Reach Out

#11: Sam Leuenberger, Type 7 – The (Avoidant) "Fun" of Talk Therapy; Vulnerability as an Attraction Strategy; and Going Back to Feelings School (SP/SO 7w6 712)

Sam is an essayist and poet who recently discovered he is a 7, having mistyped as a 4 for years. Before this interview, Sam sent me his beautifully articulated thoughts on being a 7 -- a link to which is below. This conversation explores the Gestalt Therapy session that "got underneath" Sam's mental buzzing and helped him encounter his lonely inner child. Sam is mid-process in a tectonic shift in his self-concept as he reconciles with his 7-ness and goes "back to feelings school." Sam lays our for us often hidden aspects of the 7 type structure -- especially the way talking about pain can *prevent* feeling it and the terror 7s feel of being with pain in a genuine way. A raw and courageous conversation, and a privilege to share it.

Sam's writing:

"Ocean: Notes on a Type 7 Flavored Attachment to Frustration" -

Collage Poetry Collection: "Questions Children Ask" -

YouTube version of interview:

My website:


0:00 Intro

3:20 "Re-intro"

4:36 Enneagram origin, Mistyping as a 4, Learning his 7-ness

9:37 Sam's 7-ish "audition" for this interview; video & email

14:18 The therapy class that broke me (here through

20:24 The performative fun of therapy, excitement "like feeling carbonated in your body"

22:07 Gestalt Therapy: you're not talking about what I said, you're looking at the way that I "am" -- "Where's the loneliness in your body" -- "everywhere"

25:00 Vulnerability as an attraction strategy; "this is part of who I am, but I haven't wanted to know it for a long time"

29:24 The inner 12 year old boy wanted a hug; empty chair exercise

33:21 Pain as pleasure vs pain as pain; "Do you want me to live there? there's no oxygen, I can't breathe."

37:47 Confirmation bias re 7; "Life is sending me back to feelings school"; mental center good at language, feelings are preverbal

41:19 Knowing when feelings are real; 7 buoyancy vs 4... what? -- 4 energy as "fun" in doses

44:03 What will help you? "When it is appropriate to allow yourself to become undone?"

46:55 The difficulty of "being" in the same room as someone; relationships

49:59 Delaying pain by describing it skillfully -- the describing becomes primary, eclipsing the process

51:20 7 as "spraying" & superimposing interpretations, tone, mood, over the object of consideration

57:19 7 core with triple compliant (612) adjacent; freedom of expression "vs" self-censorship

1:02:41 Giving myself to writing & failing leading to transformation, participation in Creativity (capital C)

1:13:34 Reframing Sam's story through 7 lens (not 4)

1:19:27 How are you feeling & what's this been like?


Music by Coma-Media from Pixabay




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