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Online On-Demand Courses by Helen Palmer

Union Institute & University is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. Union Institute & University is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Section 4999.12(b) of the California Business and Professions Code - BPC.


Course #1: Enneagram: Using the Enneagram in Psychological Assessment and Practice with Helen Palmer

Course #1 presents a comprehensive overview of the Enneagram system as a complementary diagnostic tool for client support. Through a rich variety of online media, including video panels of the nine types, you will become familiar with this dynamic and practical assessment and treatment system.

Courses #1, #2, and #3 present a comprehensive overview of the Enneagram system as a complementary diagnostic tool for client support. Through a rich variety of online media, including video panels of the nine types, you will become familiar with this dynamic, practical assessment and treatment system andits useful applications. Participation Certificate upon completion.


About the Instructors ...



Course Hours: 15 hours

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the history and psychological significance of the Enneagram
  • Describe the nine Enneagram personality types.
  • Compare the nine personality types to categories in the DSM-V.
  • Utilize the Enneagram system to assess clinical issues.
  • Use the nine personality types described by the Enneagram system with clients • Assess clinical issues as they relate to the nine personality types.
  • Be able to develop treatment plans to address a range of clinical issues. • Identify the nine personality types specific to habitual focus of attention, coping strategies, and behavioral markers.
  • Be able to identify specific methods to introduce the personality types in adult and couples counseling.
  • Explain the importance and key role of “attention” in type defenses.
  • Plan ways to assist clients in developing client-based self-observation and attention practices that they can do on their own.
  • Develop skills to recognize their own type bias. • Apply the Enneagram system to understand their personal therapeutic style.
  • Explain the spiritual significance of the Enneagram.

Peer-Review References:
Daniels, David, Saracino, T., Fraley, M., (January 2018). “Advancing Ego Development in Adulthood through the Study of the Enneagram System of Personality.”  Journal of Applied Development, 25, pp. 229-241. 
Kam, Christopher (May 2018).  “Integrating Divine Attachment Theory and the Enneagram to Help Clients of Abuse Heal in Their Images of Self, Others, and God. God.” Pastoral Psychology, pp.67:341-356. https//
Matise, Miles (November 2018). “The Enneagram: An Enhancement to Family Therapy” (2018).  Contemporary Family Therapy, An International Journal (2018) pp. 1-10.
Perryman, Kristie and Popejoy, Erin (Spring/Fall 2018).  “Using the Enneagram to Facilitate the Supervision Relationship: A Qualitative Study”. Journal of Counseling Research and Practice, Vol.3, No. 1, pp. 16-30.  
Rasta, MahMonir, Hosseinian, Simin, and Ghodsi (2012).  “A Survey on the Effectiveness of the Nine Type Personality Training (Enneagram) on the Mental Health (Anxiety and Self-Esteem) of School Girls.”  Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research (2012), pp. 111845-111848.

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Course #2 | Enneagram: An Introduction to the Enneagram with Helen Palmer

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the nine personality types and subtypes that comprise the Enneagram system;
  2. Describe the childhood coping strategy that gives rise to each type;
  3. Describe the structure and mechanics of each type’s unconscious and recurring cognitive-emotional habit;    
  4. Describe the behavioral manifestation of each type within the three subtype categories of self-preservation, one-to-one, and social interaction.

Course Description:

This two hour, forty minute online course introduces the nine personality profiles that comprise the Enneagram system. Featuring interviews with Helen Palmer, MA, international author and the world’s leading expert on the subject, the curriculum introduces the nine personality types and their respective subtype expressions. Helen describes each profile as a cognitive-emotional habit that is recurring, compulsive, and unconscious. Her discussion includes further instruction on how each of the nine types manifests in the three spheres we all live in: individual (“self-preservation”), with the other (“one-on-one”), and with a group (“social”). The result of this introductory presentation of the Enneagram system is a validation of its ongoing contribution to growing self-awareness, improved relationships, and an increase in well-being for those who apply its wisdom in and outside the therapeutic alliance.three

Peer-Review References:

Daniels, David, Saracino T., Fraley M, (January 2018). “Advancing Ego Development in Adulthood through Study of the Enneagram System of Personality.”  Journal of Applied Development (January 2018) 25: 229-41.

Matise, Miles (November 2018). “The Enneagram: An Enhancement to Family Therapy.  Contemporary Family Therapy, an International  Journal (2018) pp 1-10.

Rasta, MahMonir, Hosseinian, Simin, and Ghodsi (2012).  “A Survey on the Effectiveness of the Nine Type Personality Training (Enneagram) on the Mental Health (Anxiety and Self-esteem) of School Girls.” .Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research (2012) pp. 111845-111848.

Tapp, Karen and Engebretson, Ken (2010).  “Using the Enneagram for Client Insight and Transformation: A Type Eight Illustration.”  Journal of Creativity in Mental Health (2010) pp. 65-72. doi:10.1080/15401381003627277.

REGISTER TODAY for Course #1 >>

Course #3 | Enneagram: The Therapist's Panel with Helen Palmer

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify the therapist/clinician’s own type bias and its influence on the therapeutic alliance;
  2. Describe how to effectively enroll clients in their own therapeutic process whether individuals, couples, and/or families using the Enneagram system. .

Course Description:

This one and a half hour course features interviews by Helen Palmer with nine practicing therapists. Each panelist represents one of the nine types in the Enneagram system. Insightful, well-spoken, and self-disclosing, each type exemplar describes in detail how they use the Enneagram in their practice and in their personal and professional development. A common disclosure is how incorporating the Enneagram into one’s practice not only complements the more traditional approaches to therapy, but allows the client to be seen as they are to themselves. At the same time, and as critical, the type bias of the therapist is explored including its influence on the therapeutic alliance. The combined impact of these nine interviews makes a persuasive case for learning and applying the wisdom of the Enneagram system for personal and professional development.

Peer-Review References:

Choucroun, Pierre, PhD. (2012). “An Exploratory Study of the Enneagram Typology in Couple Counseling: A Qualitative Analysis.”  Dissertation presented to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Education and Human Development, Department of Counseling, December, 2012.
Matise, Miles (2018).  “The Enneagram: An Enhancement to Family Therapy.”  Contemporary Family Therapy, An International Journal (2018) pp 1-10.

Alexander, Morgan and Schnipke, Brent, M.D. (2020). “The Enneagram: A Primer for Psychiatry Residents.”  American Journal of Psychiatry Resident’s Journal (2020) pp. 1-9. 2020. 150301.

Perryman, Kristi and Popejoy, Erin (2018). “Using the Enneagram to Facilitate the Supervision Relationship: A Qualitative Study” (2018).  Journal of Research Counseling Practice (2018) pp. 16-30.

Tapp, Karen and Engebretson, Ken (2018).  “Using the Enneagram for Client Insight and Transformation: A Type Eight Illustration.”  Journal of Creativity in Mental Health (2010) pp. 65-72.  doi:10.1080/15401381003627277.

REGISTER TODAY for Course #2 >>

Course #4 | Enneagram: Compulsive Gambling Addiction and Recovery — A New Approach

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe how the Enneagram can be an innovative approach in the treatment of clients struggling with compulsive gambling and other process addictions;
  2. Describe how the specific mental and emotional patterns of each of the nine types impacts and influences addiction and recovery;
  3. Describe type-based behavioral strategies for improving the therapeutic alliance with clients as they are to themselves;
  4. Apply a type-based vocabulary to improve the quality and content of the client’s self-disclosure in a therapeutic setting.

Course Description:

This course presents the Enneagram system as an innovative new approach for the treatment and recovery of compulsive gambling and other process addictions. Each of the nine types that comprise the system provides an accurate and comprehensive map of the mental and emotional structure of the client consistent with the client’s self-understanding. The persuasive case to employ the Enneagram system is made by the nine recovering addicts who are interviewed for this course. Their honest and authentic self-disclosures are consistent with their respective types and speak to the value, accuracy, and practicality of the system. The overall result challenges the more traditional “one size fits all” strategy for treatment and recovery. One can only conclude that there is not just one way to treat an addict, but nine different and unique approaches, each with its own structure, inner dynamics, and vocabulary.  

Peer-Review References:

Bland, Andrew. “The Enneagram: A Review of the Empirical and Transformational Literature” (2010). Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, Spring 2010, Volume 49, pp. 16-31.
Mozhgan Saedi, Mohammad Mahdi Amiri, Maryam Ahmadi, and Saied Komasi.  (2019) “The Relationship Between the Enneagram Personality Types and Health Responsibility in Patients with Substance Use Disorder: A Brief Report.”  Jundishapur Journal of Health Sciences (2019). pp. 1-4. Doi:10.5812/jhs.90424.

Mozhgan Saedi, Saeid Komasi, Mohammad Mahdi Amiri, Mona Azizi, and Mostafa Alikhani. (2020). “Is the Enneagram Personality System and Effective Approach in Explaining Drug Addiction?” (2020). Middle East Journal of Rehabilitation and Health Studies, In Press (2020). pp. 1-7. doi: 10.5812/mejrh.98710.

Tapp, Karen and Engebretson, Ken. (2010). “Using the Enneagram for Client Insight and Transformation: A Type Eight Illustration.” Journal of Creativity in Mental Health (2010). Pp. 65-72. Doi: 10.1080/15401381003627277.
Schneider, Jennifer, M.D., Ph.D. and Schaeffer, Brenda, M.A., L.P., C.A.S. (2007) “The Enneagram Typology: A Tool for Understanding and Counseling Sex Addicts.” The Journal of Treatment and Prevention (2007). Pp. 245-278.

REGISTER TODAY for Course #3 >>


Frequently Asked Questions ...

About the instructors ...

Technical Requirements...

  • To get the most out of your learning experience, you should have access to a high-speed Internet connection. Dial-up connections are not recommended.
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