Ep. 10 The Enneagram and Your Marriage w/Renowned Enneagram Expert Michelle Joy, M.A.. MFT

This is episode 10! Which means we are officially in double-digits here at Essential Wedding Podcast. Woot woot!! Thanks for coming along for the ride, friends and I promise it will only get better and better!

The Enneagram is a system of 9 personality types and it combines traditional wisdom with modern psychology. It has gained quite a bit of mainstream popularity – especially over the last several years – because it’s a highly effective and accurate tool that helps people get to know themselves (and each other) better, with deeper levels of understanding. The Enneagram test is used for personal and spiritual growth, relationship dynamics within all types of relationships, and it is also commonly found in the work place.

My guest in today’s episode is the lovely, Michelle Joy, M.A., MFT. Michelle is a certified Enneagram teacher and one of the foremost experts on the Enneagram. She was even a chosen speaker at the  International Enneagram conference, 2019  Michelle also co-leads Marriage Prep 101 Workshops for Engaged, Newly Married, or Seriously Dating couples with her husband, Dan Joy, for couples interested in Bay Area premarital counseling.

I am so honored and appreciative that she shared her time and wisdom with us and I think you are going to learn SO much in this episode, friends.

Michelle Joy Episode 10 image

In This Episode:

  • What is the enneagram?
  • How do you find out your enneagram type?
  • Michelle’s favorite enneagram test is through electicenergies.com.
  • David Fauvre uses illustrations to establish your enneagram type.
  • What is a wing? It looks like all the enneagram types have a wing. How do we experience our wings? Does one of the wings feel stronger than the other?
  • What is the best strategy for differentiating between the enneagram type that you are vs. the type you wish you were?
  • Michelle gives us a thorough description of every one of the 9 enneagram types.


The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic


The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive


The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious


The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental


The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated


The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious


The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered


The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational


The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

  • Michelle tells us about how the enneagram types pair together when we discuss relationship dynamics.
  • Are some pairings more common than others?
  • Are there any pairs that are particularly challenging together?
  • What is the difference between expressing your enneagram type healthily versus how it presents when it’s unhealthy?
  • How a marriage and family therapists uses the enneagram to work with engaged couples
  • So many couples get stuck because they figure they’ve known each other long enough so they assume they must know everything there is to know about each other. But couples need to make it a priority to constantly be getting to know new things about each other and rediscovering each other.
  • If we don’t have a compass for what we’re aiming towards then we can get hijacked by our personality. We don’t even know what we’re doing — and we’re suffering. It’s because of our automatic thoughts and habits we’re not even aware of.

Here are the enneagram books/audiobooks I recommended in the episode:

(1) The Road Back to You (An enneagram journey to self discovery)

by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

(2) The Path Between Us(An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships)

by Suzanne Stabile

both of the above on Audible

(3) The Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul

by Sandra Maitri


Michelle Joy, M.A., MFT, Bio:

Michelle Joy, MFT, has been associated with The Couples Institute (and now The Couples Institute Counseling Services) in Menlo Park, CA, since 2002, almost the longest among the entire staff. Michelle currently serves as the Board of Directors for Couples Institute Counseling Services, as well as a therapist on staff.

In addition to Couples Therapy Intensives, Michelle offers Communication Workshops for ALL couples.  Michelle also co-leads Marriage Prep 101 Workshops for Engaged, Newly Married, or Seriously Dating couples with her husband, Dan Joy, for couples interested in Bay Area premarital counseling.

Michelle is also a certified Enneagram teacher, which is one of the many tools she uses to help couples understand and transform relationship patterns. A pioneer of combining the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy with the Enneagram, she is a chosen speaker at the International Enneagram conference, 2019, enlightening others on how to help more couples using this fascinating personality system.

Michelle has been a local and national speaker for several professional associations, including PESI.com  and CAMFT. She is an expert author on Marriage.com.

Follow Michelle: marriageprep101.com




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