Recently, our daughter came to us and declared that she would not have survived her high school and college years without the help of the Enneagram. As a One, she was able to recognize her tendency for self criticism as well as her drive for continual improvement. Using the Enneagram map allowed her to ease up on herself. Her most insightful comment? “I knew who I was, unlike so many of my college classmates who were trying on and discarding identities right and left.”

Throughout Deanna’s junior high and high school years, I had the privilege of interviewing and teaching a number of her friends about the Enneagram. I was constantly surprised by the depth of understanding and self reflection these young people exhibited when introduced to the Enneagram. Many of them served on Enneagram panels when I taught, illuminating type as well as (sometimes better than) the adults.

Alas, when they asked for reading material, there was no book specifically geared to teenagers. The Enneagram Made Easy was generally my first recommendation. Still, nothing is more powerful than stories related about type by your peers.

That is the strongest suit of Elizabeth Wagele’s new book: The Enneagram for Teens. Graced with the whimsical cartoons and straightforward insights of her previous books, this newest addition to the Enneagram literature abounds with stories and quotes from teens describing type in their own words. It’s a must read for any young person struggling through the stormy seas of the teen years. I’d also highly recommend it to parents and teachers for glimpses into the internal terrain of type specifically during the adolescent/young adult years. A great many misunderstandings might be avoided and we might become more compassionate mentors to those in our care.

Compassion blooms out of understanding. My husband, Dewitt, and I often wonder what it might have been like to know the Enneagram when we were teens. How much earlier might we have begun expanding our worldviews. We are gratified and humbled by what it has meant to our own children. And now, I can point to a resource that may start teens and those who love them on their own journeys of becoming.

For more information about Elizabeth Wagele, visit her at