Psychosynthesis: the psychology with a Soul – By Jodie Gale

Psychosynthesis is known worldwide as ‘the psychology with a Soul’. It is a holistic approach and includes an exploration of the biological, emotional, psychological, social, sexual, cultural, ecological and spiritual elements and influences on health and well-being. Spirituality in a psychosynthesis context is often used to describe the deeper essence of who we are, the innate part of us that continuously calls us towards growth and wholeness. When we are present to this deeper essence, it provides us with a sense of belonging, connectedness, value, meaning and purpose in life (Gale 2010).

Roberto Assagioli, the founder of psychosynthesis, was a colleague of both Freud and Jung. He was a psychiatrist, a neurologist and a pioneer of psychoanalysis in Italy. Ahead of the times, he gradually moved towards a more inclusive and mindful approach to human development. Assagioli was interested in the soul, the esoteric, yoga, spirituality and religious teachings such as Buddhism, Christianity and Jewish mysticism; these deeply influenced his map of the human psyche.

Assagioli’s work has been widely influential in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal-based psychologies. Psychosynthesis practitioners have been using Buddhist mindfulness theory and techniques for at least half a century, many of which are being used in popular mindfulness and acceptance based psychologies today. Psychosynthesis integrates the best of western psychology, eastern and western spiritual disciplines. Psychosynthesis theory and practice is in a constant process of evolution and growth as rigorously trained practitioners worldwide integrate new philosophies, ideas and evidence based practice – such as neuroscience – into their theory and practice. Many psychological approaches focus on only part of who we are, for example, our thinking. Assagioli’s model is still at the cutting edge of psychology today due to its inclusive nature and because it takes into consideration the whole of the psyche and the whole person (Gale 2010).

Psychosynthesis provides an approach to life, personal development, counselling, coaching and psychotherapy which incorporates working with early childhood and past trauma, current issues in the here and now and the vast potential for growth, healing and change.

In a recent research program whereby I participated as one of the therapists, neuro-psychosynthesis practitioner Dr Stratford shows that the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client is essential to healing. Relationship lies at the heart of psychosynthesis therapy.

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