The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels
  • Title: The Essential Enneagram
  • Subtitle: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide -- Revised & Updated
  • Author(s): David Daniels, Virginia Price
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Year: 2009-11-24
  • ISBN-10: 0061985694
  • ISBN-13: 9780061985690


The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and Virginia Price is a highly regarded guidebook that offers a comprehensive exploration of the Enneagram system. With a focus on personal growth and self-discovery, this book enables readers to understand and harness the power of their unique personalities. Through clear explanations, practical exercises, and captivating case studies, the authors delve into the nine Enneagram types, providing readers with a deep insight into their core motivations, fears, and patterns of behavior. With its accessible language and well-organized structure, this book serves as an invaluable tool for anyone seeking personal transformation and a greater understanding of themselves and others.

One of the standout features of “The Essential Enneagram” is the emphasis it places on compassion and empathy. The authors recognize that each Enneagram type has both strengths and limitations, and they encourage readers to approach their own type and the types of others with empathy and understanding. Moreover, the book offers practical strategies for personal growth specific to each type, enabling readers to develop greater self-awareness and create positive changes in their lives. Whether you are new to the Enneagram or are already familiar with the system, “The Essential Enneagram” is a highly valuable resource that will help you navigate the complexities of your own personality, deepen your relationships, and ultimately lead a more fulfilling life.

Book Review

"The Essential Enneagram" by David Daniels and Virginia Price: A Transformative Journey towards Self-Understanding

The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and Virginia Price is an exceptional guidebook that offers a profound exploration of the Enneagram system, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of their personalities and a roadmap for personal growth and self-discovery. By delving into the core motivations, fears, and patterns of behavior of the nine Enneagram types, the authors equip readers with invaluable insights that enable them to navigate their lives more consciously.

One of the strengths of this book lies in its accessible and engaging writing style. The authors present complex concepts and psychological insights in a way that is approachable, making the Enneagram accessible to both newcomers and those already familiar with the system. They explain each type with clarity, using relatable anecdotes, case studies, and examples that demonstrate the behavioral patterns and internal struggles associated with each type. For instance, in describing Type Two, the authors provide a story about a caregiver who habitually puts others’ needs before their own, often leading to emotional exhaustion and their own needs being overlooked. This storytelling approach makes it easy for readers to relate to and recognize their own patterns of behavior.

Furthermore, “The Essential Enneagram” stands out for its emphasis on compassion and empathy towards ourselves and others. Daniels and Price emphasize that understanding our Enneagram type is not intended for labeling or fixing ourselves, but rather as a tool for self-awareness and personal growth. By recognizing our own type, we can gain insight into our automatic reactions, habits, and coping mechanisms, which in turn allow us to make conscious choices and break free from patterns that may be detrimental to our wellbeing.

The authors offer practical strategies tailored to each Enneagram type, enabling readers to take tangible steps towards personal development and transformation. For instance, they provide specific exercises and reflection questions designed to help individuals of each type recognize their particular challenges and work towards building healthier habits. Additionally, readers are encouraged to explore the influence of their “wings” (the types adjacent to their core type), which further expands their understanding of themselves and offers a more nuanced view of their personality.

The Essential Enneagram” takes a holistic approach to personal growth, recognizing that self-discovery is a lifelong journey. Rather than solely focusing on the weaknesses or limitations associated with each type, the authors also highlight the strengths and gifts that each type brings to the world. By emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance and self-compassion, the book promotes a healthy view of personal growth, one that challenges the assumption that we must strive to become a different type or shed our natural inclinations.

Throughout the book, Daniels and Price make it abundantly clear that the Enneagram is not a definitive personality categorization, but rather a map to guide readers towards a deeper understanding of themselves and others. They encourage readers to embrace the complexity of human behavior and highlight the importance of respecting individual differences and avoiding stereotyping.

In conclusion, “The Essential Enneagram” is a remarkable book that offers invaluable insights into the core motivations and patterns of behavior underlying the nine Enneagram types. With its accessible language, practical exercises, and emphasis on compassion, this book acts as a transformative tool for personal growth and self-discovery. Whether you are new to the Enneagram or have prior knowledge, this book will undoubtedly deepen your understanding of yourself and others, and provide guidance towards leading a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Word Count: 609

Key Ideas

The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and Virginia Price is a comprehensive guide to the Enneagram, a powerful system of personality analysis and self-discovery. The book explores the nine distinct personality types within the Enneagram framework and provides insights into how individuals can understand and work with their own unique patterns of behavior, thoughts, and emotions. Here are some key ideas and themes from the book:

  1. Nine Personality Types The Enneagram categorizes individuals into nine distinct personality types, each with its own set of characteristics, motivations, fears, and desires. The book describes each type in depth, helping readers identify which type resonates most with them.

  2. Core Motivations and Fears The authors delve into the core motivations and fears that drive each Enneagram type. Understanding these underlying factors can provide valuable insights into why individuals behave, think, and feel the way they do.

  3. Wings and Arrows The Enneagram recognizes that individuals are influenced not only by their core type but also by adjacent types known as “wings.” Additionally, the concept of “arrows” highlights how individuals can exhibit certain traits of another type during periods of stress or growth.

  4. Self-Reflection and Personal Growth The book emphasizes the Enneagram as a tool for self-reflection and personal growth. By gaining awareness of their type’s tendencies and patterns, individuals can work to transcend limitations, develop healthier behaviors, and cultivate positive qualities.

  5. Levels of Development The authors discuss the Enneagram’s model of levels of development within each personality type. These levels range from healthy to unhealthy expressions of the type, providing a roadmap for growth and transformation.

  6. Relationship Dynamics “The Essential Enneagram” explores how different personality types interact in relationships, both in terms of compatibility and potential challenges. Understanding the dynamics between types can lead to more effective communication and conflict resolution.

  7. Spiritual Growth and Transformation The Enneagram is not just a personality tool but also a framework for spiritual growth. The book discusses how individuals can use the Enneagram to navigate their spiritual journey, deepen self-awareness, and move toward higher levels of consciousness.

  8. Practical Applications The authors provide practical guidance on using the Enneagram to enhance various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and personal development. They offer strategies for leveraging the Enneagram’s insights for greater self-understanding and fulfillment.

  9. Integration and Balance The Enneagram encourages individuals to integrate the positive qualities of all nine types into their own lives, fostering balance and a more holistic way of being. This process of integration can lead to a more harmonious and authentic self.

  10. Continuous Learning and Growth The book emphasizes that the Enneagram is a lifelong tool for growth and self-discovery. It encourages readers to approach their Enneagram journey with openness and curiosity, as each new insight can lead to greater self-awareness and transformation.

Overall, “The Essential Enneagram” provides a comprehensive introduction to the Enneagram system and its applications for personal development and transformation. It serves as a guide for individuals seeking to understand themselves and others on a deeper level, fostering empathy, self-compassion, and a greater capacity for meaningful relationships and personal growth.

Target Audience

The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and Virginia Price is targeted at individuals seeking personal growth, self-discovery, and a deeper understanding of themselves and others. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Individuals Exploring Personality Typology For those interested in personality typology systems, such as the Enneagram, this book is a must-read. It offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the Enneagram system, allowing readers to delve into the complexities of their personalities and gain insights into their motivations, fears, and behavioral patterns.

  • Personal Development Seekers The book is highly recommended for individuals on a journey of personal growth. It not only helps readers identify their Enneagram type but also provides practical strategies and exercises tailored to each type, enabling individuals to develop self-awareness, overcome limitations, and cultivate healthier habits.

  • Psychology Enthusiasts Psychology lovers and those fascinated by human behavior will find “The Essential Enneagram” to be an engaging and insightful resource. The book’s exploration of the inner workings of the nine Enneagram types deepens understanding of personality dynamics and offers a framework for exploring the various layers of human psychology.

  • Individuals Interested in Relationships and Communication Understanding the Enneagram types not only enhances self-awareness but also fosters a greater understanding of others. By grasping the differing motivations and perspectives of each type, readers can develop more compassionate and effective communication strategies in their relationships, both personal and professional.

  • Coaches, Therapists, and Counselors Professionals in the fields of coaching, therapy, and counseling will find “The Essential Enneagram” to be an invaluable resource. It provides a framework for understanding their clients on a deeper level, offering insights into their clients’ underlying drives, coping mechanisms, and challenges. This understanding can enhance their ability to guide clients towards their goals and facilitate personal growth.

In conclusion, “The Essential Enneagram” is recommended reading for anyone interested in personal growth, psychology, relationships, or those seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and others. With its accessible language, practical exercises, and emphasis on compassion, the book serves as a transformative tool for individuals on a journey of self-discovery and offers valuable insights into the complexities of the human psyche.