The Enneagram Institute® Training Program


The five workshops described in this section constitute the official list of courses that are recognized toward certification with The Enneagram Institute®. 

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Training Program Overview:
The Riso-Hudson Insight Approach℠

The Enneagram Institute® offers the most comprehensive Enneagram Training Program available anywhere in the world today. The Riso-Hudson Insight Approach is a full spectrum exploration of the Enneagram and all of its elements, psychological and spiritual. The program offers a tremendous range and depth, and the content and precision of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Training Program have earned a global reputation. People from all over the world have also found the Trainings profound, deeply touching, intimate, and personally transformative.

The Insight Approach guides students to focus on the inner structures of the types as well as the internal dynamics of the Enneagram as a whole. Because the Insight Approach gives people a clear understanding of this incredibly rich system, Riso-Hudson students are able to make creative applications in their areas of personal interest and professional expertise. Even more importantly, this approach has been revolutionary in fostering personal growth. Deep psycho-spiritual insight—with compassion—allows people to be aware of themselves in a way that makes self-acceptance, letting go, and lasting change possible.

An enormous wealth of Enneagram theory and practice are brought together in a rich and varied program designed to facilitate learning on a variety of levels simultaneously. The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Training Program provides students with specific, in-depth information in an extremely comprehensive study of the entire Enneagram system. We cover clearly and in depth the following areas: the nine personality types, wing theory, the arrows, the Levels of Development (one of our main contributions to Enneagram theory), the Psychic Structures (visual models of the types—another Riso-Hudson development), the Instinctual Variants (often called the “subtypes”), the three Centers, the basic elements of the traditional Enneagram (the Passions, Virtues, Fixations, and Holy Ideas), the history of the system (and correct the myths that have grown up around it), how the Enneagram can be used for personal and spiritual growth and professional applications, short type panels, experiential exercises, meditations, and music. This multi-modal learning mix is presented in a warm, accepting atmosphere of non-judgmental allowing.

The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Training Program is open to anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of themselves and the many manifestations of human nature accounted for by the Enneagram. The Training Program can be used for personal growth and spiritual deepening, for professional enrichment (in business, consulting, and coaching, for example), or to enhance your work as a therapist, minister, or teacher—among the many applications people have made. The only requirement is a desire to learn and to grow—and to have a familiarity with at least one of the pioneering books by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, preferably Personality Types—Revised edition (1996) or The Wisdom of the Enneagram (1999).


Training Program Components:

Part I Training: The Anatomy of Personality

Part I is an in-depth presentation of the Enneagram as a psycho-spiritual system. The Part I features complete descriptions of the types as well as specifics for identifying them. The Training combines grounded, intellectual understanding with a variety of experiential approaches that give participants a clear feel for the inner world of each type. Further, we employ the comprehensive framework of the Levels of Development to add depth and richness to our discussions. The Levels are essential because they account for differences between individuals of the same type, discriminate between similar types, and help clarify the many irregularities and subtleties of each type—thus making wide-ranging practical applications and personal growth possible.

For each personality type, topics include:

  • The Riso-Hudson Levels of Development
  • The Inner Dynamics:
    • Paths of Integration, Disintegration/ Stress, Security, and the 'Missing Piece'
  •  Early Childhood Development and Object Relations Patterns
  • The Essential Qualities
  • The Passions & Fixations
  • Interactive Type Panels
  • Experiential Exercises
  • Art, Poetry, Movement and Music to illuminate the types

Part II Training: The Enneagram Growth Experience

Part II is primarily experiential, and focuses on personal growth and transformation using the diverse theoretical perspectives, centering practices, and other resources learned in Part I—as well as resources available only at the Enneagram Growth Experience (EGE). Part I Training is required before you may attend Part II.

As students of the Enneagram, beyond mastering a body of knowledge, we must be willing to "walk the talk" in our personal lives by being committed to the process of transformation. The EGE has therefore been designed to give participants a safe and accepting arena in which to identify and release long-held self-defeating attitudes and habits.

The purpose of the EGE is to provide the tools and environment for us to "observe and let go" of our old personality patterns so that we can become healthier and more free of our old limitations. This is done by examining how all of the types operate in each of us, seeing them within ourselves and how they affect our lives, work, and relationships. Above all, the EGE gives participants the opportunity to directly experience their own Essence in its many facets through physical movement, breath and bodywork, large and small group discussions, artwork, interactive exercises, and what might best be called "spiritual conversation" inspired by our various traditions.

Part III Training: Advanced Explorations

In Part III (Advanced Explorations), we build on the insights we have gathered in Parts I and II to deepen our understanding of the Enneagram. We also develop ways to make practical applications of the Enneagram in our personal and professional lives. Part I Training is required before you can attend Part III; however, Parts II and III may be taken in any order.

Part III provides new information and exposes participants to cutting-edge material that is not available anywhere else. Part III is also highly interactive, drawing on the rich experience and knowledge of the participants in a wide variety of discussions, exercises, and panels.

The focus of Part III is to assist students in refining the skills they need to bring the Enneagram into their work and personal lives. Discussions, presentations, and experiential work enhance the student's ability to make practical applications of the Enneagram and include advanced topics that have implications for personal growth, therapy, and business such as:

  • Identifying Type on Video, including non-verbal language of the types
  • The Imbalance of the Centers
  • The Virtues (and the Holy Ideas)
  • An indepth presentation of all 27 Instinctual Variants (aka Enneagram "subtypes")
  • The Enneagram and Countertransference
  • The Interrelationship of Personality and Essence—how the specific Passion, Fixation, Virtue, and Holy Idea both generate each of the nine types, as well as become the pathways for Inner Work
  • Q&A—ample opportunities for wide-ranging Q&A

The Inner Critic (Psychic Structures) Workshop

Please Note: Only Inner Critic Workshops that are produced by The Enneagram Institute® are authorized by and approved toward certification with The Enneagram Institute®.

As of 2002, this Workshop is a required component of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Training Program. This Workshop employs visual models, discussion, music, and deep experiential work to introduce the Psychic Structures of the nine Enneagram types. The Psychic Structures are concrete "blueprints" for the inner mechanisms of each type. They are symbolic representations of psychological processes and are especially powerful for visually oriented people and for those who wish to have a "gestalt" of each type as a whole. With these vivid and dynamic models, you will be able to see with startling clarity what is happening in each type and why.

By the end of this Workshop, you will understand each type as a coherent whole and have deeper insight into the mechanisms that drive them. It is only with this kind of clear understanding that true compassion can arise-as well as the depth of awareness that would make possible a resolution of each type's illusions and inner conflicts. Many who have learned the Psychic Structures have said that they are the most illuminating thing they have ever been taught about the Enneagram.

This Workshop is also about the role of the superego. The Psychic Structures reveal how our ego activity is driven by the superego, the "inner critic," that restricts us and keeps us reacting according to past patterns. We will explore how the superego creates each type's inner conflicts and self-defeating habits, and explore ways to counteract its deadening, limiting effects.

Experiential exercises for each type will focus on reclaiming our presence and vitality by revealing the superego's false and restrictive patterns and self-concepts. We will work with all nine types in depth since each of us has all nine types within us.

This information was formerly only available as part of the five-day residential Part I of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Professional Training Program. But because of its extraordinary usefulness to therapists, counselors, and to all serious students of the Enneagram, we wanted to make it available to everyone.

This Workshop is the fourth component of the full Riso-Hudson Training Program and is required for the Riso-Hudson Enneagram certification program. If you are planning to certify with The Enneagram Institute®, this Workshop is an opportunity to complete one of its requirements, and can be taken at any time in the Training Program sequence. This Workshop may only be taken through The Enneagram Institute® to fulfill the certification requirement.

 Master Class: Practicum on Workshop Teaching

The Master Class on Enneagram Workshop Teaching is an advanced Training designed to significantly enhance and enrich students' ability to teach the Riso-Hudson Enneagram. This intensive and intimate five-day class is open only to RH students who have completed Parts I, II, and III of the Training Program. The Inner Critic Workshop is also highly recommended, but not required for participation. As of 2014, the Master Class is a requirement of the Riso-Hudson Certification Program. Students who completed the Part I Training in 2013 or earlier are not required to take the Master Class in order to certify, although we highly recommend it.

The course is specially designed to support your development and ability to transmit the Riso-Hudson Enneagram in a mature, compassionate, and transformative way. Students who have taken the Master Class in recent years have enthusiastically endorsed it for its philosophical and theoretical richness, and its practical value for Teacher Certification and subsequent professional Enneagram teaching. You will leave the Master Class with a deeper appreciation for the process of teaching from Presence, more understanding of the Riso-Hudson Insight Approach to teaching, and an embodied experience of teaching the Enneagram yourself.

The Master Class covers practical, personal, and psycho-spiritual aspects related to taking on the responsibility of teaching the Riso-Hudson Enneagram. Some of the many topics we cover include:

  • Course Design
  • Orientation of the Teacher
  • Philosophical, Theoretical, and Spiritual Context for Teaching
  • Strengths and Challenges of Each Type as a Teacher
  • Leading Group Sittings/ Centering Meditations
  • Designing Exercises and Inquiries
  • Debriefing Participants' Sharing and Exercises
  • Setting Up and Interviewing Panels of Type Exemplars
  • Type Biases, Stereotypes and Clichés
  • Dealing with Fears and Anxieties
  • Voice issues
  • Maintaining Presence and Energy
  • Working with Students: Superego and Transference
  • Transmitting Higher Qualities and Essence of Types
  • Dealing with Difficult /Disruptive People and Situations
  • Using A/V and Media: Music, Film, Poetry, PowerPoint
  • Travel Issues, Practical Concerns, Health and Self-care
  • Personality Tests and RHETI 2.5 Construction and Interpretation
  • Planning and Marketing Your Workshops: Legal, Ethical, and Financial Issues.
  • ...and much more!