The Three Centers of the Enneagram: Mental, Emotional, and Physical

Leslie Hershberger Defenses, How can I feel happy and fulfilled in my life?, Perspectives, Presentations, Self-Identity, Spirituality, Video

Become a supporting member to watch the full conversation

Every member of Integral Life gets access to the perspectives library (15+ years of content) and a constantly evolving Integral Life Practice platform. Learn how to apply Integrative metatheory both to the most complex global issues and your everyday life & transform yourself in order to thrive in a rapidly-evolving world of the 21st century!

Get Full Access For $1 (30 days)* Or get an annual subscription ($99, 40% off) * Trial price for the first 30 days, then $15/month. Cancel or switch plans in 2 minutes at any time.

Leslie Hershberger takes us on an illuminating tour through the three centers of the Enneagram — the heart center, the mind center, and the body center.

About the Three Centers of the Enneagram

by Leslie Hershberger

The Enneagram is a powerful portal into understanding yourself and others. It maps out the mental structure, the patterns of emotional energy and the distinct dynamics of 9 personality patterns.

The Enneagram transcends gender, religion, nationality and culture. Each of us is unique and we also share a common humanity. These patterns help us understand ourselves and others.

In the Enneagram, there are 3 centers or “domains”: HEAD, HEART AND BODY.

The HEAD is associated with the mental center. If our basic, mammalian security needs are not met, this is the center where we react with FEAR.

The HEART is associated with the emotional center. If our basic mammalian needs for connection and approval are not met, this is the center where we react with PANIC at the loss of connection.

The BODY is associated with the physical, kinesthetic or sensate feeling center. If our basic mammalian needs for control, power and fairness are not met, this center is where we react with ANGER which propels us to take action.

It’s fascinating because each of these three centers correspond with what we are learning in modern neuroscience through MRI’s, body scans and other technological advances.

Because these are core human, mammalian needs, we have all three of these centers available to us. We all feel fear, panic and anger. Yet, we tend to lead with one of these centers.


Related Media


COVID-19 Through the Lens of the Enneagram

Leslie Hershberger and Corey deVos

How are different types dealing with these new life conditions that are being imposed upon us all? What are the different coping strategies and pain points and opportunities for transformation? How can the Integral Enneagram help us bring more care, compassion, and connection to our own integral family? Watch this very special episode to find out.



Your Enneagram Type: An Introduction

Lee Mason

On this page you can find some introductory material by practice leader Lee Mason to help familiarize yourself with the Integral Enneagram and the nine different personality types it describes.


Free Email Course: Build Your Integral Life

We created 24 free lessons that can help you learn the Integrative Mindset needed to thrive in the rapidly-evolving world of the 21st century. Enter your email to start the course:

Leslie Hershberger

About Leslie Hershberger

Leslie Hershberger is a natural teacher, facilitator and writer who integrates the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition, three centered contemplative practice and Integral theory to help people and groups understand themselves, others and the world through a deeper, more expansive lens.