What is the Enneagram and how is it helpful?

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The Enneagram is a guide/framework to help you reflect upon yourself in a beautiful protected way. 

The Enneagram describes 9 basic world views and each type has its own way of behaving, thinking and feeling. The beauty of the Enneagram is that it doesn’t box/ label you, but allows you to be you. It is a pathway to more self awareness, self discovery and self development.

You will get more insight in your qualities, strengths, motives, gifts, struggles, challenges, blind spots, growth points, fears and defence mechanisms. The Enneagram will lead to self growth, more acceptance and a way to get in contact with and to become more aware of your inner self on a deeper level.

We all resonate with a type of the Enneagram (9 core-types) and a sub-type (27 sub-types, 3 sub-types in every core-type). Below a brief summary of the names of the core-types with their motivation and core fears.

  1. Strict perfectionist.
    Motivation: Have to do the right/good thing
    Core fear: being criticized
  2. Considerate helper
    Motivation: have to be liked and appreciated
    Core fear: being unloved
  3. Competitive achiever
    Motivation: have to outshine the rest
    Core fear: being worthless
  4. Intense creative
    Motivation: have to be unique
    Core fear: being ordinary
  5. Quiet specialist
    Motivation: have to understand
    Core fear: being foolish
  6. Loyal sceptic
    Motivation: have to be safe and belong
    Core fear: being unprepared
  7. Enthusiastic visionary
    Motivation: have to experience it all
    Core fear: being limited
  8. Active conctroller
    Motivation: have to be in control, be strong
    Core fear: being vulnerable
  9. Adaptive peacemaker
    Motivation: have to keep the balance
    Core fear: being in conflict

Be aware you are more than your core type! The description above is just a little bit of information but to find out more I would recommend doing an Enneagram typing test with an accredited professional. At SACAC Counselling I do guide people through the Enneagram journey. More information is available on request.

The Enneagram is a lifelong journey which will help you live a more integrated and fulfilling life.

Written by:
Flo Westendorp
Registered Clinical Psychologist

SACAC Counselling


Afraid of yourself, afraid of others … Fears can be so useful and yet so useless.FearLife is not easy.

Even those who give the impression that everything smiles on them, who fly from success to success… even them are going through difficult times. Do not be fooled by appearances!

Fear of not pleasing, afraid that ‘the wind is turning’, fear of death, fear of being rejected, fear of the couple relationship – or loneliness – fear of being different until the ultimate fear, … so many fears!

Fear is eternal. No reason to be afraid.

Through the ages, the causes of fear have changed a number of times. What scared our ancestors in the Middle Ages has little to do with our fears today. Since fear is not a fixed emotion and what causes fear is not dictated by an eternal law, why are we not capable to overcome it? Because fear is rooted in us, more precisely in our reptilian brain, since the dawn of time; because fear is what allowed the human species to survive, to develop and finally to conquer the world. Fear is therefore essential to our survival. But then why can we be diminished or totally paralyzed by fear? Does not fear make us weaker, more fragile, more unfit to face the challenges of life? That is true. But as the philosopher Nietzsche said, ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger’. We must learn to overcome our fears, to use them as a spur to push us to forward. On the contrary, let us look at the fears of today in the face to discover that they are only the foam of our civilization at a time, therefore transient, and thus can be dissipated like a ghost of smoke. Nevertheless we must accept that some fears are very deeply rooted in us and that getting rid of it alone is often not easy. It is in this type of situation that one should not hesitate to ask the help of a therapist.


Written by:                                                                                    Saveria Cristofari
Counsellor & Psychotherapist                                                    SACAC Counselling


Self -Care – “A problem shared is a problem halved”

The minute we decide to talk to someone about a problem, we are already doing something about it.  We are beginning to take positive control over whatever it is that is troubling us.  This is extremely beneficial and often paves the way for the beginning of the ending of the problem in its current state.

Once we start to talk about the problem its power somehow shrinks. Even hearing ourselves speaking about it can provide new and useful insights which help to reduce the negative impact of the problem.

However,  it can be a very difficult first step for many of us to reach out for support with our problems, particularly if we’ve been used to thinking that we must always be in control of things on our own. In fact, it can be considered an act of great courage to reach out for support when we have a problem, particularly when it`s not something we’re not familiar with doing.

Family and friends are often the first people we confide in when we have a problem and they can often provide us with invaluable support.  However, sometimes this is not possible, for a variety of reasons.  We really do not need to feel alone when this is the case,  as professionally trained therapists have a lot to offer in terms of problem-solving skills. In addition, there are often many positive community-based mental health initiatives.

It has to be acknowledged that previously there was a stigma associated with support-seeking. Thankfully it appears that this is changing rapidly all over the world and has already completely changed in many places whereby it is now viewed as part of positive self-care and responsibility-taking,  instead of something to be feared.

Sometimes a new perspective is all it takes to solve a problem. Qualified therapists are trained non-judgmental listeners and their skills equip them to view problems from a variety of perspectives, which may not have previously been considered.  They are trained to understand the human condition very well.

Therapists’ insight, aided by their personal distance from the problem can provide novel solutions to tackle even what appear to be the most entrenched issues.  Talking through issues and problems with a therapist usually provides us with a sense of relief and enlightenment and definitely can form part of positive self-care to move forward in our lives feeling less troubled.

Written by
Dr. Anita Corfe
CPsychol., DCPsych., BSc.(Hons)
Reg. Psychol. PsSI., AFBPSs., EAP.
Counselling Psychologist & Integrative Psychotherapist


Finding the Best Fit Therapist



Making the choice to engage in therapy can feel daunting and scary. Sometimes this decision is made because a personal crisis has occurred, other times it occurs because there have been niggling patterns of behavior, moods or coping strategies that have been problematic for some time.  Regardless of the reason, finding a therapist that best suits your needs can result in a therapeutic relationship that is at once, supportive, challenging and rewarding.  Giving yourself permission to seek support and spend time working on your emotional health is a gift that hopefully you will reap the benefits of for many years, therefore it is important that to consider a few things that may enhance this process.

As a therapist it is a privilege to be trusted with the intimate thoughts and feelings of clients, and this trust must be treated with utmost respect and care.  Some research has shown that the therapeutic relationship alone is the biggest indicator of successful outcomes in therapy so making the right choice can be hugely beneficial. Below are some things that you may like to consider. Only some of these suggestions may be important to you and they are designed for the individual to contemplate, not as rules.

  1. Socio-cultural factors – Each person will have a different idea about what they want from a therapist.  You may want to contemplate if it is important for you to have someone of a similar cultural background who understands the nuances associated with it, sometimes this alignment can be a comfort.  Other factors such as age or gender may also be salient to you, i.e. would you be more comfortable talking with an age group peer or would prefer someone of an older generation, is it critical for you to have a therapist of the same gender?
  2. Training and Therapy Offered – Most psychologists and counsellors will at least have a postgraduate qualification, in addition to this you may want to look at the types of therapies they have trained in and their previous work history.  For example some therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Mindfulness are excellent for assisting with present day functioning and problems.  Other therapies such as Schema Therapy, Family Systems Therapy and Psychotherapy are beneficial in assisting clients with pattern behaviours and concerns that have their origins in childhood.  You may also be after specialist counselling in grief, addiction, trauma or relationships. You should be able to find out most of this information from a therapist’s bio or when phoning to book an appointment.  Please note that all therapists are trained to provide supportive, non-directive therapy regardless of the presenting issue.  
  3. Availability – regard the therapist’s availability, do you require someone who has appointments after hours or are you flexible? Attending appointments at a time when you don’t have to rush off to work or straight to the children can allow you some quiet time for contemplation following the session. Consistent appointment availability weekly or biweekly should also be factored in.
  4. What to expect – regardless of whom you choose as your therapist, a good therapy session provides the opportunity for you to express your emotions, problems and concerns in a non-threatening way and for these to be heard and attended to in a non-judgemental, confidential space. Therapy provides the opportunity to be supported and feel validated and be assisted in processing and moving forward in a way that makes sense to you.  Sometimes this can initially feel draining and emotionally painful but throughout the process hopefully it will also feel empowering and strengthening.  You also have the right to switch therapists if the first one you try does not feel like a good fit for you.  We are all human and what one person connects to in another is not necessarily the same as the next person.  

There is no set formula or absolute linear pathway through therapy but committing to the process of attending to your emotional health can have wonderful repercussions for self-awareness, interpersonal relationships, your resilience and emotional stability.  Having sat in both chairs as a therapist and a client and I can say that if you are contemplating seeking support it is unlikely that you will be sorry about taking the leap.  Making that first appointment can be the most difficult part.  Hopefully the above suggestions may make the process easier and you have a positive therapeutic experience.

Written by:                                                                                                              Dr Rachel Upperton                                                                                      Registered Psychologist                                                                              SACAC Counselling