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History & Ethics

a brief history of the enneagram and its ethics

history of the enneagram and ethics


A brief history: from plato to Berkeley

The word ‘Enneagram’ stems from the Greek word “Ennea”, meaning “nine”. The usage of the Enneagram can be traced back to ancient Greece and for example Plato used the model to describe different qualities of human kind. The model is agnostic and universal, meaning it has been found to be used in different times in history in all sorts of countries irrespective of ethnics, culture or religion. For example, the Sufis in medieval Turkey were famous for the usage of the Enneagram and also in Judaism and in Christian mysticism the Enneagram has been used widely. In the decades after the second world war, Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Aranjo extensively researched the model in South America and in the 60’s they brought the Enneagram to the USA.

In the following decades, renowned and internationally recognised psychologists and psychiatrics from among others Berkeley and Stanford extended and deepened the Enneagram and gave the Enneagram its modern look and feel as a psychological model. For example, Karen Horney, one of Freud’s students, added triads in the Enneagram regarding solving conflict and loss, which is called The Hornevian Triad. Don Riso deepened the Enneagram with the 9 Levels of Development per type, creating depth and dynamic in each type as well as explaining behavior based on ‘levels of awareness’.

Other people that have extensively researched and worked with the Enneagram are Dr. David Daniels, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medical School. Professor Helen Palmer working with Harvard University and professional psychology. Beatrice Chestnut, PhD and Ginger Lapid-Bogda, PhD, whom both have added immense field data from business and professional organisations, which can be found online and in many of their books.


Ethics and the International Enneagram Association - IEA

Knowledge and insights about other people and their inner drivers come with responsibility and ethics in how to put this information to use for good. Jenkens Consulting is bound by professional secrecy regarding all information about its customers. All information is used anonymously, unless explicitly agreed upon by clients.

Maurice Jenkens has been certified Enneagram Trainer by EnneagramCenter Sweden and we follow the International Enneagram Association’s (IEA) code of conduct and guidelines, as also constructed by ”The Enneagram Institute” in the USA. One of EnneagramCenter Sweden’s founders also is a member of the Board of the International Enneagram Association.

Vision and guidelines: to spread and increase self-knowledge as well as acceptance of others and to help make this world a better place for all of us.

The Enneagram is like 'open source' coding. It is an independent model and no organisation or person owns the model nor the rights to draw license fees from it, which makes the model easy accessible to everyone. We strive to spread its knowledge and wisdom in a responsible way and to protect the quality of work based on the Enneagram for the good of all.

Maurice Jenkens is a certified Enneagram Trainer and a board member of 'Enneagramföreningen Sverige', the International Enneagram Association Sweden.