The Instincts and Subtypes

Date: 16-17 Apr 2016 (Not Available in 2017)

Time: 8.30 am – 6.00pm

Fees: S$900 (Registration is considered complete only upon receipt of full payment.)  

Venue: Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park

Trainer: Peter O’Hanrahan

Peter O'hanrahanPeter O’Hanrahan is a leading enneagram teacher and trainer worldwide. Since 1981 he has presented the enneagram to a wide variety of groups, including corporations, non-profits, university staffs, small businesses, churches and professional associations. He regularly teaches workshops in the US, Europe, South Africa and China. He is an associate of and the Enneagram Professional Training Program with David Daniels, MD and Helen Palmer® and in the past 10 years has helped train 500 enneagram professionals from the fields of business, psychology and religion. For more information please visit: and

“At the meeting of spiritual archetype and biological instinct, the enneagram subtypes help us identify our path in life” ~ Peter O’Hanrahan

Program Overview by Peter O’Hanrahan

Program Details

This workshop is part of the Core Program for Narrative Tradition but you can take this workshop as a standalone workshop just for a better understanding of your own subtype and the subtypes of those people who are important to you to build a better relationship.

Every person has three instincts (self-preservation, one-to-one and social), but one of these tends to be more central in our daily lives and relationships. This primary instinct determines our Enneagram subtype.

The three instinctual drives include:

  1. Self-preservation, which guides our relationships with home, food, security, family and warmth in personal relationship.
  2. One-to-one, which fuels our personal vitality, sexuality, intimate relationships and our experience of spiritual union.
  3. Social, which forms our friendships, our participation in groups and community, and our social identity.

These energies combine with the nine personality types to create 27 variations. At the intersection of archetype and biology, the study of subtypes holds the key to understanding our path in life and our role in the human community. How do we spend our time and energy in daily life? Who are the people who are most important to us? How are we invested in home, neighbourhood, politics, or religious activities? How do we express ourselves physically and emotionally? Many people have found that subtype differences can be more crucial than personality type issues in our relationships.

Subtypes in relationships: The different subtype emphases may either help balance a relationship or polarize it. For example, if one person leans on self-preservation and the other on one-to-one, this difference can either balance or unbalance the relationship. Even small differences in subtype emphasis over time can erode a relationship.

Instinctual subtype behaviors may be quite unconscious. If we manifest either too much or too little of one of the instinctual subtypes, it can harm or hinder our lives and relationships. The instinctual subtypes need to be as free of our habitual personality tendencies as possible, not so influenced by the energy of our emotional passion that gets expressed through them.



Through panels, presentations and small groups, we will explore the 27 instinctual subtypes, including:

  • Making informed choices about our personal priorities and major projects
  • How subtypes affect our relationships at home and at work
  • How to balance work, home and intimacy
  • Managing the emotional habit of our type
  • How to live with authenticity while adapting to a rapidly changing culture

If you don’t know your subtype, you will likely discover it during this workshop. The format includes presentation and discussion, small groups, subtype panels in the Narrative Tradition and somatic exercises.


The Enneagram is a powerful tool for creating more successful relationships with the people in our lives. Knowing how nine personality types think, feel and behave in very different ways allows us to increase our empathy and communication, reduce unnecessary conflict, and build bridges with one another. Understanding the instinctual subtypes takes this to a whole new level.

Understanding subtypes helps us develop new skills to negotiate subtype differences (and similarities) in relationship. We are better able to meet our partner’s needs for security and identity. We can manage the rhythms of contact and withdrawal without taking it all so personally. And we learn how to balance all three instincts, each of which plays an important role in both work and family life.

Comments of Program by Course Participants

Who should attend?

  • Anyone wishes to gain self knowledge:
    • Working with the Enneagram helps to integrate all three centres of intelligence – mind, heart and body – and brings more self-acceptance, enhances spiritual development and improves relationships.
  • Anyone wishes to improve the quality of their life and relationships:
    • The Enneagram allows you to look deeply within yourself and to create healthier relationships with your partner, family members, friends, clients and co-workers.
  • Therapists, coaches, counsellors, psychologists:
    • The Enneagram provides accurate type-specific understanding of the relationship between psychological issues, spiritual qualities and somatic patterns. Applying the Enneagram helps to 
enhance your therapy or coaching practice.
  • Professionals in the workplace:
    • Corporations and businesses around the world using the Enneagram as a breakthrough approach for leadership development, team building, communication skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Anyone aspires to be a certified Enneagram teacher:
    • The core program lays the groundwork for becoming proficient as an Enneagram Narrative Teacher.

EPTP Intensive   Typing Process