What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?
What is meant by the term ‘transpersonal’? There are many different approaches to this term. It is derived from the discipline of transpersonal psychology. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology describes transpersonal psychology as “the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness” (Lajoie and Shapiro, 1992:91).
Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance and other metaphysical experiences of living. Working transpersonally means working with issues of meaning, and spirituality. Therapists who consider themselves to work from a transpersonal perspective come from many different spiritual and religious perspectives and traditions although they may not be affiliated to any particular one. They also work with people from many differing viewpoints. It requires great flexibility to work with someone on issues of meaning and spirituality who has a fundamentally different belief system to you.
Transpersonal implies something beyond the self. That is, something higher, deeper or truer than the everyday personality. We as humans need to have some sense of something other than our everyday selves. Transpersonal psychotherapy allows us to explore these greater and more spiritual aspects of the self.