Joe Howell

Anniston psychologist Joe Howell has started a new podcast about the spiritual practice of the enneagram.


Joe Howell, an Anniston psychologist, has launched a new podcast about the enneagram, a set of ancient teachings about finding one’s personality type, improving relationships and discovering one’s inner soul or “essence.”

Howell has written a book about the enneagram, “Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway,” and has founded a teaching institute, the Institute of Conscious Being.

The new podcast, called “The Real Enneagram, a Spiritual Quest,” debuted this month. “The younger generation loves social media, and people of all ages are communicating through it,” Howell said.

Howell hopes the weekly audio segments will help listeners find peace and fulfillment in today’s fractured, often chaotic, world. New podcasts are released each Monday morning. They will sometimes include guest speakers.

Before Howell began the podcasts, he listened to several others dedicated to the enneagram, and decided that none of the other podcasts “were articulating the inner flow of the enneagram.”

“The problem is that many people stop studying the enneagram after they identify their personality traits,” Howell said. “Though personality is fascinating, the depth of the enneagram is in its feature of taking people to their spiritual nature, which is after all, their truest self.

“In more advanced studies, students discover that, even after identifying their own traits, they tend to operate at different levels for each trait: unhealthy, average, and healthy.”

Howell has been counseling clients in his Anniston office since 1980. He is a native of Mobile. His work involves a full caseload of clients and, since 2012, also involves leading the teaching institute that he and his wife, Lark, founded.

The couple has a trained faculty of 12 scholars in the enneagram who assist them in presenting conferences throughout the Southeast.

According to Howell, the enneagram has gained much attention in recent years.

“It is catching on like wildfire all across the country and the globe, especially among the millennials,” Howell said.

Howell believes that the South is particularly fertile ground for study of the enneagram. “Southerners are ripe for this wisdom that perfectly coincides with the teachings of Judaism and Christianity,” he said.

“We can take that Bible Belt mentality and add to it in a way to inspire others. We can put into practice more of our religious teachings in a way that brings the soul to the forefront of our culture, rather than only in the superficial aspects of the ego mind.”

Howell has a new book coming out in the fall, “Knowing Your Soul Through the Enneagram,” released by Crossroad Publications.

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 Sherry Kughn is a local freelance writer. Contact her at