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Psychosynthesis - the psychology with a Soul
Psychosynthesis has been described as 'the psychology with a Soul'. It is a truly holistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy due to its inclusion of 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.
Roberto Assagioli, a colleague of both Freud and Jung was a pioneer of psychoanalysis in Italy. Although useful to discovering the human psyche, he felt that psychoanalysis on its own was somewhat limiting to his clients in that they were being pathologised and reduced to their symptoms and their history. He 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 has been using Buddhist mindfulness theory and techniques since at least the 1960s, 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. The psychosynthetic model of consciousness is in a constant process of evolution and growth as rigorously trained practitioners worldwide integrate new philosophies and ideas - such as neuroscience - into their theory and practice. 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.
Psychosynthesis is an approach to life, counselling and psychotherapy that is inclusive of working with repressed past traumas that are impacting on one's life, current issues in the here and now and the vast potential for growth, healing and change that often lies deeply buried within. Repression of the 'good, the light and the beauty' within ourselves can be just as destructive as repressing the 'bad, the dark and painful experiences'. Psychosynthesis aims to give space to the whole person, all of who we are, the light and the shadow.
To cite this article: Gale, J. (2010). Addiction: A Psychospiritual Perspective. The CAPA Quarterly, Journal of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW retrieved from www.psychosynthesis.net.au/psychosynthesis
© 2010 Jodie Gale
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