Eights in Psychotherapy - Enneagram Monthly
The Eight attention style fixes on power, overt control, excess, strength, and in your face, 'That's how I feel, if you don't accept my answer you are wrong.'” . A number of female Eights report relationship histories where they felt .. Back; Types; Type 1 >; Type 2 >; Type 3 >; Type 4 >; Type 5 >; Type 6 >; Type 7 >; Type 8. In fact, there are probably more comedians who are type Six than any other Sixes at their best in a relationship are warm, playful open, loyal. Enneagram Type Six (the Loyalist) with. Enneagram Type Eight (the Challenger) long-lasting relationship on what is, at root, a defensive view of the world.
This feeds the habitual search for certainty. What to expect if you are in a relationship with a Six: Expect shifts of mood as certainty shifts to doubt and back again. Spontaneous reassurance, romance, and surprise will work wonders. Sixes identify the problem areas of a relationship. Sixes can attribute their own feelings to others. You can seem to be angry or withholding when its the Six who feels that way. A clear statement of your position is hugely reassuring.
Expect challenges with softer emotions which point to their vulnerability and insecurity; offer genuine assurances. Your Six wants to affect you in relationship. They need to know they have value in your eyes. In return you get enduring loyalty and support. Learning to recognize the patterns of type, accepting them with compassion and learning to relax them brings us to the present moment where life can be experienced more fully. Recognizing these patterns in others helps us understand and relate to them.
The practices for growth for Type Six: Accept insecurity as part of life. Use your five senses. I might have done more and deeper work, but we never talked about what it was like for me to have had him there. If the therapist thoroughly explores the consequences of inviting another family member into therapy beforehand, it can prevent the client from feeling unsafe or even betrayed. In conjoint therapy, Eights can learn to listen and reflect before reacting: To me it seems black or white.
Either no nurturing at all or you open the door to a vulnerability that is bottomless. The technique helped this Eight to break through her anger and allow intimacy: The approach was very confrontational. It makes you look at your relationship with your parents. I really cried and looked into my sadness. The container exercise allowed me for the first time to have my anger, and it makes you relate this back to childhood.
I always felt like my partner could not handle my anger. It allowed me to know that he could handle my anger and gave me parameters around the intensity.
I was made responsible for looking in my own self for the causes. Finding out about how to express it, without causing harm. And the vulnerability of asking for what I have never gotten was powerful. At first, however, they may seem to have no needs in a way that belies the actual work they do: I had to do this work alone, between group sessions. Otherwise I would have lost too much face.
In groups, I have this image of being a leader. When I did finally do some work in my group and even cried, I was amazed to hear others say that they still saw me as strong. They thought I had more guts because of it. One highly experienced couples therapist — herself an Eight — noted that many therapists expect the Eight in a couple to be the one to change. Several Eights were aware that their abundant energy allowed them to mask the side-effects of substance abuse and high-risk behavior.
I rationalize it by telling myself that I am so intense and that few people can match my intensity. The drugs numb the pain. She saw me as much stronger than I was. I had a panic attack for the first time ever when I was in therapy with her.
- Type Six: The Loyal Skeptic
I knew this was coming from my fear of the therapy relationship. When I told her I was feeling dependent, she said something about how smart I was, and assured me I was stronger than I thought. She was admiring my defense.
I felt shame for my vulnerability, wanted her to hold me, and I was ashamed for even having that thought. She was clearly outraged and angry: And you trusted him. Where were your parents? What did they do?
I do not recall ever feeling stood up for, so protected before that. Needless to say, I cried like a baby. With her protecting me, my profound vulnerability could be released and honestly felt. It was an amazing moment. I had no idea I needed that sort of protection.
When probed, Eight clients often minimize their childhood pain. One Eight suggested trying the following line of inquiry: Were you ever hurt as a kid? When I comforted my little girl it made a monumental difference.
Sometimes my therapist needed to remind me until I learned to remember to do it myself. She had me bring in a picture of the little girl to see how strong she must have been.
One Eight suggested asking a question like: Have you ever hurt anyone? Both their anger and their passion for life then may seem absent. One Eight who had been through a near divorce advised: The attitude is different from other types. One client described how her therapist taught her to visualize her anger instead of acting on it: My heart races, I am crying, my emotions are out of control.
This creates pictures, I can see my heart racing, my shortness of breath. On this edge Eights are so out of touch with their feelings, except for anger, and so wrapped in denial and so afraid. When a threatening moment comes, along with it comes great risk of being exposed and the weak self being uncovered, the defense is to shut down, to suddenly not give a shit about the process and to deny the moment that had just loomed close and threatening.
Where did you go? It can also help them identify their most authentic intentions, often masked by the aggressive immediacy of their reactions. An Eight described the type of dialogue her therapist effectively used under these circumstances: A therapist might ask me: If you can help me express what I really mean that helps. But you seem to be ineffective right now in one area of your life. I wonder if you would be open to looking at things in a different way? Claim own authority and boundaries.
State what actually is needed and desired. Encourage Giver to express own autonomy, needs, and desires. Reduce the tendency to magnify what can go wrong. Type 2, the Giver, and Type 7, the Epicure Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Both types enjoy the strengths they share in common — especially flexibility, friendliness and the love of freedom and the good life. However, Givers can find Epicures overly self-referencing and self-serving, hence not paying enough attention to the relationship or sufficiently reciprocating in give and take.
Givers can then feel neglected and unappreciated and become emotional, demanding, and guilt provoking. Epicures, on the other hand, can find Givers overly focused on others, intrusive, and too needy of attention. A cycle of ever-increasing conflict can occur as the Epicure, feeling smothered and limited, can respond with escapism and rationalization and the Giver with angry outbursts and emotionality, possibly resulting in alienation and deterioration and even destruction of the relationship.
Disowned needs and desires, preoccupation with relationship and connection, and tendency to become inadvertently emotionally controlling. The many interests and ideas, healthy self-interest, idealism, flexibility, and the shared optimism and quest for happiness Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship.
Develop autonomy the separate or independent self. Work on providing the Epicure with space while maintaining connection. Express own deeper feelings, needs, and desires. Allow for slowing pace and increasing receptive force. Avoidance of painful feelings, difficulty accepting naturally occurring limits, tendency to avoid emotional commitment, and self-referencing to own interests and ideas.
Giving and caring nature, strong relationship focus, generosity, and the shared optimism and quest for happiness Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship.
Commit to the relationship while asserting boundaries. Allow in feelings and concerns. In turn, the Protector often resists the influence and may react to feeling contained or manipulated with more confrontation and anger. Feeling rejected and devalued, the Giver may withdraw or burst out in anger and emotion. This all can result in a deep rift in the relationship and repeated cycles of uncontained reactivity leading to destruction of the relationship.
Failure to focus on and express own needs, habit of altering to please, desire for attention and approval, intrusiveness, and potentially inadvertent emotionally manipulative behavior designed to soften and modify Protectors. What to Appreciate in Protectors.
Power and strength, assertiveness, encouragement and support of desires, zest for life, directness, and protectiveness. Practice holding ground, expressing self directly, and claiming own needs.
Work at accepting, not changing, the Protector. Develop the separate or independent self. Become aware of and moderate intrusiveness and emotionality that the Protector experiences as controlling. Genuine care, helpfulness and willingness to give, sensitivity regarding feelings and relationships, and positive active energy.
Develop sensitivity to feelings and allow in own vulnerabilities. Manage energy expression and boundaries. Type 2, the Giver, and Type 9, the Mediator Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Givers and Mediators get along well together because they both are sensitive, pleasing, helpful, and accommodating.
But conflict arises when Givers become overly helpful and intrusive in an effort to get Mediators to set priorities, take initiatives, and say what they need even though Givers have great difficulty themselves with experiencing what they need. When this pattern persists, the relationship can deteriorate and even dissolve. Steadiness, patience, genuine care, acceptance of life, empathy, and the tendency to counter active energy with a slower pace and relaxed attitude.
Notice and moderate emotions, pace, amount of advice. Develop and express own separate and independent self. Work at personal priorities and needs and encourage the Mediator to do likewise. Genuine care, helpfulness, empathy, sensitivity regarding feelings, liveliness, and positive active energy. Work on own priorities, personal boundaries, and needs and encourage the Giver to do likewise.
Take responsibility for own part in conflict. Be willing to confront intrusion and over giving. They can live parallel yet supportive lives with each taking on the tasks necessary to function and attain goals. They may even become competitive, experience one another as obstacles in the path of attainment and success, and feel insufficiently recognized.
A cycle of ever-increasing conflict can result when this occurs. Then each can get frustrated, impatient, angry, and distance himself or herself from each other, leading to alienation and distant co-existence or dissolution of the relationship. Inattention to feelings and relationship issues, excessive focus on work and accomplishments, desire for too much recognition, and difficulty slowing pace. What to Appreciate in Other Performers.
Notice pace and moderate pace and allow in the receptive force. Encourage expression of feelings in each other associated with the development of the receptive force. Create time for non-work related activities and simply the relationship.
Recognize that love comes from being, not doing. Performers wanting approval try harder, yet often still disappoint the Romantic who pursues the ideal relationship. This pattern can result in a sustained gulf between them and even lead to dissolution of the relationship.
Idealism, deep feelings, sensitivity to others, creative disposition, and quest for authenticity and depth. Allow self to experience depth of true feelings and more receptive force. Pay attention to and support the relationship. Attention going to what is missing rather than what is present, imbalance regarding feeling versus doing preoccupation with feelings and sometimes inattention to doingdesire for more attention and special treatment, and tendency to become self-centered.
Support for action, sustained effort, optimism, practicality, goal focus, and competence. Stay active and present even when feeling deficient.
Balance the human feeling side of endeavors with action. Acknowledge own sense of wanting more attention and depth. Type 3, the Performer, and Type 5, the Observer Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Performers and Observers support each other in work projects and shared activities.
As neither type habitually attends to feelings, they are unlikely to resolve the situation through dialogue and expression of personal feelings.
They may become alienated and lonely leading eventually to termination the relationship. Pressure to move ahead, focus mainly on tasks and goals, impatience with analysis, shared difficulty in expressing personal feelings, and tendency to cut corners. Thoughtful analysis, thinking before doing, dispassion and relative calm under pressure, and undemanding quality. Allow for periods of inactivity and reflection while encouraging the Observer to stay engaged.
Can the Enneagram Help Me Find My Perfect Match?Wendy Appel
Work on shared difficulty in paying attention to feelings. Respect boundaries and different work styles. Notice and moderate the fast go ahead energy and pace.
Can-do attitude, accomplishment orientation, competence, engagement in life tasks, showing care through doing and facilitating goals, and enthusiasm.
Can The Enneagram Help Me Find My Perfect Match?
Practice staying engaged and connected. Encourage Performer to moderate pace and activity level. Work on shared difficulty paying attention to feelings. Declare when alone time is needed.
Type 3, the Performer, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts When sharing a common purpose or goal, Performers and Loyal Skeptics can complement each other well with an action orientation balanced by thoughtful downside analysis.
When Performers push ahead, somewhat blind to potential hazards and what can go wrong, Loyal Skeptics can react with caution and contrary thinking about pitfalls and worst case scenarios. A cycle of escalating conflict can take place with the Performer seeing this as putting up obstacles to progress and success, which evokes impatience and a push forward into action.
The Loyal Skeptic then can feel unheard and discounted, which increases his or her doubt and mistrust. This can spiral into a web of angry allegations and eventually estrangement. Loyalty, warmth, healthy skepticism and questioning, ability to see the bigger picture, and sensitivity. Develop respect for pitfalls and downside of endeavors. Practice expressing own true feelings. Notice and moderate fast pace and allow in receptive force.
Optimism, caring through doing, sustained focus on goals, positive go-ahead energy, and support for achievements. Practice trusting in plausible positive actions. Be clear about own position and feelings. Pay attention to and express positives. Reduce tendency to either defer or challenge. Since both types avoid painful feelings and negatives, difficulties can reach crisis proportions before they are faced.
This cycle of blame creates pain and anger in both. If the difficulties are not faced, alienation can take place and the relationship can dissolve. Shared optimism and go-getter energy, mental quickness and inventiveness, positive possibility orientation, flexibility, and the playful adventuresome spirit. Allow in painful feelings and seeming negatives and encouraging the Epicure to do likewise. Practice slowing the fast pace and allow in receptive force.
Develop patience by noticing the tendency toward impatience and releasing from it. Positive active energy, accomplishment and solution orientation, disciplined goal focus, practicality, and caring through doing.
Allow in painful feelings and seeming negatives, encourage the Performer to do likewise. Come more into the present moment and away from future planning. Type 3, the Performer, and Type 8, the Protector Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Performers and Protectors can join together in pursuit of shared goals with vigor and determination.
However, control and competition struggles can emerge unbuffered by softer feelings. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue with the Protector picking up on the changes of position on the part of the shape-shifting Performer, leading to more provocation of the all-or-nothing style of confrontation. Hurtful fights, withdrawal, and disruption of the relationship may ensue leading to termination the relationship. Strait-forwardness, big life energy, support for goals, action orientation, courage of convictions, and strength of purpose.
Welcome negative feedback and challenge. Pay attention to own true feelings. Encourage the Protector to express his or her softer more vulnerable side. Go-ahead energy, goal-directedness, achievement orientation, flexibility, enthusiasm, and caring through doing.
Recognize Performer for positive contributions and encourage the expression of true feelings. Allow in own softer feelings and receptive force. In turn, Performers help to mobilize Mediators into action. Getting frustrated and impatient, the Performer may pressure the Mediator to make decisions. Feeling discounted and controlled, the Mediator can become anxious, stubborn and resistive. This then may escalate into angry exchanges and debilitating, prolonged stand-offs that threaten or may even dissolve the relationship.
Preoccupation with success and recognition, fast pace, inattention to feelings, self-focus, and desire to maintain a good image. Steadiness, ability to defer, adaptability, empathy, genuine support and caring, and ability to set slower pace and provide a counterbalance to active energy. Notice and express own true feelings.
Practice receptivity — really listening. Ability to focus on goals and solutions both for self and other, joy in doing, can-do attitude, sense of hope, and competence. Insist on being heard.Making It Work With Enneagram Type 6
Encourage Performer to moderate pace and listen. Concentrate on what is wanted and important, not on what is not wanted and inessential.