Beatrice Chestnut Phd is one of the most authoritative voices and thought leaders in the modern Enneagram movement, and she has been studying and working with the Enneagram for 30 years.
She teaches workshops on the enneagram internationally, focusing on using it as a tool for personal and professional transformation. Beatrice is the author of two books, the complete enneagram 27 paths to greater self-awareness and the nine types of leadership mastering the art of people in the 21st century workplace.
She served on the board of directors and has been president of the international enneagram association, and she is the co-founder of chestnut piece, enneagram academy.
The Method of Beatrice to teach the Enneagram
Interviewer: I noticed there are slight differences in the ways different enneagram teachers teach the enneagram. What can you say about your specific method of teaching the enneagram?
Beatrice Chestnut: That’s a great question because there are different books and different teachers that say slightly different things.
I think there is a kind of basic teaching around the nine types that most teachers these days teach from. However, there are differences, and so I’ll say where I feel like I come from, and my teaching is very much based on both my background first as an academic, so I was on track to become a professor at the beginning of my career.
Before I switched into psychology to become a psychotherapist and also my training as a psychotherapist, but my enneagram background comes through the narrative tradition school that was founded by Helen Palmer and David Daniels, so Helen Palmer’s first enneagram book was my first entry point to the enneagram, as was David Daniels and my personal relationship with him because his son was a friend of mine from junior high school.
So I’m very much shaped by my great experience with Helen and David, and especially their focus on things like the panel method and the idea that each person is the expert on themselves and people are the biggest experts on their own type.
And so I’m, always open to learning more about the enneagram types from people who are actually that type, because I think I’m best at talking about my type, but I’ve, of course, studied the Types for many years, and so have a lot to say I’ve, also worked with people as a psychotherapist and a coach and a business consultant.
So I’ve learned a lot through hearing people talk about their experience, so the panel method understanding the types from the testimony of people who have observed themselves and are on a path of development.
That’s been a big influence. For me – and I try to stay very humble in terms of my own – continual learning about the types that aren’t mine, also, I would say a big fundamental influence in my approach to the enneagram is a few authors that I think are the seminal authors of the enneagram movement today and that would be Gurdjieff George Gerdriff, who was… well he didn’t teach about the nine types, but his teaching is conveyed in a book called in search of the miraculous by one of his students Ouspensky and he told us a lot about the enneagram diagram itself and its connections to different wisdom, traditions in particular esoteric Christianity.
But he didn’t talk about the types, but he did talk about the centers of intelligence and he talked a lot about what it means to be on a personal growth path and to use the enneagram and the teachings behind it as a map of self-development, I would also say the biggest influences on me as an enneagram student and teacher would be Oscar Ichazzo and Claudio Naranjo.
So, as an academic, I always try to go back to the seminal authors and, in my view, Gurdjieff and Oscar Ichazzo and Claudia Naranjo in the modern era, are, in my mind, the people who’ve given us the most foundational and the most powerful description of not only the types and in Naranjo’s case the subtypes, but also several elements of the system, like the passion and the virtue and different pieces of the system that we can apply through understanding them and how they apply to ourselves to our path of development, because the enneagram is all about growth, i think just learning about your type is just the first step.
It’s the entry point into a wealth of information that we can draw on in order to transform and move from a lower state of consciousness to a higher state of consciousness. So I would say those are my main influences and where I have started, and then I’ve also developed some of my own articulations based on those sources, a lot based on my work with clients over the years. My experiences applying the enneagram, both in my own inner work and in the people I’ve worked with.
Enneagram Course Online with Beatrice Chestnut
The Enneagram, illuminating 9 primary personality types and paths to wholeness, supports you in unearthing your true essence, deepening your intuition, and embodying your unique gifts.
In these times of turmoil — clouded by the missteps of the collective shadow — we can turn to the Enneagram to help us unveil our own personal shadows…
… those parts of our personality we don’t see or may attempt to hide, which actually hold the keys to our personal and spiritual evolution.
When we welcome the parts of ourselves we habitually deny, we become better able to navigate stressful times, maintain healthy relationships, and achieve the inner peace we so strongly desire.
Enneagram teacher, psychotherapist, and author Beatrice Chestnut will provide a fascinating glimpse into the shadow sides of your Enneagram type, as well as the gifts that await when you learn how to illuminate and allow these parts of yourself to surface and accept yourself more fully.
For Illuminate the Shadow of Your Enneagram Type: Access Greater Self-Understanding, Resilience & Compassion to Better Navigate Your Life: Click Here to Register