Transpersonal psychology is an approach to psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience within the workings of modern counseling psychology.
Addiction as a Psychospiritual Crisis
Transpersonal psychology sees addiction as a spiritual crisis. This notion was first pioneered Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina Grof in the early 1990s. According to the Grofs there are elements that make up a spiritual crisis:
- Biographical, those things related to disturbances in primary attachment relationships, specifically childhood trauma or abuse.
- Perinatal, pertaining to incidences ear the time of birth and incarnation.
- Transpersonal, that is to say things associated with transcendence of self.
Transpersonal therapists appreciate wholeness and the concept that the self is a combination of the self-transcendent and spiritual aspects of human experience. All of life’s experiences – whether deemed negative or positive — are considered valuable and growth enhancing. The therapist helps the individual toward a higher reality in which healing and growth are realized through recognition of the centrality of self.
Spiritual Development Restores Inner Peace
Transpersonal methodology is a combination of spiritual traditions from around the world integrated with approaches to contemporary psychology. This framework can help a wide problems, making in appropriate in addiction therapy.
The transpersonal therapist helps the client to gain a more thorough understanding of themselves, their capacities, and their relationships. I this way, the client emerges from therapy more equipped with the skills to help deal with life’s many challenges.
The Role of the Transpersonal Therapist
Transpersonal psychology depends heavily on the quality of the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. It is critical that the therapist assume the role of an equal to the client.
Ultimately, the therapist strives to have the therapeutic relationship operate on a level of pure consciousness so that both client and therapist are sharing the same experience in therapy. This shared collective consciousness creates empathy and insight.
The transpersonal therapist strives to maintain an attitude of compassion, open mindedness, innocence and wonder. Therapy is seen as an adventure deep into and beyond the self as perceived by the client. Both the client and therapist work on being present, authentic and self-aware to develop a meaningful therapeutic relationship and a setting n which there will be healing and growth.