Transpersonal Psychology and Eastern Philosophies

Transpersonal Psychology, which emerged 40 years ago, focuses on health and human potential. Spiritual and metaphysical aspects are reintroduced into the study of the mind, and the physical body is equally considered. It integrates the philosophies of Carl Jung and analytical psychology, Abraham Maslow and humanistic psychology, and eastern philosophies and practices. In so doing, it includes pre-personal, personal, and trans- [beyond or in addition to; transcendent] personal realms of human cognition and experience.

The disease model of Western medicine and psychology is not utilised. Rather, a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual approach is taken, and ideas of harmony/disharmony, balance/imbalance, disintegration/reintegration, and fragmentation/wholeness serve to define the human condition. Human development is pursued equally in intellectual, emotional physical, spiritual, and social realms as well as creative expression. It posits a ‘superconscious’ in addition to a subconscious, and the study and exploration of multiple states of consciousness is prioritized. Mystical experience and shamanistic healing methods are also considered.

It is easy to see how this approach to Western psychology is respectful of and strives to include Eastern philosophies, and its premise of balance as a framework for health is closely aligned with that of classical Chinese medicine. Practices such as Mindfulness and Breathwork, meditation, and somatic and energetic therapies are included, and the psychology of the body is honoured.  The primary focus of transpersonal psychology is the realisation of our ultimate potential.

My therapeutic approach is served very well indeed by this model of psychology.

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