Paola Bobadilla, a holistic expat therapist, explains what transpersonal psychology is and the possible benefits it can have on your well-being.

Transpersonal therapy, also known as spiritual therapy, takes a holistic approach towards human psychology and mental healthcare. Transpersonal psychology grew out of the humanistic psychology movement, with the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung being one of the practice’s most influential figures.

So, Humanistic Psychology believes that spiritual development is just one aspect of what makes a person whole. But in transpersonal psychology philosophy, the spiritual piece of a person is actually the core piece – and everything else revolves around it.

The goal of transpersonal psychologyTranspersonal psychology aims to explore and understand the spiritual and transcendent aspects of human experience, beyond the traditional confines of the ego or personal identity. Its goal is to integrate spiritual and mystical experiences into psychological understanding and practice. Transpersonal psychology emphasises the interconnectedness of all beings and seeks to promote personal growth, self-awareness and spiritual development. It also investigates altered states of consciousness, mystical experiences and the potential for transformation and self-realisation.

Overall, the goal is to expand the scope of psychology to include the spiritual dimensions of human existence and to facilitate individuals’ journeys toward wholeness and higher states of consciousness.

How does it work?Conventional psychotherapy looks at an individual’s psychology in terms of maladaptive to adaptive-normal functioning. Conversely, transpersonal psychology looks at human functioning which ranges from maladaptive functioning to an expanded type of functioning that includes spirituality, mystical experiences, dreams states, multidimensional experiences – many parts of the client which are not considered in conventional psychology.

The goal is not only to heal the person but also to promote spiritual growth and self-awareness. This can be done by utilising several psychotherapeutic techniques, such as inner child work, guided visualization, meditation, breathwork, transpersonal hypnotherapy and so forth.

Other transpersonal therapy tools include:

Body-centered therapies, like dance-movement therapy Kabbalastic mystical approach to human psychology Egyptian and / or Hebrew pendulum Symbolic rituals or ceremonies (shamanism) helping persons mark transitions, integrate experiences and connect with their spiritual beliefs and values. These techniques are often tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of each individual client, guided by the therapist’s expertise and the client’s therapeutic goals. 

Working with a transpersonal therapistIn transpersonal psychotherapy, healing can be an amazing journey where spirituality and psychological healing are entangled. This can happen because the therapist lives a transpersonal life, meaning that they recognise their own spiritual core and can move in and out of their own perceptions of being in the ordinary world while knowing the spiritual parts of themself.

The therapist sets the tone in the therapy session itself, where clients can go beyond just healing their trauma. They can also access that spiritual core and develop themselves to their highest potential, not just to a norm.

Transpersonal psychology rethinks human consciousnessTranspersonal psychology proposes a new therapeutic approach based on the recognition and understanding of our human nature beyond the rational thinking mind.

Nearly 100 years ago, William James reflected on how we ourselves set up arbitrary boundaries within our psyches, “Most people live … in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.”

To understand the transpersonal realm, we must begin thinking of consciousness in an entirely new way. The acceptance of the transpersonal nature of consciousness challenges many fundamental concepts in our society, concepts that affect us all at deeply personal levels.

If we are to accept this new paradigm of consciousness, it means accepting that our lives are not only shaped by immediate environmental influences. They are also shaped by ancestral, cultural, spiritual and cosmic influences far beyond the scope of what we can perceive with our physical senses.

Is transpersonal therapy right for you?Transpersonal psychotherapy aims to help clients with healing, self-discovery and spiritual growth. It seeks to reach the deepest part of a person’s soul and, from there, generate a transformative process of recognition and personal development. Within each human being lies the deep wisdom that guides the path to healing and self-realisation.

Applying this knowledge within a professional practice is truly transformative as it benefits the clients holistically, encouraging personal and spiritual development in multiple ways by embracing creative, spiritual and somatic practices.

The goal is not merely that the person can resolve their conflicts, as important as that is. Instead, transpersonal therapists aim to support people on their spiritual journeys, enabling them to integrate new perspectives on problems and practices with their personal lives.

If you would like to learn more about transpersonal therapy, you can visit Paola Bobadilla. She offers various alternative therapies and classes to help expats reach their full potential.

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