WHAT IS TRANSPERSONAL COUNSELLING
Most models of psychology focus on the “normal” or “abnormal” functioning of the human psyche. The transpersonal model views the psyche of the human being beyond the normal. It is not concerned with “normality” or “abnormality” in human’s behaviour. Transpersonal psychology views the psyche without judgement, focuses on transcendence of the ego and its issues, focuses on creating awareness and consciousness within the realm of all our experiences. It guides us to search for higher knowledge and wisdom. It may lead to mystical and spiritual experiences. Transpersonal psychology does not confine us to live in a “normal” paradigm but encourages us to develop our unique individual being, to support us in our own personal individuation process, to bring our fullest potential into being. Our own personal problems, issues, crises, illness are being taken out of personal context, viewed from a more impersonal perspective, to see and recognise the “bigger picture ” in our lives. The transpersonal model teaches us to grow beyond our own emotional, psychological, mental and spiritual limitations. Our problems, trials of life, are an integrative and necessary part of growth, to become the person who we really are. By removing nurture and conditioning we become more ware and conscious of our core being, become more aware, conscious, alive and creative.
Transpersonal psychology recognises and works with different states of consciousness. An important aspect in the Transpersonal map of the human psyche is that we do exist as part of consciousness as a whole. It teaches us that we can perceive ourselves in different ways of being and in different realities. We learn to access consciously many shifts, from a sleeping and dreaming state to the ordinary state of consciousness where we use our cognitive abilities in every day life from basic physical survival to enhancing our physical existence with comfort commodities. The non ordinary reality, or non ordinary states of consciousness allow us to deal with the unconscious parts of our personality which influence strongly on our emotions, psyche, mind and spiritual being, in turn controlling our outlook, perception and ways of being in ordinary state of consciousness. As more we uncover our unconscious parts, become more aware and conscious, integrate this knowledge in our daily life, we are able to create a new reality for us. We learn to become co-creators of our existence.
Thus, Transpersonal Counselling can be distinguished from many other forms of counselling by its access to the spiritual dimension of life.
WHAT IS A TRANSPERSONAL COUNSELLOR
The Transpersonal Counsellor is a counsellor who has been trained in guiding others to access specific states of consciousness for the purpose of healing. The counselling tools vary and are rooted in modern psychology, Jungian psychology & archetypal imagery, psychological astrology, traditional spiritual practices like mediation, shamanic practices, guided visualisations, breathwork, bodywork, art and music therapy, mandalas, just to mention a few. An utmost must for a Transpersonal Counsellor is the own personal growth, integration and transcendence of her/his own personal experiences. Within this therapeutic frame work, the approach to Transpersonal Counselling may vary from counsellor to counsellor, whilst finding the right counselling approach is important, it is utmost important that the counsellor is non-judgemental, honest, truthful, has empathy and utmost integrity to the client, the therapeutic approach and ultimately her/himself. The counsellor will not tell you what to do, give her/his own life experiences as a standard, but will help you find your own answers.
WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEEK OUT A TRANSPERSONAL COUNSELLOR
The Transpersonal approach is suited for people who look for a spiritual dimension to their problems. People who search for a meaning in their lives, people who genuinely like to move past their early nurture and conditioning, who are interested in personal and moral growth. People who like to develop a relationship with themselves, who would like to know their essence, who they really are.
People who are undergoing a crisis, and like to find a way from a spiritual emergency to spiritual emergence. People who like to understand and integrate live’s process of internal growth. People who would like to face their own truth and transform into a conscious way of being.
ORIGIN OF TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY
According to The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, William James, Carl Jung and Abraham Maslow are just a few of the psychologists that played a role in pioneering transpersonal psychology. In fact, William James was the first to use the term “transpersonal” in a 1905 lecture, according to The Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology, and he’s referred to as the founder of modern transpersonal psychology and psychiatry.
Transpersonal psychology emerged as a field in the late 1960s.
According to the article “Brief History of Transpersonal Psychology” written by one of transpersonal psychology’s founders, psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, in the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies:
In 1967, a small working group including Abraham Maslow, Anthony Sutich, Stanislav Grof, James Fadiman, Miles Vich, and Sonya Margulies met in Menlo Park, California, with the purpose of creating a new psychology that would honor the entire spectrum of human experience, including various non-ordinary states of consciousness. During these discussions, Maslow and Sutich accepted Grof’s suggestion and named the new discipline “transpersonal psychology.” This term replaced their own original name “transhumanistic,” or “reaching beyond humanistic concerns.” Soon after- wards, they launched the Association of Transpersonal Psychology (ATP), and started the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. Several years later, in 1975, Robert Frager founded the (California) Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, which has remained at the cutting edge of transpersonal education, research, and therapy for more than three decades. The International Transpersonal Association was launched in 1978 by myself, as its founding president, and Michael Murphy and Richard Price, founders of Esalen Institute.