The Transpersonal in Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling

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Because of the different research focus of the two disciplines, they tend to attract rather different people. Consciousness studies is primarily concerned with understanding the nature of mind and consciousness including states of consciousness , and the relation of mental experience to physical and physiological processes. In principle, there is much potential overlap between consciousness studies and transpersonal studies although, in practice, the two disciplines tend to attract different types of people.


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As such, these disciplines may be considered to be important components of transpersonal studies. Transpersonal studies, however, takes a wider perspective in also investigating a range of non-religious transpersonal phenomena. Transpersonal researchers use a wide variety of methods, which are suited to different research questions.

UA: Transpersonal Psychotherapy

These methods include: case studies, phenomenological investigation, archive research, anthropological investigation, narrative analysis, intuitive inquiry, heuristic inquiry, participant observation, surveys, questionnaires and psychological tests, experimental methods, physiological measurement, and action research.

The term meditation refers to a variety of techniques of attentional training which aim to promote psychological well-being or contribute to spiritual development. Important techniques of meditation involve 1 calming the mind through the focussing of awareness on a particular object or experience e.

Research suggests that meditation practice can result in a number of positive benefits, including relaxation and stress reduction, states of contentment and bliss, lowering of elevated blood pressure, improvement in certain medical conditions, increased psychological health, and enhanced perception, memory and creativity.

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For most people, meditation has largely beneficial effects. For a minority of people, however, there is evidence that meditation may sometimes lead to depression, social withdrawal, obsessional behaviour, or even psychosis. There is an extraordinary range and variety of transpersonal practices structured activities that aim to promote or support transpersonal experiences or the spiritual life. These include: study of scriptures and other spiritual teachings, ritual religious or magical , oracular divination, visualization techniques and guided fantasy, creative work, body and energy work, fasting, prayer, compassionate action and service, worship and devotion, use of psychoactive substances, transpersonal psychotherapy and counselling, and spiritual direction.

In general, an integral practice aims to incorporate a regime of structured, disciplined work on all major aspects of human experience and development. These usually include:. It is possible and perhaps advisable for individuals and groups to develop their own tailored regimes of integral practice. Psychoactive drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, MDMA Ecstasy or ketamine can induce significant alterations in our perceptions, emotions, and cognitions and may, in certain circumstances, lead to experiences often considered of spiritual or transpersonal significance e.

However, in most jurisdictions, possession and use of these substances is illegal. Also their effects are relatively unpredictable, and ingestion may often result in unpleasant experiences or other damaging consequences. Although the use of psychoactive substances for religious purposes is widespread in certain indigenous traditions, ingestion is normally carefully moderated and controlled through specific ritual preparations. No major world religion advocates the use of psychoactive drugs for spiritual purposes and most decry the attempt to directly induce spiritual experiences in this way.

Research suggests that the effects and consequences of psychoactive drugs depend upon 1 the specific drug used and its precise dosage, 2 the prior beliefs and expectations of the person, 3 the setting in which the drug is taken. The term 'spiritual emergency" or 'spiritual emergence' refers to disturbing and often overwhelming crises that may be indistinguishable from psychosis, but which represent a process of transformation and spiritual opportunity.

Spiritual emergencies may be triggered by a variety of factors, including, trauma, stress, illness, life changing events, spiritual practice, or drug use.

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Advice and support for people undergoing spiritual emergencies is offered by the Grof Foundation. Broadly speaking, transpersonal approaches to counselling and psychotherapy are those which recognise and address the spiritual aspects of human experience as these relate to issues brought by the client. Transpersonal psychotherapists and counsellors differ widely in their approach to practice, which may be based on Jungian, person-centred, psychosynthesis, Buddhist, existential, holotropic, integrative or other training and experience.

Spiritual direction refers to a special form of friendship or mentoring between a spiritual director guide, guru, confessor, advisor, tutor and the person being directed. Sometimes spiritual co-counselling is offered, in which director and the person directed alternate roles. Although spiritual direction may share many features with transpersonal psychotherapy and counselling, it generally involves more direct spiritual reflection and spiritual-religious interpretation.

Also, the spiritual director and the person being directed usually share a common set of spiritual-religious beliefs and practices. Spiritual directors may or may not have professional training in psychotherapy or counselling. Undergraduate modules in transpersonal psychology and related disciplines are taught at some universities, usually by tutors with a special interest in these areas.

Masters level programmes in transpersonal psychology and other transpersonal disciplines including practitioner training are offered by a few universities and other institutions, mainly in the USA and UK. Opportunities for PhD research may also be available to suitably qualified candidates. Transpersonal Science. Learn Introduction to Transpersonal Science. Classic Transpersonal Texts. Transpersonal FAQ.


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What is the purpose of this FAQ? What does 'transpersonal' mean? What kinds of experiences, processes and events are transpersonal? Are psychic and paranormal experiences transpersonal? Is the transpersonal the same as spirituality and religion? Are transpersonal researchers religious?

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Must they believe in God or a Divine Reality? What religious beliefs and practices are common among transpersonal researchers? Can transpersonal researchers be atheist, agnostic or sceptical about religious claims? Is the study of the transpersonal important? What are the practical applications of transpersonal studies?

Transpersonal & Integrative Psychotherapy

What is transpersonal psychology? What other academic transpersonal disciplines are there? What is the relation of transpersonal studies to parapsychology? What is the relation of transpersonal studies to consciousness studies? Practicing Meditation Another aspect to my therapeutic practice includes meditation.

Using Motivational Interviewing Motivational Interviewing is a therapeutic process where a therapist works with the client to help them find the answers they seek. A therapist can help with these issues by incorporating Personal Growth Therapy, which includes: Spiritual Awakening: becoming aware of your spiritual nature. Spiritual Growth: becoming more connected with your spiritual nature.

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Spiritual Transformation: integrating your spiritual nature. Search Search for:. Life Coaching vs. Existential Anxiety? With his compassionate heart and presence, Igor is gifted at helping clients find resources to face even the most difficult challenges and develop healthier cognitive patterns and behaviors. Clients love Igor's warmth, openness and innovation. You warmth and smile were very welcoming. That gave me hope. I also have to say that, your warm human connection, kind heart, and skills made therapy look like something I was looking forward every week instead of dreading it.

In fact, therapy was not heavy despite the difficult feelings I was facing—it was actually restorative. Thank you Igor.

His deep knowledge of different styles of therapy is balanced by an equally deep knowledge of spiritual practice and literature. He really does practice what he teaches - integrating the mind, heart, and body together in a life dedicated to spiritual realization. He has studied extensively and done lengthy retreats. I know personally from working with him and observing him that his clinical perception is extremely precise and his responses very accurate and effective. He has clarity and intelligence, is heartful, caring, and also dedicated, strong, and incisive when needed.

I can't think of a better guide in the process of getting to know one's inner nature and bringing it into the world. There is also a deep inner quiet about him, perhaps developed in his meditation practice. In addition to these aspects of emotional intelligence, empathy, self-awareness, and presence, he has a fine sense of humor.

He is surprisingly attuned to the inner realm of sensations and feelings. His warm listening capacity, keen curiosity, psychological depth, and insight are palpable.