An exploratory study of the Enneagram typology in couple counseling: A qualitative analysis
This study investigated couple counselors' use of the Enneagram Personality Typology. Couple counselors play a much-needed role in their clients' lives. Couple counseling is considered to be a difficult area of practice, however there is a paucity of research on the ways that couple counselors mitigate common difficulties. The small amount of extant research on common difficulties in couples counseling evaluates tools used by counselors. One tool that couple counselors use is the Enneagram Personality Typology, but use of this tool had not yet been studied. This study utilized qualitative research methods to investigate the experiences of ten licensed clinicians who regularly used the Enneagram with couples. An in-depth, phenomenological analysis of interviews provided a rich understanding of clinicians' experiences using the Enneagram in couple counseling, particularly with couples struggling with the therapeutic process. Findings indicated that clinicians dovetailed the Enneagram with their own epistemologies to internally guide them through difficult elements of the couple-counseling process, normalize their couples' behavior, and facilitate their pursuit of clinical milestones in their work.