Every book published with Enneagram in its title begins with a synopsis of the author’s understanding of the origins and/or history of this theory of personality. This seminar attempts a more systematic analysis of the evolution of the ideas that constitute the Enneagram theory in the 21st century.

As co-author of the first textbook on the Enneagram theory of personality, the presenter’s understanding of the facts and figures of the development of the system was critically tested by a series of lawsuits and research to establish the truth. He will outline the progression of ideas and how their authors evolved a modern understanding of the human psyche. The genealogy includes contributions by Sufis, medieval philosophers, modern cosmologists, psychics, mystics, psychologists, psychiatrists, hucksters and charlatans.

Small and large group discussion will encourage participants to share their own understanding of the evolution of the Enneagram and develop a more comprehensive appreciation for this living organism of thought and person.

Patrick H. O’Leary, M.S., M.Div., co-authored the first Enneagram text, The Enneagram: A Journey of Self-Discovery, in 1984 (ISBN 0-87193214-8). He is an international management consultant specializing in organizational development since 1972. O’Leary teaches a continuing series of Enneagram courses at Cleveland State University. He is a Founder of IEA and served as Executive Director in 1996. O’Leary has trained and certified Enneagram teachers internationally since 1991.

O’Leary’s study of the Enneagram began in Chicago with 1971-72 graduate seminars taught by Bob Ochs, a Loyola University professor who had just returned from a year of personal study with Claudio Naranjo, M.D., in California. Naranjo told O’Leary that Ochs was one of only two persons he authorized to teach the Enneagram after the California experience.

O’Leary integrated his studies in environmental biology, physiology, psychology, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), individual counseling, spiritual direction and organizational development into his understanding of the Enneagram. He began offering various seminars on the Enneagram in 1972. The 1984 text was written to summarize further understanding of the Enneagram obtained from thousands of participants who attended those early seminars.

Patrick O’Leary


2008 IEA Global Conference

Atlanta, Georgia, USA