What is Transpersonal Psychology?
Transpersonal Psychology is concerned with questions about the meaning and purpose behind the human experience, and therefore its ideas are sourced from a wide range of traditional and contemporary contexts. There are three core components that loosely define the transpersonal approach. These are; an expansion of the sense of self beyond ego (in this context ego refers to an individual sense of self in a precise space –time location), an integrative or holistic approach to the psyche and relationship with life/world (as opposed to a ‘curing’ or ‘conforming to the norm’ attitude to mental health), and an essential emphasis on the transformational or transitional experiences of the psyche, and the subsequent engagement with the altered states of consciousness (ASC) that are essential to transformation.
It means transformation
The essence of the application of transpersonal psychology in the therapeutic relationship then, is intent to work with a person's experience in such a way as to allow and facilitate transformation.
The therapeutic relationship, within this context, aims to nurture reconciliation between conflicting aspects of a person's psyche and experience, leading to improved understanding of the self, and ideally an enriched appreciation for the mystery and depth of our humanity. Such perspective enables transformation by expanding the identification of the self beyond suffering, beyond ego, beyond mental confusion, towards the ‘transpersonal’. These concepts are core to the 'spiritual dimension' of human experience.
Its practically respectful
The respectful nature of the therapy aims at working with the immediate presenting experience of the person, whilst also introducing safe and appropriate methods for accessing various altered states of consciousness. This approach is essential for the integration of new learning to take place. Too much interference is likely to serve as a distraction from any resulting value for the person. Indeed, the empowerment of the person offered by self-realisation and individuation is the essential aim of transpersonal therapy.
At all times, assuming and attitude of respect and valuing a persons individual experience and ‘where they are’, can only help them to similarly come to trust in the transformative process and therefore come to a sense of peace regarding challenge and suffering, and accessing the empowerment beyond.
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