Subtypes Introduction

This body of work was first taught by Claudio Naranjo who was a Chilean psychiatrist. The 27 subtypes are basically 3 versions of the 9 types and what they pay attention to and how they unconsciously behave.

Subtypes are based on behaviours developed as a result of coping strategies which we used to cope with our life circumstances. It is sometimes called the body Instinct/Intuition/Gut Instinct.

We have all 3 instincts. In childhood, one of these instincts was ‘damaged’ or needed attention. So, we focussed on it unconsciously so that these needs got met. And the other is Secondary and the third is quite absent in our lives or least attention was put on it. We do not usually think about them. It’s instinctual.


It is the instinct of self-protection. Our body is the source of life and a focus on this helps us cope, sustain and preserve ourselves over the long haul. Survival and safety, financial needs, food, and feeling comfortable, comfort are the focus.


Focused on creating and maintaining relationships with a group, tribe or community to build a sense of personal value, accomplishment, and community. This happens at a slightly more matured stage of the child. It happens when you went out with peers and friends. If this was affected, the adult will find this to be an area of emphasis.

Sexual /1 to 1/ Intimate

This instinct is focused on attraction and seduction, companionship & reproduction. There is an attraction to finding 1-1 interactions with a single person and maintaining that “sizzle” between another and themselves. A relationship where we depend habitually on a single person for safety and comfort.

Why Is It Important?

Sometimes, the types are not described succinctly because there are certain nuances within a type that will result in a distinct growth path. Hence, qualities, characteristics and behaviours can look quite different within the same type. We would sometimes think that the wings were what made certain types look different from each other but the subtypes do give a much clearer understanding of why people within a type are quite different.

There are aspects where all 3 subtypes within the type will share and then there are aspects where they won’t at all. The subtype is the fusing/alchemization of your Enneagram type and your Subtype. You will then discover a deeper nuanced version of your type.

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