We view the world through our schemas, which are important beliefs about the world and ourselves. Schemas are stable and enduring patterns of thinking that develop during childhood and are elaborated throughout our life. Since we accept these schemas without question, they become self-perpetuating and very resistant to change. To the extent that our schemas represent reality fairly well, they are useful and serve us well. If our schemas distort reality, they end up being selfdefeating.

Schemas exert their influence on our behavior and strive to ensure their own survival by means of three processes; schema maintenance, schema avoidance, and schema compensation. In this workshop we’ll consider how these processes operate in the nine Enneagram styles.

We’ll see how our schemas maintain themselves by exaggerating information that confirms their world view and minimizing facts that contradict it. We’ll discover how we cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally avoid triggering our maladaptive schemas in order to escape the negative emotions they stir up. And we’ll investigate how we compensate for these schemas by doing the opposite of what they suggest so we can evade triggering the pain they cause. We’ll also explore which adaptive or useful schemas might replace our maladaptive ones.

This workshop will involve some input, personal reflection, small group sharing, and large group feedback.

Jerry Wagner


2005 IEA Global Conference

San Francisco, California, USA

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