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Learning to Use the Enneagram System of Temperament Types with Clients (Session 1)

  • Friday, April 12, 2019
  • 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • A Center For Relationships 316 Commerce St Alexandria, VA 22314
  • 13


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Presenter: Lynn Turner, PhD, LCSW

CEUs:  Category 1 | 3 CEUs per workshop/Total CEUs if all three attended 

The More Attuned Therapist not only understands her client’s attachment style or nurture, but also understands her client’s nature or innate temperament type.

The Enneagram is a system of inborn temperament types, discerned by ancient cultures and recorded by the Ancient Greeks. By learning this system, therapists are able to help their clients understand innate behavioral tendencies which can interact with childhood triggers such as attachment issues. For example, one temperament type, the perfectionist, notices what is out of place and has a strong urge to correct whatever is not “right”. If this client is the wife of a man who is the “easy-going” type, noticing very little out of place type, usually ADD, the wife’s frustration can be predicted. If both the husband and the wife had attachment disorders or other childhood issues, their temperament types would also predict their even stronger reactivities to each other’s behavioral tendencies by temperament. A psychotherapist armed with temperament knowledge can help ease a clients self-criticism over temperament normalities as well as carry a deeper understanding of her client’s overall issues. While learning a new “system” or theory can look time consuming, the Enneagram types can be easily grasped by psychotherapist and client when they are taught pragmatically around behaviors and feelings.

Lynn’s training in brain theories has lead her to believe that our brains are wired in utero with our Temperament. Innate temperament wiring leaves us vulnerable to our nurturing environment in specific ways which will be explained. This training will teach not only the nine different types, but their relationship to our three brains (Paul McClean 1960). The Ancient Greeks knew that each type had a specific relationship with one of the three brains and that this guided their behavior. Lynn also teaches the interactions of the various types across the circle of 9 types. These interactions create our many differences and similarities, but allow for our uniqueness.

Lynn Turner, PhD, LCSW, has been using knowledge of the Enneagram Temperament System to help her clients, friends and family since 1995. Lynn leads 2 workshops annually on the Enneagram in which each of the 9 types have a chance to be interviewed by seminar members and the leader. These temperament “panels” provide evidence to everyone present that each type adds intrigue to relationships. When these relationship patterns are understood, life becomes easier for all involved. A 3 session workshop teaching clinicians of all levels how to use the Enneagram Temperament Typing with their clients. While numerous researchers have analyzed inborn temperament stability of various types over 50 years, the Enneagram Temperament System was written down by Ancient Greeks based on discoveries by earlier cultures.

The presenter will show evidence that we are born with our temperaments or nature which must then interact with our nurture to create who we are.

The first session of this workshop will include detailed descriptions of the 9 Enneagram Temperament Types and a booklet written by the presenter. Learning both the gifts and burdens of each innate hardwired temperament will allow clinicians to distinguish between the healthy and unhealthy aspects of each Temperament. 20 minutes will be devoted to questions from clinicians. Homework will be to find their own Enneagram Temperament and those of family members before the next session.

The second 3 hour session, will describe how each Enneagram Temperament is related to our three brains, the visceral, limbic and Neo-cortex (McClean, 1960). Learning the alignment of temperament to our heart, gut or mind, increases self-understanding for the client and skill for the clinician. By combining nature (Enneagram) and nurture (attachment or a traumatic event) clinicians will learn to more deeply understand their client's individual dilemma's or issues. In this session we will also explore the participants own Enneagram Temperament by interviewing panels by type. Homework will be to think about how at least two clients fit the Enneagram Temperament Typing and how the therapist might bring this thinking into the therapy room.

The third 3 hour session will be devoted to exploring how to use the Enneagram Temperament Typing with clients. The presenter will talk about her 24 years of experience with examples of using he Enneagram Temperament Typing with Individuals, Couples and Children. Then, clinicians will discuss their thoughts about 2 clients they have identified and how this identification might be useful in their practice. Lastly there will be an hour for questions concerning using the Enneagram Typing in therapy.

Session 1: Objectives

Participants should be able to:

  1. Describe at least four Enneagram Types.
  2. Identify the gifts and burdens of at least four Enneagram Types.
  3. Have some idea of their own Enneagram Type.
  4. Understand the dynamics of healthy vs unhealthy Enneagram Types. 

Session 1: Agenda

  • 10:00 Introduction of participants (in a circle) and their knowledge of the Enneagram
  • 10:20 Introduction of the Enneagram Temperament Types description, including presenter's background
  • 11:20 Famous people in each type, Connection of types to gifts and burdens leading to healthy and unhealthy behavior patterns
  • 12:00 Interaction of Nature (Enneagram) and Nurture (childhood environment). The brain wiring that creates the temperament types. Brief intro of research into temperament
  • 12: 30 Lunch break
  • 1:00 Review and questions, Homework given. Study the Enneagram system to know four types with their gifts and burdens, to have some idea of their own Enneagram type and study the dynamics of healthy vs unhealthy Enneagram Types

Click here for Session 2 Objectives & Agenda

Click here for Session 3 Objectives & Agenda


Baron, R. & Wagele, E. The Enneagram Made Easy: discover the 9 Types of People. Harper, San Francisco, 1994.

Chess, S & Thomas A. Temperament in Clinical Practice. Guilford Publications, New York, 1995.

Kagan, J & Snidman, N. The Long Shadow of Temperament.Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 2004.

Palmer, H. The Enneagram in Love & Work: Understanding Your Intimate & Business Relationships. Harper, San Francisco, 1995.

Ratey, J.J. A User’s Guide to the Brain. First Vintage Books, New York, 2002

Riso, R. The Wisdom of the Enneagram. Bantam Doubleday Del Pub, New York, 1999.

Turner, L. The Enneagram: Mandala of Temperament. Self-Published, Alexandria, VA 2018.


2/3 hour parking nearby, we will allow for moving cars, if necessary. Please bring lunch or request from Panera

Please let us know about any contingencies of walking/sitting, physical needs.
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 |

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