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Transpersonal Psychology

Transpersonal psychology integrates wisdom and practices of the world’s spiritual traditions with modern psychology. While doing so it explores higher states of consciousness and optimal mental health. Transpersonal psychology recognizes that we are spiritual beings, that we have a bodily self and are part of the larger Self. It is concerned with the development of the self while respecting the urge to go beyond the self. The personal self is still the focus but it is held in the larger spiritual context. Transpersonal psychology recognizes that all existence is one vast spiritual reality.

Transpersonal psychology values and integrates psychological and spiritual development, personal and transpersonal, ordinary experience, and states of suffering. It incorporates ordinary everyday states of consciousness and nonordinary states of consciousness such as states of transcendence. It explores modern western perspectives, eastern wisdom, post modern insights, world views of indigenous cultures, analytical intellect and contemplative ways of knowing.

Transpersonal psychology sees humans as having the potential for a rich full range of human experience. Therapists use techniques to bring both the therapist and the client into more direct contact with the depth of our nature. The spiritual aspect allows a realization of the larger context in which we live while incorporating insights about human development, healing and growth. Insights on our behavior may bring up psychological issues that can be dealt with as opportunities for self realization.

Transpersonal psychology recognizes the universality of experience. It takes into consideration many other culture’s perspectives. Where some behaviors would seem pathologic in our western culture, this field sees that in the context of other cultures the behavior may be a normal stage of development. Through holding an open container that has room for any experience to surface without judgment the transpersonal therapist joins with the client to grow and learn form the experience together.

Transpersonal psychology is not a religion; it is an orientation that is appropriate for almost any counseling setting. It is not limited to one specific style. It can utilize any of the psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, or systems theories to create an experience unfolding into the transpersonal. What is important is that the practitioner holds the transpersonal context throughout the session.