The Spiritual Approach
If you’re researching therapy options, you may have come across the word “functionality.” This is because therapists measure wellness by a person’s ability to function. But if you feel there’s more to life than the everyday, and are looking to explore more than how to overcome your current problems, Transpersonal therapy is for you. Being the best you can possibly be, in a way that extends beyond your individual self to humanity as a whole, is the thrust of this approach.
Transpersonal therapy provides helping interventions focused on engaging your highest potentials, including your spirituality, unity with nature, and the transcendent states of your consciousness. We’re talking about experiences where your sense of identity or self extends beyond the individual or personal to include wider aspects of life, the psyche or the universe.
Transpersonal therapy is the product of many schools of thought, and thus may be described as a combination of psychological theories like Humanistic psychology (person-centred) and Psychoanalytic psychology (focused on how the unconscious influences present behaviour). These traditional schools of thought are blended with Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism, Shamanism, and yoga.
How does it work?
A life crisis is seen as an opportunity for breakthrough and self-actualisation – realising your full potential. Expressing creativity, the quest for spiritual enlightenment, the desire to give to others and the pursuit of knowledge are examples of self-actualisation. Once the crisis is over we have a chance to examine ourselves again with a view to change, hence preventing a recurrence of the crisis. This involves reassessing our drive and desires, sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Some Transpersonal therapists help you understand how energy flows in your body, identifying energy blocks and corresponding issues. Some illustrate how circumstances while you were in the womb can dictate present emotions and behaviour. Others process peak experiences: moments when you experience deep meaning and interconnectedness. There are also practitioners who enhance wellbeing by helping clients develop how to trust their intuition.
Other popular interventions include shadow work: a Jungian approach which can help you embrace the dark, hidden and unlikeable parts of the self. Meditation, visualisation, and chanting taught in therapy help clients become better aware of their spiritual side. Body-mind exercises, such as tai chi or reiki, remove blocks against transcendence from trivial concerns.
What issues does it treat?
The range of issues Transpersonal therapy addresses is limitless, but it’s most beneficial for people open to all possibilities as well as appreciative of the psycho-spiritual approach. It may not be for those with rigid adherence to what’s traditionally considered as scientific, though the idea that Transpersonal Psychology is not backed by research is inaccurate.
People looking for meaning beyond everyday routines will greatly benefit from this style. Those grappling with feeling overwhelmed, who can use assistance in focusing, are also recommended to seek Transpersonal therapy. Those looking for serenity, as well as those interested in opening themselves to higher states of consciousness, are very suitable for this approach.
Transpersonal therapy is especially recommended for those suffering from acute and chronic stress reactions, especially those manifesting itself in various physical complaints. In many cases, Transpersonal therapy improves at least coping and emotional well-being among persons with long-term and painful illnesses. Physically healthy individuals, even if they can do without psychological help, improve their energy levels – and hence their happiness and productivity – with Transpersonal therapy.
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