis can readily be understood by anyone that has the capacity to pass your average undergrad abnormal psych class, but if you're looking for something that covers the fine details in a quicker read, or if you have trouble finding Character and Neurosis, this would also be a good pick.



Personality Types by Riso & Hudson.
This is the longest and most detailed of all of R&H's books, while being comparable in price. This was the first enneagram book I ever bought, and I readily identified my type. There is detailed information about how each type behaves, with a breakdown by all nine levels of health, and detailed information on wings. I do have a couple of grievances with the book, however. One problem is that there's a bit of bias and stereotyping in the descriptions. Four gets depicted as the "temperamental artist" whereas five as "the detached intellectual." By contrast, the descriptions of types three and six are exceedingly negative. It's no surprise that so many people identify themselves as fours and fives while resisting identifying themselves as threes or sixes.
My other concern is that the descriptions sometimes seem a bit extreme and two-dimensional. It often reads a lot like "this would be me if described by that one really bitter ex that sits around the bar all day complaining about our failed relationship." I recognize what they're going for--showing the negative behavior/beliefs/etcetera of the types in a way that will motivate a person to change. However, the lack of empathy in the descriptions could also foster a certain amount of type bashing ("OMG this describes that type one office manager I hate to a tee! It's all her fault because she's a one!") and so on and so forth. Those issues aside, there is some highly valuable information in this book, and it makes for a good resource.



The Enneagram by Helen Palmer.
Helen Palmer's books are some of the most widely read, and a lot of the enneagram books on the market right now take their information exclusively from her. Unfortunately, she probably gives the most superficial treatment of the enneatypes. She puts a bit of literary flair into her descriptions which, for some, can make it a fun read, but for others can make it seem more like cariactures.



The Enneagram in Love and Work by Helen Palmer.
This is similar to her book,The Enneagram. It's geared mostly towards relationship compatibilities and workplace conflict. In general, it seems geared towards trying to "sell" the enneagram to corporate settings. As a result, there's an over-simplification of the types. Also, her descriptions of types in the workplace probably won't be too relevant to anyone that works, say, as a bartender, a social worker or college professor. Unless you're working in the HR department of a large corporation and want to find a way to smooth over workplace conflicts, I'd skip this one.



The Literary Enneagram by Judith Searle.

I really enjoyed this book. She gives some good examples of different types as shown in literature, giving excerpts that demonstrate the type based on wing and subtype. A lot of her examples seem pretty spot-on. There's a little bit of her own take on the types, and she seems to have read a wide range of enneagram literature. If you're of something of an intellectual bent, it can be a nice alternative to the vignettes provided in a lot of the literature, as well as being a good resource for reading material.



The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues by Sandra Maitri.


This is a really good book on the enneagram. She goes into great detail about the motivations of the type. While this isn't advisable as an introduction, I highly suggest getting it once you've got the basics down. The enneagram is above all else a system of motivations, and reading it can help clarify any confusion about your type, as well as understanding the underlying psychology of other types. It's very psychoanalytic, and she incorporates a lot of Freudian psychology into her work. She also studied under Naranjo, so his influence is seen in her work as well.



The Enneagram of Society by Claudio Naranjo.
This book is a lot of fun. He gives some general background on the enneagram, then divides the book into three sections: the characters of the type, how each type is in love and the ills of society. This book has a distinctly sociological flair, extending beyond merely an analysis of the type into the social problems of the world associated with each enneatype fixation.



The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram by Sandra Maitri.
I think this book is a good introduction to the enneagram. If you can't get a hold of Naranjo's "Character and Neurosis," I'd say buy this, then buy her other book. She gives detailed information on each of the types, giving a good sense of the underlying psychology, how the type appears, keys to identifying one's own type, details on subtype and a few of what she considers to be common misidentifications.



Transformation Through Insight by Claudio Naranjo.
This is another one that's out of print, but can still be found used. I was able to find a copy that looked new for a fairly reasonable price. It's a nice blend of type descriptions, examples from literature, and examples from clinical practice. In general, he'll have one example from literature and two from clinical practice. The two from clinical practice usually give examples by subtype--for example, the sexual four and social four, and the sexual six and self-pres six. The cases he presents range from the highly disordered to more normative examples of people working on key enneagram issues. His dialogues gave a good example of the different ways issues manifest by subtype. It's a pleasant and enjoyable read.



Understanding the Enneagram by Riso & Hudson.
This is mostly reference material. It gives a breakdown of the fears, desires and motivations of the types, list of adjectives for the healthy, average and unhealthy levels, and overviews of the triad issues. There is a short test to help identify one's type. There also is an extensive misidentification section. The misidentifications can be rather hit-or-miss. Some of them are helpful, but some of them are stereotyped. For example, fours are distinguished from fives by fours having personal art and fives creating one's inner vision, fours art being about their pain, sixes art being political, fives intellectualism being original whereas sixes intellectualism sticking to convention, etcetera. Since any type can be political, intellectual or artistic,and it's the motivation for those activities that determines type, some of the misidentifications may be less than helpful. As a whole, however, the book makes for a good, quick reference and might be helpful.



The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Riso & Hudson.
This book contains both Riso & Hudson's QUEST and TAS tests, which can make it a good bargain. There's a general overview of the types, with quotes of what the types generally say, and little exercises to help deal with type issues. It gives a good idea of the types, in a general overview sort of way. It also gives an overview of each of the instincts per type.




Tests



As a general rule, I don't find the free tests floating around the net to be as helpful as the paid tests. However, there is one exception to this, which is The RHETI sampler. The longer version of the test has been validated, whereas the sampler hasn't. However, most people I've met who have taken both haven't noticed a substantive change in their scores between the sampler and the longer version of the test. The longer version may be helpful if you get inconclusive results from the sampler (for example, a few tied scores) or if you want to go more in-depth.

The Full RHETI
This is a 144 question test for ten dollars. It's a forced choice either/or test. The greatest benefit of this is it helps the person prioritize by answering questions about how they've been throughout their life. It has an 85% accuracy rate, so for most people, the highest score will be your enneagram type, with the dominant type almost always being in the top three.



QUEST/TAS
This is the online version of the same tests available in The Wisdom of the Enneagram. It gives you a short grouping questionnaire which will narrow your type down to three possible types (this portion is also available for free on the site) then a series of questions about your attitudes which then gives you a dominant type.



Enneacards test
This is one of the Fauvres' tests. I found it to be an enjoyable test. It gives you a bunch of collage images with pictures and adjectives and has you rank them. I like this test because it's more intuitive, and you can give a visceral response to the various cards.



Instinctual Subtypes test
This is another good test, which asks a series of questions to determine one's subtype. I found it to be pretty accurate, and enjoyable to take.




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