What is Transpersonal Therapy?

While most psychotherapies focus on improving mental well being, transpersonal therapy focuses on a more holistic method.  In addition to focusing on mental health, it includes the physical, social, intellectual, emotional and creative needs of the individual with a focus on the client's spiritual health and healing. Honesty, open mindedness and self awareness from the client and the therapist is important for facilitation of healing and growth.

Transpersonal therapy recognises the “status of the human condition in the societal context and works to alleviate existential suffering and disease of the spiritual dimension” Leight (2001:75)  “The main focus of transpersonal social work is to facilitate development of the spiritual dimension of individuals through this development thus enabling spiritual maturity and higher states of consciousness to evolve.”  Cowley & Derezotes, 1994, Washburg, 1988.

When is Transpersonal therapy used

It is used to treat depression, phobias, addictions, depression and other issues.  Individuals whom are ready to explore their spiritual side, wanting to become spiritually aware, looking for a spiritual path or if one is struggling to find meaning in their life may find this type of therapy useful.

What to expect

Meditation, guided visualisation, dream interpretation, music, journalling, mindfulness as well as other techniques that can assist the client to explore his or her spiritual side of their personality to create meaning in their life.  The therapist will guide, help the client build and augment their already innate strengths and resources to create a more balance life and improve their state of mind.

How does it works

Transpersonal therapy is a method of holistic healing that evolved from the humanistic work of Abraham Maslow in the 1960's.  It includes traditional spiritual rituals into modern psychology and highlights positive influences and role models rather than focusing on negative experiences. Humans are believed to be more than a body and a mind but they are also made of intangible or transcendent factors that make up the entire person. Your mind and body sometimes needs professional treatment, so does your spirit.  A Transpersonal therapist may use a variety of different spiritual practices as a method to assist the client explore various levels of consciousness and spirituality to guide the client through their challenges.

What to look for in a Transpersonal therapist

Search for an experienced and licensed mental health professional such as a social worker, psychologist or counselor with additional qualification in holistic healing. It is very important the person is genuinely qualified and registered with a governing body and has a license number to practice.

I speak English, Brazilian Portuguese, Hebrew and understand Spanish.

 

Types of Transpersonal experiences

Death related experiences: Consists of near-death experiences, death-bed experiences and experiences in which people see and meet with their deceased loved ones (Ring, 1984;  Canda & Furman, 1999)

Encounter Experiences: Experiences of observing and sometimes interacting with apparitions and alien beings.  Includes encounters with UFOs, angels, religious figures and other anomalous phenomena. (White, 1998)

Exceptional Normal Experiences (EHEs) : The following are considered rare. For example, tears, goose bumps, a crisis of identity and feeling, 'wonder struck' (White, 1998:134)

Mystical: Also known as 'peak experiences' (Maslow, 1970) or 'flow experiences'(Csikszentmihalyi, in White, 1998:132).  When occurring in non religious context ie. Spiritual awakening manifesting in overwhelming feelings of happiness or joy that fills the individual with deep sense of peace and security (Bloonfield, 1980)

Psychic Experiences:  Forms of extrasensory perception (ESP), clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition and telekinesis.  They provide an understanding that humans literally may not be separated from others, especially from those with whom we are intimate, by distance or time (White, 1998).

Other: Out of body experiences (Lukoff & Lu, 1988, Tart, 1967, Tart, 1968, Tart, 1995;  Wond & McKeen, 1980). Oness with the universe or ultimate reality; remembrance of past incarnations (Canda & Furman, 1999).

 

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