Attachment Styles and Enneagram Types: Development and Testing of an Integrated Typology for use in Marriage and Family Therapy

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Virginia Tech


This study developed and tested a new typology for use in Marriage and Family Therapy. The typology was created by integrating two already established typologies currently in use in MFT, the attachment style typology and the Enneagram typology. The attachment typology is based on attachment theory, a theory of human development that focuses on how infants and adults establish, monitor and repair attachment bonds. Differences in attachment style are associated with different kinds of relationship problems. The Enneagram typology categorizes people according to differences in attention processes. These differences in attention processes are also associated with different kinds of relationship problems, but also with different kinds of spiritual problems and talents. Support was found for both the internal and external validity of the integrated typology. The results were discussed in terms of relationship satisfaction and attachment based therapy. Implications for using the integrated typology to address spirituality in MFT were also discussed.



spirituality, relationship satisfaction, Experiences in Close Relationships – Revised, emotional regulation, attention