Research Results

The Enneagram and Ego Development
Findings published in peer-reviewed journal  – letter from Terry Saracino of Enneagram Worldwide
I am thrilled to announce new research on the Enneagram and ego development, just published in the Journal of Adult Development (January 2018) following a blind peer review process.

The article, Advancing Ego Development in Adulthood through Study of the Enneagram System of Personalitywas co-authored by David Daniels, MD, Terry Saracino, MA, MBA, Meghan Fraley, PhD, Jennifer Christian, PsyD and Seth Pardo, PhD. The bottom line from the study’s abstract: “The findings suggest that Enneagram Intensive trainings may be beneficial for promoting psychological growth and ego development.” 

So you might ask – this is news? For those of us who work with this powerful system, it’s a given. But in order to help the Enneagram be more accepted in the world of mainstream psychology, we need data. As far as we know, this is the first study to examine the efficacy of the Enneagram to promote growth. It’s a step in the right direction – and we need more.
The impetus for this project began in 2004 at an Enneagram Intensive training in Asheville, NC, when a student spoke to David and me and essentially said, “I’m watching people change right in front of my eyes. This work helps people move up levels of ego development. We need a study.” So off we went with David’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude, our student knowledge of a model we could use, and my steadfast commitment to and passion for the Enneagram.  
We had no idea what we were getting into in terms of what is required to produce a research paper for a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. Over the years, we found excellent resources, notably the other authors of the manuscript, each of whom added significantly to the end result. I couldn’t be happier that we all persevered. My only regret is that David is not here to be part of this celebration. The paper was submitted to the Journal a few weeks before he died in May 2017, so I’m grateful that he knew we had gotten to that point. 
This paper is available for free online. The link is below. Please feel free to share it widely and extensively. It’s another way we can fulfill David’s mission of bringing the Enneagram to the world. And maybe this article helped that world become a little bit larger!

–  Terry SaracinoCore Faculty member and founding president of Enneagram Studies in the Narrative Tradition (now The Narrative Enneagram)