Albert KamphuisThe first in a series.


If you look inside what do you find?

How do you know if it feels really right?

Ever wonder why that is?

Using the well known psychological phenomenon of Basic Trust as the core of our personality development and of our ego defense system during childhood, there are answers to these questions.

About 20 years ago I came across two research studies independent of each other. The studies observed newborn babies and gave them an assumed personality description. When they were in their twenties, the researchers interviewed the initial candidates and saw a good match between their personalities and the personality descriptions. When reading the personality descriptions, I saw that they related to the nine types. A lot has been researched on early childhood. There must be thousands of books, reports, articles, see for instance the work of Margaret Mahler.

Basic Trust 1This diagram shows that we are born with Basic Trust, which lowers (hides) when we grow up. As a child, we are not mirrored enough in the way we need. When looking more deeply at the needs of each Enneagram Type, this mirroring will be even more specific and differentiated. Subsequently our Basic Trust withdraws, waiting for better times. Basic Trust can be described as our essence, it cannot be corrupted. Basic Trust can be seen as our life force which we can connect to again and again. Presence is directly connected to that Basic Trust, so our Presence is almost not there anymore.”

When Basic Trust withdraws we create a survival mechanism, which becomes part of our ego, and is called our ego defense mechanisms. I see our survival mechanism as: “unconditional love that takes care of us”. As adults we may experience that we are not always as happy as we would like to be. Sometimes we do not agree with our behavior. In our life journeys, we are searching to reconnect with essence, to be Present and find our Basic Trust. I call this process the Ego-Essence Negotiations, with its specific characteristics for each type.

Ponder on this, when you are not Present, see if it is triggered by a lack of Basic Trust.
Next time more about that unconditional loving system and the negotiations.

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