What is Transpersonal and Integrative Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy comes from the Greek words psyche, meaning mind or soul, and therapeia, meaning healing, thus psychotherapy can be seen as healing of the mind, emotions, and soul. While there is a traditional clinical aspect to therapy, Integrative Psychotherapy is a way of working with people that uses the most appropriate modality or approach depending on the specific needs of a particular client.

The ultimate goal of integrative, transpersonal psychotherapy is not merely the alleviation of suffering, but the integration of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of well-being. It is not solely dwelling on all our troubles, but includes the exploration and focus on our potential, the development of our inner resources and creativity.

There is a misconception that therapy is only for people with serious emotional or mental health problems. While this is true for some, psychotherapy is often and increasingly being used by those of us who want to understand our own behaviours and emotional reactions and patterns, and is a powerful tool for personal growth and increased self-awareness.

Carl Jung said that he had to create a new therapy for each client. In that spirit I attempt to follow the lead of each individual and provide what is needed to help activate and allow the individuals own inner healing system to flourish. I do not try and fit a client into a fixed theoretical approach but try and integrate various approaches and orientations; this may include psychodynamic interpretations, cognitive-behavioural strategies (CBT), body-oriented therapy, mindfulness, EMDR, existential perspectives, person-centered counselling, solution-focused tools, and transpersonal elements.

What is Transpersonal?

Transpersonal Psychology as I practice it is a combination of Clinical Psychology and Integrative Psychotherapy. Transpersonal is a holistic approach that addresses multiple facets in a person's life: emotional, psychological, intellectual, creative, social, physical (body) and spiritual.

Transpersonal, literally meaning beyond or 'trans' the personal or individual, is considered the most recent movement in psychology, and includes integrative, holistic, spiritual, and transcendent elements in psychology.

Transpersonal experiences are those moments where you go beyond your usual sense of identity or personality to encompass a wider perspective of yourself and the world. This can include experiences of intense love, enhanced perception, spiritual and religious experiences, and 'peak experiences'. Transpersonal practices can include mindfulness, meditation, dream work, breath work, journaling, yoga, and other spiritual disciplines.

Transpersonal experiences generally have a profoundly transforming effect on the lives of those who experience them. These experiences can make you more aware of the distorting and pathological limitations of your own ordinary self and dysfunctional patterns which may be worked with and transformed for a more full psychological and spiritual maturity.

Transpersonal psychology draws knowledge and practices from mainstream psychology, anthropology, history, sociology, philosophy, and other disciplines when helpful and needed, and tries to understand them from the more inclusive transpersonal perspective.