Name: Transpersonal therapy
Guide/person: Michela Leoni
Transpersonal psychology was developed by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow in the
1960’s. The term “transpersonal” means “beyond the personal” and reflects the aim of the therapy: to explore human growth and help people discover a deeper and more enduring essential self that
exists beyond the conditioned ego.
The methodology behind this therapeutic process is a combination of spiritual traditions from around the world, which are integrated with elements of contemporary psychology for the attainment of a complete understanding of oneself, one’s abilities and relationships.
Transpersonal therapy takes a humanistic approach that values wholeness. The essential self is a combination of the transpersonal, self-transcendent and spiritual aspects of human experience. All life experiences are considered valuable and growth enhancing and each individual is treated according to his or her desire to move towards a Higher Self. Ultimately, in transpersonal psychology, healing and growth are addressed through the recognition of the centrality of the self.
Transpersonal psychology does not see the human personality as limited; instead, it sees certain
character traits and attributes as a mask for our true essence. Therefore, the transpersonal therapist believes that human growth begins when a person feels so pressured by his or her own psychological suffering as to break through the barrier of fear that prevents him or her from reaching his or her potential.
Our self is simply the shell that carries our souls through life, and therefore transpersonal therapy equally addresses all aspects of our being – spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional, physical and creative – to help us heal and grow.
It is about connecting with the true Self that dwells in each of us by asking the questions:
Who am I really underneath all the difficulties I face? What am I learning? What qualities am I developing or need to develop?
As we connect more with that deep core, we have access to a part of ourselves that transcends the difficulties we are identifying with.
Another key element of transpersonal therapy is to focus on positive models that human beings embody by nature, accompanying the client to see their own soul capacities as part of a process of re-appropriating their own essence and achieving a state of wholeness and freedom.
Specifically, there is a greater focus on the spiritual experience of the human being that makes it
possible to see the client as greater than any difficulties or problems they may have.
WHAT ARE THE TOOLS WE USE?
The main tool of transpersonal therapy is to talk to the client and create a therapeutic bond of trust within which the client can feel comfortable exploring his or her thoughts and feelings.
In this context of trust, depending on the case, we use other tools such as: