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Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery Paperback – October 29, 1996

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Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery + The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine  Personality Types
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Rev Sub edition (October 29, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395798671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395798676
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Richard Riso, M.A. is the foremost writer and developer of the Enneagram in the world today. The most-published and best-selling author in the field, he is an internatioinally recognized authority on the subject. He is the president of Enneagram Personality Types, Inc., and founder of The Enneagram Institute. He has been teaching the Enneagram for more than twenty years, pioneering a revolutionary new approach to ego psychology through his 1977 discovery of the Levels of Development. His four best-selling books are available in British, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and French editions. Mr. Riso was a Jesuit for thirteen years, holds degrees in English and philosophy, was elected to the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow at Stanford University in communications (social psychology).

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Customer Reviews

This book helped me understand myself and others so much.
If you have the patience and courage to journey through the self-discovery process, you will not be disappointed.
Good book to help you understand your personality type using the Enneagram system.
A. Wich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Ilana Teitelbaum on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
The main purpose of this book is to type yourself in order that you should know how to become a fully integrated individual. Understanding of the self is one step to self-discovery, but the next step, as the book illustrates, is to move toward one's 'point of integration', to attain one's full potential. To that end 'Character Types' has been heaven-sent for me. It becomes painfully clear that left to ourselves, we attempt to improve in the way which is exactly the opposite of what we really need. As a Four, I was constantly introspecting and obsessing, certain that if I did so long enough I would understand everything. Not until I read this book did I understand that the only way to improve would be to fight my natural tendencies, to become more open to experiencing and to take things easier. This insight, though it sounds small, leaves me indebted to Don Riso for writing a book which was as effective as any 12-step program, and which will be applicable for the rest of my life in setting goals to strive towards.
On the other hand, this book should come with some disclaimers. The first is that this book should not be used in rigidly 'typing' other individuals besides yourself. The fact is, no one can ever presume to know what goes on inside another human being, and that natural barrier should be respected. Even if someone exhibits all the signs of a certain type, they should still be respected as the complex people they are, instead of being consigned to a filing cabinet. For people to start saying, "Oh, he's such a typical Five, always reading" is ridiculous, even degrading.
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Out of the dozen or so books I've read about the enneagram, this one is the best. Riso divides each of the 9 personality types into 9 levels, giving us 81 different readings. The readings are in depth and on target. The levels bleed into each other, so you may find that you identify with levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 of your type, for example. Riso also does an excellent job of describing the two wings to every personality type, so if you know your type you will probably be able to recognize your wing easily. I'm sure there are other possible systems of differentiating people from each other by type, besides this and Myers-Briggs, that haven't yet been discovered, but Riso's enneagram should be more widely known than it is. Educated people should know their type. Some people make the argument that individuals are all unique, that there are no types, but this attitude basically tells us not to try to understand human nature because it's too complicated. This excellent book gives us a good system to understand people.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By J.M. Leonard on February 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought the first edition of this book back in '88 and thought it was a masterpiece. The expanded edition is even better. Simply put, I have not come across a personality discription book that comes anywhere this close to accuracy and honesty. It can be difficult to read. If you give "Personailty Types" a fair chance, it will anger, depress or even horrify you. You will feel like the authors are ilicitly peaking into your soul. With truth can come serious pain. On the other side, no other book I've read also shows you the best qualities each personality holds better than this. "Personality Types" gives INDIRECT adivise on how to improve. It's not a follow-this-formula-that's-supposed-to-fit-all mentality. It's paradoxally simple and complex, easy to read and challangeing. I can't say I know if I actually believe in the Enneagram itself, or simply Riso and Hudson's interpertation of the Enneagram, all I know is I have had some version of this book for tweleve plus years( Over a third of my lifespan ) because I can see the people in my life and the corrolations to the descriptions in the book. Forget Myers-Briggs. astrology and the like...THIS is a masterpiece. Buy it and give it a chance, I can't recommend it more highly. But be warned. As I said, If one wants to grow, there are growing pains.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Nicolas W. Dubin on December 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
First of all, let me say that I don't think you will come across a more accurate and useful personality typology system than the Enneagram. It offers the reader much more as far as self-awareness and possibilities for personal growth than the Myers Briggs. In other words, it's a much more complete system. Why? Because not only do you get a description of your personality type, but you can understand how two people of the same type can be so incredibly different. Levels of development, wings and direction of integration and disintegration create a vast array of levels of functioning among members of the same type. If you don't know what those terms mean, I trust the other reviewers have covered them, or you just might want to read the book. It's not difficult to understand at all.

I do have a small complaint: I felt that the authors made some generalizations without qualifying their information. For example, I clearly identified myself as a type 4 with a 5 wing. However, according to Riso and Hudson, part of the reason I am a four is because I was not nurtured by my parents. Not true at all. I have a very loving relationship with my parents. I felt abused by peers at school and certain teachers but never my parents. Riso and Hudson don't say "sometimes, 4's will have tenuous relationships with their parents"; they said something like "4's felt like their parents were not there for them and consequently, they had to construct and search for their identity". I would be surprised if every single 4 on the face of the earth had a bad relationship with his or her parents so I think it's slightly irresponsible to make such a blatant generalization without having research to back it up. Moreover, I found many generalizations like this throughout the book that didn't even pertain to my type.
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