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Transpersonal psychology is known as the "fourth-force" in psychology, meaning that it is at the forefront of the field of psychological study. Stan Grof calls it the "psychology of the future". It combines knowledge from all of the spiritual traditions world-wide with the study of psychology.

The first three forces in psychology are:

1) Behavioral: (J. Watson, B.F. Skinner)

2) Psychoanalytic: (S. Freud, A. Adler, C. Jung)

3) Humanistic: (A. Maslow, A. Sutich, C. Rogers)

Rather than disowning the wisdom inherent in these first three forces, transpersonal psychology encompasses all of and then adds to these psychological theories. Essentially, transpersonal psychology means "beyond the personal".

Transpersonal psychology acknowledges that we are capable of reaching and living in unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness. Abraham Maslow says that transpersonal means "beyond individuality, beyond the development of the individual person into something which is more inclusive than the individual person". It is about extending beyond, changing thoroughly and transcending one's egoic, biographical, or personal sense of self. Maslow says that "without the transcendent and the transpersonal, we become sick, violent, and nihilistic, or else hopeless and apathetic". He goes further to say that "we need something bigger than we are to be awed by and to commit ourselves to".

As Robert Hutchins puts it, "transpersonal psychology does not derive its model of the human psyche from the ill or diseased, instead it looks to the experiences of saints, prophets, great artists, heroes, and heroines for models of full human development and of the growth-oriented nature of the normal human psyche". In other words, transpersonal psychology is the study of exceptional human experience.

In this same vein, rather than seeing psychological issues as "illness" or "disease", transpersonal psychology sees the activation of intense psychospiritual issues as a "healing crisis". In other words, these issues are coming to the surface in order to be healed and transformed. When we allow these psychospiritual situations to surface and embrace them rather than pushing them away, we can then begin to experience greater awareness and subsequently, more freedom and happiness in our lives.

Transpersonal methods such as Holotropic Breathwork
tm and shamanism allow us to access our deeper potentials with the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness. We become more fully who we are by connecting with our true potential and our innate power.

Transpersonal psychology can effectively be used for

1) Healing:

a) depression and repression of unexpressed parts of ourselves,

b) relationship issues,

c) family and ancestral issues,

d) major life transitions,

e) physical illness, death and dying

2) Personal Growth:

a) embodiment and owning disowned and forgotten parts of ourselves,

b) creativity and blocks to creativity,

c) motivation with regards to personal and business goals,

d) peak experiences in sports,

e) supporting caregivers in their healing work with others

3) Spirituality:

a) deeper connection to ourselves and to our relationship with Spirit,

b) finding our "soul's mission",

c) tuning into inner wisdom and guidance,

d) spiritual emergency,

e) access to our innate visionary abilities

Anne offers therapeutic counseling sessions using various transpersonal methods. For more information about these sessions or about transpersonal psychology in general, please do not hesitate to contact her at holobreath@aol.com.


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