For this to happen, we must first enter into relationship with those feelings, thoughts and memories that society tends to alienate us from. Instead of being consistent and unchanging, in this work we find ourselves to be a mix of contrasting, changing elements, which in psychosynthesis are termed subpersonalities. In the words of Assagioli: We are not unified. We often have the illusion of being so, because we do not have many bodies or many limbs, and because one hand does not fight with the other, but in our inner world this is actually the case — various personalities and subpersonalities struggle continuously with each other; impulses, desires, principles and aspirations are in continual tumult.
Through acquiring self-knowledge we discover that there are many aspects, roles and attitudes we identify ourselves with, to the point of forgetting or repressing the rest of our personality. This gives us an experience of inner freedom and helps us to get to know who we really are. Self-knowledge, particularly when it leads to an awareness of our true centre, is a step forward. Psychosynthesis recognises that even deep and thorough self-knowledge may not be sufficient to cause lasting change; it must be accompanied by the discovery and use of the will.
Psychosynthesis sees the will as being basic to mental health. At these times we discover within ourselves the capacity to choose and direct; and this is the will. In rare moments we may have an intuitive vision of the nature of the universe, an intense experience of a sense of unity with all beings, a profound understanding of the meaning of life, or an outpouring of creativity — moments in which we transcend the limits of individuality and glimpse a universal reality. While various schools of contemporary psychology often ignore the superconscious, in psychosynthesis particular attention is given to studying these aspects of our experience, observing their effect on the rest of our personality, and using techniques to facilitate these energies and their integration into everyday life.
The desire to act freely, in harmony with our own nature, rather than being at the mercy of external forces, exists within us all. This manifests in the desire to become an individual and affirm oneself in the world. Alongside this need is a complementary desire to feel part of a larger whole and transcend the limitations of individuality, giving rise to the need for friendship, tenderness, and love.
Both these needs must be recognised and met for true psychological health to occur. Of his personal goodness, his patient understanding of co-workers, students, and clients, his brilliant and seasoned wisdom, his compassion and selfless giving of himself in service to others — much could be said. Here though, the note that we wish to sound is the one he himself always sounded — the note of joy.
Assagioli smiling, his eyes astonishingly vital within a face lined by great age, moving over us, going from one to the other. Was he submitting us to an examination? It was, instead, the opposite. He was allowing us to discover him leisurely, to establish a connection with him, without us even realizing this was happening. It was a climate of communication where words find their place later, while something like a current was developing between us. His face was shining with an extraordinary, radiant, inner glow, such as I have never encountered in an octogenarian, and rarely in men much younger.
This message of joy, perceived immediately, communicated immediately, is the finest memory which I keep of the numerous meetings which we later had with him. He found joy in the experience of what he called the Self- the inner core, dynamic and transcendent, radiant with consciousness and powerful with will, immutable, universal.
He found joy in his own Self and the Self he could see in everyone else. He elicited the joy of Self-realization in those who came to see him.
What is Psychosynthesis?
He found joy in the contemplation of beauty, of art, of ideas, of service; of science, of nature. It was the joy of this knowing that must have made the years of his waiting easy. This was a far-seeing joy, one that grew on his love of contemplating from his garden the vast and starry reaches of the Italian sky — the endless worlds, the living cosmic miracle of what is and what is becoming. We can miss such a man, but it is hard to mourn you, Roberto, you with your face in the stars.
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What is Psychosynthesis. Roberto Assagioli.
Steering Committee. Nondogmatic and universal in its approach and conceptual understanding of human nature, the orientation of psychosynthesis therapy is based on our having an inherent need to grow, personally and spiritually, and supports this positive evolutionary process Haronian Results in this study included testimonies from clients who expressed not only their experience of personal growth but, in some cases, newly gained spiritual awareness and their longing to continue to develop this dimension of their lives.
Perhaps of particular interest to the pastoral psychologist is that the three clients who felt an inner need to further explore and develop their spirituality identified themselves as atheists. This activation of spirituality in self-identified atheists can lead to the assumption that, for those psychologists working with faith-based clients, psychosynthesis can provide a powerful platform from which to guide them towards spiritual growth. According to Helminiak , we are in need of an explanatory science of spirituality that explores the structures, mechanisms, or processes of spiritual integration and growth.
He actually calls for a type of equation to encapsulate spirituality the same way a Pythagorean theorem provides an equation for a perfect right triangle. Fundamental to his model is the I—Self connection—the ultimate alignment of the will and consciousness of the personal self with the will and consciousness of the Self, the ideal reality towards which we all strive as human beings.
For Christians, this perfect I—Self connection is manifested in Jesus, who is the highest and fullest embodiment of what is both essentially human and divine, and as such, Jesus represents the perfect model of personal and spiritual psychosynthesis. Also fundamental to Christian faith, the idea of relationship is paramount to the process and outcome of full personal and spiritual psychosynthesis. Now remain in my love. This is my command: Love one another. This muddle derives from the confusion created by ambiguous terminology such as spirituality, God, self-transcendence, and relationship to God; how to assess and measure such terms; and where to place such constructs in the science of psychology.
Assagioli asserts that his model clearly shows this paradox with the positioning of the Self both outside and inside the interior psyche. He further explains:. It may appear to be a contradiction. But it is universal in that it is not limited within or by our transient personality, nor does it involve the continuous influx of our psyche or conflicts, or the combination of various energies and activities of our body, feelings, or mind. This understanding expresses the dual nature of the Self.
Like God born as Jesus in human form, the Self is both universal and individual at one and the same time. As human beings, we too share His image also as a pale reflection! This figure, of course, is a sketch representing her inner life, but it is interesting to note how universal this figure appears when compared to the other figures in her drawing.
Outside the context of the drawing, this central figure could be male or female, old or young, Western or Eastern. This universal yet individual nature of the Self is also represented in the client sample presented in this article, which included nine nationalities across four continents and encompassed a wide range of cultural identities, values, and belief systems.
In addition, all were better able to more freely and consciously choose and execute their will and to interact with others in constructive and positive relations. The three clients who experienced spiritual psychosynthesis were also similar in their pursuit of activities such as meditation, prayer, and a search for meaning in their lives.
An overview of psychosynthesis psychology
Such an open attitude allows for imaginative insights, intuitive understandings, and the emergence of emotions and thoughts that might have been previously repressed or unrecognized, as well as bodily sensations that can unveil vital information about the prevailing issue to both the therapist and the client.
As a Christian, I personally imagined and experienced this space left open for the Holy Spirit to enter and lead us forward in healing, authenticity, and love. This article has some limitations that need to be addressed. First and foremost, it does not provide a hermeneutic discussion of a possible integration of psychology and spirituality within the psychosynthesis context nor of an integration of psychosynthesis and the Christian faith. In this article, I have limited myself to suggesting the convergence of the latter two perspectives; future studies should address this issue extensively.
Nevertheless, not only does psychosynthesis resolve the tensions between Freudian psychoanalysis and religion, but its adherents specifically contend that spiritual drives are as real and fundamental as sexual and combative drives. These concepts were further supported by the qualitative data of the testimonies of clients who received psychosynthesis counseling.
However, the small client sample, although culturally and demographically diverse, makes it difficult to draw any general conclusions. Future research in this area should try to increase the number of participants. The number of sessions for each client also varied widely 10—55 , which might have influenced the psychosynthesis process. However, the data does demonstrate that psychosynthesis counseling positively influenced the personal growth of all clients and the spiritual growth of three of the clients.
Another limitation is the qualitative research method used in this study. There is a long debate in the literature on whether or not qualitative research can or cannot indicate causal relationship see Maxwell a. Nevertheless, in line with the realist position Maxwell b especially when it comes to the process of giving meaning to certain events as psychosynthesis does , cause-effect relationships can be drawn. Future research should, however, investigate the effectiveness of psychosynthesis counseling in spiritual growth by collecting empirical data and using well-established tests that measure spiritual awareness, religious participation, and commitment to a religious belief system, such as the Revised Religious Life Inventory RLI-R; Hill et al.
The qualitative methodology of this study, however, did allow for intimate conversations with clients over many months and brought depth and breadth to the analysis that quantitative analyses alone cannot provide. In addition, the qualitative approach in this study was especially conducive for conducting research into spiritual identity and personal and spiritual psychosynthesis, as this approach matches the methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis IPA.
Finally, the qualitative approach to this study is perhaps more aligned with the approach taken by pastoral psychologists. Also, in this study, clients were unaware and not informed of psychosynthesis concepts and the psychosynthesis model of the human personality during their time in therapy. Pastoral psychologists have had an even greater challenge in their attempt to develop a psychological understand of spirituality within a scientific framework.
Ultimately, psychosynthesis embodies the idea that personal and spiritual growth entails a synthesis of the ineffable mysteries of the invisible with the reason and intellect of the visible. This article suggests that psychosynthesis provides a bridge between psychology and spirituality, indicating new ways to wisely hold the blade of logic so that, instead of wounding, it may discern what is the truth, the authentic, the sublime, and the higher potential held in all of life.
The author would like to thank all the clients whose testimonies and drawings appear in this article. Also, special thanks to Dr. Barbara C. Kees den Biesen, and Kathy McKay for their suggestions for improving this manuscript.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Pastoral Psychology. Pastoral Psychol. Published online Jan Catherine Ann Lombard 1, 2. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author.
Abstract Pastoral psychologists have long tried to establish a working model that encompasses the seemingly conflicting disciplines of science and religion. An overview of psychosynthesis psychology Psychosynthesis psychology was developed by Roberto Assagioli — , who was a medical doctor, contemporary of Freud and Jung, and the first psychoanalyst in Italy. Open in a separate window. Assagioli repeatedly stated that his principles and methods were based on solid personal experience Haronian , and he explained that transpersonal experiences are similar to experiencing: a color, sound or feeling.
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Psychosynthesis view of spirituality As previously mentioned, one of the distinguishing concepts of psychosynthesis is that the Self and superconscious relate to the higher urges within human beings that allow them to develop their personality at different levels, including, but not necessarily, a spiritual one. Personal psychosynthesis and spiritual psychosynthesis As stated earlier, the aim of psychosynthesis is to establish the I—Self connection, and this process can develop along two lines: personal psychosynthesis and transpersonal or spiritual psychosynthesis.
Will as energy In psychosynthesis, the will does not correspond to the Victorian idea as something stern and oppressive. Stages of an act of will In addition, Assagioli states that any act of will has six sequential stages: purpose, deliberation, choice, affirmation, planning, and execution. Working in right relations Throughout psychosynthesis, the essential dynamic of relationship permeates. Psychosynthesis techniques Psychosynthesis counseling techniques include guided visualization, daily self-reflection, role-playing, ideal models, symbolic images, storytelling, free-drawing, and dream work.
The self-identification exercise The self-identification exercise, also referred to as the disidentification exercise or the body-feeling-mind meditation, is a fundamental psychosynthesis technique for working with all aspects of the will. The subpersonality model Psychosynthesis assumes that we all have multiple subpersonalities, such as Mother, Daughter, Teacher, and Leader, that help us to function in the world, mostly without much reflection or conscious choice.
Research method The source of the data is psychosynthesis counseling work conducted in the Netherlands from October to November Table 1 Participant details. Psychosynthesis clinical methodology Clients met the counselor from 10 to 55 times, two to four times per month, with each session lasting one hour.
Research ethics It is important to note that the researcher and the counselor as well as the author are the same person in this study. Results The following sections describe the results found in this study. Of the eight others, the following testimony was a typical response: I would call myself an atheist. Henk, who is quoted above, said: When I was 20, I was on a boat at night and all around in the water were bioluminescent plankton. However, he responded to the second question by relating a strong mystical experience he had had at the age of ten: I was in the church at school during prayer time.presskit.pockettroops.com/los-archivos-del-doctor-wolfson-el-planeta.php
Roberto Assagioli – His Life and Work, a biography
Similarly, despite having peak experiences as a child, Liliana talked about her choice to stop believing in God, after which time she no longer experienced superconscious material: When I was younger, around 11 or 12, I had many [peak experiences], but then I took a pragmatic decision. Biyu Our sessions helped me to grow personally far beyond what I could have predicted. Maria What I have done.
Questionnaire results Eight of the eleven clients responded to the questionnaire after the second email was sent. Julia During our very first session, the counselor asked me about my relationship to God. Discussion This article attempts to offer psychosynthesis concepts and its model of the human psyche as a foundational bridge between psychological and spiritual conceptions of human nature.
Psychosynthesis as a model for spiritual psychology According to Helminiak , we are in need of an explanatory science of spirituality that explores the structures, mechanisms, or processes of spiritual integration and growth. He further explains: It may appear to be a contradiction. Limitations and future research This article has some limitations that need to be addressed. Acknowledgements The author would like to thank all the clients whose testimonies and drawings appear in this article.
References Assagioli, R. Psicosintesi e parapsicologia [Psychosynthesis and parapsychology]. Psicoterapia Umanistica, N. Assagioli R. Transpersonal development: The dimension beyond psychosynthesis. London: The Aquarian Press; Psychosynthesis: A collection of basic writings. Amherst: The Synthesis Center; The act of will. Istituto di Psicosintesi, Florence, Italy. Accessed 30 May Brottman M. Phantoms of the clinic. London: Karnac Books; Face to face: Carl Gustav Jung.
Identity and personal freedom. In Fundamentals of psychosynthesis. London: Institute of Psychosynthesis; The use of mental imagery in psychosynthesis. In Core principles in psychosynthesis psychology Vol. London: Institute of Psychosynthesis. Evans J. What guides the guide? In: Evans J, editor. Soul making at work. Applying psychosynthesis to work-based projects.
What we may be. The theory: Subpersonalities. Psychosynthesis workbook. Psychosynthesis: A psychology of the spirit. Listening to the claims of experience: Psychology and the question of transcendence. Civilization and its discontents J. Strachey, Trans. New York: Norton. Hardy J. A psychology with a soul. Confounding the divine and the spiritual: Challenges to a psychology of spirituality. The development of the revised religious life inventory RLI-R by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Personality and Individual Differences. The varieties of religious experience.
New York: Modern Library; Spirituality in older adults: A cross-cultural and interfaith perspective. The practice of psychotherapy R. Hull, Trans. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Jung, C. The portable Jung. Campbell Ed. New York: Penguin Books.
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